No Prison, No Repression: Free Our Loves Ones!
Press Release from the Clos d'Emery Support Committee (Emerainville)
November 19th 2005
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.
This originally came from my blog - Sketchy Thoughts
- and is one of a number of pieces i wrote or translated regarding the
riots that rocked France in October and November 2005. To see the a complete
list of such posts, i suggest you check out the 2005 Riots In France page on the Kersplebedeb