Thousands of people, including leftist political leaders, gathered Tuesday evening in Paris to salute the memory of Georges Floyd whose funeral was organized at the same time in Houston (Texas), AFP journalists found. This tribute to this 46-year-old African American, killed on May 25 in Minneapolis by a white police officer, gathered 2,400 people on Republic Square, according to the police prefecture.
The crowd gathered at the call of SOS Racisme observed, kneeling on the ground, eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence, the length of time during which Derek Chauvin, charged with murder, maintained his knee on the neck of George Floyd, tackled to the ground and complaining of not being able to breathe. Several signs were brandished by the Parisian participants as "I say no to racism" , "White men are born free and equal" or "George Floyd, Cédric Chouviat, same police, same racism, same asphyxiation" , with reference to the delivery man who died in January in Paris during a controversial arrest.
"Me, it affects me directly, I have a friend who died 15 years ago, it's been 25 years that we eat that," says Sabri Noureddine. "What we are saying is the tip of the iceberg," said the 38-year-old electrician.
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The singer and actress Camélia Jordana, who sparked controversy in May after accusing the police of "massacring" men and women for their skin color, came to sing We shall overcome , an anthem of the civil rights movement.
Several leaders of the left and the Greens - Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI), Olivier Faure (PS), Yannick Jadot (EELV), Fabien Roussel (PCF) - were present. "There is a movement that is emerging in awareness in the country against the horrible contamination of racism, where we would not want to see it, in an important body, the police," said the leader of France. Insubordinate.
Gatherings of a few hundred people also took place in peace in Mulhouse, Colmar, Metz, Bordeaux and Grenoble, or even in Dijon, where a few incidents took place.
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The Paris demonstration, unlike the previous ones, had not been banned by the police headquarters. The state of health emergency prohibits the public gatherings of more than ten people " but the global emotion, which is healthy on this subject, goes beyond the legal rules which apply" , had declared the minister of the morning 'Interior Christophe Castaner. The death of George Floyd, who has become a symbol of police violence, has aroused unprecedented worldwide outrage and pushed tens of thousands of people onto the streets to protest racism and police brutality and to demand "justice" .
At the request of Emmanuel Macron, Christophe Castaner announced Monday several measures to improve police ethics, including the systematic suspension of agents "for each proven suspicion of acts or racist remarks" . “The Minister of the Interior has provided answers, but I would like to say that it is already positive to recognize racism within the police. It is normal that citizens want the police to be beyond reproach, " said Dominique Sopo, president of SOS Racisme.