Thousands protest French Roma policy
Thousands of people demonstrated in France on Saturday against the government's handling of Roma migrants, dpa reported.
Protesters in a dozen cities demanded an end to what they called the xenophobic polices of President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Since the beginning of the year, the government has deported more than 8,000 Romanians and Bulgarians to their home countries. Most of them are members of the Roma minority.
"Stop racism," "No to Sarkozy's inhuman policies," read some of the placards at the protests organized by leftist groups and trade unions.
British actress-singer Jane Birkin took part in one rally at the Immigration Ministry in Paris.
The French president and cabinet ministers responsible for domestic politics have come under growing criticism over the deportations and for linking Roma to crime.
France insists it is within European Union law to deport EU citizens who have been in the country longer than three months but do not have jobs, health insurance and are unable to support themselves and their family members.