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Pensions: between firecrackers, cans and “unjustified distrust” of justice, several demonstrators tried in Paris


REPORT OF THE HEARING – Several demonstrators arrested on the sidelines of the violence at the end of the demonstration against the pension reform in Paris were tried in immediate appearance this Thursday, before the criminal court.

At first glance, nothing binds Margot and Eddy.

Him, a homeless man in his forties who navigates between the street and prison.

She, a sociology student on the benches of the faculty of Amsterdam.

He already has a heavy criminal record, marked by a conviction for rape in 2007. She was previously unknown to justice.

In the defendants' box this Thursday afternoon, he lowers his head when the president of the 23rd chamber of the Paris criminal court confronts him with his mistakes.

She is unimpressed with the court decorum she is facing for the first time.

Since her arrest, the young woman with colored hair has shown a certain "


“, notes the prosecutor.

Tried in immediate appearance, both were arrested on Tuesday during the violence which broke out on the sidelines of the Parisian demonstration against the pension reform.

The first knows that he is gambling on his freedom.

The second has the casualness of those who have never been deprived of it.

“Being drunk is no excuse”

As night fell on Tuesday, clashes between demonstrators and police erupted in the capital, especially around Nation.

This place in the south-east of Paris was plunged into a cloud of smoke from the fire of garbage cans and tear gas.

A total of 53 officials and 33 demonstrators were injured while 78 people were arrested, resulting in 76 placements in police custody.

Among them, there is therefore Eddy B. and Margot G. This Frenchman from Périgord is being prosecuted for "

degradation or deterioration of the property of others by a means dangerous for people

", "

violence on a national police official

" without ITT and "

no justification of his address by a person registered in Fijaivs",

that is, the sex offender file.

Behind the legal jargon, Eddy threw an empty can in the direction of the officials without causing any injuries.

He also set fire to a garbage bag.

As often, he was drunk, very drunk - 2.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood -.

His lawyer is trying to raise defects to have the procedure canceled, denouncing a “

prosecution which continues blindly

” and “

is no longer master of anything


In vain.

Eddy, full beard and graying hair on his temples, merges into muddled excuses: “

Why did you throw projectiles at the police and light a trash fire?

There was alcohol, lots of alcohol

,” he stammers.

Today I very much regret the facts.

Fortunately there were no injuries.


Being drunk is not an excuse, it's an aggravating circumstance

," sweeps the president.

Read also Pensions: the French support the movement, but expect radicalization

When the magistrate unfolds the defendant's life course, we quickly understand that the pension reform is not Eddy's first concern.

He has been "

in the street

" for years, chained stays in prison.

At almost 40 years old, he sleeps in the metro and eats thanks to an association.

The father of a foster daughter, he only has occasional family contact with his own mother.

He is a “ highly isolated

” man


This "

overall situation of precariousness

" is recognized by the prosecution, which emphasizes that the person concerned has "demonstrated

good faith since the beginning of his police custody


A rare posture, he assures, among the demonstrators arrested on the sidelines of the violence.

At the end of the deliberation, Eddy is sentenced to four months of imprisonment arranged in semi-freedom with a warrant of committal.

This sentence should make it possible to honor future appointments with social services for this man in great “

social distress


Generation Z invites itself into the courtrooms

When Margot succeeds him at the bar, she is not alone in the courtroom.

On the benches of the public, friends came to support the one who advances in the box, wrapped up in a large black sweatshirt.

Like her, they have the look of Generation Z, a smartphone grafted to their fingertips.

We can easily imagine this group of friends strolling in processions for the climate, women's rights or social justice.

The defendant, aged 23, has just spent more than 24 hours in police custody for "

possession of incendiary product

", in this case five firecrackers,

"violence on two persons holding public authority

“, but also having refused to give her smartphone code and carried out a DNA fingerprinting – to which the young woman ended up submitting.

Without going into the merits of the case, the president indicates that Margot threw glass bottles at the police while her face was hidden.

The young woman, born in Paris, currently lives in the Netherlands, where she is doing a gap year in her studies to work in the "

artistic field


She “

sets up lights on the theater stages


Why was she in Paris on the day of the demonstration?


On vacation

," she says succinctly.

Her behavior confirms the report of her police custody, in which it is specified that she “remained

evasive about her life course.”

The young woman wants a delay to prepare her defense and therefore requests a postponement of her trial.

Despite that "

unjustified mistrust

" towards the judicial authority, deplores the prosecutor, Margot has a clean criminal record.

The dismissal is granted.

Pending the hearing on May 11, the young woman is free to travel between France and the Netherlands, but is prohibited from participating in a demonstration in Paris.

Read alsoYoung, urban and politicized: these apprentice thugs who are demonstrating against pension reform

In total, only three demonstrators arrested on Tuesday in Paris were returned today for immediate appearance – the last being tried in a different chamber -.

According to a provisional report sent to Le


by the Paris public prosecutor's office, 18 other cases were closed, 8 people received a subsequent summons before the prosecutor's delegate, 16 were referred for presentation before the prosecutor's delegate, a was referred during an appearance on prior recognition of guilt (CRPC) and 7 police custody were extended.

These figures once again bear witness to the difficulty for the courts to characterize the offenses of the people arrested in the vicinity of the demonstrations.

But also, the inability of the security forces to arrest the members of the

black blocks

, the most dangerous agitators.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-03-30

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