A large police force still puts the city center under a bell to frame undeclared demonstrations. Until when ?
The yellow vests, the anti-vax, the anti-pass… For nearly four years, the city center of Toulouse has been the scene of undeclared demonstrations every Saturday, which today only bring together a handful of people. However, an important security device remains in place, helping to place the hypercentre “under glass”. Rue Alsace, place Wilson, several CRS or mobile gendarmes remain with their weapons at their feet, most often in their truck. And the rare cars that still venture into the center of Toulouse on Saturdays pile up in the traffic jams, the boulevards and the Jean-Jaurès alleys being cut off.
The Haute-Garonne prefecture concedes “that there are currently few demonstrators” but does not currently plan to lift the security measures: “Since July 2021, the law enforcement system linked to these demonstrations has been adjusted, so as to avoid disturbances to public order and to enforce the traffic restrictions which have been fixed, replies the prefecture of Haute-Garonne. The security forces present on Saturday in the city center intervene to secure all the demonstrations and major events that take place there, and not only the undeclared demonstrations.
The mayor of Toulouse, Jean-Luc Moudenc, pleads to maintain a police presence: “I note that, in recent months, the city center has been very properly secured, and staff adjustments made as the decrease in the number of participants, and as a result greatly reduced in recent weeks. The number of parties, sporting gatherings or demonstrations being high on Saturdays in the city center, I hope that means will continue to be deployed to ensure the safety of Toulouse residents and visitors”.
Last weekend, barely eighty demonstrators were qualified by the police. The previous Saturdays, they were even less and the device had been relaxed.
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No more ban on access to the hypercentre
Since July 2021, undeclared demonstrations have been kept within the perimeter of the boulevards in order to protect the hypercentre. “The prefect did not prohibit undeclared demonstrations from taking place: he restricted the perimeter of possible circulation for these demonstrators, directing them towards the boulevards and prohibiting their wandering in the hypercentre” specifies the prefecture which no longer since June 17 of decree aiming to prohibit the access of the demonstrators to the hypercentre. Little by little the noose is loosening…