Britain/France: Protest in London against Sarkozy’s racist policies

Thousands demonstrate across Europe

[see also: leaflet against racist discrimination]

Numerous protests have taken place this weekend in France and many other European cities, against the French government’s witch-hunt against Roma people and other anti-immigrant measures. In France, more than 100,000 took to the streets of about 130 cities and towns, while similar protest actions took place in front of French embassies in cities like London, Brussels, Barcelona, Bucharest, Rome, Belgrade, etc.

The dismantling of Roma camps and deportations have accelerated in France in the last weeks, since Sarkozy announced his new so-called “crackdown on crime”. New proposals scapegoating immigrants have been put on the table, such as a proposal to deport people because of “aggressive begging” in the streets.

CWI members were present at a lively London rally, organised by the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain (ITMB). About 50 people gathered in central London to express their anger against French government’s brutal expulsion of Roma people and its attacks against the rights of immigrants. People present also pointed out the wider discrimination faced by Roma and Traveller communities throughout Europe. Support and sympathy for the protest was expressed by most people passing by. Members of the Socialist Party and CWI were able to address the protest, and to put our analysis forward on French radio, present in London to cover the action. A delegation of demonstrators eventually delivered a petition to the French embassy.

See below a short video of the action.

Video from protest in London, 4 September 2010:

Message from Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) MEP:

“I applaud today’s protest against the brutal treatment of Romas by the right wing French government. In Ireland, I have campaigned alongside Travellers fighting for their basic rights. The main lesson from this struggle is that we must stand united against all attempts to blame Romas, Travellers, immigrants, and all minorities, for the social and economic problems caused by the crisis of the market system. United we stand – divided we fall!”

[see also: leaflet against racist discrimination]

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September 2010