On those holidays another round of anti-Covid protests took place in France:

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Protests were suppressed rudely, with police violence and water cannons.

Is there any reaction from international community human rights organizations? Or, at least, start of a dialog with protesters?

2 Answers 2


German news quote French news saying that the protesters started the violence, and that a majority in France is for Corona protection measures. The German section of Amnesty International talks about a need for global vaccination and social distancing.

Police violence against peaceful demonstrations is unacceptable. Police violence against violent demonstrations is necessary, or you get mob rule.

  • 3
    Police violence against violent demonstrations is justifiable insofar as at it is limited to the minimum necessary to prevent harm to themselves or members of the public, or to apprehend demonstrators who are engaging in violence (and thus breaking the law). Indiscriminate use of police violence against protesters who happen to be in the same crowd as protesters who throw objects at police (for instance) is responsible for many of the abuses that we have seen coming out of protests around the world. I don't know which is the case with the question, but the general distinction is important.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 4:56
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    @Obie2.0, I agree in general, but there is also a responsibility for peaceful protesters not to provide cover for violent elements in their midst. Police does not have to stand by while violent mobs hide behind human shields. All a question of proportionality.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 6:04
  • Very good, that you state that.) I'll prepare another question.) Commented Jul 25, 2021 at 9:24

Might be useful to look at the context of this "rude behavior" by the cops.

About 200 people, who had participated a little earlier in the demonstrations against the health pass and compulsory vaccination for certain professions, left the authorized processions to head for the Champs-Élysées around 5 p.m.

The police, CRS and police quickly intervened to try to block access to the avenue des Champs-Élysées, visibly taken over. Dozens of demonstrators began to descend the avenue des Champs-Élysées towards the Place de la Concorde, shouting for “liberty, liberty!”, Before singing a Marseillaise, while lines of CRS were deployed without however cutting off traffic on sidewalks. Visibly overwhelmed motorcycle brigades and mobile units of CRS came and went to try to block the eastern and western accesses of the avenue to the demonstrators who then deployed in scattered groups.

At around 6 p.m., the situation became more tense when demonstrators erected barricades and threw projectiles at the police, who retaliated with tear gas canisters and water cannons, as tourists walked along the avenue. .

Does that answer your question? The protests were authorized and were expected to follow a certain route which a small minority (200 out of 11000) was not happy with, just as they were not happy being peaceful. So what's missing, dialog-wise? Note that protests in France have an occasional tendency to become violent and trigger property damages, especially to cars. Expectation of property damage, which is mentioned later in the article:

Storekeepers then hastily tidied up their terraces, lowered their curtains and closed shop.

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