No to the mask of censorship on police violence

MARTINIQUE

Sunday 6 December 2020, by Groupe Révolution Socialiste (GRS)

This statement appeared in “Révolution socialiste” (Martinique) bulletin number 177, Friday 27 November 2020. Martinique, like Guadeloupe are colonies of France and considered as départements of France.

We publish below a statement on our initiative, signed very quickly by more than twenty people outraged by the delusional desire of the government to hide from the public images illustrating increasingly often police violence. We know the saying: fools lift a stone to drop it on their feet.

The Macronians of the National Assembly had barely finished voting their villainous law when the news suddenly gave clear evidence of the salutary role that the dissemination of videos documenting police violence can play.

After the outrageous attacks against asylum seekers who have been victims of double or triple punishment, here is a new case: a Paris-based show promoter from Martinique was violently manhandled by a horde of enraged police officers unable to give any serious excuse for their bestial relentlessness.

Those at the summit of the state can hardly remain silent. But the question that arises is simple: what would be the fate of the victims of this violence without the videos that show them?

And this question raises others:

Have the police unions, so quick to cry out when they are called into question, become deaf? Blind? Mute? Do they not have the slightest word to say to fight against the amalgams that such misdeeds facilitate?

And could journalists not set the example of a firm protest faced with the will of the government to prohibit them – in fact and in spite of the verbal subtleties of the famous article of law – from broadcasting videos of these police exploits?

It is urgent that this fight be led before the installation of this new freedom-killing law.

Statement

The law aiming in effect to ban the filming of police violence is the subject of strong and legitimate opposition in France. In truth, if the most contested article of this bill became reality, it would be, even with the tactical adjustments discussed, one of the most serious attacks on liberties since the war in Algeria.

This law has an appearance. It is supposedly a measure intended to protect members of the security forces from calls for popular revenge.

It has a more sinister reality. To prevent the dissemination of videos on police violence that have been emailed in recent months in France and in the colonies.

In the latter, it is common knowledge that the light thrown on the misdeeds of repression is the main instrument in the fight against impunity from which their perpetrators have too often benefited.

The hypocrisy of the official argument has escaped no one. The legal arsenal making it possible to punish the possible endangering of the integrity of the police officers is too abundant for anyone to believe in the need to supplement it.

Hiding high deeds of repression from the people, reducing to nothing the cases of brutality against Keziah, the Gilets jaunes who have lost eyes or had their hands torn off, those like Adama Traoré and Chouviat, tortured to death: this is the goal pursued.

A carte blanche for the cameras of the police but prison and fines for those of journalists, activists, even simple observers.

A superficial observation would lead us to believe that this liberticidal project would be a good deal for the police, the gendarmerie, the public prosecutor, the established order.

In reality, the cover that would be offered to the “black sheep” is more likely to cast suspicion on the entire police force, to undermine confidence in the “rule of law”.

The outcry against this project must become widespread. Journalists, democrats, activists, citizens, parliamentarians, all must face up to the threat of which this scandalous article [in the law] is only one eloquent example.

No to censorship ! No to restrictions on the right to information!

The first signatories:

Philippe Pierre Charles – Gilbert Pago – Marie Jo Sellaye Hardy-Dessources – Max Dorléans – Louis Félix Osier-La Fontaine – Max Rustal – Jacqueline Tally – Félix Relautte – Malou Broche – Fabrice Célestin – Patrick Chamoiseau – Valery-Ann Emond-Mariette – Francine Alimelie – Frédéric Constant – Renée Ravoteur – Emmanuelle Clément – George Arnauld – Muriel Ameller – Laurent K. Ursulet – Laurent Troudard – Alexandre Goffin – Marcel Sellaye – Rita Bonheur – Isabelle Hilaire – Daniel Justin – Raphael Constant – Edmond Lerider.

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