French Government Using State Of Emergency As An Excuse To Round Up Climate Change Activists

from the mission-creep dept

In response to the attacks in Paris earlier this month, the French government has enacted a state of emergency. Like the War on Terror itself, this “state of emergency” has no discernible end in sight. The government has given itself an incredible amount of power for an indefinite period of time. When this power shift happens, abuse follows.

The Guardian is reporting that the nation’s law enforcement agencies are straying far from their original targets: those responsible for the attacks, along with anyone who appears to be sympathetic to the cause. The government now appears to be authorizing the arrest of anyone it can brand a troublemaker.

At least 24 climate activists have been put under house arrest by French police, accused of flouting a ban on organising protests during next week’s Paris climate summit, the Guardian has learned.

One legal adviser to the activists said many officers raided his Paris apartment and occupied three floors and a staircase in his block.

French authorities did not respond to requests for comment but lawyers said that the warrants were issued under state of emergency laws, imposed after the terror attacks that killed 130 people earlier this month.

The French now understand what it’s like to be Spanish. Of course, it must be pointed out that very few countries, even a country once at the forefront of personal freedoms, would handle this situation any differently.

The Garland (TX) attack ushered in several months of stepped-up use of 24/7 monitoring on suspected ISIS supporters. FBI Director James Comey has described the period between May and July as one that stretched the FBI’s resources, and that isn’t sustainable. Dozens of arrests were made, in many cases not for terrorism-related charges if the FBI couldn’t gather enough evidence of a plot.

“In some cases we just needed to get people off the streets,” one senior law enforcement official said.

A few of the targeted activists have been placed under house arrest. Others have been handed restraining orders by local judges. Police have also been confiscating computers and personal documents during these raids.

Some might argue that until everything calms down in France, the best plan for activists is to lay low. This could prevent the hijacking of a cause as cover for a violent attack motivated by a different ideology. But this sort of advice only makes sense if the government had expressed a fear of large gatherings in general.

Some protesters argue that the permission granted to football matches, trade fairs and Christmas markets in Paris over the summit period suggests that the authorities’ real concern is to suppress dissent.

This makes the orders some received to limit participants to less than 50 look hypocritical, at best. At worst, it looks like the government is using its state of emergency powers to protect itself from vocal and highly-visible criticism.

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Comments on “French Government Using State Of Emergency As An Excuse To Round Up Climate Change Activists”

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Roger Strong (profile) says:

Re: quel surprise

Here in Canada we didn’t wait for 9/11.

Nor did we wait for a cause like climate change. Instead it was for President Suharto of Indonesia – dictator, the most corrupt leader in modern history according to Transparency International, and responsible for genocide in East Timor.

He threatened not to come to the 1997 APEC summit in Vancouver unless Canada guaranteed that there would not be any protests against his government’s actions.

This led to many potential protesters being jailed the day before so they couldn’t attend. And others being told that if they so much as showed up in Vancouver, they would be arrested. The summit was nevertheless infamous for the tear-gassing of peaceful protesters.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And they will inevitably ask for many of these powers to be set permanently into law by the end of the three months extension, too, I bet.

No, they’ll just ask for a six month extension. And then another one. And then a one year extension (we haven’t ended terrorism yet you see). And maybe after a few years of that they’ll ask for a 20 year extension. It’s kind of like copyright.

Whatever (profile) says:

I would say that if the protesters were intending to be peaceful and respectful, they likely wouoldn’t have an issue. However, these major summits generally turn into a clusterf–k, with the more militant “protesters” egged on by the anarchist types and the anti-business yahoos coming together to turn it rapidly into throwing rocks, attacking police, trying to access the secure zone of the summit, and so on.

You only have to look at the last 5 to 10 years to understand where this generally goes.

For the peaceful protesters, it’s unfortunate that France recently suffered a large scale terrorist attack, and are still reeling from it and trying to come up with ways to control it and not create the situations where violence can occur. As such, I don’t consider it particularly unreasonable to work to keep people away from the site and away from gathering in large groups which would be targeted.

It’s easy to say “… suggests that the authorities’ real concern is to suppress dissent.” That is a pretty long walk down a very windy path.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re:

However, these major summits generally turn into a clusterf–k, with the more militant “protesters” egged on by the anarchist types and the anti-business yahoos coming together to turn it rapidly into throwing rocks, attacking police, trying to access the secure zone of the summit, and so on.

People have been talking about that for years, but there’s precious little evidence that it’s ever actually happened. Even the infamous 1999 WTO protest “riots” in Seattle were about the most peaceful riots you ever saw, with no deaths or serious injuries caused by the protesters. (Compare contemporary, local media coverage with stories told about the protests later on and in other parts of the country; it’s an eye-opening experience.)

Stories about “anti-business yahoos throwing rocks and attacking police” (and throwing Molotov cocktails and using water balloons or squirt guns loaded with acid or bleach) tend to get passed around a lot to create a climate of fear and de-legitimize the protesters, (and to provide an excuse for police to disrupt and suppress them,) but for all that there’s no evidence of it actually happening… because it doesn’t.

Socrates says:

Re: Re: Re: Whom?

They weren’t exactly daisies and butterflies.

Are your referring to protesters, agent provocateurs, or the police?

Abuses from the police were massive, and started days in advance. Luckily there were quite a number of people filming with their phones. And interestingly, filming interviews conducted by mass media outlets too. The discrepancy between the main stream media coverage and the real world is baffling. It is so sad that France also choose suppression, especially considering what the attackers tries to do.

The evidence that “black block” “protesters” were agents provocateurs is numerous. With police officers helping the provocateurs against disturbances in their acts, with police officers letting them through the lines, with pretend to be arrests after civilian union leaders relentlessly tried to unmask them and they fled into the police lines for safety. And when the police arrested peaceful protesters they used brutality, such as attacking non suspecting bystanders from behind and slamming them with full force with the back of their head to the ground. Not so with baseball bat and rock wielding and masked “protesters”. Were all “black block” police? Certainly a very large prosentage, and probably most.

Some actual protesters fought back after the police attacked, but most just suffered.

And now the government in France suppress dissent. I had not expected France to shame Europe in this way. Sad.

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Whom?

I think you need to look not at this week, but at the last 10 years or so. Remember the summit in Seattle? Quebec City? These are places where organized groups tried to break into the site of the conference to protest, and engaged in running battles with police. The end result is usually unrelated businesses getting destroyed and millions in damages. We won’t even discuss the injuries and pain on both sides.

The reality is easy to see. Protesters show up with helmets, gas masks, and even sometimes weapons to attack with. Its happened repeatedly. The anarchists, the anti-business, the anti-development, the anti-poverty, anti-everything types use these meetings as a chance to get their 15 minutes of fame on TV. You don’t even have to look hard to find examples. Ignoring reality and saying “the police did it” is the biggest load ever. If the protesters showed up and were peaceful, didn’t try to breech security, didn’t start throwing rocks and things at police… nothing would happen.

Socrates says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Whom?

I find this week relevant as the original post is about what the French authorities choose to do just now, and about the reasoning they claim is behind those acts. And my reply were to a post about the G20 Toronto summit, which makes the suggestion that I should look at the last 10 years somewhat non sequitur.

Mason Wheeler addressed what happened it Seattle. Appreciate when someone gives you first hand knowledge, it makes you more informed. Please read his post.

It is a huge problem when people “remember” what happens, when their source is main stream media. It is possibly even worse when police officers view it and believe they are under attack. That belief is at least partly the reason for police officers ganging up and harming citizens while assuming that they are the victims. I have often wondered if those who do this experience cognitive dissonance, or if they are so agitated that it doesn’t apply.

You seem convinced that police misconduct is a small or nonexistent problem. If you have a friend with a camera-phone, may you travel to some of these summits and record what happens? It might prove your point, or improve your knowledge base. If you believe that misconduct may happen but is rare, and that a few bad apples whacking a citizen gives bad publicity; would you step in between them and explain it to them? These are not rhetorical questions. Better documentation gives understanding! And old grandmothers address Israeli soldiers doing bad things, would you?

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Whom?

“You seem convinced that police misconduct is a small or nonexistent problem.”

No, I think however that police misconduct is misrepresented and overstated. You know, “It is a huge problem when people “remember” what happens, when their source is” the alternate media and twitter feeds of outraged people with half a video and lots of attitude.

The G20 thing is a great example. You can cherry pick the two officers (out of literally thousands) who have been charged with anything. Or you can look at more than 1000 arrests, destroyed property, fires, and endless running battles. The protesters could have turned and left and regrouped later for peaceful protests. They did not. They fought. They came with gas masks, weapons, petrol bombs… it’s not hard to see what happened.

Seattle? Same thing. I doubt the police were out burnign down McDonalds outlets.

I was in the Quebec City area during the 2001 FTAA meetings. Let’s just say that while there were many peaceful protesters and people wanting to make their voices heard,there was also a signifcant number who showed up looking for a fight, with protective gear, helmets, gas masks, and items to use to attack including rocks, bottles, and so on. They came looking for a fight, and that is what they got.

I honestly feel sorry for the true protesters who come trying to get a message out and show solidarity on a subject. The people who seek violence and confrontation use them as a sort of human shield, and yes, sometimes the police use them as well as an excuse to do their own violence.

The problem of the home shot video is always the same: It’s what one person saw from one perspective at one place at one time. Things could be completely different 1 block away. So what looks like aggressive cops pushing people for no reasons is a result of actions you didn’t even see or record that happened away from your location. You just never know the whole story when you are standing in the middle of something.

Socrates says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Help good cops and citizens

Then do an effort to prove them wrong. If those who report and record is as biased as you believe, than it should be quite easy. A lot of people would appreciate it, myself included.

Those who doesn’t believe the police misconduct is misrepresented and overstated do not dare to address the misconduct. That makes you perfect to address the misconduct when it happens. Be as brave as the man who stepped out in front of the tank in China. You would be a hero.

In Toronto, the people you refer to as being human shields is the people being whacked and “arrested”, by the police. Then they were refused water, food, and access to toilets, and many had to pee themselves. Many got chronic PTSD.

If you are able to explain to them that the misconduct is overstated they don’t have to be afraid all the time.

Abusive police officers systematically hid their badge, and could not be investigated because they weren’t identified, according to the police spokesperson.

Would you consider to step forward and expose their badge so it can be recorded?

If you do, you would help all good cops, and countless citizens.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: I hear stormtroopers marching.

He’s said that he will amend the most ridiculous/fascistic parts. That kind of stuff takes a long time in Canada. And they’re going to be pressed by the NDP if they’re taking it too slow. I think Trudeau is aware that he won many riding with like 100-200 votes more than the NDP candidate and that he’s really lucky to be there in a majority gov.

Anonymous Coward says:

with the way France is over-reacting it’s not surprising. the attacks that took place recently were abominable, but this constant screwing down of freedom and privacy is not the way to combat those who perform these outrageous episodes. that is more true when, if the latest information being released is correct that the terrorists made little or no effort to conceal themselves or what they had planned. the fault appears to lie with the security forces and analysts who failed to recognise what was intended and who was likely to be responsible! now we are heading towards the losing more of what a hell of a lot of French citizens died for, FREEDOM!

Richard says:

Bomb attacks, Elections, COP21, migrant crisis: how to force a sinister political agenda on people

The “migrant” crisis” and the illegal aliens at Calais: the French government spread them all over France instead of deporting them (none of them flee war).

The “migrant” crisis”2. Under the pretence of protecting borders, the EU helped by the French government just threw out 3bn Euro of taxpayer money to Turkey, eased the visas for Turks (an invasion will soon follow and flood Europe)and reactivated the “adhesion processes” that 300 millions Europeans reuse with all their hearts.

Turkey is a dictatorial state, killing its citizens (last in date a Kurdish lawyer).
Turkey is a genocidal state, it still didn’t recognize the Armenian genocide.
Turkey is the main smuggler of “migrants” (including terrorists) to Europe.
Turkey is one the main supporter of isis and buyer of their oil.
Turkey just shot down a Russina plane because Russia is the only power really fighting isis and to expose the truth about it.

Nothing is mentioned, suddenly, human rif=ghts and international laws have disappeared.

Hollande, after the terrorist attacks in Paris pretended he wanted to close borders, control borders, close extremists islamic mosques and expel dangerous islamists from France. None of this has been done.

Instead he uses the state of emergency as a personal tool to discourage any demonstration attempts during the mock-up “environmental” summit, COP21.

He’s using emergency powers like Erdogan does in Turkey to go after French people, political critics, dissenters and real political opposition.

Hollande, the EU, and their real masters have given Turkey the keys of our continent for the worse to come.
They have given our sovereignty to the oligarchs and unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels.
They have given u=our jobs, our economies, our industries to foreign buyers like Qatar and China, who are really dictating their agendas.
They are now destroying our democracies, killing our freedom by putting us in a permanent state of fear by organising and manipulating crisis over crisis to keep us on our knees and obedient.

The COP21 is just a show, nothing else. It will produce more globalisation, less freedom, more breach of our rights, more taxes and more undermining of the environment.

In the mean time, in our backs, like for the rest, they are negotiating the TTIP treaty that will see the end of safety, freedom, democratic ruling to the sole benefit of transnational corporations that are controlling through their lobbies organisations like the EU.

Cherry on top of the cake, Hollande organised the COP21 exactly at the same time of the French regional elections that were predicted to be an utter failure to the ruling socialist government The party who would have benefited the most is the National Front.

How to defuse that: A bomb attack just 2 weeks before the elections.
Permanent emergency state.
A summit for the show to gain “popularity”.
Pretend to fight terror by lying overtly without doing anything substantial to fight the roots of it.

While giving France and Europe away to the transnational corporations, The globalists, the USA, the totalitarian eurocrats the Turks and the million of replacement troops let freely to enter Europe to replace a population betrayed by their governments.

GEMont (profile) says:

Right on cue.

Looks to me like that “shot over the bow” by members of the Five Eyes’ Terrorist army – ISIS/ISIL, has indeed worked its coercive magic among the chicken-shit French politicians and now the French government, who is soon to host a Climate Conference that the Five Eyes wants shut down, is diligently arresting “climate warriors” to prove to the Five Eyes that they’ve got the message.

French Bums are now held high for well oiled Five Eyes “intrusion”.

I definitely see much better French-US relations blossoming in the future, as the French start making up for lost time and unpaid dues through unquestioning obedience to their new Five Eyes masters.

Looks like the Climate Conference is gonna be a total sham too, since the Five Eyes considers Climate Change Repairs to be a complete waste of time, which is better spent making more money raping the earth and its populations.

Hail Hydra!


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