This is a decision that was particularly expected. The Council of State has lifted Saturday, the prohibition of gatherings of more than ten persons, imposed in the framework of the state health emergency, thereby restoring the freedom to manifest, in respect of so-called "barriers". Thousands of people demonstrated on Saturday in France against racism and violence, despite the ban. In Paris, the works, not authorized by the prefecture, was blocked at its point of departure and of the tensions erupted, the crowd huant the police.
Recalling that "the freedom to demonstrate is a fundamental freedom", the judge of the Council of State "considers that the prohibition of protest is not justified by the current health status when the 'measures barriers' can be met". The administrative judge thus affirmed that a ban could not be justified "as these barriers cannot be met, or the event is likely to gather more than 5 000 people," a number set in the framework of the state health emergency.
"A great victory"
"It is a very great victory. The Board of State guarantees the freedom to manifest one", responded to the Agency France-Presse, Patrice Spinosi, lawyer of the League of Human rights (LDH), requesting in particular the CGT and the trade Union of the judiciary. "There was no reason why the freedom to demonstrate is less well covered than freedom of worship. We can just regret that this involved too late," he added, specifying that the LDH had entered the Council of State in emergency "there are fifteen days".
For the League, the provisions currently in force reduced "to nil the fundamental right to freedom of manifestation," which is "one of the guarantees of democratic more essential." She had defended the possibility of the manifestation of "safe" and in compliance with the gestures barrier, claiming that if the authorities were "in a position to proceed to citation of people participating in the protests, ( ... ), they could also proceed to citation if some of the protesters misunderstand the gestures barriers".
The administrative judge has made it clear that "under the law", any event on the public highway should "be the subject of a prior declaration" and could be prohibited by the police authorities or the prefect, "if they believe that it is of a nature to disturb the public order, including on health grounds, or where local conditions so require".