France anti-racism rally marks 40th anniversary of 1983 Equality March

Hundreds took to the streets of Paris on Sunday to denounce the French government’s proposed immigration bill and commemorate the anniversary of the 1983 ‘March for Equality.’

According to French Police, around 1,100 people rallied on Sunday to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1983 Equality March, which was the first national demonstration against racism in France.

Forty years ago, French citizens of North African descent marched, from Marseille to Paris between the 15th of October and the 3rd of December, to denounce discrimination and racism.

Dominique Sopo, President of the SOS Racisme NGO, explained why it was important for people to come out and join them.

“It’s important to march 40 years later against racism and for equality because we’re fighting battles that never stop. 40 years ago, young people, particularly from North African immigrant backgrounds, rose to say, finally, we want to be fully part of this country. We want to reject racism, we want to be treated with equal dignity. And these are long-term battles. And so we must never stop marching. ” 

At this year’s protest, marchers also condemned the French government’s planned immigration bill which aims to strengthen and speed up the deportation process of foreigners  deemed “a serious threat to public order.”

However, advocacy organisations say it threatens the rights of asylum-seekers and other migrants.

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