The Black Lives Matter protests have now spread to Europe as well. Yesterday evening some 20,000 people participated in a march against violence even though authorities had forbidden it out of fear for a second wave of Coronavirus. The march in Paris ended in rioting and the French government asks protesters to think of the health of those the vulnerable classes these protests are endangering.
In Paris on Tuesday evening, some 20,000 people protested police brutality, despite a ban from the French government who fears a second wave of coronavirus.
It ended with rioting, vandalism and the French police had to use tear gas. The initiator for the march was the sister of Adama Traoré, a young black man who died in 2016 in a police station in a city north of Paris after his arrest.
The demonstration initially started peacefully, with speeches and shouts, but it later turned into rioting. A number of protesters blocked the French capital’s ring road. They threw projectiles, put up barricades in the streets and started fires. They were dispersed by the police, who shot tear gas.
Police said on Twitter that they were taking action against “incidents during the forbidden protest,” and that participants were asked to disperse.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner spoke out against the violence on Twitter. “Nothing justifies the excesses that happened in Paris tonight, while street meetings are prohibited to protect everyone’s health. I congratulate the security and emergency services for their self-control and their calm. ”
However, prominent human rights lawyer Arie Alimi accused the police of provoking problems by using tear gas against peaceful demonstrators.
According to French media reports and the sister of Adama Traoré, several autopsy reports contradicted each other about the cause of death of the young person in his twenties. Reports ordered by the judge said a heart condition caused his death, but the report ordered by the family concludes that he was choked by three officers who knocked him to the ground.
The demonstration was forbidden because of the corona measures still active in France. Any meeting of more than ten people is not allowed.