Massive protest in Paris against France's controversial immigration law
Thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Paris on Sunday, protesting the French government's divisive immigration law, which received backing from far-right parliamentarians.
More than 400 associations, unions, and political parties called for the protest. Demonstrators, undeterred by the cold, rallied against the law they considered discriminatory against foreigners.
Starting from Republic Square, the marchers headed towards Clichy Square. They voiced their disapproval of the government's collaboration with the far-right National Rally (RN) party in passing the law.
The law's opponents argue it fosters discrimination and has demanded the government abandon what they label a "racist" policy.
Protesters carried banners reading "We Don't Want a Society Built on Racism, Colonialism, Fascism" and "We Work Here. We Live Here. We Stay Here." They chanted in solidarity with undocumented residents, indicating their support for those lacking residency permits.
The protest attracted a diverse crowd, including politicians like Mathilde Panot, Carlos Martens Bilongo, Hadrien Clouet, and Daniele Obono from the left-wing France Unbowed party.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Clouet condemned the right-wing government's alliance with the far-right and its approval of the immigration law. He expressed grave concerns, stating, "The government is implementing the agenda of Jean-Marie Le Pen and Marine Le Pen. This is utterly shameful."
He described their political stance as anti-republican, xenophobic, and racist. Clouet warned that the law, if enacted, would deny equal social rights to citizens and foreigners, subjecting the latter to extraordinary measures.
The controversial immigration law, passed on December 19 last year, links social benefits for foreigners in France, such as rental assistance and family subsidies, to specific employment conditions.
Under the new law, employed foreigners are eligible for rental support three months after arrival in France, while those unemployed must wait five years.