France Bans Pro-Palestine Demonstrations
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators holding banners and chanting slogans walk in Paris, Saturday, July 19, 2014, to protest against the Israeli army’s shellings in the Gaza strip.
France’s Socialist government provoked outrage today by becoming the first in the world to ban protests against Israeli action in Palestine.
In what is viewed as an outrageous attack on democracy, Socialist Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said mass demonstrations planned for the weekend should be halted.
Mr Cazeneuve said there was a ‘threat to public order’, while opponents said he was ‘criminalising’ popular support of the Palestinian people.
But Mr Cazeneuve fears there might be a repeat of the fights between ‘ultra’ Jewish vigilantes and pro-Palestinians which happened after a demonstration last Sunday.
Referring to the main Paris march, Mr Cazeneuve said: ‘I consider that the conditions are not right to guarantee security.’
Socialist Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve fears there might be a repeat of the fights between Jewish vigilantes and pro-Palestinians which happened after a demonstration last Sunday
He welcomed a legal procedure instigated by the Paris police prefecture to ban the march, despite it already being widely advertised.
Anyone who turns up to an illegal demonstration now faces up to a year in prison, and a 15,000 euro fine.
If they hide their faces to avoid being identified, this sentence can be increased to three years, and a 45,000 fine.
Even those who publish details of an illegal rally on social media face up to a year in prison, and a 15,000 euro fine.
This can be increased to seven years and a 100,000 fine if the postings lead to violence.
Mr Cazeneuve also advised other prefects across France to examine planned marches on a ‘case by case’ basis, and to ban ‘if appropriate’.
Read more at the Daily Mail.
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