New demonstrations were organized in France on Saturday to denounce police violence.
The support committee for Adama Traoré called for a “popular mobilization” on Saturday to demand “truth and justice” regarding the death of this young man in July 2016 following his arrest by the gendarmerie in the Val-d’Oise. According to authorities, 15,000 protesters gathered in Republic Square on Saturday.
For his part, Christophe Castaner assured his troops of his support, and he praised them “for the commitment and professionalism with which they have secured, everywhere in France, today’s demonstrations”. On Friday, the Minister of the Interior confirmed the removal of the strangulation technique.
Adama Traoré’s sister, Assa, said earlier: “Today is a gathering to denounce the denial of justice, police violence, social violence, racial violence.” According to the young woman, “the death of George Floyd echoed the death of my little brother in France”. She called “victory” the fact that “France recognizes that there is racism in the police, in the gendarmerie”.
On the fringes of an anti-racist rally in Paris on June 13, activists from the nationalist movement Generation Identitaire ascended a rooftop in Place de la République, where they displayed a giant banner denouncing anti-white racism.
“Justice for Victims of Anti-White Racism”: Identity generation displayed a banner at the top of a building overlooking the protest. “White lives matter”, he also writes.
Protesters are buzzing over the identity generation banner. “Down with the fachos,” they shout in particular.
This action clearly outraged the protesters on the ground, who then slammed Identity Generation activists, among the bird names that sprung up, a demonstrator (or several – the video does not let anyone know) repeatedly launched “dirty Jews!” ringers against them, as the weekly Valors Actueurs reports in a video.
"Sales juifs", crient des manifestants antiracistes ulcérés par une banderole de #GénérationIdentitaire pour les victimes de racisme antiblancs.
— Valeurs actuelles ن (@Valeurs) June 13, 2020
The banner was finally torn apart, with the applause of the crowd. Twelve ultra-right activists were arrested. A total of 26 people were arrested this Saturday, on the margins of the rally at Place de la République.
In a quick tweet, the Paris police prefecture reported that the prefect had “reported these anti-Semitic comments to justice.” In the aftermath, the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) condemned the statement, but also the activists of the Generation Identitaire, who called themselves “right-wing identitarians who are part of a political tradition that holds all the patents for anti-Semitism.” On the political side, the reactions are diametrically opposed between the framework of the Jean Messiha National Rally, for whom this anti-Semitism “does not shock anyone since he is not White”, and the leader of France insubmissive Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who believes that the police prefecture’s statement “incites hatred by peddling anti-Semitic gossip”.
Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to make a speech on TV on Sunday night. The speech will be listened to by anti-racist activists waiting for action as well as by exhausted law enforcement.
So Emmanuel Macron will close this page of the health crisis and talk now about the economic crisis to come. There is the question of the last restrictions, of school, of economic activity, of massive destruction of jobs. All these questions cannot wait until early July, just before the first holidays. There is an urgent need, and it must be addressed. There is also a heavy political atmosphere as the president is seeking national cohesion, broad goals to share.
A deeply fractured country
Protests against police violence, against racism have reminded us that our country is deeply fractured. In the background what is being played out is serious. It is the authority of the state, it is the youth, it is the awakening after the Covid-19 of a multitude of challenges. What is happening may come to outshine the messages that Emmanuel Macron wants to convey to the rest of the five-year term. And then we have to end the shallot competitions in the majority.
And on that, it also needs to move a little further. Emmanuel Macron must begin to explain what he wants to do, because, as one former adviser once put it, “we are in complex thinking.” He consults economists, trade unions, intellectuals, and awaits proposals from assembly presidents, hospital consultations, and citizens’ climate ideas. The president does not want to be alone in proposing solutions.
That’s the message he’s sending to those they’re meeting right now. But to make everyone understand this approach and this new way of doing things, it is still easier for him to say it himself, directly to the French.
Martin Luther King said:
“We have to learn to live together as brothers, otherwise we will all die together as idiots.” “Hate is disturbing life; love makes her harmonious. Hate obscures life; love makes her bright.” “Everyone has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” “The human race must emerge from conflicts by rejecting revenge, aggression and revenge. The way out is love.”