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Clashes, cars set alight in new Paris protests against security law

Agence France-Presse

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A "Yellow Vest" (Gilet Jaune) anti-government protestor kneels raising his fist as he poses with a sign reading 'Living, Yes! Surviving, No!' near burning cars during a demonstration for 'social rights' and against the 'global security' draft law, which Article 24 would criminalise the publication of images of on-duty police officers with the intent of harming their 'physical or psychological integrity', in Paris. (AFP)

Violence erupted in Paris on Saturday for the second consecutive weekend at a mass protest against a new security law, with demonstrators clashing with police, vehicles set alight and shop windows smashed.

The weekly nationwide protests are becoming a major headache for President Emmanuel Macron’s government, with tensions intensified by the beating of a black music producer by police last month.

Members of the so-called yellow vests movement, which shook Macron with protests against a lack of equality in France over the winter of 2018-2019, were also prominent in the rally.

Windows of a supermarket, property agency and bank were broken while several cars burst into flames along Avenue Gambetta as demonstrators marched towards the central Place de la Republique, AFP reporters said.

A protester holds a sign reading “Sweet France. Dear country of violence” in front of a fire during a demonstration for ‘social rights’ and against the ‘global security’ draft law, which Article 24 would criminalize the publication of images of on-duty police officers with the intent of harming their ‘physical or psychological integrity’, in Paris, on December 5, 2020. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Objects were also thrown at police who responded by using tear gas, in a repeat of the violent scenes from the protests last weekend against the security law that would restrict publishing pictures of the faces of police.

Some demonstrators used objects left in the streets to create impromptu barricades that they then set on fire.

Protesters, some letting off smoke bombs and firecrackers, shouted slogans like “Everyone hates the police.”

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wrote on Twitter that 22 people had been detained in Paris so far by police, who he said were facing “very violent individuals”.

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