George Floyd and Adama Traoré same fight? At a time when the United States is tearing apart over the issue of police violence and the racism that would gang up the police, the French victims have also decided to be heard. This Tuesday, June 2 in the evening, the Truth for Adama collective organized a rally on the forecourt of the Paris Court of Justice (17th century). A call to which more than ten thousand people answered despite the ban decided today by the prefecture of police due to the state of health emergency. A way of putting the organizers face to face with their responsibilities. A compact, dense, mixed and multicultural crowd arrived at the Porte de Clichy, well before the meeting time set at 7 p.m. Average age: 25 years old.
Between Minneapolis, where George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died on May 25 during a brutal arrest, and Paris, a red thread is immediately drawn by the main figure of the movement, Assa Traore, Adama's big sister died in 2016 after his arrest by gendarmes in Beaumont-sur-Oise (Val-d'Oise). “George Floyd took the weight of the police on the body, my brother too. The weight of three gendarmes, over 250 kg. Both had the same words before they died: "I can't breathe."
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With her megaphone, Assa Traoré harangues an already convinced crowd and sets the scene. "It is impossible to walk the streets of Paris without thinking now of George Floyd and all those who fell because of the violence of the police there, as here in France," she exposes. “And we are not here at the entrance to the Paris Tribunal. We are here because justice is complicit in the violence by the police, accuses Assa Traoré. Here, a judge covers the gendarmes who are involved in the death of my little brother. ”
"A fight of primary importance"
Each of his shocking sentences is punctuated by anti-police slogans: "the police kill" or "police, assassins!" " In this crowd which extends to the limits of the peripheral boulevard and on the street closed to traffic, dozens and dozens of panels still stand, like an echo of the American demonstrations. Anita, 31, a resident of Val-d'Oise, is an activist committed to the fight against violence against women. "I am white and I do not undergo daily police checks. But the fight against police violence is mixed with that which I defend, she says. Here again we are talking about a minority targeted by a balance of power. And then I protest against this police force, which does not enforce the law in the same way, depending on whether you are in the capital or in the suburbs. ”
On the porch of the court, under the words "liberty, equality of brotherhood", a small group of anti-fascist activists has just raised a flag with a slogan in English. "From Minneapolis to Beaumont (Editor's note: the city where Adama Traore was from) , let racists be afraid again". At the same time, political figures like Olivier Besancenot, ex-leader of the NPA (New Anti-Capitalist Party) or artists like Adèle Exarchopoulos, Adèle Haenel or Aissa Maïga make their way to the first circle of the collective grouped around Assa Traore. "I'm coming to defend the cause," breathes Adèle Exarchopoulos. I am here because it is a fight of primary importance. Police violence must no longer go unpunished. I want to believe it. It is also a question of education ”.
Next to the actress, Ismaël, in her twenties, agrees. “The Adama Traoré affair, I already heard about it when I lived in Morocco. Now, police violence is regularly filmed. This can change the mindset of the police. What is disturbing, moreover, is that the murder of George Floyd was filmed as if it were cinema ”.
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Around 8:30 p.m., the gathering colored by a few smoke bombs had not known any incidents, the crowd starting to disperse in calm. This event organized by the Truth for Adama collective took place in the context of a battle of experts on the causes of the young man's death. This Tuesday, an expert mandated by the family of the victim declared himself in favor of a death "following an asphyxia syndrome by ventral plating". In contrast to another expert report made at the end of last week, which exempts the gendarmes from all responsibility.