French Uprising Your Government Doesn’t Want You to See

This week of rebellion against police brutality in France has the nation reeling and, as of last night, has spread to Switzerland and Belgium — but here’s what the U.S. corporate news feed that came installed on my laptop wants me to think is going on:

But if you can get any real news you know that cities all over France are in flames as protests over the police killing of an unarmed teenage driver spread.

Videos of the encounter show police threatening to shoot 17 year old Nahel S. and then following through. Did they expect the outpouring of rage from France’s permanent underclass of economic migrants, their children, and grandchildren? How much do police worry that French exploitation and vicious repression of its colonies in Algeria will blowback on the domestic scene?

This image from France flips the script on iconic video of police kneeling on George Floyd’s neck long enough to suffocate him, an act which led to a summer of uprisings in Black communities all over the U.S. in 2020.

Here’s the manifesto that two big police unions issued, where they throw down against..the French state?

If you don’t read French, here’s a translation offered by Arnaud Bertrand:

Now that’s enough…

Facing these savage hordes, asking for calm is no longer enough, it must be imposed!

Restoring the republican order and putting the apprehended beyond the capacity to harm should be the only political signals to give.

In the face of such exactions, the police family must stand together.

Our colleagues, like the majority of citizens, can no longer bear the tyranny of these violent minorities.

The time is not for union action, but for combat against these “pests”.

Surrendering, capitulating, and pleasing them by laying down arms are not the solutions in light of the gravity of the situation.

All means must be put in place to restore the rule of law as quickly as possible.

Once restored, we already know that we will relive this mess that we have been enduring for decades.

For these reasons, Alliance Police Nationale and UNSA Police will take their responsibilities and warn the government from now on that at the end, we will be in action and without concrete measures for the legal protection of the Police, an appropriate penal response, significant means provided, the police will judge the extent of the consideration given.

Today the police are in combat because we are at war.

Tomorrow we will be in resistance and the government will have to become aware of it.

Meanwhile, vigilantes joining the side of the police are being welcomed.

Some of the reports — such as vandalism of a Holocaust memorial and the release of zoo animals — suggest to me that instigators are also part of the mix.

This isn’t the first uprising against French colonial violence, nor is it likely to be the last. The colonized are rising up in Palestine against Israel, too. Younger generations living under the constant threat of violence appear to feel their time has come. 

Meanwhile, head of state President Macron attended an Elton John concert. 

You can’t make this stuff up.