Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Protesters In France -- It's A Concert Crowd In Mexico

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Video Does NOT Show Protesters In France -- It's A Concert Crowd In Mexico Mexico City

Does this video show a crowd gathered in Nanterre, France, to protest the June 27, 2023, killing of Nahel Merzouk by police? No, that's not true: This video of a crowd at El Zocalo, the main square of Mexico City, was filmed and posted online on June 3, 2023. It shows a crowd gathered for a concert by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, a ska band from Argentina.

An early instance of the crowd video was posted on TikTok on June 3, 2023. The post was captioned with hashtags about the concert:

#cdmx🇲🇽 #concierto #losfabulososcadillacs #vasosvacios #losfabulososcadilacs #zocalocdmx🇲🇽 #conciertosenméxico #conciertosenvivo

The video was posted again on June 29, 2023, with misleading captioning. In the example below, the video (archived here) published on TikTok has text captioning on the video which says:

Nanterre, France

Hashtasgs on the post refer to France, and many other places. Used in this way, the hashtag function will surface the post to a wider audience:

#nanterreville #france #nahel #lesalgeriensenfrance #fypシ #fyp #fypage #foryou #viral #viralvideo #pourtoi #dz #جزاائري_جزائرية___جزائريون___ونفتخر #ديزاد #manifestation #جزائري #جزائرية #nanterremarche #marcheblanche #مصر_ #egypte #india_ #china_ #russe #iamrussian #poutineday #europ #emanuelmacron #deutchland #سعودية_مغرب_ليبيا_كويت_العراق_سعودية #سوريا_الأردن_لبنان #roumaniagirls💕🇹🇩 #romaniengirl🇹🇩 #russiengirl #roumaniengirl #russienews #belgiqu #capcut #فلسطين #غزة🇵🇸 #polandgirl #ukraingirls #europ_sl_tiktok #canada_ #america_ #bresiliennes #brasil_

This is how the post looked on TikTok at the time of writing:


(Image source: Tiktok screenshot taken on Thu Jul 06 15:25:17 2023 UTC)

There is no question about what this video actually shows. This free concert by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs on June 3, 2023, was attended by about 300,000 people. The video that was later mislabeled as Nanterre, France, was filmed from a balcony near the top of the Mexico City Government Building. As the video opens, the camera is pointing to the southwest, down the Avenida 20 de Noviembre. From a high vantage point that shows the stone and ironwork of the balcony, the camera pans over the crowd filling the street and turns to the north to view the crowds in the Zócalo, the main square of Mexico City. In the composite image below, screenshots from a tweet and the June 3, 2023, TikTok video mentioned above are compared with Google Street View imagery which shows the same architecture.


(Image Source: Lead Stories Composite image made with Twitter, TikTok and Google Street View screenshots taken on Thu Jul 06 15:56:24 2023 UTC)

Additional videos posted online on June 4, 2023, on TikTok and Twitter showed the concert crowd after dark and the performance shown on several large screens positioned around the square.

There have been protests as well as rioting and looting in Nanterre, France, since the June 27, 2023, killing of Nahel Merzouk by police. There have also been false claims about these protests. Lead Stories has published several fact checks about scenes filmed at other times and other places around the world misrepresented as the protests in Nanterre, France. Examples include a post office fire in Manila, Philippines, a police van scene from a movie, 2016 Euro Cup football riots, a 2019 pro-democracy protest, and a fire in the UAE.

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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