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Nearly 33,000 people protest France's global security law

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Police officers seen in Paris as demonstrators gathered to protest the global security law.
Police officers seen in Paris as demonstrators gathered to protest the global security law.   -   Copyright  AFP
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Nearly 33,000 people demonstrated on Saturday against a global security law passed by France's National Assembly late last year, according to the interior ministry.

There have been several massive protests against the law that would ban filming police for malicious reasons, but the demonstrations on Saturday were smaller than the rallies in November and December.

Organisers said 500,000 people gathered at the November 28 mobilisation while the government estimated there had been 133,000 people then.

The protest is "complicated with COVID", according to Dominique Besson-Milord, a departmental secretary of the CGT union in Rennes where 800 people gathered.

France currently has a 6pm curfew nationwide in order to stop the spread of the virus, as infections and hospitalisations rise in the country.

Nonetheless, protesters showed up to express their dismay with the security law.

One of their key problems with the law is that it would criminalise filming police "with the aim of undermining their integrity".

Demonstrators are also concerned about articles 21 and 22 of the bill on the use of pedestrian cameras and drones by police.

In Paris, 5,000 demonstrators gathered at Place de la République. Clashes broke out about one hour before the 6pm curfew with police using water cannons on protesters who threw projectiles.