On Saturday, French authorities showed bias towards the Israeli occupation by preventing demonstrations against Israeli attacks in occupied Palestine – a civil right guaranteed by the constitution.
The Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin wanted to prevent French solidarity with the Palestinians in the face of settlement and the destruction of identity and culture. He was supported by Macron and tweets from “far-right” figure Marine Le Pen.
The result backfired. Associations, organizations, and activists who called for the demonstration, violated the ban and challenged the authority and its security forces. This violation led to heavy police presence, barricades, and trucks to repress the protests.
Thousands of French people took to the streets carrying Palestinian flags and banners denouncing Israeli massacres against Gaza and evictions in the streets of Palestinian cities.
Peaceful protests began from the Barbes neighborhood of the 18th arrondissement. However, police surrounded young men and women, and confrontations quickly devolved into arrests, beatings, and the use of tear-gas and water cannons.
This response prompted the demonstrators to mobilize further. The demonstrations spread in large waves to the heart of Paris- in the “Place de la République”, where Palestinian flags were raised on the square’s statue, in the “Stalingrad” neighborhood, and in “Gare du Nord” train station, and other areas. The protests came in response to police violence, which did not spare bystanders and journalists.
The French authorities have decided to ban demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinian people, throughout France. In response to the decision, the protest’s organizers, mainly French-Palestinian solidarity associations, went to the French judiciary to overturn the ban. However, the judiciary confirmed the minister’s decision and threatened to impose a fine of 135 euros on anyone who violates the ban.
In a statement, the organizers criticized the judicial decision, stating that France is “the only democratic state in the world that prevents solidarity with the Palestinians.”
In response, French police arrested several demonstrators in solidarity with the Palestinians and used water cannons to disperse them.
Austrian police also banned a demonstration scheduled for Saturday, in Vienna, supporting the Palestinian people. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif canceled his planned visit to Austria on Saturday. This came after the Austrian Foreign Ministry announced that it would raise the Israeli occupation flag at the Austrian government headquarters.
An Austrian journalist tweeted: “At the last minute, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif canceled his visit to Austria scheduled for today because Israeli flags were raised on the prime minister’s buildings and the Foreign Ministry in Vienna.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.