Court Appearances

November 7th in Bobigny

The prosecutor consistently requested jail time, stating outright that an example should be set: “It is important that the accused and the other people in the courtroom all understand that these are serious charges and that the court has the intention of giving out heavy penalties…” Several times (and not only in this courtroom, it seems) the mere fact of having been in the street served as evidence against the accused. Anonymous denunciation was used as evidence for, according to the prosecutor, in this community “the population is afraid of reprisals.” Here was the tough stance called for by [Justice Minister] Clement :

What I heard in the hallways :

In Montreuil an young man was picked up at his parents home early in the morning. He was accused of turning over a car the night before. His older brothers were worried he would be cold, and wanted him to take a pull-over with him [when he war arrested]: one got a broken hand and 3 weeks ITT [not sure how to translate this – it obviously is some kind of time in medical care], the other got 4 days ITT; everyone was outraged and indignant! Finally, after several hours, the first brother was acquitted: it turns out it was not him who turned over the car! Their father got to take two of his sons home, though they are also charged with contempt, the son who is the most badly beaten was kept detained but i am not sure why. They are supposed to show up today at 1:30pm. But the cops were not finished with them and so this morning the cops - from Bobigny this time – came to get the first son for a new car that he is accused of having smashed up as he left the courthouse (when his father was bringing him home). I left before this came before the court, the lawyer has some questions, perhaps i will have more information later…

- rossalinda (posted to Indymedia Paris)

Please note that the above text about the court appearances of people arrested during the past twelve days riots comes from the Indymedia Paris website and was translated by yours truly. I have a “fast and loose” translation philosophy, meaning that when there is a choice between readability and the original phraseology i tend to favour the former, provided that the meaning stays the same. I felt this was an important text as it gives the first indication of how the repression is actually playing out in the working class and immigrant areas affected by the rebellion. Unfortunately, it was written with a lot of slang and with terms and spellings that were not the usual, so it was difficult to translate, though i believe i got the meaning of everything correct The original document can be seen in French.

A few points can be ascertained from this report:

Unfortunately, “Rossalinda” does not give many details about the people arrested, beyond that some of them were students. One imagines, given the description that has been given of Bobigny, that most of these men are from immigrant communities, and that this plays a role in who gets arbitrarily picked up. But this is conjecture, as such details were not included in the Indymedia posting…

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 site.

The document can also be viewed on my blog (where you can leave comments) here.

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