A small crowd of peaceful protesters — representing several French anti-racism organizations — gathered near the US embassy in Paris on Monday in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests in the US.
Protesters wearing black clothing and face masks took a knee and held up signs with the words “I can’t breathe,” “we are all George Floyd” and “racism chokes us.”
Describing the video of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis as "surreal and unbearable," the protest organizers called on anti-racist groups “and all individuals with a sense of justice — to strongly denounce this racist crime perpetrated by the police, which is unfortunately an ordinary crime in the United States.”
The joint statement – which included endorsements from the historic anti-racism organization "SOS Racisme," journalist Claudy Siar and the Jewish Student Union — said "we fully relate to the struggle of the American people, especially the young, for the advent of a society finally free of racism.”
Referencing similar problems in France, the statement called "for the utmost firmness in France, including at the State level, where acts of racism within the police force have recently been reported."
While the gathering of more than ten people remains technically illegal in France due to coronavirus restrictions, police told the organizers they would not intervene to stop the protest.