Two weeks after mass riots in France that cost the country €1 billion worth of damage, the French Interior Ministry will again mobilize a total of 130,000 police officers for street rallies on Thursday and Friday evenings on France’s biggest national holiday, the government said.
The extraordinary security measure will be the same as during the riots, with police and gendarmerie out on the streets en masse. The Interior Ministry will also deploy helicopters and armored vehicles to maintain order. From Thursday evening to Saturday dawn, 130,000 police and gendarmes will be on duty for shorter or longer periods, with 40,000 firefighters on duty at night.
The Paris Prefecture will deploy 10,000 police officers in the streets of the capital and its suburbs.
In Paris, around 100,000 people are expected to attend the traditional free concert and fireworks display on the Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower. Speaking at the NATO summit in Vilnius, President Emmanuel Macron said that in the event of disorder, law enforcement officers would act with the utmost determination to ensure that all citizens could have a peaceful experience.
Macron has been widely criticized for the riots, with his government being blamed for failing to provide France with adequate security. Following the riots, polling showed a surge in support for right-wing parties calling for tougher immigration and security policies
The riots, which lasted six nights, began after 17-year-old French-Algerian Nahel M. was shot dead by a policeman in Nanterre, west of Paris, on June 27 after not cooperating at a traffic stop. The officer said he felt his life and the life of his partner were in danger.
The 38-year-old motorcycle officer has been remanded in custody and charged with intentional homicide.