A Western Democracy Bans Freedom of Expression When it Supports Palestinian Human Rights | French Court Upholds Ban on pro-Palestine Paris demonstration.

Police on Thursday banned Saturday’s demonstration over the conflict with Israel.

‘We refuse to silence our solidarity with the Palestinians, and we will not be prevented from demonstrating,’ said the Association of Palestinians

A French court on Friday upheld a police ban on a pro-Palestinian demonstration planned for Saturday in Paris, but the organisers said they were not cancelling the march.

Police on Thursday banned Saturday’s demonstration called over the ongoing conflict with Israel, fearing a repeat of clashes during a similar protest in 2014.

Following Friday’s court ruling, the lawyers now say they will appeal to France’s top administrative court, the Conseil d’Etat.

However the protest organisers said they had no plans to call off Saturday’s action.

“We refuse to silence our solidarity with the Palestinians, and we will not be prevented from demonstrating,” the Association of Palestinians in the Ile-de-France capital region and other groups said soon after the court ban was announced.

Among the 30 groups planning Saturday’s action are anti-fascists and the new Anti-Capitalist party. Earlier representatives of the association told Agence France-Presse that France is “the only democratic country to forbid these demonstrations”.

Police on Thursday banned Saturday’s demonstration called over the ongoing conflict with Israel, fearing a repeat of clashes during a similar protest in 2014.

Sefen Guez Guez, one of the lawyers, had earlier called the police ban “disproportionate” and “politically motivated”.

Paris police chief Didier Lallement said allowing the demonstration would risk “a serious disturbance of public order”, adding that he feared “acts against synagogues and Israeli interests”. While he referred to violence at the 2014 demonstration, Guez Guez responded that there had been “no problem at all” at many protests since.

The planned demonstration would target France’s government as well as Israel, with organisers saying Paris is too favourable towards the Middle Eastern state.

President Emmanuel Macron’s office said he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, offering his “condolences for the victims of the rocket fire claimed by Hamas and other terrorist groups”.
The statement said Macron urged a return to peace, “and also communicated to his counterpart his concern about the civilian population in Gaza”.

French politicians were mostly split along party lines over the protest ban, with Macron’s centre-right party and the right-wing opposition supporting the move, while leftists called it an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression.


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