French police ban protest ‘to guarantee public order’ during Cannes Festival over fears pension protesters would cause chaos – with anti-domestic abuse campaigners also prevented from haranguing Jonny Depp following his defamation case with Amber Heard
- Demonstrations and gatherings have been banned around the festival area
- CGT union said it plans to ‘make its own movie moment in Cannes’ this year
Police in Cannes have cracked down on all forms of protest to ‘guarantee public order’ over fears angry protesters could drown out Hollywood A-listers at the 76th annual film festival.
Stars, including Johnny Depp, whose new movie Jeanne de Barry is controversially opening the festival, are expected to flock to the French riviera in the coming days.
The festival has historically served as a backdrop for protest, but authorities are determined to stamp out any trouble before it has even started amid ongoing unrest over pension reforms nationwide.
Now, in an unusual move, all demonstrations and gatherings have been banned on the public highway for the duration of the Festival by the region’s Alpes-Maritimes Prefecture.
Unions are refusing to back down, with the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) releasing a statement saying it plans to ‘make its own movie moment in Cannes’ this year.
There was a significant police presence on The Croisette as the final preparations were made ahead of the festival
The ban on demonstrations covers the Rue d’Antibes, the Palais des Festivals, the Croisette and the Promenade de Pantiero alongside the Marché du Film’s International Village
Johnny Depp’s new movie, Jeanne de Barry, is controversially opening the festival (file image)
The CGT, one of the country’s most powerful trade unions, has called on employees from the hospitality industry to take part in a rally outside the glamorous Carlton hotel.
A favourite spot for celebrities, the newly-refurbished seafront residence is based just outside the festival grounds.
A protest will be held on its forecourt by cafe, restaurant and hotel workers on May 19, as the eyes of the world are on the prestigious festival.
The action is just one of a series of actions taken as part of French unions’ ‘100 Days Of Anger! 100 Days To Win’ campaign.
It was sparked by Emmanuel Macron’s overhaul of the state retirement age, which is set to be raised from 62 to 64 by 2030.
It has seen workers from a huge spectrum of sectors walk out and violence on the streets of Paris and other cities.
Last month, the the CGT FNME – France’s main energy workers union – threatened to cut power supplies at big events including Cannes.
The ban on demonstrations by local authorities in the city, covering May 16 to 27, was posted by the prefecture on its website on Friday evening.
A nationwide day of strike back in March saw the Old Harbour in Marseille taken over by peaceful demonstrators
It said it was necessary in order ‘to guarantee public order during an exceptionally big and international event’.
It covers the Rue d’Antibes, the Palais des Festivals, the Croisette and the Promenade de Pantiero alongside the Marché du Film’s International Village.
Stars themselves may be reassured at the decision to ban protests, with a state visit to Paris by King Charles and Queen Camilla cancelled earlier this year due to ongoing unrest in the French capital.
Depp, 59, stars as King Louis XV in the forthcoming costume drama, which marks the star’s return to acting
Johnny Depp, specifically, may be relieved at the protest ban, after he faced demonstrations from anti-domestic abuse campaigners following his defamation case with his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
The actress had referred to herself as a ‘public figure representing domestic abuse’ following their marriage. Depp strongly denied abusing her.
Depp, 59, stars as King Louis XV in the forthcoming costume drama, which marks the star’s return to acting.