Thousands protest plan to extend state of emergency in Paris

Thousands of people march in Paris to protest French government’s decision to renew state of emergency

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

People hold a banner reading "Let's end the state of emergency" during a demonstration on January 30, 2015 in Nantes, western France.

People flooded the streets of the French capital, Paris, on Saturday to denounce the government’s plan to extend the current state of emergency, which is expected to expire on Feb. 26.

Human Rights groups, politicians and unions also attended the rally, which came as the Cabinet planned to review a measure on Wednesday to prolong the state emergency.

Last week, a French high court upheld the measure, saying the danger "has not disappeared."

The state of emergency, which was first imposed after the November 13 Paris terror attacks, in which 130 people were killed, gives more power to police and administrative authorities, allowing for searches without warrants, house arrests and other measures.

A Green Party lawmaker, Noel Mamere, taking part in the march, said that the state of emergency lays the foundations for "a society under surveillance."

Among the protesters holding banners and playing music, some questioned the efficiency of the measures put in place after the attacks.

"I am demonstrating because I think it is important, I think it's nonsense what is happening and it is a solution for absolutely nothing, neither for terrorism threats or anything, quite the contrary," said one of them.

Another demonstrator, Alexandra Scappaticci, said "I think the extension of the state of emergency is more than dangerous. It has already been used during the COP21 to lock down demonstrators who had nothing to do with terrorism so I think that if it is extended, I don't know what more they could use it for, but in any case, it will not prevent terrorism."


TRTWorld and agencies