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(en) France, Alternating Current OCL #224 - Two years ago, the prison Bellecour in Lyon (fr) [machine translation]
Tue, 27 Nov 2012 11:56:56 +0200
October 21, 2010, at the height of the mobilization against the pension reform, 700 people
came to demonstrate or bystanders, met for several hours Place Bellecour in Lyon, in a
huge custody in the open, surrounded by a police presence warrior, harassed, insulted,
gassed, flashballés, watered, filmed, searched, tested, taken to see some post without any
reason or explanation. ---- Following this event, a very large group was created to expose
this device tends to recognize as legitimate preventive repression, but, and this is
probably worse, criminalized the social movement to improve the choke. This group has
filed a lawsuit against the state for "arbitrary detention", "violation of individual
liberties and the right to demonstrate," "discrimination, racial slurs and sorting
facies", "violence and police provocations" in the context of a mode called kettling
detention or kettle.
(This method is to block thousands of protesters using mobile barriers and huge police
for hours and hours without access to food, the water, toilets or medical care protesters
are then photographed and filed, obviously they have not committed any offense or any
The investigation is ongoing, having been prevented for two years.
Within the collective, a more active nucleus does not want to settle this complaint is
likely to be unsuccessful! Especially since the British who complained for the same
reasons (events of 1 May 2001 in London) have been rejected by the British courts and
recently by the European Court of Human Rights! The order of the court and its arguments
leave without voice: "limiting the freedom of movement can not be regarded as a
deprivation of liberty if it is in the interest of society ...", "any sensible person
living in a modern democracy should reasonably expect to be used, or at least admit that
it was legitimate for the police to detain in a limited space ... ". As for the method of
confinement used (kettling) is recognized as legitimate because "it is necessary that the
police practices evolve a society where the media can quickly gather large populations,
increasing the risk of riots "... no comment! (1) The complaint, however, has the
advantage of giving us access to all police documents: audio, photos, video, letters,
telephone calls, arrests, judgments, reports, etc ... seized by the investigating judge
and so allow us to reconstruct the facts.
We know that police repression goes hand in hand with the intensification of neoliberal
economic policy. It is the body control populations, needed to maintain a capitalist model
today at the brink, increases the pressure and let the people bloodless. This population
control has intensified in recent years (under Sarkozy, but there is no reason to change
that now!). It was made possible by deregulation of labor, which, beyond the work itself,
disrupts social groups making the difficult employee engagement. This deregulation was
accompanied by an arsenal of restrictive laws, draconian (25 in 5 years). These laws
criminalize individuals who, in one way or another, out of place, allow preventive arrests
on the basis of a hypothetical risk groups and prohibit unauthorized. Isolated individuals
without social group find themselves prey to a system that monitors in the name of peace.
Let us look at how the state proceeds for "public opinion" supports these draconian laws,
because it is the same process that was used in October 2010 in Lyon to legitimize the
detention of protesters Bellecour. Olivier Cahn offers a detailed study of the processes
that led to what he calls the domestication of street protest. Through the study of the
repression of black blocks in the anti-globalization rallies, but also the case of "Tarnac
(2), it shows how the state has gradually returned to the agenda of the terrorist threat,"
the ultra left anarcho-autonomous "as he calls it, creating media events that will become
a pretext for intensifying police crackdown on the entire population.
"The ultra left ..." nebula multiforme is an "enemy" recurring regularly shaken by the
Ministry of the Interior. It mobilizes and brings together the public sees through it, a
risk of destabilization or even civil war. It differs from "external enemies" that
threaten society and must then attempt to prevent them from entering (terrorist threat).
This "internal enemy" means a category of the population that will have to identify and
ostracize. This enemy reappears in the security discourse of the state (3) in the specific
context of "urban riots" in the fall of 2005 and anti-CPE movement in spring 2006. It is
"intended to replace then-at least for a time the" urban violence "after the failures of
the government." The process is always the same: first there is a critical situation (eg
Spring 2006) destabilizing internal security and therefore requires the creation of a new
internal enemy against which the state will be able to demonstrate its ability to maintain
order and back and hand. Will be referred to a group involved in acts (even rare or minor)
considered "delinquent" (breakage, theft, sabotage, damage to furniture ...). This group
will be presented to the public much media attention as a threat whose importance is
exaggerated. The massive police action against the group then prove the reality of this
threat by deploying disproportionate strengths and shows its ability to restore order.
"Dangerousness" of the threat thus established in the eyes of the media and public opinion
then justifies the strengthening of law enforcement [laws, equipment (tasers ....) and
technical (kettling)]. Finally, the state maintains social anxiety to keep active this
"enemy within" in public opinion, the diverting of economic and political reality
bankrupt! Once strengthened, the repressive measures will then be able to generalize to
all situations "potentially at risk" allowing greater control over who may be able to
directly or indirectly threaten public order, ie, likely to s organize and oppose the state.
Against this internal enemy "that threatens the social order," the law does not apply! It
is reserved for good people! It then becomes necessary to resort to emergency legislation
to deal with this population designated as an enemy. Is made, then a criminal law of the
enemy which resulted in convictions copies of the rationale for preventive repression
which is based on the assumption ... guilt. These draconian laws and enforcement can then
be applied beyond the designated enemy in any other situation when it is "proven that
individuals intending to commit acts of violence or degradation." Thus the law of
exception is applied to events in which we "suspect" the presence of "anarcho-autonomous"
(the black blocks), that is to say, first of all in against the anti-globalization
summits. To extend as was the case on 21 October 2010 in Lyon social movement as a whole.
We hypothesize, and we hope to demonstrate that when the social movement hardened and high
school students and students of Lyon and its suburbs were within the movement, the state
and its representative prefect Doutre (promoted to the government of the day October 21,
2010) implemented the strategy of the enemy around those who will be called "thugs" to
justify the use of kettling as a technique best suited to "protect property and people
"face" the risk of overflow "(which had never been done before in France, as is already
the case in Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Canada). This logic can fight riot
thus extend to the whole of the protest movements. It also helps to make possible
large-scale control and maintain a file of protesters destroying environments simply the
right to protest. Indeed, if we take the sequence of events, we find that in the days
leading up to a propaganda "against thugs" massive monopolized all the local media,
raising fear in the population. The closure of subways put under siege the city center
whose epicenter is the Place Bellecour. The breaker, designated enemy, took the guise of
suburban youth but also young so-called "ultra left ...", thus stigmatizing all young
people as "troublemakers" potential.
Fear breaker has allowed to implement, without difficulty, the process of repression.
Within the social movement, militant circles relayèrent this speech condemning the rioters
who had "disqualify the movement" (a trade unionist said of these young people are not
real protesters, they are violent and do not remain in the procession . Though saying that
he held a picket in the box and did not hesitate to caillasser police who wanted to
dislodge ... Subsidiary question: from a breaker when it is regarded as an insurgent
revolutionary?). Police repression thugs and was therefore expected that passive collusion
of interests between the state and the political and trade union problem and probably
explains the difficulty to talk of the event. Has taken the form of police repression that
day, was stunned activists, damaged many young people, she blew intergenerational ties
that were tied in the struggle, she has alienated youth policy accomplice and / or
powerless. It has made possible a giant custody for more than 6h where people were locked
up carefully filmed by helicopter and bikers, cross their images directly with the files
of Police (police trucks equipped with computer terminals). While Prefect Doutre justified
the police action as necessary to neutralize these thugs on the spot, oddly no one seems
to have been kept in custody this evening. Against by numerous arrests and immediate
appearances took place after. Young people were gathered in their schools due to image
overlap and complaints ... the police.
Social movement died after October 21 in Lyon, each trying to understand how the state had
managed to destroy at this point a social movement. The early meetings of the group, the
question was central thugs and remains an argument that can resurface at any time because
it allows not highlight the intensification of population control and limitation of
freedoms, but he can not ask the same social movement actors on their roles in the control
of the street protest. The group ruled on this issue: the violence that accompanies social
protest is not only a mode of protest, but also and above all a response to state
violence. That day, there are many organizations that are dissociated from the group ...
Today those remaining take this course, and do not let go.
(1) See the decree of the European Court of 15 March 2012. Austin and other case (UK).
http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng ... "dmdocnumbe ...).
(2) Olivier Cahn, lecturer at the University of Cergy Pontoise article: "The repression of
the" black bloc "pretext for the domestication of street protest" document set schedule on
the website of the group on October 21. To read even if many pages are jumping!
(3) After a period less active, probably due to the end of the Soviet Union and the fall
of the Berlin Wall ... remember that after May 68, the anti-breakers was passed (in 1970),
and repealed with the arrival of the left to power in 1981.
(4) See also the recent book by David Dufresne on this subject: "Tarnac, general store"
story. Calmann Levy.
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