Demonstrations against racism: Christiane Taubira

In 2013, the Minister for Justice, Christiane Taubira, was the subject of a number of racist attacks. These included a headline for the extreme right-wing journal Minute, in which Taubira's photo was accompanied by the text, 'Cunning as a monkey, Taubira rediscovers her smile' ('Maligne comme un singe, Taubira retrouve la banane' - note that the colloquialism 'banane' or banana refers to a wide smile, but in this case is used with distinct racial connotations). This headline referred to a controversy that had emerged several weeks earlier when a young girl of 11 years old had waved a banana in front of Taubira during a demonstration against the minister's 'marriage for all' law; an important legal milestone to give equal rights to homosexual couples. The journal's editor, Jean-Marie Molitor, was condemned on 30th October 2014, and charged with a fine of €10,000 for having incited racial hatred. This incident had been preceeded by a racist attack on the Justice Minister, this time led by a Front National (FN) candidate, Anne-Sophie Leclère, who equated Taubira to a monkey and a savage in a report on France 2 on 17th October 2013. Leclère was subsequently suspended from the FN (on 19th October 2013) and was then charged in a criminal court with nine months imprisonment and five years of ineligibility (a ruling that was later overturned). In response to these attacks, a petition entitled 'France, get a grip' ('France ressaisis-toi') was made and received 120,000 signatures, and a public demonstration against racism was organized by a number of associations, including CollectifDom and CM98, as well SOS Racism, Ligue des droits de l'homme (LDH), Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'amitié entre les peuples (Mrap) and the Ligue contre le racisme et l'antisémitisme (Licra), and several trade unions. This event was held on 30 November 2013 and attracted some 25,000 participants.

 

Start date: 
2013CE Nov 30th
Outcome: 
Demonstrations against racism were held across France