TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of France’s capital, defying coronavirus restrictions to express solidarity with US black people and demanding justice for the country’s own victims of police brutality.
The anti-racism demonstrators took place in Paris on Tuesday evening, and saw hundreds of activists marching towards the High Court to hold a rally there.
The event had not been greenlighted by the authorities due to the ban on large gatherings, which is in place to stem the spread of coronavirus. However, this did not prevent the demonstrators from turning out in force. The procession was met by police, who fired tear gas into the crowd in a bid to disperse it.
Minor scuffles broke out between police and protesters as they tried to block motorways and erect barricades, setting trash and construction equipment on fire. No major blazes occurred, as flames were promptly extinguished.
The march used slogans “Justice for George” – in reference to George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police last week – as well as “Justice for Adama.”
The latter refers to the 2016 case of a 24-year-old black French national of Malian origin, Adama Traore. The young man died in police custody hours after his arrest under unclear circumstances. While the whole affair is still under investigation, reports in the media indicated that Traore had been asphyxiated by officers as they struggled to restrain him.
The US protests have been going on for more than a week already, engulfing some 400 cities. In many locations, the protests turned into riots with widespread looting, arson and even shootouts between rioters and police. The National Guard has been called in to quell the unrest in several states, while some 1,600 soldiers have been deployed to the region around Washington, and are currently on standby. US President Donald Trump has also threatened to send troops to other states if local authorities fail to tackle the civil unrest.