(Paris) Rallies took place Thursday in several cities in France to denounce President Emmanuel Macron’s support for actor Gérard Depardieu, charged with rape, and to defend victims of sexual violence.

The rallies initiated by feminist associations in around thirty cities each brought together a few dozen people, more in Paris with 300 to 400 people, according to AFP journalists.

“A rapist is a rapist, stop impunity, whether he is an actor, CEO or Mr. Everyman”, “victims, we believe you, rapists we see you”, chanted demonstrators gathered not far from the headquarters of the presidency, the Élysée.

Three members of Femen held up, topless, signs reading “Let’s break the silence and the old world! » “Patriarchy you’re screwed,

In the crosshairs of the demonstrators, the remarks made by Emmanuel Macron on December 20 on television. The president gave his support to Gérard Depardieu, charged with rape and targeted by three complaints for sexual assault or rape which he refutes, calling him a “huge actor” who makes France “proud” and denouncing a “hunt for ‘man “.

“The fact that a President of the Republic expresses himself like that without taking into account the victims for two minutes and resolutely takes the side of the alleged rapist is very serious,” Suzy Rojtman, spokesperson for the national collective, told AFP for women’s rights.

Among the demonstrators, the actress Charlotte Arnould, who filed a complaint against Gérard Depardieu, leading to his indictment in 2020 for rape and sexual assault, or the actress Anna Mouglalis.

“There is a gap between what the President of the Republic thinks and what is actively happening in French society,” Anna Mouglalis told AFP, saying she was “shocked” by Mr. Macron’s comments.

In Lille, around fifty people gathered in the center.

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In Marseille, the gathering brought together some 80 people, the vast majority of them women. “Macron’s comments […] sent me into a rage,” explains Annick Karsenty, president of Femmes Solidaires Marseille.