Socialist Worker

Protests on 17 March can help us build anti-racist movement in France

by Denis Godard in Paris
Issue No. 2594

Anti-racists protested in Paris last March demanding justice for victims of police violence

Anti-racists protested in Paris last March demanding justice for victims of police violence (Pic: Jad Bouharoun)

Saturday 17 March will see anti-racist protests in Britain and across Europe.

The national “Solidarity March” in Paris is expected to be the biggest anti-racist demo for years in France.

The protest is against racism and police brutality, and in solidarity with migrants. It has been called by families of victims of police brutality, and migrants’ committees.

A number of local migrant support groups back it along with the Solidaires national trade union.

Some other cities will hold demonstrations and coaches will bring people to Paris.

It could crystalise the opposition to a new racist and repressive law prepared by the government against all migrants.

Government policy and the mainstream media assault are leading to more racism in French society as a whole.

But there is resistance.

Some students and migrants have occupied buildings and universities in cities such as Paris, Grenoble, Lyon and Nantes.

There is no national anti-racist network or organisation in France. So the march could be a starting point to build it.

The fascist National Front (FN) is trying to rebrand itself further as a “respectable” party. Marine Le Pen will announce a new name at the FN conference in Lille one week before the anti-racist march.

Unfortunately the street opposition to the fascist conference is likely to be weak. It makes 17 March even more important.

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