French sings, faces racism in Australia
MELBOURNE- Agence France-Presse
This video posted on YouTube shows an unidentified bus passenger purportedly shouting abuse at a French woman as he gets off the vehicle. AFP PhotoAustralian police are investigating after bus passengers were caught on camera hurling a torrent of threatening and racist abuse at a French woman in an incident that went viral on YouTube.
The woman and a group of friends were returning from the beach when one of them began singing in her native tongue, prompting an angry reaction from some of the passengers on the packed bus. One aggressively demanded she “speak English or die” and then threatened to cut her breasts off. Another man pushing a pram joined in, shouting: “I’ll f... box cutter [knife] you right now, dog.”
The woman was then told “everybody on the bus wants to kill you” before the incident ended with a bus window being smashed. Parts of the incident were caught on camera by stand-up comedian Mike Nayna and the footage has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube, with the story picked up by French newspapers. Melbourne police said they were investigating “verbal threats and racist taunts towards a group of women travelling on a bus.”
The woman targeted, Fanny Desaintjores said she and her friends were terrified they would be physically assaulted. “I realize that maybe we shouldn’t sing on public transport, but I think that’s insane that they reacted like that. We’re all adults,” she said. “We could have a conversation, instead of all these threats.”
Victoria state Premier Ted Baillieu condemned the incident as “absolutely disgraceful.”