Reform, Defund, or Dismantle the Police? A French Perspective on the Movement in the United States

Police violence and racism confront workers and minorities in both France and the United States. France’s capitalist leaders insist that what happens on the other side of the Atlantic is irrelevant and reject any discussion of defunding or dismantling the police. The authors put the lie to their contention.

“France is not the United States.” Over and over, that is the refrain from those seeking to stigmatize the demonstrations in recent weeks here in France against police violence and racism. To that they add, over and over, that the demonstrations are a form of ethnic factionalism, that they are divisive, that they are a threat to the “Republic.” Indeed, in view of the latest statements by Macron, the right wing, and the extreme right opposition, it is true that “France is not the United States.”

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Continue reading “Reform, Defund, or Dismantle the Police? A French Perspective on the Movement in the United States”

The nurse arrested during a demonstration in Paris will be tried for “contempt” and “violence”

The nurse arrested Tuesday during the Parisian defense demonstration of the public hospital came out of police custody Wednesday June 17 in the afternoon with a summons to the criminal court for September 25, announced on Wednesday the prosecution of Paris This 50-year-old woman, who will be tried for “contempt” and “violence without total interruption of work (ITT)” on a person holding public authority, admitted the facts during her police custody.

During her hearing, this 50-year-old nurse working at the Paul-Brousse hospital in Villejuif (Val-de-Marne) admitted that she threw stones at the police, according to a source familiar with the matter. ‘Agence France-Presse (AFP). But, she said, her anger was not directed at the police but at the state. She said she fell apart.

The nurse told, still according to this close source, the harshness of her profession, working days from ten hours to fourteen hours at the height of the epidemic of Covid-19, the death of twenty patients during this period, its presence with them, his fatigue and a positive serology to the virus. A support rally was held for 16 hours in front of the police station of the 7 th  arrondissement, where she had been placed in custody.

Highly shared videos on social networks

Questioned by the press on Wednesday after the Council of Ministers, the government spokeswoman, Sibeth Ndiaye, justified this arrest which “follows a jet of projectiles made by this lady”, she said, and ”  was carried out taking into account the previously known behavior” of this woman. She, however, declined to comment on the way in which the nurse was arrested, adding that the government condemned “firmly” the disorders caused by “thugs” and “black blocks” at the end of the Paris demonstration .

Several videos of the nurse’s arrest were taken up on social networks. We see a woman wearing a white blouse arrested unceremoniously by the police when scuffles broke out when the procession arrived on the Esplanade des Invalides. The nurse asked for her Ventoline, a medicine used by people with asthma.

Other videos show the same person throwing projectiles at the police a few minutes earlier. “A woman, a nurse by profession, was arrested for contempt and throwing projectiles at the police,” a police source told AFP on Tuesday.

“I was not there, and it appears, taking into account the images, that this arrest followed the criminal acts carried out by this lady,” repeated Ms. Ndiaye. “A police officer hit by one of these projectiles will file a complaint,” Wednesday said a police source.

The Prefecture of Police reported thirty-two arrests linked to these scuffles. Clashes between thugs and police also took place in Lille, on the sidelines of the procession in which the outgoing mayor, Martine Aubry (PS) participated, but also in Toulouse and Nantes.

Source: The nurse arrested during a demonstration in Paris will be tried for “contempt” and “violence”

Paris bans George Floyd protest planned at US Embassy

PARIS – French police have banned a demonstration planned to take place in front of the US Embassy in Paris on Saturday as protests mount around the world over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The Paris police department said on Friday it had decided to ban the demonstrations because of the risks of social disorder and health dangers from large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trouble had broken out at another anti-police demonstration in the French capital on Wednesday. Thousands had turned up despite a police ban on the event in memory of Adama Traore, a 24-year old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation which some have likened to Floyd’s death.

Unrest has broken out across the United States after the killing of Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died after a white policeman pinned his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25.

Source: Paris bans George Floyd protest planned at US Embassy

‘Everyone is very worried’: Paris shops hit by ongoing strike


Three weeks before Christmas, Paris’s landmark department stores are virtually empty of shoppers as a result of the ongoing transport strike. Shopkeepers are worried for their future if it continues.

December is the most important month for shopkeepers, but Paris shops had a distinct lack of customers for the first Saturday of the month.

Landmark department stores, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, had few customers on Saturday, December 7. Three Saturdays before Christmas, it was also day three of a transport strike protesting the government’s proposed pension reform.

This strike has paralysed much of Paris and has been termed ‘unlimited’, which means there is no set finish date. There are genuine fears that it could last at least another week; some are even predicting it might continue until Christmas.

There were some cars on Boulevard Haussmann and on other main streets, but the pavements were noticeably thin on pedestrians. There was a distinct absence of crowds in the traditional build-up to Christmas that many shops depend on. Few were stopping to admire the Christmas windows

‘We’re fearing for our survival’: Independent shops at risk

If the big department stores are worrying about their revenues, small independent shops have to worry about their actual survival.

“We’re fearing for our survival,” stated the union representing independent shopkeepers in a letter published in Le Parisien this week, imploring shoppers not to let the transport strike stand in their way and to shop in this month crucial to shopkeepers.

“For more than a year, there have been protests every Saturday by Yellow Vests, lawyers, police officers, nurses… and our customers have turned on their heels.”

“In Paris, Lille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Rouen, many of us saw our turnover drop. Some of us are drowning in bank charges, struggling to repay loans and have even closed down shops,” the union wrote.

Shops are the hearts of cities, they appealed, but customers are the heart of merchants. Without customers pushing through the door, they will have to shut and cities will die [ . . .  ]

Read more at FRANCE 24: ‘Everyone is very worried’: Paris shops hit by ongoing strike

Violence against women: tens of thousands of people in the street, “a historic mobilization”

March against violence against women took place everywhere in France this Saturday. They brought together tens of thousands of people in Paris and in about thirty cities. The collective #NousToutes welcomes a historic mobilization.

The collective #NousToutes greets ” the biggest march in the history of France ” against gender-based violence. Tens of thousands of people marched this Saturday in Paris and in thirty cities in France to denounce violence against women and too many feminicides since the beginning of the year. 

Thirty or so organized marches brought together 150,000 people, according to the feminist collective #NousToutes, including 100,000 in Paris . The Occurrence cabinet counted 49,000 protesters in the capital during its count for a media collective.  Continue reading “Violence against women: tens of thousands of people in the street, “a historic mobilization””