French rage at security bill

Top News | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 30 Nov 2020

Violent clashes erupted in Paris after tens of thousands took to the streets to protest at new security legislation, with tensions intensified by a police beating and racial abuse of a black man.

The proposed security law is to restrict publication of police faces.

Authorities said about 150,000 people rallied nationwide with 40,000 in Paris, but protest organizers said 500,000 joined across France.

President Emmanuel Macron said the images of the beating of a black music producer by police in Paris the previous weekend "shame us."

The incident also magnified concerns about police and racism. "We've felt for a long time to have been the victims of institutionalized racism in the police," said Mohamed Magassa 35, who works in a Paris reception center for minors.

Police said protesters impeded efforts to put out fires they had started, but arrests were being made in the face of violence against officers. A probe has started against four police involved in the beating, which it was claimed would have been hidden if the new security rule became law.

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