Call to demonstrate in Paris despite the ban, shops around the Barbès metro closed

Gerald Darmanin. – NICOLAS MESSYASZ / SIPA

Supporters for the Palestinian people maintain their call to demonstrate this Saturday in Paris despite the ban by the authorities, confirmed by the administrative court, while several other rallies or parades, authorized, are planned across France.

“Because we refuse to silence our solidarity with the Palestinians, and that we will not be prevented from demonstrating, we will be present (at the metro) Barbès” this Saturday “at 3 pm”, affirmed the Association of Palestinians in Ile -de-France, as well as around thirty other organizations, such as Attac, the Paris-Banlieue Antifascist Action, the New Anticapitalist Party. The organizers plan to go then to the Place de la Bastille, said Walid Atallah, one of the organizers.

“Due to the serious risks of disturbances to public order linked to the gathering of people who would defy this ban, a closing decree is taken, as a precaution, from 12 noon, for shops in the Barbès sector”, indicated this Saturday morning the Paris police headquarters.

Risks of “disturbances to public order”

The ban on demonstrating in the capital was taken Thursday evening by the Paris police prefect, Didier Lallement, at the request of the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, due to the risk of “disturbing public order” . He also highlighted the precedent of 2014, when a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Paris degenerated into urban violence.

Seized in interim relief by the Association of Palestinians in Ile-de-France, the administrative court confirmed this ban on Friday. The latter considered that the context “both international and domestic” did not allow “to estimate that the risks of serious disturbances” would not “be as important or even greater than those found in 2014”, according to the decision.

Fine of 135 euros

The court also ruled that the police, already “strongly mobilized” within the framework of Vigipirate would also be called this weekend to ensure compliance with health measures. He also recalls that 26 other events are planned in Paris this Saturday. “Under these conditions”, the prefect of police did not “seriously undermine” the freedom to demonstrate, explains the decision, noting however that this “detailed” ban could not be valid as a prohibition in principle of all pro demonstrations. Palestinian.

Paris police headquarters warned on Twitter that “participating in a prohibited event is subject to a fine of EUR 135EUR”. “France is the only democratic country to ban these demonstrations”, protested Me Sefen Guez Guez, Me Dominique Cochain and Me Ouadie Elhamamouchi, lawyers of the Association of Palestinians in Île-de-France, announcing to appeal to the Council of State of this rejection ”.

Events in several regions

The protest was originally planned to commemorate the Nakba, the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians upon the creation of Israel in 1948. Before the surge in violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip in recent days came to shape the prospect of an important gathering. Gérald Darmanin asked the prefects to closely follow the rallies in support of the Palestinian people planned in other cities and to ensure the protection of places frequented by the Jewish community.

This Saturday, some demonstrations were banned, as in Nice. On the other hand, – static – gatherings or demonstrations are authorized, in Lyon, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Marseille, Nantes, Rennes, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Lille, Metz or Saint-Etienne. The case divides the political class, between supporters of the government’s demand – mainly in the majority, on the right and on the extreme right – and those who denounce an “unacceptable” ban, led by La France insoumise (LFI).

The unprecedented military escalation since 2014 between Israel and the Palestinian movement Hamas has left 122 Palestinians dead, including 31 children, since Monday, and 900 injured in the Gaza Strip, according to a latest Palestinian report. In Israel, nine people were killed including a child and more than 560 injured.

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