RTL Today – Press conference: CSV calls for protest law with clear rules
MPs Gilles Roth, Serge Wilmes, Laurent Mosar and Léon Gloden of the Christian Social People’s Party (CSV) addressed the recent protests in the capital at a press conference on Monday morning.
The CSV calls for a law on demonstrations to be introduced, a law that clearly regulates any form of protest event. The government needs better ways to handle illegal and violent protests in particular, officials said at the briefing. They also made a series of proposals regarding how this new phenomenon can be dealt with from a legal point of view, while respecting people’s freedom of opinion.
MP Roth stressed the importance of securing the right to protest, but simultaneously stressed that people and the police must be respected. Violence and chaos should not be tolerated, not even in times as difficult as the ones we are currently facing, he said: “We believe that the government must have the tools necessary to enforce the state of law and allow the authorities on the ground to implement it properly.”
CSV officials have further noted that the pressure they exert is beginning to pay off. Last week, Justice Minister Sam Tanson announced a series of new measures, including increasing sentences for civil disturbances to three years and making spitting at officers a punishable offence. MP Mosar clarified: “The police are spat on, insulted and physically and verbally attacked via social networks. To that we say, no more!”
Last week, the government further assured that investigators will be able to use pseudonyms to conduct investigations in the digital sphere. MP Gloden argued that this measure did not go far enough and that those identified as the organizers of illegal protests should be punished: “These organizers must be held to account. In France, offenders can face prison terms of up to six months and fines of up to €7,500.”
CSV officials have also suggested that the government reserves the right to ban certain protests under certain conditions. Furthermore, they reiterated the party’s earlier call for authorities to be given the right to evict people from public spaces, as well as the introduction of body cameras.