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(en) France, UCL AL #317 - Culture, Read: Pagès, "The bristling man." (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 19 Jun 2021 09:55:49 +0300

The Libertalia editions have had the brilliant idea to publish a new revised and extended edition of The man bristling (subtitled Liabeuf, cop killer), which comes on a remarkable episode of the early XX th century, some · es appoint years later the "Dreyfus affair of the workers". ---- In the tumult of the Paris workers and revolutionary at the crossroads of the XIX th and XX th centuries, repression is everywhere. The anarchist movement had the bitter experience of this with the establishment of the villainous laws in 1893 and 1894. But it is not only the most prominent activists, the theorists, who have the experience of class injustice. Others anonymous pay the price of a violent and corrupt police force.

In 1909, a young shoemaker from Saint-Etienne by the name of Jean-Jacques Liabeuf (known as Le bouif) moved to Paris and was hired in the Halles district. He meets Alexandrine Pigeon with whom he falls in love. Unfortunately for him, Alexandrine is a prostitute who works under the control of the pimp Gaston.

The latter will prove to be an indic of the moral brigade, one of the biggest landmarks of ripoux of the French police. He does not hesitate to denounce Liabeuf for procuring. He was arrested on July 31, 1909 and sentenced to three months in prison.

It is when it comes out that the novel by Yves Pagès begins. He tells in great detail the preparation of Liabeuf's revenge against the cops. He, the shoemaker, will spend long months making studded armbands. With his blade and his revolver, in the early morning hours of January 8, 1910, he kills a policeman and seriously injures another. Four other cops suffered minor injuries while Liabeuf ended up being injured too, in the thigh.

"Long live Liabeuf, death to the cows !""
His trial will be extremely publicized and will polarize part of the public opinion of the time. Faced with all those who want the death of the "police killer" stands the revolutionary and anarchist press, which defends Liabeuf, seen as the victim of a corrupt judicial and police system, in the service of the powerful. Gustave Hervé, then still an insurrectionist socialist, took up the cause for Liabeuf, even ending up in prison.

Despite a campaign for his grace led by the revolutionary, first of which anarchists Liabeuf is sentenced to death and executed, resulting in one of the Paris riots grandest of the XX th century.

Based on a thorough investigation, this historical thriller Yves Pagès takes us to the heart of a case that will sound great at the beginning of XX th century. A case where you come across illegalist anarchists, intransigent socialists, revolutionary unionists, pimps, scoundrels, prostitutes, restaurant owners, etc.

We plunge with a certain delight into working-class Paris (or perhaps into the caricature we make of it) and we take up the cause for this little shoemaker who has decided to defend himself against the bourgeoisie. and his armed police arm.

Jon (UCL Angers)

Yves Pagès, The bristling man. Liabeuf killer of cops, Libertalia, October 2020, 216 pages, 10 euros.

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