Police clashed with demonstrators carrying out a protest against racism and police brutality in Paris on Saturday, June 13. Between 15,000 and 20,000 demonstrators gathered at Place de la Republique with the intention of marching on the Opera House; however, police blocked them. Clashes broke out at 17:30 (local time), and police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds. Police carried out at least 26 arrests as of 19:00. Incidents of unrest were also reported in Vieux-Port in Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône department), Place Bellecour in Lyon, Place de la Comédie in Montpellier (Hérault department), Place du Bouffay in Nantes (Loire-Atlantique department), Saint Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique department), Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux (Gironde department) and Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin department). The protests were held in opposition to the police-related death of George Floyd in the US and the death of Adama Traoré in French police custody in 2016.
Further protests and associated unrest are possible in the coming days.
Adama Traoré died in July 2016 in a police station after losing consciousness in a police vehicle in the suburbs of Paris. The officers who had arrested Traoré were exonerated on Thursday, May 28, 2020.
George Floyd died while being arrested by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. The four arresting police officers were subsequently fired, and one has since been charged with murder. Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporters gathered on May 26 to denounce the death and actions of the police officers. Clashes ensued between protesters and riot police; with demonstrators throwing bricks and projectiles at police and police property, and police responding with tear gas and rubber bullets as they attempted to disperse the crowds. Protests have since spread to a number of cities across the US and internationally.
Individuals in Paris and across metropolitan areas in France are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer