Thousands march in Paris over security measures

They were protesting plans to renew and extend emergency measures put in place after November's terrorist attacks in Paris.

Christophe Ena/AP
Protesters hold up signs in front of the highest court in France during a protest on Saturday.

Thousands of people marched in the Paris rain on Saturday to denounce plans to renew France's state of emergency and revoke the French citizenship of dual nationals convicted of terrorism.

Human rights groups, politicians and unions joined the march in the French capital, and in other demonstrations around France. The protests came just days before the Cabinet plans to review a measure on Wednesday to prolong the state of emergency, first imposed after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks that killed 130 people.

The state of emergency gives more power to police and administrative authorities, allowing for searches without warrants, house arrests and other measures.

"My France of liberties, where are you?" read one banner.

The parliament is expected to approve the prolongation of the exceptional measures in voting later this month. The current state of emergency expires Feb. 26.

Jean-Baptiste Eyrault, of the Right to Housing movement, said: "Democracy is moving backwards ... at the expense of judges and the rule of law, freedom to demonstrate and (freedom) of expression."

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

Opponents of another plan to revoke citizenship for dual nationals convicted of terrorism claim the move would feed racism, creating a two-tier system of citizens. Many dual nationals are Muslims, and some feel they are blamed for attacks by Islamist extremists.

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

Christiane Taubira resigned suddenly last week as France's justice minister over her opposition to the plan, and as it became evident her views were on a collision course with those of President Francois Hollande.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.