France is officially the first country in the world to ban pro-palestinian and anti-Israel demonstrations. This move made by France’s Socialist government is a real threat to democracy, and freedom of speech.
“Socialist Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, says mass demonstrations planned for the weekend should be halted. Minister Cazeneuve stated there was a ‘threat to public order’, while opponents said he was ‘criminalizing’ popular support of the Palestinian people.
Minister Cazeneuve welcomed a legal procedure instigated by the Paris police prefecture to ban the march, despite it already being widely advertised. Anyone who turns up to an illegal demonstration now faces up to a year in prison, and a 15,000 euro fine. If they hide their faces to avoid being identified, this sentence can be increased to three years, and a 45,000 fine.
Even those who publish details of an illegal rally on social media face up to a year in prison, and a 15,000 euro fine. This can be increased to seven years and a 100,000 fine if the postings lead to violence. Mr. Cazeneuve also advised other prefects across France to examine planned marches on a ‘case by case’ basis, and to ban ‘if appropriate’.”