Lawmakers say police officers and their families need protection from harassment both online and in person when they are out of business.
Opponents of the bill say the law would violate journalists’ freedom to report and make it more difficult for police to be held accountable for abuses, such as excessive use of force.
Under this law, the crime would be punished with up to 1 year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros.
In Trocadéro Square in western Paris, right-wing activists, trade unionists and journalists chanted: “Everyone wants to film the police!”
Many of the protesters wore yellow vests, some held placards that read “We will drop our phones when you drop our weapons.”
Similar actions are scheduled to take place in Marseille, Lille, Montpellier, Rennes and Saint-Etienne.
Last Tuesday, two journalists were detained in a protest that led to violent clashes with police as the Legislature debated the bill backed by President Emmanuel Macron’s party and parliamentary allies.
The project passed the first reading on Friday, and a second is scheduled for Tuesday. He will then come to the Senate for a new debate before it becomes law.
An amendment tabled by the government and approved on Friday amended the problematic article, 24, adding “without prejudice to the right to information.”
Prime Minister Jean Castex said that “this will remove any ambiguity about the intention to guarantee respect for public freedoms while better protecting those who ensure the protection of the population, police and gendarmes.”