The weekend saw continued protests against police brutality across France in the wake of the state murder of Remi Fraisse. Angry battles were fought with the police in Nantes on Saturday. Gathering in front of the prefecture, a crowd of 3-4000 people were heard chanting:
« Rémi, Zyed, Bouna, on n’oublie pas, on ne pardonne pas ! »
(Rémi, Zyed, Bouna, we don’t forget, we don’t forgive!)
« La police assassine, Nantes, debout, soulève toi ! »
(The police kill, Nantes, rise up!)
« Des blessés aujourd’hui, la manif n’est pas finie ! »
(Injuries today – the demo ain’t finished)
The cops fired tear gas and flash balls (made of hard rubber), resulting in many injuries; three protesters have already lost an eye to flash balls this year in Nantes alone. Stun-grenade like weapons of the kind that killed Remi were also launched into the crowd. Yet far from dispersing people, this only spurred them on, with protestors throwing anything they could get their hands on at the police. At least 21 arrests were made.
…Meanwhile, similar battles were being fought on the streets of Toulouse, where shops and cashpoints were attacked at least a dozen people were arrested.
In Paris on Sunday, there was a repeat of the state tactics of containment and arrest seen in the city on Wednesday. An unauthorised demo had been called at Stalingrad metro station for 3pm, but plainclothes cops stalked the streets and dozens of people were pre-emptively arrested. Around 100 arrests were made in total (although the mainstream media say 75).
The French Green Party (Europe Ecologie des Verts) proved themselves officially 100% useless by coming out in explicit condemnation of the ‘violent masked extremists’, even having the gall to claim that the protesters were sullying Remi’s memory.
Many more demos are due to take place over the coming weeks.