Chanting “Impunity is Over!” or dancing against sexual violence, women’s rights activists protested Friday in multiple cities in France and abroad against President Emmanuel Macron’s appointment of a new interior minister who is accused of rape and a justice minister who has minimized the #MeToo movement.
The actions started Friday morning in Dijon, where new Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Prime Minister Jean Castex were meeting with police. A dozen feminists held out banners and signs condemning Darmanin and rape culture.
Later Friday, in front of Paris City Hall, women staged a flash mob and performed the song and dance “ A Rapist in Your Path ” started by feminists in Chile, which has become an international rallying cry against sexual violence and victim shaming.
— #NousToutes (@NousToutesOrg) July 10, 2020
The young, diverse crowd – most in masks – demanded Darmanin’s resignation and exuded anger at Macron, who had promised to make fighting sexual violence a grand cause of his term. Signs read “Darmanin named, Victims disdained” or “Victims, We See You”.
One of the speakers, who identified herself only as Margaux, said: “Without questioning the fundamental right to the presumption of innocence, the nomination of a man accused of rape reminds us how sexual and sexist violence is normalized and minimized, including at the highest levels of the state.”
“The message sent is very clear: Aggressors, don’t be afraid,” she told the crowd of about 1,000 people.
Feminist group Nous Toutes and others announced other actions Friday in other French cities as well as at French embassies or consulates in London, Sydney, Montreal, Berlin, Brussels, Barcelona and Tel Aviv.
The French government said it remains committed to gender equality and defended the new ministers, stressing the presumption of innocence.
Darmanin firmly denies the rape accusation, and an investigation is underway. New Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti is a lawyer who has defended a government member accused of rape and sexual assault, and has ridiculed women speaking out as a result of the #MeToo movement.
Activists also expressed concern about LGBTQ rights with Darmanin in charge of French police, because he opposed gay marriage before France legalized it in 2013.
“We have the impression we’re being treated like idiots,” said Paris protester Alix Joly, a 25-year-old graduate student. When she heard about the latest government nominations, she said, “I laughed, but bitterly.”
The protest came amid a growing investigation into accusations by at least 26 women that a Paris street artist well known in the historic Montmartre neighborhood raped or sexually assaulted them. The artist-photographer says he never raped anyone. Lawyers for the accusers say he systematically preyed upon teen girls or young women, plied them with alcohol or drugs and took compromising photos so they would be too ashamed to report what happened.
‘It’s a disgrace’: Conservative torches Trump and the GOP — saying they’ve betrayed voters
In 2012, Stuart Stevens served as the chief strategist for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and tried to prevent President Barack Obama from winning a second term; in 2020, he is a Never Trump conservative who is rooting for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. And when Stevens appeared on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour” on Thursday night, August 6, he stressed to host Brian Williams that many GOP incumbents — from President Donald Trump to members of Congress — could be in trouble in November.
Promoting his new book, “It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump,” Stevens told Williams, “This is a very negative environment for Republicans…. There are external forces out there that make this a very tough race for incumbents in the Republican Party.”
Mask-hating Trump supporter banned from local store after she ‘rammed someone with a cart’: report
A woman who was permanently banned from entering a local hardware store for refusing to wear a face mask tells Vox that she's proud that her defiance of public health standards got her kicked out.
In an interview, a Wyoming resident named Jacqueline says that her local Menards home and garden store has told her that she is no longer allowed to shop there for refusing to wear a face mask on two separate occasions.
Although she was still allowed to shop at the store after the first time she came in without a face mask, she was permanently given the boot when she got into a physical altercation with an employee during her second trip to the store.
Expert: NRA had to be obliterated by New York for one very important reason
The New York attorney general's aggressive moves against the National Rifle Association might have been handled by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to a former federal prosecutor.
State attorney general Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the powerful lobbying group over claims of rampant fraud, but former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade's new column for The Daily Beast calls out the Justice Department's inaction.
"Like other cases of corruption, this easily could have been framed as a criminal case," McQuade wrote. "Filing false registration and disclosure documents as part of a scheme to defraud can serve as the basis for federal mail or wire fraud, and often does in public corruption cases. When I served as a federal prosecutor, my former office brought public corruption cases on such theories in similar cases in which officials misused funds for personal benefit."