After the “tragedy” of the Fouquet’s fire at the time of ultimatum 1, the government and the media found a new target to discredit the uprising of the Yellow Vests and divert the glance away from police violence, the attacks on liberties, and the social demands : 20 people (out of at least 15,000 demonstrators) chanted to the police, for 30 seconds, “Commit suicide”.
If the condemnation of these remarks is entirely logical, even desirable, the extent of this condemnation makes it totally obsolete. It shows that it is only a political and media strategy. This Saturday, April 20th, the Republic (and the Place de la République) was deeply scorned, humiliated, and stained. And not only by 30 seconds of chanting of the worst taste. By other acts, physical, just as violent and dangerous. This is a serious time and it is up to everyone to look at the situation in the face.
For five months more than 300,000 different people (probably double) have taken to the streets during one of the 23 acts of the Yellow Vests. Many millions of people still support the movement, despite the many demonisation campaigns. Whether we agree or disagree with this movement, anyone claiming to defend democracy and the Republic must look at the situation as it is, factually: these activists are now treated like second-class citizens. not having the same rights as the others. Wearing a yellow vest can now result in a fine. Having tools in one’s car boot and a yellow vest can result in stiff prison sentences. The presumption of innocence has been totally reversed. Evidence that a person could have committed crimes or misdemeanours is enough to have them convicted.
We are talking about thousands of abusive arrests, thousands of acts of police violence without justification (there are supporting photos and videos). We are talking about citizens who have lost hands or eyes, with fractured ribs. There is talk of law enforcement preventing journalists from accessing the hospitals where victims are being treated. There are orders for nurses to list the names of the injured Yellow Vests. We are talking about journalists who were beaten up and placed in custody, added to the “fiche S” dossier, and now banned from going to Paris on days of demonstrations. We are talking about thousands of people confined to a place and gassed for more than three hours, with dozens of police charges. We are talking about France in 2019. A France that has never been so close to sinking into totalitarianism. In front of the eyes of everyone.
So yes, those who today spend more time indignant at the singing of 20 people rather than the totalitarian trend of the government are clearly complicit in this trend. And if in every profession the top of the pyramid totally needs this complicity in order to maintain their privileges, those who are at the base should no longer accept it. Policemen, journalists, politicians: Wake up!
To law enforcement: your job is to serve the citizens and to protect them. In fact, initially you were not “forces of order” but peacekeepers. If your obedience to the orders of the hierarchy is necessary in your profession, you must also worry about the consequences of these orders and your actions. You must serve the country and the citizens, and not the interests of the powerful. To close your eyes to an authoritarian trend in your services and to cover up your blunders is to take the risk of cutting the link between the population and you even more. At the beginning of the movement, many demonstrators sang “join us”. There may still be time. The government voluntarily plays the card of escalation and fuelling fires. It needs the whole movement to hate the police, so the police hate the movement. It fears nothing more than a defection of his last ramparts. But when a government uses its police and army for its own interests and against the fundamental principles of democracy, it is up to this police to refuse and resist. Some courageous people at home have to denounce the totalitarian escalation that is worsening the situation.
To the mass media: the growing mistrust of citizens towards you is still reversible. But this is holding on by just a thread. Smartphones and social networks have changed the equation in relation to “reality”. When the main French channels announce 18,000 Yellow Vests throughout France and a phone video shows at least 5,000 people in Toulouse alone, this poses serious concerns for these media. But above all, when these media barely cover the totalitarian excesses of the government (arbitrary arrests, violence, humiliation, judgments without any evidence) but spend days dealing with Fouquet’s or a song chanted by 20 people, it becomes untenable. Last Saturday, for 3 hours in the middle of Paris, thousands of citizens experienced a trap with police charges, gas, and bludgeons. Journalists were beaten, others were detained. Such a situation abroad would have been covered by the French mainstream media in a very broad and indignant way. Failure to thoroughly cover this trend is professional misconduct. It is also what could sign the definitive divorce. To the journalists of these media, it is up to you to refuse this treatment, worthy of the Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française and state propaganda. You have to do it for yourself, for your media, and for the importance of journalism in our society.
To female and male politicians: when some people have a fever, it is because they are sick. If you only want to bring down the fever without worrying about the disease, you are not worthy of representing anything other than yourself. If you do not understand why “ordinary” citizens have been on the street for 23 weeks, knowing that they will be insulted, humiliated, beaten up … you can no longer claim to govern them. Above all, if you agree to cover the police and judicial excesses related to this movement, you will never find favour in the eyes of these citizens.
The black flight of crows on our plains is getting dangerously close. But there is still time to wake up.
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