Gaza solidarity demonstrators defy second ban on Paris demonstration
Gaza solidarity demonstrators gathered at Paris’s Place de la République as a court confirmed a ban on their rally against Israel’s offensive on the Palestinian territory. About 2,000 riot police were deployed.
Over 1,000 people gathered at the vast Paris square on Saturday afternoon as organisers tried to persuade a court to overturn the police ban on their protest.
The court ruled against them but the far-left New Anticapitalist Party (NPA), the French Jewish Union for Peace and the Indigènes de la République (Natives of the Republic) group had already called on sympathisers to defy the ban if it was upheld.
Twenty units of CRS and gendarmes mobiles riot police – about 2,000 officers – were mobilised to prevent “breaches of public order”, the interior ministry said.
The government claimed that there was a risk of anti-Semitic attacks on people or synagogues, following violence after a protest on 13 July and after two banned protests, in Paris and nearby Sarcelles, last weekend.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Friday evening defended his government against accusations of double standards on discrimination and the right to demonstrate on a visit to a mosque in Evry, where he used to be mayor.
Joining Muslims breaking the Ramadan fast, he declared there are “too many words and acts targeting the Muslims of France” but insisted that the protest ban was legitimate because “nothing can justify violence and hatred of others”.
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