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France/Palestine solidarity

French government bans solidarity with people of Gaza

Sunday 20 July 2014, by Penelope Duggan

The demonstration in solidarity with the people of Gaza against Israeli attacks called by the “Collective for a lasting and just peace” on Saurday 19 July in Paris was banned by the police. The president François Hollande justified the ban saying the "conflict should not be brought to the streets of France". The Socialist Party mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, also defended the ban.

Despite the ban, the NPA and some other associations in the initial appeal maintained their call. Thousands of demonstrators, including many moved to come because of the ban, joined the demonstration in northern Paris but found their way rapidly blocked by the police who did not hesitate to use tear gas to disperse the demonstration. Demonstrations in solidarity with the people of Gaza — some banned, some not — also took place in cities around France: Marseilles, Toulouse, Nantes, Le Havre... Thousands also turned out in London, Dublin and Brussels.

The government lost, solidarity with the Palestinian people won!

Statement by the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA)

By banning demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine, Hollande and the Valls [1] government provoked a show of strength that they in the end lost. Throughout France today thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets to demand an end to the Israeli military intervention in Gaza and to proclaim their horror at the deaths of more than three hundred Palestinians. In particular in Paris, several thousand demonstrators, despite the impressive police presence, defined the government’s ban. This is a success given the many threats by the police authorities and the government. At the end of the demonstration there were some skirmishes between demonstrators and the police. How could it have been otherwise given the police presence and the desire of the government to muzzle all opposition to the its support for war waged by the Israeli state.

The NPA condemns the police violence that took place this evening in Barbès [2] and pledges that today’s success will be followed up. On Wednesday another demonstration will take place on the call of the national collective for a just and lasting peace. The struggle for the rights of the Palestinian people continues.

The NPA calls on all the left and democratic trade-union, campaign and political forces to proclaim the rejection of repression and their active solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people

Montreuil 19 July 2014

Footnotes

[1] Manuel Valls, Prime Minister.

[2] District in northern Paris where the demonstration assembled.