For the right to demonstrate and against police violence in France

For the right to demonstrate and against police violence in France

13 June 2016
Petition to
Manuel Valls and 2 others
Petition Closed
This petition had 2,290 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by David Döll

Against police violence

Appel en français : voir "lire la lettre de pétition" ci-dessous. Auf Deutsch : s. "Petitionsbrief lesen" unten.

Right now France is confronted with a very worrying authoritarian shift. The State of Emergency that was called on the 13th of November 2015 as a reaction to the terrorist attacks of Paris, has been extended already three times. This grants the executive and the police with extended powers. Basic and civic rights are massively curtailed through mass arrests, house arrests, house searches and prohibition of the right to assembly.

In December 2015, the State of Emergency was misused to ban gatherings and protests during the COP21 Climate Conference and today it is a misused measure to enforce the repression of protests against the Labor Law.

Since the beginning of March 2016, demonstrations, protests and blockades by broad parts of the population including unionists and students are emerging across the whole country, against the Labor Law that was introduced by minister of labor, Myriam El Khomri. Diverse social movements have joined the protests. One of the central concerns is the neoliberal restrictions of the rights of wage-earning employees. These rights will be no longer guaranteed by law but negotiated within the companies.

The French government is ignoring the protests and 70% dissent against the law. Prime Minister Manuel Valls used constitution article 49.3 to push the law through Parliament without any debate. This exceptional procedure implies a vote of confidence and restricts future amendments to the law. Usually this article is used when the government itself does not have a majority in Parliament.

The popular demonstrations against the Labor Law and its authoritarian enforcement are confronted with vast repression across the country. There is little coverage of either protests or repression in the national as well as the international mainstream media. Countless videos and reports of eye-witnesses that circulate in social media and the internet demonstrate the brutality of police violence and numerous attacks (eg. see a summary of the online magazin Mediapart here) These recordings, often made at great risk, show excessive thus illegal police violence. This includes the highhanded use of globs, pepper spray, rubber bullets, stun grenades and sting grenades. Police repression with the same intensity is being used for some time now against working class suburbs and now reached the heart of social movements. This is how a young man ended up in a coma for more than a week and hundreds of others were injured and traumatized. On the 19th of May, Prime Minister Manuel Valls stated: "They (the police) have no orders to go soft on the demonstrators" - a statement that obviously refers to all demonstrators. Since March many have been sentenced in summary trials and convicted with insufficient evidence. On the other hand Police officers are by now, despite all efforts, not held accountable for their misconducts.

Such response to protests is a sign of authoritarian regimes, hardly worthy of a democracy. The French government attempts to intimidate and thus to disable the protests against the Labor Law reform with repression and criminalization. Freedom of assembly is limited by the State of Emergency, in order to enforce a law by authoritarian means. The actual duty of the executive should be to enforce basic rights, including the right to demonstrate, not restrict them. The massive and illegal police violence and the criminalization of the protesters has to stop immediately!

To the French government, the President François Hollande, the Prime Minister Manuel Valls and the Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve, we request:
The immediate end of the State of Emergency as well as the respect of all basic rights by state institutions and the executive (freedom of movement, freedom of opinion, right to non-discrimination, and so on). The unambiguous and global condemnation of police violence by the French government, limitation of police authorization, and de-escalation as well as the ban on the use of rubber bullets, stun grenades, and
sting grenades in every circumstance.

From the French Justice and from international organizations, we demand:
The defense of basic rights, particularly the right to a fair and evidence-based process. Amnesty processes for all condemned demonstrators.The condemning of the disproportionate and illegal police violence. Independent and systematical investigation of the documented assaults and the punishment of the responsible persons.

To the international community:
International organizations, governments, the European Parliament, the European Council should condemn police violence and repression in France and should influence the French government with all means to abandon its strategy of authoritarian measures.

To the French and international Media:
We want independent and exhaustive information about the events in France.

For the right to demonstrate and to protest - in France and everywhere!

Famous first signatories: Elmar Altvater (Political Scientist, Freie Universität Berlin) - Didier Fassin (Anthropologist and Sociologist, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris) - Susan George (French-american Writer / Transnational Institute) - David Harvey (Geographer, Graduate Center of the City University of New York) - Katja Kipping (Chairwomen of the party Die Linke, Berlin).

Organisations and associations: Aktie Arbeitslose Österreich (Austria) - ATTAC CADTM MAROC - BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights Palestine (Palestine) - Berlin Postkolonial e.V. (Berlin) - Block011 (Berlin) - Collectif des travailleur.e.s précaires de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (France) - Comité pour l’Abolition des Dettes illégitimes (Belgique) - Comité pour l’Abolition des Dettes illégitimes (France) - Comité ZADs Lille (France) - Corporate Europe Observatory (Bruxelles) - Cultura è Libertà, una campagna per la Palestina (Italia) - DEMOS Institute of Critical Thought (Vilnius) - Dignity (Switzerland) - Fachgruppe politische Bildung der Naturfreunde Berlin (Germany) - Freie Arbeiterinnen- und Arbeiter-Union (Germany) - Freie Arbeiterinnen- und Arbeiter-Union, Lokale Gewerkschaft Kiel (Germany) - Freie Arbeiterinnen- und Arbeiter-Union, Vollversammlung Berlin - Glokal e.V. (Berlin) - Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign - Kritische Geographie Berlin (Germany) - Kritische Geographie Frankfurt am Main (Germany) - Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie (Comitee for fundamental rights and democracy, Germany) - LabourNet (Germany) - Palästina-Solidarität (Region Basel) - Palestina Solidariteit (Belgium) - TIE Global Germany - transform!europe (Europe) - Transnational Institute (Netherlands) - Union Juive Française pour la Paix (France) - Women for Development (Switzerland).

Full list of first signatories: Gilbert Achcar (London) - Aleksandra Ambrozy (Universität Halle) - Bastien Amiel (Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense) - Katerina Anastasiou (Change4all, Wien) - Sina Arnold (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin) - Dario Azzellini (Johannes Kepler Universität, Linz) - Walter Baier (Austria) - Michel Barthélémy (CNRS, Paris) - Rudolph Bauer (Universität Bremen / Writer and artist) - Katharina Beck (Institut Solidarische Moderne, Berlin) - Bernd Belina (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt) - Maxime Benatouil (transform!europe, Paris) - Daniel Bendix (Universität Kassel) - Matyas Benyik (Chairman ATTAC Hungary) - Olaf Berg (Universität Osnabrück) - em. Jacques Bidet (Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense) - Peter Birke (Universität Göttingen) - Felix Bluhm (Universität Göttingen) - Martine Boudet (ATTAC France) - Hugo Braun (ATTAC Germany) - Anja Breljak (Block 011Berlin) - Andrea Brock (University of Sussex) - Chloé Buire (CNRS, Bordeaux) - Thomas Bürk (Universität Hamburg) - Beppe Caccia (Collective EuroNomade, Venezia) - Mario Candeias (Institut für Gesellschaftsanalyse, Rosa-Luxemburg Stiftung, Berlin) - André Carmo (Universidade de Lisboa) - Marc Chatellier (Université de Nantes) - David Copello (Sciences Po Paris) - Telmo de Lucena Torres de Menezes (Berlin/Lisboa) - Alex Demirovic (Universität Frankfurt am Main) - António Pedro Dores (Associação Contra a Exclusão pelo Desenvolvimento, Portugal) - Jean-François Dubost (Université Paris-Est Créteil) - Jérôme Duval (CADTM International, France) - Jeanette Ehrmann (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen) - Wolfram Elsner (Universität Bremen) - Emilien Fargues (Sciences Po Paris) - Lídia Fernandes (World March of Women, Portugal) - Artemisa Flores (Université Paris 8 – Vincennes Saint Denis) - Michael Fuetterer (TIE Global Germany) - Alexander Gallas (Universität Kassel) - Jérôme Gaudin (Université de Bordeaux) - Jean-Luc Gautero (Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis) - Mélina Germes (CNRS, Bordeaux/Berlin) - G.M. Goshgarian (Tours) - Lisa Groß (Konstanz) - Samuel Hayat (CNRS, Lille) - Michael Heinrich (Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft, Berlin) - Linda Hennig (Universität Münster) - Peter Herrmann (Istituto di Studi Politici, Economici e Sociali, Roma) - Katja Hill (Vereinigte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft ver.di, Hannover) - Micha Hintz (Buchhändler, Frankfurt a.M.) - Nathalie Hof (Journalist, Berlin/Paris) - habil. Klaus Holz (Evangelische Akademien in Deutschland e.V.) - Astrid Homann (Kuratorin, Berlin) - Myriam Houssay-Holzschuch (Université Grenoble-Alpes) - Stefanie Hürtgen (Universität Salzburg) - Renate Hürtgen (Berlin) - Anthony Ince (Cardiff University) - Colin Kaggl (Austria) - Sidonie Kellerer (Siegen) - Stefan Kerber-Clasen (Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg) - Daniel Kerekeš (Bundessprecher linksjugend ['solid], Berlin) - Timo Kiesel (glokal e.V. / whitecharity, Berlin) - Ralf Kliche (Germany) - Oliver Kloss (Universität Leipzig) - Heiner Köhnen (TIE Global Germany) - Sophia Könemann (Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft, Germany) - Reinhart Kössler (Freiburg) - Anna Krämer (Universität Frankfurt) - Gregor Kritidis (Redaktion Sozialistische Positionen, Gerpany) - Peter Kümmel (Frankfurt) - Jenny Künkel (Bauhaus Universität Weimar) - Sonia Le Gall (Fédération syndicale unitaire, France) - Vitor Lima (Portugal) - Kolja Lindner (Sciences Po Paris) - Olivier Long (Université Paris-Sorbonne) - Rainer M. (Block 011, Berlin) - Birgit Mahnkopf (Berlin School of Economics and Law) - Luke Martell (University of Sussex) - Liza Mattutat (Universität Kassel) - Baptiste Mauro (Paris) - Sarah Mekdijan (Université Grenoble Alpes) - Frederik Metje (Universität Kassel) - Sandro Mezzadra (University of Bologna) - Christian Möllmann (Universität Kassel) - Matthias Naumann (Institut für Raumbezogene Sozialforschung, Leipzig) - Wolfgang Neef (Technische Universität Berlin) - Peter Nowak (Journalist, Berlin) - Alexandra Oeser (Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense) - Lars Ostermeier (Vienna Centre for Societal Security, Wien) - Norman Paech (Universität Hamburg) - Rui Viana Pereira (CADTM Portugual / Solid, Lisboa) - Anna Perraudin (CNRS, Paris) - Nadja Rakowitz (Verein demokratischer Ärztinnen und Ärzte, Maintal) - Paulo Raposo (Instituto Universitàrio de Lisboa / Center for Research in Anthropology) - Camille Roth (CNRS, Paris/Berlin) - Astrid Rothe-Beinlich (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, Thüringer Landtag, Germany) - Thomas Sablowski (Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Berlin) - Christoph Schaub (Columbia University, New York) - Wolfgang Schaumberg (Gewerkschaftler Opel, Germany) - Sebastian Schipper (Universität Frankfurt a.M.) - Sabeth Schmidthals (Teacher, Berlin) - Stefan Schoppengerd (express - Zeitung für sozialistische Betriebs- und Gewerkschaftsarbeit, Germany) - Peter Schrott (Vereinigte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft ver.di, Berlin) - Jorinde Schulz (Block 011, Berlin) - Thomas Seibert (Institut Solidarische Moderne, Berlin) - Marina Sitrin (City University of New York) - Marianne Soerensen (Psychologin, Bremen) - Gage Solaguren (UK) - George Souvlis (Greece) - Steffen Stierle (ATTAC Germany) - Felix Trautmann (Institut für Sozialforschung, Frankfurt) - Peter Ullrich (Technische Universität Berlin) - Pyretta van Haven (Block 011, Berlin) - Achin Vanaik (University of Delhi / Transnational Institute Amsterdam) - Christine Vanden Daelen (CADTM Belgium) - Marie-Dominique Vernhes (ATTAC Germany) - Eva von Redecker (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin) - Thomas Wallgren (University of Helsinki / Fair Tax Finland) - Isidor Wallimann (ATTAC Germany) - Jan Wehrheim (Universität Duisburg-Essen) - Winfried Wolf (Lunapark21, Germany) - Caroline Zekri (Université Paris-Est Créteil) - Aram Ziai (Universität Kassel). 

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