MIDDLE EAST VIOLENCE

'We refuse to keep quiet': Palestinian supporters to defy Paris protest ban

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators attend a protest, following a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in Paris, France, May 12, 2021.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators attend a protest, following a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in Paris, France, May 12, 2021. REUTERS - SARAH MEYSSONNIER

Pro-Palestinian groups in Paris have maintained their call for street marches on Saturday to denounce Israeli violence in the Gaza Strip – despite on ban on demonstrations by police authorities.

Advertising

The Association of Palestinians in Île-de-France, which is behind the protest, told France Info radio that its rally would kick off in the afternoon in Barbès, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. 

"Because we refuse to keep quiet about our solidarity with the Palestinians, and because we will not be prevented from demonstrating, we will be present (at the Barbès metro station) on Saturday at 3pm,” the organisation said.

Violence between Israeli forces and Hamas militants in Gaza continued for a fifth night Friday, with appeals to leaders on both sides failing to produce a ceasefire deal.

At least 133 Palestinians and eight Israelis have been killed since the fighting began.

Public disorder fears

Nearly 30 groups said they would join the Paris protest, which was banned at the request of Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin amid fears it would disturb public order.

The Paris Administrative Court on Friday upheld the ban following an appeal by the Association of Palestinians in Île-de-France. 

Paris’s police prefecture warned in a Twitter post that anyone participating in the demonstration risked a fine of 135 euros.

"We have no interest in being violent,” Pauline Salingue, of the New Anti-Capitalist Party, told France Info. “We want to make ourselves heard…and to denounce the complicity of the French state with Israel. 

"We will participate in demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinians whether they are authorised or banned."

Demonstrations in Strasbourg, Marseille and Nice have also been banned.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning