UPDATED: 142 arrested after police clash with protesters at Paris security law demo

UPDATED: 142 arrested after police clash with protesters at Paris security law demo
Demonstrators marching in Paris on Saturday. Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP
Demonstrators against France's draft security law clashed with police in Paris on Saturday, with 142 people arrested according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in France on Saturday for a third consecutive weekend of demonstrations over a controversial security bill that would limit filming of the police.
 
The authorities had been bracing for further possible violence after the last two such protests in Paris ended in rioting.
 
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But there were no major flare-ups as several thousand protesters — the organisers claimed a turnout of 10,000 — flanked on all sides by riot police, marched through the city.
 
 “Global repression, total regression,” read a placard held aloft by one demonstrator, a reference to the new “global security” bill which bans the “malevolent” publication of images showing the faces of police officers in action.
 
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted that 142 people were arrested in Paris. Demonstrations were also held in Montpellier, Strasbourg, Lille, Toulouse and Marseille.
 

 
Lucas Burel, a journalist from the L'Obs news magazine, posted video footage of protestors clashing with riot police on the Boulevard de Sébastopol. 
 

The third consecutive weekend of protests against France's new security law began at La Place du Châtelet by the river Seine at 2.30pm. Marchers then made their way slowly towards La Place de la République.
 
The global security bill has generated huge opposition, primarily due to clauses which would restrict the publication of pictures of the faces of police officers. Critics argue it will  make it harder for journalists and citizens to document cases of police brutality.
 
Footage of white police beating up an unarmed black music producer in his Paris studio on November 21 amplified anger over the legislation, widely seen as signalling a rightward lurch by President Emmanuel Macron.
 
Article 24, the most (but not the only) controversial clause is currently being rewritten, although it had already passed through the National Assembly.
 
Protesters are also decrying police violence and the “law to strengthen republican values”, previously known as “the law against separatism”.
 

 
The Local's reporter Ingri Bergo photographed a police water canon slowly moving towards Place de la République, in a warning of what might happen when the protestors reach their destination. 
 

Here riot police drag away a black clad protester. 
 
Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP
 
This protestor is holding a sign saying “Global repression, total regression”. 
 
Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP
 
 
 
According to the Le Parisien newspaper, there were 35 squads of “forces mobiles” riot officers, and 200 specialist BRAV riot police, on hand to supervise the Paris protest, as well as two drones.  
 
The Local reporter Ingri Bergo photographed the riot officers gathered at the start of the protest.  
 

She also interviewed several of the demonstrators about what had brought them out. 

Mathilde, 30, told her that police brutality was making political protest increasingly difficult. 
Here a protester holds a sign, parodying the popular Charles Trenet song, 'Douce France, cher pays de mon enfance' (Gentle France, dear country of my childhood), swapping the last four words for 'country of violence'. 
 
Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP
 
Here a protester holds a sign linking camera flashes (a reference to the ban on photographing police),with the flash-ball plastic bullet guns notorious for blinding protesters.  
 
Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP
 
The recurring allegations of racism and brutality against the police have become a major headache for President Emmanuel Macron.
 
In a letter to a police union leader on Monday, he announced plans for a summit in January on how to improve relations between the police and communities.
 
“There is urgent need to act,” Macron said in the letter to the Unite-SGP-FO police union, adding that the summit would also address the police's longstanding complaints over working conditions.
 
 

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