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Protest outside JD Sports following racist incident

16:23 12/11/2019

A few dozen activists took to the Médiacité shopping centre in Liège at the weekend to protest at the racist incident that took place at JD Sports a couple of weeks ago. The protest is the latest in a series of events that began when a video of the manager’s behaviour made the rounds on social media.

Staff who work in the outlet in Liège are always searched at closing to make sure they haven’t stolen anything. On the day show in the video, the manager told her staff to break up into three groups of ‘arabes’ (Arabic speaking), ‘gwères’ (European) and ‘macaques’ (a slur for black people).

In the days following the 3 November release of the video on social media, youth ransacked shelves and stole merchandise from both the Liège and Brussels outlets of the British chain of sportswear. Then last Saturday, activists protested outside the shop in Liège, which remained closed.

Police said that the protest was peaceful and no arrests were made. The manager’s behaviour is “unacceptable in the 21st century,” one of the protestors said. “We want a written public apology, not just a press release. That’s why we’re here today.”

The manager was taken in for questioning by the police after the release of the video. If found guilty of a hate crime, she faces a hefty fine and a year in jail. She has already been fired from her job at JD Sports.

A JD Sports outlet was also plundered yesterday in Amsterdam, but it’s not known if the incident was related to the Belgian situation.

Photo courtesy VRT

Written by Lisa Bradshaw