While rallies in support of the Palestinians took place calmly on Saturday, May 15, in many cities of France, bringing together several thousand people in Strasbourg, Toulouse, Lille, Marseille or Lyon, the Parisian procession, which had been banned by the authorities, turned into a clash with the police.
The police headquarters have adopted a strategy of dispersal “Systematic” to avoid any regrouping of demonstrators and used for that, from the beginning of the afternoon, tear gas and water cannons.
– Police Prefecture (@prefpolice) May 15, 2021
Significant resources had been deployed in the capital and many metro stations closed. Some 4,200 police and gendarmes were mobilized, according to the police headquarters.
A prohibited demonstration
“Free Palestine” ; “Israel assassin” ; “Israel is breaking up, you, Palestine is not yours”, shouted demonstrators in the small streets of the district of Goutte d’Or, in the north of Paris. “Palestine will live. Palestine will win “, could we still hear, according to AFP journalists on the spot. “How is it possible to ban a demonstration in support of a colonized and bombed people? “, wondered Ahmed, 35, trying to join the procession.
The organizers, including the Association of Palestinians in Île-de-France, as well as around thirty other organizations, such as Attac, the Paris-Banlieue Antifascist Action, the New Anticapitalist Party had maintained their call to demonstrate, in despite the ban requested by the authorities and confirmed on the evening of Friday 14 by the administrative court.
Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the French authorities fear tensions “on the territory”
The administrative court considered that the context “Both international and domestic” did not allow “To estimate that the risks of serious disorders” born “Would not be as important or even higher than those found in 2014”, when a pro-Palestinian demonstration had degenerated into urban violence.