French commemoration of the abolition of slavery on May 10 2009

In France 'la marche de la Mémoire' (the march of memory) will take place in Marseille on May 10th around 13:30. The march is organised by PACA, an association for the collective memory of slavery. 

PACA is an association which brings individuals and corporations together seeking to convey the history of slave trade, slavery and its abolition. France is the first major Western country to officially commemorate its slavery abolition

President Chirac set the day of May 10th for commemorating the memory of slavery and its abolition. France also became the first major Western country to adopt legislation recognizing the slave trade as a "crime against humanity" when the French Parliament passed the Taubira Act on 10 May 2001. 

The law was named afther the French politician Christiane Taubira. On 4 February 1794, the First Republic (Convention) voted for the abolition of slavery in all French colonies. 

The abolition decree stated that "the Convention declares the slavery of the Blacks abolished in all the colonies; consequently, all men, irrespective of colour, living in the colonies are French citizens and will enjoy all the rights provided by the Constitution." Official website of the French ‘Comité pour la Mémoire de l’Esclavage’

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