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18th May – 24th May (Paris: the affair of the burning police car)

This post is taken from a new very interesting new blog dedicated to Paris riots. The blog is named: La Serveuse Notes on the movement against the loi du travail, by a waitress 

After Wednesday the 18th’s demonstration, as part of which a police car was burnt, 5 people were arrested and had their houses searched. They seemed to have been chosen at random, and this choosing was justified by the fact that they’d received a ‘prohibition notice’ forbidding them from attending Tuesday (17th) morning’s protest. This notice was cancelled on Tuesday morning and was no longer active. One was released after being detained for 1 day, and the remaining four were presented to the judge on Saturday, accused of:

– attempted homicide

– wilful violence toward someone of public authority

– damage to public property

– participation in an armed gathering.

The severity of the accusations seemed to have been also influenced by the directive of Minister of Defence Bernard Cazeneuve, who demanded the harshest sentence possible for those involved, after describing his feelings:

“I found it extremely shocking to see individuals around, documenting the scene with cameras, without moving or helping, as if it were a normal state of affairs. I will have an extreme difficulty to consider that behind those hoards of barbarians something that resembles humanity still exists”

The four, seemingly arbitrarily selected, were granted a period of a few days before going to the judge, but were sent to prison anyway, and were held until three were released on Tuesday evening. Lawyers said publicly that the case rested on an empty folder, and that the four were being targeted at random, because of their individual records. The only evidence in the case was to be a testimony from one BAC (plain clothes policeman at the scene). Indeed, the prefecture of police released a statement on Thursday detailing that the four were ‘known to them from antifascist groups’, as if this were, in itself a crime. Three were released on bail on the night of Tuesday 24th, the police union are up in arms.

The defence collective’s communiqué  from the 23rd of May is linked here.

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