More than a thousand coloured workers took to the streets of Paris on December 18 to protest against what they claim is racial discrimination by the French government.
GV Demonstrators with banners standing in Paris street.
SV Demonstrators waving banners. (5 SHOTS)
SVs Banners. (5 SHOTS)
GV Demonstrators in street.
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Background: More than a thousand coloured workers took to the streets of Paris on December 18 to protest against what they claim is racial discrimination by the French government. Most of the demonstrators were Algerian - part of the 1.5 million-strong Algerian community in the country. They were demanding that the government loosen controls, and that officials show a greater respect towards the immigrant community. The demonstration was timed to coincide with the state visit to France of the Algerian President, Chadli Benjedid - the first such visit of an Algerian head of state since Algeria won independence from France 20 years ago. Relations between the two countries had become severely strained under President Giscard d'Estaing, but improved dramatically when the Socialist government of Francois Mitterrand came to power in May 1981. The new government negotiated to buy vast quantities of Algerian gas at almost one third above world market rates. Demonstrating Algerians on December 18 claimed, Washington, that French customs officials had turned away almost 17,000 of their countrymen from French frontier posts during the past year. This, they argued, was in clear breach of the bilateral agreement the two designed to allow Algerians entry to France for three months simply on the presentation of a passport.