Roma people, who were evicted from their camp, received food on Wednesday in front of an administrative court in Lyon, France, before a hearing regarding the ruling on their eventual rehousing. Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images
Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Paris over plans to give gay couples in France the right to marry and adopt children.
Three big marches converged on the Champs de Mars, a large park next to the Eiffel Tower.
France’s Socialist government is planning to change the law this year.
But the demonstrators, backed by the Catholic Church and the right-wing opposition, argue it would undermine an essential building block of society.
The organisers put the number of marchers at 800,000, with demonstrators pouring into Paris by train and bus, carrying placards that read, “We don’t want your law, Francois” and “Don’t touch my civil code”.
Police said the figure was closer to 340,000 and one government minister said the turnout was lower than the organisers had predicted. A similar march in November attracted around 100,000 people.
The “Demo for all” event was being led by a charismatic comedian known as Frigide Barjot, who tweeted that the “crowd is immense” and told French TV that gay marriage “makes no sense” because a child should be born to a man and woman."
The French Muslim Council (CFCM) urged the government on Monday to ban a far-right group that occupied a mosque on Saturday and issued a “declaration of war” against what it called the Islamization of France.
CFCM President Mohammed Moussaoui said the Council also wanted better protection for mosques and Muslim cemeteries against racist attacks, which he said jumped sharply in 2011 and continued to rise this year.
Some 73 protesters from a movement called Identity Group seized a mosque in the western city of Poitiers on Saturday and unfurled a banner referring to Charles Martel’s historic defeat of advancing Muslim troops there in 732.
They stayed for more than six hours before police ejected them.
In a video posted on its website, the movement issued what it called a “declaration of war” on multiculturalism. It also called for a referendum to block further immigration from outside Europe and further construction of mosques in France.
“We demand the dissolution of this group,” Moussaoui said.
The public prosecutor’s office in Poitiers has placed four of the protesters under judicial investigation for spreading racial hate and discrimination.
Moussaoui said the protest, the first time a mosque in France had been occupied like that, represented “a new escalation in violence against Muslims”.
Violent acts and threats against Muslims rose by 34 percent in 2011 compared to 2010, and went up again by 14 percent in the first half of this year, he told reporters.
The protesters had come from as far away as Lyon and Nice, near France’s eastern borders, he said."
Men posed in front of the Centre Pompidou museum in Paris Thursday. The new sculpture, by Adel Abdessemed, depicts former French soccer player Zinedine Zidane head-butting Italian soccer player Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup Final. Yoan Valat/European Pressphoto Agency
Authorities evicted families and removed their caravans from an illegal campsite in Saint-Priest, France, Tuesday. The French interior minister said he would ask Romania and Bulgaria to do more to integrate their Roma minorities. Robert Pratta/Reuters
Islamic faithful walk past the blood-stained pavement outside the entrance of the Es Salam mosque as they leave afternoon prayers in Montauban, near Toulouse, August 1, 2012. Two pig heads and blood were discovered Thursday morning outside the mosque according to municipal authorities. REUTERS/Bruno Martin
French matador Sebastian Castella performs a pass on a bull during a bullfight at the Maestranza Bullring in Sevilla. AFP/Cristina Quicler
— The Pablo Neruda Foundation insists the Chilean poet was not murdered. However, on April 13 Chilean Judge Mario Carroza asked French authorities to send Neruda’s medical files to help in the ongoing investigation into his death.
Paris. Photos by Thomas Birke.
How much of an entitled asshole do you have to be to do shit like this?
“I felt terrible. What can one feel to see so many bodies? People under the rubble and we can’t do anything about it. No one is supporting us and no...”
“Here is the truth: It is hard to be in love with someone who is in love with someone else.
I don’t know how to turn that into poetry.”
“I got over needing to know you.”— Yelling to the Sky