“Racism is a plague on humanity”: in Paris, several thousand people demonstrate “against racism and Islamophobia”

Several thousand people marched on Sunday April 21 in Paris "against racism and Islamophobia" as part of a march, targeting in particular "police violence", which had been banned by the police prefect and then authorized by justice

“Racism is a plague on humanity”: in Paris, several thousand people demonstrate “against racism and Islamophobia”

Several thousand people marched on Sunday April 21 in Paris "against racism and Islamophobia" as part of a march, targeting in particular "police violence", which had been banned by the police prefect and then authorized by justice. The demonstration brought together around 3,000 people, according to a police source.

Marching behind a banner reading “Our children are in danger”, the demonstrators left Barbès at the start of the afternoon at the call of around fifty organizations including La France insoumise, the New Anticapitalist Party, Attac and Solidaires.

“We had to think about mobilization outside of white marches and dramatic events” because “police violence is the most serious violence that affects our children, those in the neighborhoods, poor, black or Arab children,” said Yessa Belkhodja, co -initiator of this march. But “this violence is only part of the violence, there is daily violence,” she added.

The demonstration was to end at Place de la République with a concert at 6 p.m. in which the rapper Médine was to participate.

A demonstration banned then authorized

“Our children are not cops’ game,” signs proclaimed. Others, quoting Frantz Fanon, read “racism is a scourge of humanity.” According to psychiatrist Fatma Bouvet de la Maisonneuve, “people are increasingly aware that France retains a collective colonial imagination and that a certain number of people from ex-colony countries are considered subhuman.”

“We are fed up with this two-tier justice”, with “these looks when we leave our neighborhoods”, with these “searches, these racial crimes”, testified a demonstrator. Like her, many demonstrators wore a keffiyeh, in solidarity with the population of the Gaza Strip. The demonstration, on which Palestinian flags flew, took place more than six months after the start of the war against Hamas in the Palestinian territory following the October 7, 2023 attack carried out by the Islamist organization.

“If we are here at a time when Palestinians are being widely dehumanized, (…) it is to say that all lives are equal. (…) The common thread that we carry today is the equal dignity of human beings,” Mathilde Panot, the leader of the “rebellious” deputies, told several journalists, present alongside members of her Eric Coquerel and Danièle Obono group.

The demonstration was banned Thursday by the police headquarters on the grounds that the denunciation "in its call for 'police crimes' against young people" was "conducive to attracting components deliberately seeking clashes with the police », at the risk of “disturbing public order”. Seized in summary proceedings, the Paris administrative court suspended this ban on Friday, ruling that it was “a serious and manifestly illegal attack on freedom of demonstration”.