Thousands protest racism, police brutality, in French cities

By AFP   March 19, 2022 | 06:00 pm PT
Thousands protest racism, police brutality, in French cities
Protestors during a march against racism organized by associations, unions and parties, in Paris, on March 19, 2022. Photo by AFP/Christophe Archambault
Thousands of people in several French cities marched Saturday to protest racism and police brutality.

In Paris, protesters paraded through the city center behind a banner condemning "state crimes". Other demonstrators carried "Black Lives Matter" banners.

Several people spoke at the rally to tell the stories of members of their families who had died at the hands of the police.

Interior ministry figures put the turnout out at 2,100, but the march organizers estimated 8,000-10,000.

The interior ministry said another 11 protests took place elsewhere in France, saying the total turnout for these protests was 1,400.

Other protests took place in Bordeaux and Toulouse in the southwest, and Lyon in the southeast.

Saturday's demonstration comes two days ahead of International Day for the Elimination of Racism.

It is held on March 21 to mark the day, in 1960, that police in apartheid South Africa opened fire on a peaceful demonstration, killing 69 people.

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