Several times-titled world champion, the boxer Jean-Marc Mormeck has hung up the gloves. Delegate to popular districts within the regional council of Île-de-France, a leader of the land he knows well, having grown up in a city of Bobigny, he is fighting today with all its determination of a boxer to take these neighborhoods to the top and refuses the discourse of fracture, worn by some during the demonstrations of these last days.
The Point : In the wake of the case of George Floyd, who died at the hands of police in Minneapolis, we hear voices rise, comparing the situation in the United States to that in France in certain quarters. What do you think ?
Jean-Marc Mormeck : The French and american companies are completely different. The United States is a federal State and the police is directly related to the cities, the mayors who decide, and, of course, the situation varies from one city to the other. In my career, boxer has led me to live for a few years there. It is a society that is more violent with the free flow of weapons, and the relationships among populations are more marked by discrimination. Some areas are completely white, black or latino. I do not deny the problems in our country, the discrimination exist, but this is not comparable. I am very embarrassed to hear generalities, speaking of police violence. No, in France, all policemen are not violent nor racist. There are, in fact, the police are violent. In these cases, we can talk about police violence, and they should be denounced. We can't all put in the same bag, saying that they are all violent or racist. Some of the friends I grew up with in my neighborhood have now become police officers. They are of various origins, they know the suburbs and do their job well, even if this is not always easy for them.
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How do you explain the magnitude of this movement and demonstrations in the streets of Paris and elsewhere these last few days ?
These people manifest to support the family of Adama Traoré. This young man is dead, but we do not really know the facts. The family ensures that three or four police officers were put on him and choked for air. It is essential, in this case, to establish the truth. But, in these events, some take the opportunity to make the buzz and stir up tension. There is more about shock, so to be picked up and followed in the media or invited on tv shows and make themselves known in the advancing of theses and theories, empty of true substance. Of course, we can say that sometimes there are excesses by the police. But there are also people from the suburbs who don't behave well. I do not understand why, for example, some will take to the firefighters who come to extinguish the fire or to help the population of these neighborhoods ? Why, conversely, one could not say that those doing so are not good people ? Why, for the precincts, hold back-we denounce the unacceptable behaviour and negative ? It is necessary to make sense of things. Of course, there are excesses by the police. Of course, there is racism and police are racist in the same way that, in the suburbs, there are fuckers of shit and people without morality... It is also a problem.
One wants to distinguish in his neighborhood in the name of religion, its origins, or its color, etc
life in the area was not pink when I was younger. There are already phenomena of bands and we were between quarters, because we didn't like the guys of a rival city. But we were together in our neighborhood : White, Black or Arab, it made no difference between us. Today, there is a radicalization of the relationships between people. One wants to distinguish in his neighborhood in the name of religion, its origins, or its color, etc., This is a pretext to make war, to do evil, to stand aside, on the margins of society, and to mark its difference vis-à-vis the other. I didn't grow up like that and I don't want this for the youth.
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The speech of some organizations very present in the protests and in the areas you are concerned about it ?
It is necessary to make sense of things in the face of what is happening. There is, on the one hand, a grieving family, claiming that Adama Traoré has been killed by the gendarmes. To appease his loved ones, but also the tensions, it is necessary to establish the truth. However, in the face of those who are crying out for systematic discrimination, I want to reply that much, alas, is ghettoïsent all alone. They carry claims that the suit property in order to maintain the youth in their distress and to continue to denounce and to hold a political speech and hostile. But no, this is not because it comes from a district that is doomed to failure. It is the victim of what when one chooses a camp claiming to not be a part of this society ? Or letting grow a beard by putting his religion before ? I'm not going to deny it, it is more difficult to achieve, even with diplomas, when it comes to the districts or overseas. All won't succeed, but it is also the story of the life. It is necessary to challenge ourselves, to try again to succeed. Everyone must take their responsibilities and to redouble our efforts to get there.
I squatted in the halls of the building with my friends.
You are a delegate to the districts the regional council of Île-de-France, what are your priorities to help these people ?
It seems to me essential to make sure that people feel good about where they are. We need to change the prism by which to be originally from the suburbs would be a tare. To make them proud of where they live, there must be more of insertions, job, training, security, but also, and especially, more openness. We need to break down the barriers between minds. And this happens through dialogue between residents, youth, elected officials, the police and all the institutions of the State to stop to think about territory. The suburbs, this is France, this is not a claimed territory to defend against the police or the fire brigade. They must be able to enter freely to do their work as they do elsewhere. For the people interested in them, these young people must, on the contrary, let the other enter, to see their reality, their daily lives. There are only like this we can help. I was in their place. I know what it is. I squatted in the halls of the building with my friends. We were refurbishing the world and it was thought that there had been no dreams here for us. But, one day, I understood that he had to live his dreams and not dreaming his life. Staying locked up, you eventually create its own barriers. We must dare to exceed, to exchange, to meet and understand the other.
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