France Bans Fireworks Before Bastille Day After Recent Protests

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The French government has banned fireworks ahead of upcoming Bastille Day celebrations.  The decree said, “In order to prevent the risk of serious disturbances to public order during the July 14 festivities, the sale, carrying, transport and use of pyrotechnic articles and fireworks are prohibited until July 15 inclusively throughout the national territory.”  This excludes licensed firework professionals and public firework displays. The ban comes in response to the recent outbreak of violent protests following the shooting death of Nahel Merzouk by Paris police during a traffic stop.  The widespread protests have resulted in 3,700 people being arrested, more than 800 police officers injured and over $1 billion in damage. The French government said it would deploy “massive means to protect the French” during the holiday. A Wall Street Journal article noted the irony that French tanks which are traditionally part of the military parade were instead deployed to quell the recent riots.