Video of Algerians at Place de la République is not related to 2023 France protests
Video is from pro-democracy protests against former Algerian President Bouteflika
Claim: A video shows Algerians atop the Monument à la République in Paris as riots erupted in France over the killing of an Algerian teenager in June 2023.
Fact: The video is unrelated to the June 2023 protests in France and is actually from the 2019 pro-democracy demonstrations against former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The caption accompanying the clip — in light of the recent protests over the June 2023 police killing of Nahel M — is as follows:
“اجمل مقطع في هذا العيد المبارك. من قلب باريس فرنسا النشيد الوطني الجزائري يدوي . عمل يستحيل ان يقوم به شعب آخر ..
[The most beautiful clip on this blessed Eid. From the heart of Paris, France, the Algerian national anthem is manual. A job that no other person could do.]”
Monument à la République is a statue sculpted by Léopold Morice that personifies the French Republic — Marianne — and is located at the Place de la République.
2023 France protests
On 27 June 2023, police in France shot dead Nahel M, a 17-year-old Algerian boy, at a traffic check. The death led to countrywide protests, and Nahel’s death became “another example of the treatment by police of young men of Arab and African backgrounds”, according to a France24 report (archive).
The publication quoted the family’s lawyer as saying the teenager worked as a delivery driver and was enrolled in a dedicated programme “to help with the integration of young people from troubled neighbourhoods through sports”.
Fact or Fiction?
Soch Fact Check used the phrase “Algeria paris republique” in Twitter’s search bar and narrowed down the results to videos only. We found multiple clips from different angles from March 2019 — such as this, this, this, and this — that show French-Algerians protesting against the then-possible fifth term of former Algerian president, the late Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The videos show many protesters having scaled the Monument à la République, which is a notable landmark in identifying the clips and location.
Upon reverse-searching keyframes from the viral video clip, we found tweets from 2023 that were posted in the context of the Nahel protests in France. However, many users flagged those as disinformation, such as here and here. One of them also linked a March 2019 tweet by France24 journalist Selina Sykes as evidence that the recent claim was false.
The post on the Facebook page ‘عشاق الجزائر في فلسطين’ has been viewed more than 44,000 times.
Tweets such as by Twitter users @iamyesyouareno, @RadioGenova, @SheetalPronamo, and @MajorPoonia included anti-refugee and anti-Muslim content, hinting at how “France is no longer France” and that the country “has fallen” or “surrendered”; these raked up more than 1.1 million views, 1.0 million views, 607,000 views, and 518,000 views, as of writing time.
In fact, Dutch politician and member of the Netherlands Parliament, Geert Wilders, also shared the video, which received close to one million views.
Conclusion: The video is from the 2019 pro-democracy demonstrations against former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. It has no relation to the June 2023 protests over the police killing of Nahel M in Paris, France.
Background image in cover photo: Anthony Choren
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