Thousands of people have turned out in Paris to vent their anger over plans to extend France’s state of emergency for three more months.
Just because there is a terrorist threat, we don't need a state of emergency. It's the contrary. Our democracy must be stronger than ever because there are terrorists out there
Opponents say increased police powers and restrictions on public gatherings damage democracy and do not tackle terrorist threats.
Protesters also condemned the government’s push to revoke citizenship from convicted extremists with dual nationality.
MarievanZeyl</a>: Huge protest in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Paris?src=hash">#Paris</a> protesting for the state of emergency to be lifted <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/etatdurgence?src=hash">#etatdurgence</a> <a href="https://t.co/W8sFgmdEr1">pic.twitter.com/W8sFgmdEr1</a>”</p>— chantalrebelle (chantalrebelle) 30 Janvier 2016
Saturday’s march was organised by dozens of associations and leftist political parties.
“I think the extension of the state of emergency is more than dangerous,” said one protester.
“It was used during the COP21 to lock down demonstrators who had nothing to do with terrorism. I don’t know what more they could use it for. It will not prevent terrorism.”
Protest against the State of Emergency & deprivation of nationality #Voltuan Activist 30-1-16 #Paris— Voltuan-Redde (@Voltuan) 30 Janvier 2016
cnni</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/cnnbrk">cnnbrkpic.twitter.com/EFOAc64bPf
The state of emergency was first brought in by President Francois Hollande in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris last November.
“Just because there is a terrorist threat, we don’t need a state of emergency. It’s the contrary. Our democracy must be stronger than ever because there are terrorists out there,” said Jean Luc Melenchon, a European Parliament member.
There have been more than three thousand house searches since November and many people have been placed under house arrest.
The plans to extend the measures, after they expire next month, still have to go before the cabinet and parliament.