Paris mayor backtracks after threatening to ban Afro-feminist festival
- Mayor Anne Hidalgo originally threatened to prohibit the Nyansapo Festival, alert police, and sue for discrimination, repeating far-right accusations that the event was “prohibited to white people” despite no such language appearing in the organizers’ materials.
- Festival organizers, part of the Mwasi Collective, planned to reserve certain events for black women, others for black people of all genders, others for women of color in general, and others still for the general populace in an attempt to provide open discussion spaces free of judgment for minority participants.
- The mayor eventually backtracked, although she and right-wing activists claimed victory for having “established a solution” as a rest of Hidalgo’s “firm intervention.”
“Paris mayor vows to halt black feminist festival, then backtracks” (France 24 | May 2017)
“Aux origines de la polémique sur le festival afroféministe Nyansapo” (Libération, in French | May 2017)
“Comme au Nyansapo Fest, pourquoi certaines associations prônent la non-mixité” (Huffington Post, in French | May 2017)
(Image Credit: via Libération)
Shelterless migrants arrive on streets of Paris, leading to denunciation by French president
- More than 6,000 migrants and refugees seeking to enter the U.K. from France have been funneled into shelters and streets around France following the forced evacuation of the “Jungle” camp in Calais.
- Paris security officials estimate an increase in the number of unsheltered asylum-seekers from around 1,500 to 2,000-2,500 in just a few days.
- Hundreds of tents and cardboard flooring mark attempts by migrants to shelter themselves from the cold as Paris’s shelter supply—fewer than 1,000 beds—has been far outstripped by demand in the French capital.
“More migrants pitch tents on Paris streets as Calais camp shuts” (Reuters)
“Migrants: à Paris, le campement de Stalingrad s’agrandit” (Radio France Internationale, in French)
“French President Vows to Clear Paris Streets of Migrant Camp” (The New York Times)
Massive protests against French labor reform bring about violence, arrests, strikes
- Demonstrations have been ongoing since March, when labor and student unions organized against government proposals perceived as decreasing job security and negotiating power for workers.
- More than 1,000 have been arrested during clashes with police in cities like Paris and Nantes that have seen more than 300 officers injured as protesters have alleged instances of police brutality, with police unions organizing counter-protests against anti-police violence.
- After President François Hollande’s government survived a no-confidence vote, union leaders planned rolling strikes and continuing demonstrations across the country.
“Une semaine de grèves et manifestations pour relancer le mouvement contre la loi travail” (Le Monde, in French)
“French police hit back at ‘anti-cop hatred’ after protest violence” (The Guardian)
“French government shrugs off no-confidence vote, faces new strikes” (Reuters)
(Image Credit: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian)
Estates of Emergency
France’s notorious housing estates–akin to housing projects in the U.S.–have long existed as symbols of an unintegrated France. Though President François Hollande has pledged to address the long-standing segregation that divides Paris’s poor banlieues from its more affluent city center, rampant unemployment, limited educational opportunities, crime, and stigmatization continue largely unchecked. The Guardian reflects on conditions in Paris’s most notorious estates a decade after riots forced what one banlieue mayor has called “social and territorial apartheid” into the national consciousness.
“‘Nothing’s changed’: 10 years after French riots, banlieues remain in crisis” (The Guardian)
(Image Credit: Ed Alcock/The Guardian)
Paris appeals court finds discriminatory police tactics violated minorities’ rights, reversing lower court’s decision
- The court ruled that in five of the 13 cases on appeal, police carried out discriminatory “stop-and-frisk” ID checks that resulted in no legal action against the individuals, all of Arab or African descent.
- In addition to awarding damages to the plaintiffs, the ruling also requires police to record and distribute the objective grounds on which stops are initiated, as the ID checks have been difficult to file complaints over because they have not been recorded.
- Of concern to legal and community observers is that the other eight cases were found to be legal because the checks took place in areas where behavior deemed suspicious by police is more likely to indicate illegal activity, i.e. in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods.
“We struck at the heart of the system by attacking the state. … This is a big victory for our clients. But it’s also a big victory for everyone, notably young people, black or North African, who each day are controlled (by police) mainly because of the color of their skin.”
Read the full story from AP at Yahoo! News.
(Image Credit: Francois Mori/AP, via Yahoo! News)