France: Activists hold mock funeral for government's feminist agenda over cabinet nominations

Dozens of activists held a mock funeral for the French government's feminist agenda in Paris, on Tuesday, in protest of the nominations of Gerald Darmanin, who was accused of rape, as interior minister, and Eric Dupond-Moretti, who defended high-profile rape suspects, as justice minister. Protesters could be seen carrying a coffin reading «Great cause of the presidential term,» an expression used by French President Emmanuel Macron's administration to describe equality between men and women. A group of protesters also gathered outside the interior ministry in Place Beauvau, where they were confronted by police in riot gear patrolling the area. «Mr Darmanin is currently on trial for rape, which makes him not necessarily guilty, since his trial is ongoing, but it makes him someone whose exemplarity is completely under doubt, said one protester outside the interior ministry. «What is posing a problem is that he's been nominated to become France's top cop, meaning he'll have at his orders people who are supposed to be investigating his case,» said Pauline of the Nous Toutes feminist collective. Demonstrators also singled out Dupond-Moretti for statements critical of the Me Too movement. «For us and for all people who were victims of rape of assault, they're spitting in out face, really, because for months we've been denouncing — years even — that we've been denouncing violence, that we're breaking the [silence] when it comes to rape, assaults, domestic violence. And we have the feeling that we're heard but they don't care at all about what we have to say,» Typhene, a protester, said. Darmanin is under investigation for the alleged rape of Sophie Patterson-Spatz in 2009, an accusation which he denies. In June an appeals court in Paris ordered prosecutors to reopen the case after a series of appeals and dismissals. French President Emmanuel Macron office said Monday that the complaint was «not an obstacle» to his appointment as Minister of Interior.

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