A woman was arrested in Paris during the march for International Women’s Day. The police did not approve of the slogan on her t-shirt.
Officers from the Renseignements Généraux, the intelligence service of the French police, were involved in monitoring the demonstration in which numerous social justice and leftist groups took part.
France remains under the state of emergency severely limiting public freedoms that was declared after last November’s atrocities by suspected Islamic State extremists who killed 130 people in Paris.
The young woman was taken to Paris’ 3rd district police station for questioning.
The woman has been summoned back to the police station for questioning at 2pm on Monday on suspicion of “inciting hatred by reason of [national] origin, through writing,” according to L’Humanité.
The arrest was evidence of the “criminalization of political struggles,” the group said, vowing to mount strong solidarity in response to “the police state and political and racist repression.”
The left-wing grouping Ensemble has condemned the arrest, describing it as a consequence of the “security climate” in France.
The Palestine solidarity group BDS France noted that the day after the arrest, Prime Minister Manuel Valls tolda dinner hosted by the Israel lobby group CRIF that “anti-Zionism is nothing more than a synonym for anti-Semitism and the hatred of Israel.”
“Today, politicians who support the Israeli apartheid regime are out of arguments,” BDS France said in a statement.
“They conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and terrorism, and take all the Jews of the world hostage, stubbornly insisting that they become accomplices of the war crimes and apartheid of a state which is foreign to them,” BDS France added.
The campaign group said that with the growing global success of BDS, “a nonviolent, anti-racist citizen movement for the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people,” Israel and its allies in the French government had no recourse but to try to smear it as anti-Semitic.
Court rulings and government decrees have outlawed calls to boycott Israeli goods, prompting defiance from French civil society.
As the photos published by BDS France show, the activists were proudly wearing their “Boycott Israeli Apartheid” T-shirts.
On Saturday, activists will hold rallies all over France against the state of emergency. An action alert from BDS France urges supporters to wear their T-shirts at those marches too.