Defying the 'Shock Doctrine' in Paris as Thousands March Despite Protest Ban

October 6, 2020 0 By HearthstoneYarns

It was people power versus “shock doctrine” on the streets of Paris on Sunday as thousands dared to defy the French government’s ban on protests during the much-anticipated global climate summit.

An estimated 10,000 demonstrators linked arms in a human chain along the 3 kilometer cancelled march route—joining the millions worldwide who took to the streets to demand that the assembled world leaders commit to bold action to confront the growing threat of climate change.

Meanwhile, Paris police reportedly fired tear gas at a crowd of protesters at the nearby Place de la République and arrested over 200 people over the course of the day, in addition to the preemptive raids and house arrests placed on known climate activists in the days leading up to United Nations 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21).

Reporting from Paris, activist Naomi Klein, who authored the book The Shock Doctrine, said that the French government crackdown on protest following last month’s attacks represents a classic case of the “shock doctrine,” which is when a government uses a “very real crisis to push through things they want to do anyway”—such as silence dissent or expand security and surveillance.

Early Monday, Klein took to social media to directly call out French President François Hollande.

And in a video dispatch produced by Mediapart and The Nation, Klein notes that while “security is a huge issue in France” right now, the “French government has really pushed that to eliminate protest during the COP.”

She says that those defying the ban are sending the “really important message” that “all security matters: State security, human security.”

“There can be no security in a world where there’s 3 degree Celsius warming,” Klein states, pointing to countries in the global south and low-lying Pacific island nations that, through rising oceans and punishing heatwaves and drought, are already confronting the very real dangers of climate change.

“What needs to happen is that circle of mourning, that circle of valuing life has to be enlarged to include everyone,” she added in the inaugural dispatch, which can be viewed below: