(Photo: Protesters at the Arc de Triomphe, 18 June 2010/Benoit Tessier)
A “sausage and wine” party went ahead in Paris despite a police ban but was staged near the Arc de Triomphe instead of in a neighbourhood with many Muslim residents as originally planned. Friday’s event had been criticised as highly provocative because it was planned for the day of weekly Muslim prayers and the World Cup soccer match between England and Algeria, a former French colony that is majority Muslim.
The mayor of Paris had said the event was “clearly inspired by extreme right-wing movements.” Paris police banned the party in the multiethnic Goutte d’Or neighbourhood because it risked sparking disturbances. The French daily Le Parisien estimated that 600 to 800 people gathered on the Champs Elysées near the Arc de Triomphe to eat pork sausages and drink wine at what organisers called a “giant cocktail party.”
The event was announced on Facebook late last month and drew criticism from politicians and civic groups because the Facebook page contained thinly veiled anti-Muslim slogans. A similar party planned for a largely Muslim area of Lyon in eastern France was cancelled after pressure from the police, the organiser said on the event’s Facebook page.
(Photo: Protester (in tan hat) waves pork sausage at a “sausage and wine party” on 18 June 2010/Benoit Tessier)