On Saturday, June 6, thousands joined protests throughout France, demanding an end to police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Protests took place in Paris, Lille, Rennes, Marseille, Lyon, and Bordeaux despite police bans in place to limit the gathering of large crowds due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The Ministry of the Interior reported that 5500 individuals took part in the protest in Paris, with 17,800 others taking part in protests outside the capital. In Paris, crowds gathered at the US Embassy, near the Champs-Élysées, and marched towards Place de la Concorde. A later protest was reported in the Champs de Mars, next to the Eiffel Tower.
Further protests are likely in the near term.
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 France are advised to monitor developments, avoid demonstrations, anticipate a heightened security presence near protest sites, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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