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French police clash with anti-racism activists in Paris

Police in riot gear stopped the protesters from marching towards the Opera area

French police have clashed with activists protesting in Paris against racism and alleged police brutality.

Police used tear gas against stone-throwing protesters who tried to hold a march that was banned.

The rally is part is a worldwide movement inspired by America’s Black Lives Matter protests.

It was organised under the banner “Justice for Adama”, after Adama Traoré, a young black man who died in French police custody in 2016.

What happened in Paris?

About 15,000 anti-racism protesters gathered on the Place de la République in central Paris early on Saturday afternoon.

They chanted slogans such as “No justice, no peace”. Some climbed on the the statue of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic.

Among the protesters was Assa Traoré, Adama’s sister, who called on them to “denounce social, racial, police violence”.

“What’s happening in the United States is happening in France. Our brothers are dying,” she added.

Although the protesters were allowed to gather, they were prevented by police from marching to the Opera area.

The planned onward march had been banned because of the possible threat to local businesses.

Clashes erupted and tear gas was fired as officers moved against the protesters on the Place de la République.

Le Parisien newspaper says 26 people were questioned by police. By early evening the demonstrators had dispersed.

Smaller protests were held in other French cities, including Lyon and Marseille.(BBC)

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