France condemns far-right protest targeting Black lawmaker

PARIS (AP) — France’s interior minister vowed Saturday to fight “hateful ideology” after far-right extremists posted photos of a protest outside the offices of a Black lawmaker.

The lawmaker, Sira Sylla, tweeted a photo of the small demonstration along with the words “You will never affect me.”

The photo showed five white men holding placards and a banner that read: “Help the French, not the Africans.” The posters and banner all bore the name of a far-right extremist group. The two men holding the banner also waved lit flares.

Sylla, a lawyer from the Normandy town of Rouen, where she was born, is a member of French President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic on the Move! party. In her tweet, she said she was “more determined than ever!”

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Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted his support and described the targeting of Sylla as “vile.”

He said France won’t “cede an iota to the hateful ideology of these extremist groups.”

The same photo and two others like it were posted on a Telegram channel seemingly set up by a Normandy wing of the anti-immigration far-right group.

A posting on the channel said the militants’ protest at the lawmaker’s office in the outskirts of Rouen was “to remind her of the need for priorities: help the French!”

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For AP coverage of racial injustice issues: https://apnews.com/Racialinjustice

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