France Bans TikTok in Island Territory After Independence Protests Turn Violent - Latest Global News

France Bans TikTok in Island Territory After Independence Protests Turn Violent

France declared a state of emergency in its territory of New Caledonia on Wednesday after protests against changes to electoral laws turned into violent clashes that left four people dead. The emergency declaration will allow police to severely restrict civil liberties in a variety of ways, including a ban on public demonstrations. But this ban seems to be expanding online as well, as the AFP reports that the declaration includes a ban on TikTok in the South Pacific islands.

The French National Assembly passed a new bill in the early hours of Wednesday morning that would extend local voting rights to people who arrived in New Caledonia from mainland France at least ten years ago. New Caledonia has been a French territory since its first colonization in 1853 and became a penal colony in the second half of the 19th century. Many of the indigenous Kanaks fought for independence over the decades.

Nickel was discovered in New Caledonia in 1864, making it a highly profitable area for the French well into the 21st century, as it is now a valuable ingredient for electric vehicles. According to Bloomberg, New Caledonia is currently the world’s third-largest nickel exporter – which explains why France has been so reluctant to cede much control of its colonial possessions. New Caledonia’s location on China’s doorstep, about 750 miles east of Australia, is also seen by France as strategic in the New Cold War.

One concession France did allow after massive and violent protests in the 1980s and 1990s was the 1998 Noumea Accord, which barred all newcomers from mainland France from taking part in local elections. The National Assembly’s vote on Wednesday aims to change all that, giving white French citizens without long-standing generational ties to New Caledonia a chance to weaken the voices of the islands’ indigenous population, who are more pro-independence.

All of which brings us to Wednesday’s emergency declaration, issued by France from 12,000 miles away, after two days of violent protests following previously peaceful demonstrations. The unrest left four people dead, including a police officer and three young indigenous Kanak people, and at least 130 people were arrested, according to the latest figures from the French Republic’s High Commission in New Caledonia.

According to ABC News in Australia, the emergency declaration will last for 12 days and a curfew will be in place every night from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. local time. TikTok is also now banned in the area, with French authorities accusing the app of helping to organize the demonstrations and “attracting troublemakers to the streets,” as the South China Morning Post put it. It’s not immediately clear whether the TikTok ban is permanent or will be lifted after the emergency period expires in 12 days. TikTok did not respond to emailed questions Wednesday evening.

Daniel Goa, a leader of the Independence Party in New Caledonia, condemned any looting and urged young people to go home, but pointed to the anger underlying the unrest.

“The unrest of the last 24 hours shows the determination of our young people to no longer allow themselves to be controlled by France,” Goa said in a statement to France24.

According to the Associated Press, France has sent 500 new police officers to New Caledonia to reinforce the existing 1,800 in the territory of around 270,000 people. The indigenous people of New Caledonia only received citizenship of their own country in 1957. But French leaders insist that law and order must prevail.

“Violence is neither justified nor tolerable,” French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday, according to an English-language translation by New Zealand news channel 1News.

“Violence has never forced anyone to act. It never allowed for dialogue. And only through dialogue and dialogue will we find a global political solution for New Caledonia,” Attal continued.

Click through the slideshow to see more photos from the recent unrest in New Caledonia.

Burnt out cars

A man in New Caledonia stands in front of a burned out car on May 14, 2024.<br /> – Photo: NICOLAS JOB/SIPA (AP)” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/8FOCfUY0CKGmfcOFI5voHQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MQ–/https://media.zenfs. com/en/gizmodo_news_915/4c23ef20af7eb298792942e474e32d73″/><img alt=

A man in New Caledonia stands in front of a burned out car on May 14, 2024.
– Photo: NICOLAS JOB/SIPA (AP)

Protest in Noumea

Demonstrators during a demonstration against the expansion of the electorate for the upcoming provincial elections in New Caledonia, in Noumea, on April 13, 2024. – Photo: Nicolas Job/SIPA (AP)

Demonstrators during a demonstration against the expansion of the electorate for the upcoming provincial elections in New Caledonia, in Noumea, on April 13, 2024. – Photo: Nicolas Job/SIPA (AP)

French counter-demonstrators

Demonstrators from several loyalist parties wave French national flags as they march during a demonstration in support of expanding the electorate for New Caledonia's upcoming provincial elections in Noumea April 13, 2024.  – Photo: Nicolas Job/SIPA (AP)Demonstrators from several loyalist parties wave French national flags as they march during a demonstration in support of expanding the electorate for New Caledonia's upcoming provincial elections in Noumea April 13, 2024.  – Photo: Nicolas Job/SIPA (AP)

Demonstrators from several loyalist parties wave French national flags as they march during a demonstration in support of expanding the electorate for New Caledonia’s upcoming provincial elections in Noumea April 13, 2024. – Photo: Nicolas Job/SIPA (AP)

Destroyed property

Destroyed vehicles in New Caledonia, photographed on May 14, 2024.<br /> – Photo: NICOLAS JOB/SIPA (AP)” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/dn8DTqF9RvGhA.YmwmuIYw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MQ–/https://media. zenfs.com/en/gizmodo_news_915/49a880387f92f5e7baab114cd4f6c11c”/><img alt=

Destroyed vehicles in New Caledonia, photographed on May 14, 2024.
– Photo: NICOLAS JOB/SIPA (AP)

Protests on the streets

Protester holds a territorial flag of New Caledonia on May 14, 2024.<br /> – Photo: NICOLAS JOB/SIPA (AP)” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/jnuhQTqsxiYSPI9Fe5QjAQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MQ–/https://media.zenfs. com/en/gizmodo_news_915/b9dcf1069cbf449d88f292dceef9c8e5″/><img alt=

Protester holds a territorial flag of New Caledonia on May 14, 2024.
– Photo: NICOLAS JOB/SIPA (AP)

French police

French police officers stand with their shields at the entrance to the Vallee-du-Tir district in Noumea on May 14, 2024.  – Photo: Theo Rouby / AFP (Getty Images)French police officers stand with their shields at the entrance to the Vallee-du-Tir district in Noumea on May 14, 2024.  – Photo: Theo Rouby / AFP (Getty Images)

French police officers stand with their shields at the entrance to the Vallee-du-Tir district in Noumea on May 14, 2024. – Photo: Theo Rouby / AFP (Getty Images)

Liberation protests

Demonstrators wave flags of the Socialist Kanak National Liberation Front (FLNKS) during a demonstration against the expansion of the electorate for the upcoming New Caledonia provincial elections in Noumea on April 13, 2024.  - Photo: Theo Rouby / AFP (Getty Images)Demonstrators wave flags of the Socialist Kanak National Liberation Front (FLNKS) during a demonstration against the expansion of the electorate for the upcoming New Caledonia provincial elections in Noumea on April 13, 2024.  - Photo: Theo Rouby / AFP (Getty Images)

Demonstrators wave flags of the Socialist Kanak National Liberation Front (FLNKS) during a demonstration against the expansion of the electorate for the upcoming New Caledonia provincial elections in Noumea on April 13, 2024. – Photo: Theo Rouby / AFP (Getty Images)

French in New Caledonia

Protesters from several loyalist parties wave French national flags and hold a banner reading Protesters from several loyalist parties wave French national flags and hold a banner reading

Smoke rises over Noumea

Smoke rises in the distance in Noumea, New Caledonia, May 14, 2024.  - Photo: NICOLAS JOB/SIPA (AP)Smoke rises in the distance in Noumea, New Caledonia, May 14, 2024.  - Photo: NICOLAS JOB/SIPA (AP)

Smoke rises in the distance in Noumea, New Caledonia, May 14, 2024. – Photo: NICOLAS JOB/SIPA (AP)

Cars on fire

Cars destroyed by fire in New Caledonia on May 14, 2024.<br /> – Photo: Sipa via AP Images (AP)” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/rpM96K5TrVfVIXeeEgbvIQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MQ–/https://media.zenfs. com/en/gizmodo_news_915/f012664ccd9b7f17224df48d1a4c3ec5″/><img alt=

Cars destroyed by fire in New Caledonia on May 14, 2024.
– Photo: Sipa via AP Images (AP)

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