Large crowds of demonstrators marched through Paris on Sunday to protest the recent passage of a marriage equality law in France. Estimates on the number of protestors vary from 150,000 to over a million. After a mostly peaceful day, some of the protestors fought with police and 350 people were arrested.
Demonstrators coming from four directions marched through the streets and converged near the Place des Invalides, where a number of right wing extremists chanting anti-government slogans were tear gassed as night fell.
The newsmedia in France reports that police battled the protestors for three hours before dispersing them from the open esplanade in front of the Invalides, a popular tourist landmark where the tomb of Napoleon is located. There were other reports of clashes between the police and protesters scattered around the central parts of Paris and along Les Champs-Élysées a boulevard popular with tourists.
The demonstration was billed as “Manif Pour Tous” (Demonstration for All) a word play that refers to the “Marriage Pour Tous ( Marriage for All) bill that was signed into law by President François Hollande on May 18.
The French marriage equality law was introduced in the Assemblée Nationale by Justice Minister Christiane Taubira. There was strong opposition to the parental rights provision inside the Assemblée and in a series of demonstrations outside on the street. The bill succeeded on the efforts of Taubira and it is referred to often as “la loi Taubira” (the Taubira Law.)
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, confirmed that the government is considering a prohibition against the right wing extremist group, Printemps Francais, (French Spring), which recently formed in opposition to marriage equality. Earlier in the week, the group called for popular resistance against the French government.
La France est actuellement soumise à des forces qui veulent l'asservir entièrement . . . La bataille ne fait que commencer. Elle se prolongera jusqu'à la victoire.”There are a number of eyewitness tweets with stunning photographs of the Manif Pour Tous demonstrators. In this one, protestors are beating a photojournalist on the street. Press coverage mentions anti-journalist chants. This looks rough.
France is currently subject to forces that want to enslave it fully . . . The battle has just begun. It will continue until victory..
A photo in this tweet shows demonstrators dancing around a bonfire they built in the Place des Invalides. The captions says that they were chanting ""Taubira au bûcher" which means something like, Taubira on the stake, presumably for her role in getting the marriage equality measure passed. This picture captures darkness unleashed in one of the world's most civilized cities.