France wrestles with racism and police violence

On a mild evening knees hundreds of people in silence to the Place de la République in Paris. You pay tribute to George Floyd, who is about to be buried at the

France wrestles with racism and police violence

On a mild evening knees hundreds of people in silence to the Place de la République in Paris. You pay tribute to George Floyd, who is about to be buried at the same time in the 8,000 kilometers away in Texas.

Under the towering Statue of Marianne, the symbol figure of the French Republic, to keep protesters at their posters in the air: "Black Lives Matter - even in France," "no to racism" and "I can't breathe". Some of the demonstrators find it very difficult to remain for almost nine minutes on the knees. As long as a white COP squeezed the neck of his knee into Floyd's.

The Video, the brutality of these final moments shows in Floyd's life, went around the whole world. Also in France, the protests after the death of the US-American's are great - also because the country itself has a Problem with police violence.

"In France, we say that all are equal, but we are not treated the same. If you are a young Black or Arab descent man, is arrested by the police have targeted and harassed," says Denis, a 22-year-old Black who does not want to reveal his last name. "We don't think of us. The White don't want to hear us or believe us. You think we exaggerate."

Dina Sanches Tavares, a Black woman, which looks similar. "My 16-year-old brother is constantly stopped by the police and controlled, even if he is only running from the gym to home. I have great fear for his safety," she says of the DW. "Can you imagine how awful it is to be a Criminal to be treated - just because you looks like you looks like?"

"Structural racism"

The anger in France is noticeable. With the death of George Floyd in the debate about the case, Adama Traoré is rekindled. The 24-year-old Black, died in July 2016 in police custody. Even if there are no Videos, remember the circumstances of the violent death of George Floyd.

last month, a court released a medical finding that exonerated the police officers who had arrested Traoré,. Traoré died of health problems and heart. One of the family's commissioned autopsy came to the conclusion that the death was related to the methods of the police in the arrest of the man. The report triggered in the whole of France protests.

"Today, we are talking not only about the struggle of the family, Traoré. It is the fight for all. If we fight for George Floyd, we'll fight for Adama Traoré," said his sister, Assa Traoré, according to the AFP news Agency at a Protest at the beginning of June.

Similar to that in the USA minorities, accountability, and more transparency from the police, even in France.

"Both in the U.S. as well as in the case of the French police racism is structural," says Madjid Messaoudene, a local politician and activist in Seine-Saint-Denis, a Northern suburb of Paris. Although in France there are far fewer deaths in connection with police operations than in the US, many say that France is doing too little against police violence.

"We have many families in France, the wait for justice for their police children killed. You can not just get on with your life, because you have the feeling that the lives of their children will not be viewed as important. This must change."

police checks are part of everyday life

The Paris suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis is known for its high unemployment rate, low income earners and high-rise buildings is known. Similar to the Banlieue, or suburb - in the Adama Traoré died, to live here, many of the Arabic-born people and Black people have their roots in former French colonies.

The relations with the police have long been strained. The everyday life of many young men, so Madjid Messaoudene, identity checks, searches, harassment and violence by officials.

"If you listen to young and non-white, and the police complained, is a nobody. The simple fact is," says Messaoudene. "So really, justice can be practiced, must be determined against any racist officers, and it must be excluded by the police. But so far, no policeman in France went to jail because he killed someone. Impunity is the rule here."

officials argue racism is a Problem responded to from the

The French interior Minister Christophe Castaner, to the anger of many citizens about the police violence. He announced that France will ban the controversial chokehold, with the Suspects currently held may be.

in addition, the Paris Prosecutor's office opened an vorermitt lung, the racist insults within a Facebook group examined. The author of some of the racist comments are said to have been, among other things, on-duty police officers.

High-ranking officials have denied, however, that the country has a racism Problem. Of the citizens, it is expected, on the principle of universalism and, regardless of the own ethnic or religious identity with the Nation's identify. In the year 2018, the legislature voted to remove the word "race" from the French Constitution and the government is not allowed to collect information on the ethnicity or Religion of the people.

Removed France from the color blindness?

However, according to Eric Fassin, sociology Professor at the University of Paris 8, things change slowly. He refers to a report by the French Ombudsman envoy who treats complaints about public authorities. In the study, it was found that young Arabic to be stopped, stocky and Black men 20 Times more often than other citizens. Activists denounce these States for years.

The current protests by France to stir up, to bring the discourse about the privileges of White racism, says Fassin. And, although political leaders, discussions about system decline of racism.

"Many commentators and the media are now talking in the context of demonstrations, both on Black as well as White. The people in France realize that there is a Problem of racism. And that it is also a Problem for the police," said Fassin.

"I hope we don't realize that it goes against democracy, if we acknowledge differences of ethnic groups - but democracy promotes."

author: Sonia Phalnikar (me)

*The post "France wrestles with racism and police violence" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 13 June 2020, 16:27

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