Activists protest racist remarks against French justice minister

Dec. 1, 2013 at 12:01 PM

PARIS, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Demonstrators gathered at the Place de la Bastille in Paris say racist comments against French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira must stop.

Taubira, a black woman born in Guyana, was compared to a monkey by a political candidate on a documentary television program broadcast in October. Recently, several demonstrators in the town of Angers waved bananas at her and the French magazine Minute featured Taubira on its cover with the caption "Cunning as a monkey, Taubira gets the banana back."

Radio France Internationale said Taubira has also received threats of bodily harm.

A group of left-leaning trade unions and political activists marched Saturday to protest the racist remarks. The marchers held banners with the name SOS Racisme, an anti-racism organization.

Harlem Desir, the first secretary of the ruling Socialist Party and former president of SOS Racisme, said racist comments are too common.

"We can't accept the normalization of racist speech, because France has a pact with equality and fraternity," Desir said.

Other marches were held across France and in France's overseas departments, RFI said.

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