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« I felt the absolute certainty that I should stand among them »

I started watching because I saw this video on the web

When I saw this opposition between young peaceful people sitting on the grass and riot police, I felt an absolute certainty that I should  stand among them even if that meant being arrested.
The certainty that it was the right fight, and the good way to lead  this fight: « Doing good makes no noise, making noise does no good. »

I have never felt fully confortable taking part in more or less noisy  demonstrations, even if I sometimes joined them.

On the other hand, during these « veillées » I felt totally free to endorse or not each sentence of each speaker, but also free to leave at any time.

It has been said quite a lot of time during this nights by Axel,  Madeleine or Alix « if you feel that your duty is to leave now, feel free to do so ».

They truly meant it, these were not empty words. I felt that absolute freedom, which implies real choices with their  bit of anxiety, knowing that I was supposed to go to work the day  after, and that being put into custody was possible (we’ve been threathened a couple of times by police officers).

I will cherish for a long time the happy memories of these long nights.

I especially remember  that night, when more than hundred of us,  despite the traffic, crossed the place de l’etoile to resume the « veillée » at the bottom of the Arc de Triomphe, right in front of the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Riot police turned up a few minutes later, sirens screaming, amazed to see where we  were standing, and apparently shocked that we did not « respect »  this place. However, as always, we did respect the place, and we eventually left it without any damages.

The speaker read a text « letter to a 20 year old young person » by Helie de Saint Marc (a former mayor in the French army, he recently passed away).

During these confrontrations with riot police, I wanted to talk with them, to understand what it felt like facing non-violent persons with  their anti-revolt dress on. Persons who could be their own sons, brothers or wifes.

During another « veillée » where we were discussing about euthanasia I remember those men, looking hard, and standing on edge.

I feel concerned about euthanasia. I remember my grand father died 9 years ago.

He had been a model for his 10 grand children, an adult who had helped kids growing, being old (he passed away aged 94) he kept calling us his « old age sticks ».

This man, who has had such a great influence on my own life, finished his professional life as a colonel of riot
police force. I sincerely hope that these men in blue, who looked after us all these nights, are or will be happy dads, grand fathers filled with their grandchildren’s love, and that they will never feel ashamed of their missions.


published 23rd March 2014

Licence Creative Commons
« I felt the absolute certainty that I should stand among them » de @manu_lozere est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution – Pas d’Utilisation Commerciale – Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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