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French ACT-UP Activist Acquitted in Court


French gay magazine Tetu reveals that the former President of the direct action campaign group ACT UP in Paris has been aquitted of defamation by the courts. A case against him was brought by Helene Bidard, a Stalinist feminist and member of the authoritarian Partie Communiste Francais. Bidard had opposed all sex work in the Capital in her role as a deputy Mayor of the city. When a transgender sex worker, Jessyca Sarmiento, was murdered, ACT UP’s President Marc-Antoine Bartoli remarked on how the sexphobic Communist deputy had contributed to the environment in which the sex worker had died. Many LGBTQI+ activists saw Hélène Bigard's lawsuit as a gag procedure, aimed at judicially harassing the former president of Act Up in order to create a feeling of self-censorship. "We see, in this defamation attack by the elected representative Hélène Bidard on the then president of the association Act Up-Paris Marc-Antoine Bartoli, a misuse of justice to limit the freedom of expression of activists," proclaimed an article published by Têtu· and supported by 86 human rights activists. 

the Left
Sex Work
Sex Workers
ACT-UP Paris
France; Europe

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