Roger L. Simon

French Wake-Up Call

To protest a horrible racist murder, an estimated thirty-three thousand people, including ministers from opposing parties, marched in Paris today. This may not equal the crowds they muster for a transit workers strike, but let’s hope this marks a new resistance to racism and anti-Semitism in France. Here’s the JPost report:

Tens of thousands of demonstrators, including ministers and politicians of all stripes, joined in a show of force against racism and anti-Semitism on Sunday, marching through the French capital after the torture and killing of a Paris Jew.

Some 33,000 people took part in the march, police said. Anti-racism groups that organized the march did not immediately issue a figure. Smaller marches took place in other cities, including Lyon and Bordeaux, where Archbishop Jean-Pierre Ricard, named a cardinal this week, took part.

Police patrolled the crowd in Paris, where an array of ministers, including Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, joined the march. Opposition Socialists, including former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, as well as members of other parties, were also present. They made their way from the Place de la Republique to La Place de la Nation, in eastern Paris, in a chilling cold.

Here is Nidra Poller’s terrific article on the murder of Ilan Halimi, which precipitated this march.

UPDATE: Allison is putting the Paris demonstration at 100,000. JPost is reporting 200,000 across France.