Black Rights Activist Convicted For Defacing Colonial Statue In France

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Gabrielle Temaat Contributor
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A Black rights activist was convicted Monday by a French court for defacing a colonial statue, according to The Associated Press.

Franco Lollia painted “State Negrophobia” on the statue of Jean-Baptiste Colbert in June of 2020. The activist thought the statue was offensive to the descendants of slaves, according to the AP.

Colbert was a 17th-century royal minister who took part in governing slaves in overseas French colonies. The royal minister’s infamous “Black Code” permitted slave owners to brand slaves, cut off their ears and execute them for attempting to escape, the AP reported.

The statue is located outside Parliament in Paris, according to the AP.

“We feel deeply insulted. They spit in our face democratically every day with this statue in front of the National Assembly, the so-called house of the people,” said Lollia, according to the AP. (RELATED: 7 Arrested In Miami For Vandalizing Christopher Columbus Statue, Spraying Communist Symbol) 

The court ordered Lollia to pay a fine of 500 euros and 1,040 euros in damages to the French Parliament. Lollia’s attorney, Guy Florentin, plans to appeal the decision. He has also asked the state to remove the statue, the AP reported.

Florentin accused the justice system of being slavery apologists and trying to make Lollia “look like a delinquent” rather than a racial justice activist, the AP reported.

“State negrophobia has won a battle but not the war. We will continue our fight,” said Lollia, according to the AP. “We are also going to sue the authorities for defending crimes against humanity.”