News World UK Wild protests fill streets with tear gas and fury in London and Paris

Wild protests fill streets with tear gas and fury in London and Paris

French riot police retreat under a barrage of rocks and bottles. Photo: Twitter
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Violence has erupted on both sides of the English Channel as police in London and Paris confronted protesters.

In Paris, more than 130,000 people joined a nationwide wave of demonstrations  against police brutality and a controversial new security law that would make it illegal to shoot video footage of officers.

And in London, police made 155 arrests at a rally demanding an end to lockdown laws.

London’s anti-lockdown protesters were joined by groups who oppose a COVID-19 vaccine brandishing signs saying “Defend Freedom, Defend Humanity”, “No more lies, no more masks, no more lockdowns”.

London’s Metropolitan Police said they had intercepted and turned back coaches full of people wanting to join the demonstrations, saying they had kept the crowd to under 400 people.

“Our policing plan will continue well into the evening and I would urge anyone who hasn’t already dispersed to go home,” Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell said in the statement.

In France, protests took place in cities including Paris, Strasbourg, Marseille and Lyon, with the largest rallies in Paris, where 46,000 people marched, according to AFP news agency.

Protesters erected barricades in Paris and threw objects at the police. In the Breton city of Rennes, officers used tear gas against the protesters.

France’s Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said a total of 37 police officers and gendarmes were injured in the protests across France.

Taking to Twitter, he condemned what he said was “unacceptable violence against law enforcement”. Paris police meanwhile said nine people had been arrested.

The protests come as France reels from two high-profile incidents of police brutality.

On Monday, police officers aggressively evacuated a migrant camp, and on Thursday a video emerged of officers beating a black music producer.

The video emerged against the backdrop of proposed legislation that would limit people’s right to take video recordings of police officers.

The government says a new security law should better protect the police and restrict video recordings of police operations.

Many also see the freedom of the press at risk because of the planned law. The measure has been reviewed in the lower house and is before the Senate.

-with AAP