Sunday, November 20, 2005

No Prison, No Repression: Free Our Loves Ones!

Press Release from the Clos d'Emery Support Committee (Emerainville)
Tuesday, November 19th 2005

The facts:
On Tuesday November 8th, around noon, the Meaux criminal police carried out a raid in the Clos d’Emery neighbourhood in Emerainville. This raid was a police provocation. The thirty “agents of the peace” ripped apart two apartments, they handcuffed two mothers and a father, seized 1000 euros which have still not been returned, as well as two resident’s permits. And then they forced their way into all of the neighbourhood boxes. [translators note: could someone tell me what a “box du quartier” is?]


At this point, a man and his wife were bringing their children home from school, when they saw their garage being searched. The man didn’t understand what was happening and he demanded an explanation. So the police took him and began abusing him in front of his children. Four people who saw this situation deteriorating tried to intervene, and they were also arrested. A video-camera that was being used to film these events was also seized.

Those who were arrested were brought to the Noisiel police headquarters, where one of them was beaten by five police officers and then brought to the Meaux clinic. The next day, the five people who were arrested appeared in the Meaux criminal court, facing charges of outrage and rebellion.

The youngest one (a minor) was released while awaiting his verdict, while the others received sentences of 18 months, 15 months, and 12 months (twice) of jail time. While the neighbourhood had been relatively calm until now, thanks to the efforts of parents who patrolled the Clos at night, the prefect (with the support of the mayor) has imposed a curfew. Why do the authorities want to throw gasoline on the fire?

We reject these sentences

These heavy sentences are unacceptable and revolting. They are proof of a quick justice system that violates human rights. With the declaration of the State of Emergency, the courts are following the calls for strict sentences that have been made by Mr Sarkozy and Mr de Villepin, and this leads us to wonder whether the courts are in fact independent from the government.

We are family, friends, parents and neighbours of those who were arrested, as well as workers at the Van Gogh College, trade unionists, community activists and also simply outraged citizen – and we have formed a support committee.

The Committee demands and will act to obtain:

  • that the sentences be overturned on appeal

  • that action be taken against the police officers who violently attacked one of those arrested at the police headquarters

  • an end to police provocations

The Clos d’Emery Support Committee

Please note that the above text, giving yet another example of police abuse in a “sensitive” neighbourhood, comes from the website of the Mouvement de l'Immigration et des Banlieues

Please also note that i am translating this as i have not been able to find any radical accounts of the riots or the police racism that provoked them in English… i do not necessarily agree with the author’s point of view, nor do they necessarily agree with mine. Si quelqu’un a un meilleur texte à suggérer, svp envoyez-moi le!

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