France’s Macron Refuses to Address Migrant Violence, Seeks Powers to ‘Cut Off’ Social Media and Add More Electronic Surveillance
Macron’s right-wing rival Marine Le Pen surges in polls.
While President Emmanuel Macron refuses to address the elephant in the room, namely mass migration and demographic shift that drove the recent riots, his government wants to tighten control over social media and seeks more powers to remotely access people’s mobile and other devices.
French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, refuses to acknowledge the link between migrants and Riots in France; Says: "We don't want hate…. 90% of the rioters were French". pic.twitter.com/xQrV2ZVM6x
— Megh Updates 🚨™ (@MeghUpdates) July 5, 2023
On Wednesday, President Macron proposed “to regulate or cut” social media in case of future unrest. The French TV channel Euronews reported Wednesday:
French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the possibility of banning access to certain social media features, in a meeting with local mayors in the cities that have seen violent protests.
Macron told about 300 local leaders that “we need to reflect on social media use among the youngest [and] on the prohibitions we must put in place,” in a video seen by some French and international media.
“When things get out of hand, perhaps you have to put yourself in a position to regulate or cut them,” Macron added.
Under a new justice reform bill presented this week, French law enforcement is seeking power to remotely access the mobile devices of suspected individuals.
The French newspaper Le Monde reported Thursday:
French police should be able to spy on suspects by remotely activating the camera, microphone and GPS of their phones and other devices, lawmakers agreed late on Wednesday, July 5. Part of a wider justice reform bill, the spying provision has been attacked by both the left and rights defenders as an authoritarian snoopers’ charter, though Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti insists it would affect only “dozens of cases a year.”
Covering laptops, cars and other connected objects as well as phones, the measure would allow the geolocation of suspects in crimes punishable by at least five years’ jail. Devices could also be remotely activated to record sound and images of people suspected of terror offenses, as well as delinquency and organized crime.
Mainstream media worries as Le Pen surges in polls
The proposals come as President Macron’s right-wing rival, Marine Le Pen, surges in polls ahead of the French Senate election scheduled for September.
According to an opinion poll released last week, “more people approved of Le Pen’s response to the crisis than any other French politician (39 per cent), followed by interior minister Gérald Darmanin and Macron himself (around 33 per cent),” the UK-based Financial Times reported Tuesday. Le Pen, who ran for the presidency thrice, is expected to announce her candidature for the 2027 election.
“France’s riots create opening for the far right,” The Washington Post feared. The U.S. daily commented Tuesday:
[The migrant-driven] violence appears to have given France’s far right. Marine Le Pen, who has spent the better part of two decades bringing a political movement once on the country’s neofascist margins into the mainstream, has capitalized on the moment. An opinion poll in the aftermath of the unrest found that the French public approved of her tough response to the riots more than that of any other French politician, including Macron.
While her deputies railed at the effects of migration and the perceived misanthropy of the protesters, Le Pen is pushing harsh measures, including lowering the age where offenders can be tried as adults in criminal proceedings to 16, as well as stripping those convicted of crimes or more minor offenses of access to public housing and welfare payments.
A chilling video from France where a local police chief tells Sky News: “They aren’t riots, it’s war …They want to kill us.” He’s referring to the mostly Muslim immigrant and “refugees” hurling Molotov cocktails and large paving stones at law enforcement. pic.twitter.com/P8SNXA6J8C
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) July 4, 2023
Policeman denies threatening teenager before fatal shooting
The French policemen, who shot the 17-year-old French-Algerian boy, denied threatening him verbally and told investigators that he fired his weapon in self-defense, French media reported Thursday. Nahel Merzouk, who had previous convictions, was shot during a confrontation with two police motorcyclists outside Paris.
The public broadcaster France24 reported:
[The officer] described making a first attempt to pull over the powerful yellow Mercedes being driven in a bus lane by Nahel, who did not have a license.
The teenager refused to comply and accelerated to a speed of 80-100 km/h (40-60 mph), according to the second officer involved in the incident.
When they caught up with the car a second time, Florian M. said he pulled out his weapon.
He said he thought his colleague had “the top of his body inside the car, probably to try to control the driver or to try to press on the stop button”.
When the car moved off again, he said he opened fire because he thought his colleague was in danger.
Meanwhile, a large sum was raised for the legal defense of the police officer, who is accused of homicide and sits in detention. “Fundraiser for French police officer who shot teen closed down after raising €1.6 million,” the France-based TV channel Euronews reported Wednesday.DONATE
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