The grim reality behind the 1983 'march for equality and against racism'

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December 3rd marks the 30th anniversary of the arrival in Paris of the March for Equality and Against Racism, a milestone in the history of anti-racist movements in France. It was the triumphant end of a 1,500-kilometre trek across the country's towns and cities, beginning in  Marseille, and which vented the anger of France’s population of North African origin at the prejudice and violence they were regularly the target of. Moroccan immigrant Abdallah Moubine (pictured) was 29 years old at the time, and remembers the marchers’ arrival in the French capital as a “magnificent” event. Moubine, a trade unionist who battled for equal rights for North African immigrants in the French car industry, tells Carine Fouteau about the explosive racist climate of the early 1980s, and reflects on what’s changed since that historic day in December 1983.  

 

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The arrival in Paris on December 3rd 1983 of the March for Equality and Against Racism drew an estimated 100,000 people onto the streets to greet the weary marchers, escorting them along the capital's boulevards to a triumphant demonstration at the Place de la Bastille.