EBN – Over the weekend, thousands of people protested in several cities of France against police violence and systemic racism.
People from across France demanded justice for recent victims.
The local authorities said there were over 31,000 people in the protests. However, the organisers stressed that the number was over 80,000 people.
The huge protests came following a three-month-old incident of a police officer shooting and killing a 17-year-old teenager, Nahel Merzouk.
The teenager’s demise saw several protests and demonstrations that raged throughout the country.
In Paris, a group of thousands of people started their protest from the Gare du Nord station in the city’s northeast.
Calls for Accountability
Prior to setting off, the crowd on Boulevard Magenta chanted slogans like “No justice, no peace” and “Justice for Nahel.”
Protesters displayed placards bearing messages like “Stop state violence,” “No forgetting, no forgiveness,” and “Racist state, police state.”
To maintain order during the protests, the Interior Ministry deployed 30,000 police officers and gendarmes across France.
Furthermore, the forces included 6,000 officers in support, preparing for Pope Francis’ visit to the French city of Marseille.
In Paris, just over 1,000 police officers were mobilised for the demonstration, according to Laurent Nuñez, a Paris police spokesperson.
France Protests Receive Backing
Demonstrations also occurred in other cities, with Perpignan drawing around 150 participants under the banner “against systemic racism, police violence, and for public freedoms.”
In Toulouse, approximately 600 people joined the march, according to the Toulouse prefecture.
The national mobilisation received backing from 150 notable figures and stars in the film industry, including Palme d’Or 2023 director Justine Triet.
Also, actors Reda Kateb and Benoît Magimel, and producer Sylvie Pialat have supported the demonstrations.
These protests reflect a broader call for accountability and change in France’s approach to issues of police violence and discrimination.