There were violent clashes across France as thousands took to the streets in protest against a controversial proposed all-encompassing “global security law” which would criminalize filming police activity in certain circumstances.

The proposed legislation, currently being debated by the French parliament, seeks to criminalize photographing or filming the police with intent to cause harm. It would also reportedly give more autonomy to local police, arm more officers nationwide and expand the use of surveillance drones in high-crime areas.

Video shared online purports to show journalists being detained at Tuesday’s nationwide protests, which grew increasingly violent as the day wore on.

Thousands of citizens attended protests in numerous cities across the country, including some 400 people in Rennes; an estimated 700 protesters in Lyon and 1,300 people in Toulouse; Up to 800 people, including a local councillor who lost a hand during a yellow vest protest in 2018, attended a march in Bordeaux and an 800-strong protest was held in Grenoble.

The draft bill would make it Illegal to “disseminate, by whatever means and on whatever medium, with the aim of damaging physical or psychological integrity, the image of the face or any other element of identification of an official of the national police or a member of the national gendarmerie when they are acting in the context of a police operation.” 

Protests held in Paris were particularly violent, with tear gas and water cannon deployed to disperse the crowds.

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