Tensions In Paris As Pro-Palestinian Protesters Defy Police
Paris, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th May, 2021 ) :Police officers used tear gas and water cannon in Paris on Saturday to try and disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held despite a ban by authorities, who fear a flare-up of anti-Semitic violence during the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in years.
Thousands of people converged in the heavily immigrant Barbes neighbourhood in the north of the capital, defying orders issued by loudspeakers that the march was illegal.
Officers blocked off wide boulevards as well as narrow streets where some of the protesters were forced to retreat, while knots of residents and passers-by watched or recorded the scene with their phones.
Some threw stones or tried to set up roadblocks with construction barriers, but for the most part police pursued groups across the district while preventing any march toward the Place de la Bastille as planned.
The march was banned Thursday over concerns of a repeat of fierce clashes that erupted at a similar Paris march during the last war in 2014, when protesters took aim at synagogues and other Israeli and Jewish targets.
- Ban 'unacceptable' - "We all remember that extremely troubling protest where terrible phrases like 'death to Jews' were yelled," Mayor Anne Hidalgo told AFP on Friday, welcoming a "wise" decision to ban the march.
"If there were genuine risks of public disorder, of serious problems, they would have prohibited it right away," he told a press conference ahead of the march.
"They banned it at the last minute -- it's unacceptable," he said.