Soup not racist, says judge

A judge has ruled a French charity can continue serving pork soup to homeless people as it does not constitute racism.

Solidarité des Francais (SDF) has links with a far-right organisation called Bloc Identitaire and has been accused of deliberately discriminating against Muslims and Jews, who do not eat pork.

The SDF website lists the sums the French government gives to third world countries and immigrant organisations under the heading 'No money for our poor?'

The soup was first distributed in the winter of 2004, but was banned by Paris city council on the grounds it was racist and discriminatory.

However, a Paris judge ruled on 28 December 2006 that the organisation could distribute the soup and the charity immediately reopened its soup kitchens.

The socialist mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, responded on 5 January.

"Faced with this initiative, which stinks of xenophobia, I confirm the will of the city council to denounce and to combat all forms of discrimination, racism and anti-Semitism," he said.

SDF lawyer Frederic Pichon told France Info radio: "No-one has ever been able to prove that anyone has been refused soup or clothes on the grounds of their religion or race."