France in flames

While the battle over pension/retirement rights rumbles on in France with no sign of protesting workers becoming exhausted, as Macron was perhaps hoping for, the French police have again underlined their anti-worker, anti-poor, anti-immigrant reputation that they have justly earned throughout the yellow vest fuel price battles and various industrial and educational battles plus the current war on France’s streets waged against the masses by them on behalf of the French ruling class.  A 17 year old child, named only as Nahel, was shot at point-blank range on 27 June after allegedly failing to obey police officers who had told him to pull over in the west Paris suburb of Nanterre.  The media are reporting that this boy was driving without a licence but even the state prosecutor of Nanterre admits that this was not an incident that warranted the use of firearms. The police officer who fired the gun which killed the child has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Nahel had apparently been followed by police, they claim that they had blue flashing lights on, after being spotted driving “fast” in a bus lane in a Mercedes with a Polish number plate. When Nahel came to a standstill at a traffic light, the officers shouted to Nahel not to drive off again and pointed their guns at the vehicle. According to Pascal Prache, the state prosecutor in Nanterre, “The officer who shot the teenager has told investigators he had done so to ‘avoid the vehicle fleeing again’ and because of ‘the dangerousness of the driver, causing the officer to fear that someone could be knocked over’.”

Not only Paris but other major cities in France saw an immediate outpouring of anger against the police in general as people took to the streets in marches, protests and riots. 

The murdered child, Nahel, was a student at Louis-Blériot Lycée (sixth form college) in Suresnes. He worked nights delivering pizzas and played rugby league with Ovale Citoyen. 

Jeff Puech, chairman of Ovale Citoyen defended the memory of Nahel against those who have tried to portray him a some lawless thug, saying “He was someone who wanted to integrate socially and professionally, not a kid who lived off drug dealing or petty crime.”

President Macron who usually supports his uniformed thugs had to call the incident (murder) “inexplicable and unforgivable”, adding: “Nothing can justify the death of a young person,” before promising that there would be no leniency for the officer accused of killing Nahel. This was followed by a twitter message later expressing “gratitude to the forces of law and order who protect us”!  Of course, walking in the middle of the road runs the risk of being hit by traffic going in both directions. Not only are those angry protesters not believing that Macron is sincere in his statements about punishing this murderer in a police uniform but the police trade union are also not accepting his sincerity re his “gratitude” to them!

Nahel’s grieving mother has lost her only child, another youngster from an immigrant background, another boy from the poorer sections of France’s cities where the French police treat the communities in general and the young in particular as criminals just waiting to be jailed beaten or shot. Nahel had no criminal record yet even the British media when reporting on this have been trying to slur the child’s memory with inuendo but not a single fact.

This is being written as the second night of protests against the French police and Macron’s government take place in cities and towns across France with arson attacks reported on Fresnes prison in the Paris region overnight, the courthouse in nearby Asnières-sur-Seine was attacked as were numerous police stations across the country.  The French working class are open-eyed to who the French police work for and who they will always be against (certainly while capitalism is the political system) and once again, across the Channel in Britain, we have to wonder at the general lack of understanding on that score. And that lack of understanding here is why the British state can bring in such anti-worker laws that allow British police to do anything, including breaking laws, to keep us down.