Dozens of marches against police violence in France have been announced for Saturday after authorities banned a memorial rally, fearful of reigniting the recent unrest that engulfed the country.
Seven years after Adama Traore, a young black man, died in police custody, his sister planned to lead a commemorative march north of Paris in Persan and Beaumont-sur-Oise. Authorities banned the event, however, citing a shortage of police to ensure public safety, a decision that was upheld Friday by the local administrative court.
Based on the “context of the riots that followed the death of 17-year-old Nahel” on June 27, the judges found the “extremely recent nature does not allow us to presume that any risk of disturbing public order has disappeared,” the court said in a statement on Friday.
In a video posted on Twitter, Assa Traore, Adama’s older sister, confirmed that following the court order “there will be no march in Beaumont-sur-Oise.
“The government has decided to add fuel to the fire” and “not to respect the death of my little brother,” she said in the video. Saturday’s “march for justice” is one of around 30 demonstrations against police violence planned across France this weekend, according to an online map. Similar events in Lille, Marseille, Nantes and Strasbourg are also listed.
Several trade unions, political parties and associations had called on supporters to join the memorial march for Traore this year as France reels from allegations of institutionalised racism in its police ranks following the police shooting of teenager Nahel M.
Traore, who was 24 years old, died shortly after his arrest in 2016, sparking several nights of unrest that played out similarly to the week-long rioting that erupted across the country in the wake of the point-blank shooting of Nahel M. during a traffic stop.
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