In a statement on Friday, the police prefect said that gatherings of more than 10 people were prohibited, but announced that he had requested the closure of shops along the route of the demonstration.
“For the record, the demonstration is not approved and the decree of 31 May prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people,” a police source told AFP.
Demonstrators on the Place de la République expressed their incomprehension: “It’s crazy, why is the prefect changing his mind like that,” a 24-year-old woman wondered. “It seems they want to create tension, whereas we’re peaceful. I’m going to stay here and continue singing and demonstrating,” she said.
The rally was organised in response to a call from the Adama Traoré committee, named after a young black man who died in July 2016 after being arrested by gendarmes in the Paris region.
A previous protest against police violence ended in various incidents, including demonstrators blocking cars on the ring, throwing rocks at officers and setting some bicycles on fire.