Prisoners of Peace
In March on Brussels on 22 September 2011 at 22:25
St. Denis, September 22
Day 59 of the March on Brussels. From Paris, 8 km
After we slept there, we occupied the square of the Stock Exchange for most of the day. We put up signs, we wrote slogans in chalk and we held an internal assembly under the watchful eye of massive police presence. The bus which has taken us away twice already was right around the corner.
It was a great day, especially because there was an event in the stock exchange which attracted many suits and ties. It was priceless to see them parading by the signs accusing the financial system and inviting the people to rise up, while our colourful bunch was holding an assembly.
Looking back on these days we made great progress. When we arrived we walked straight into a police ambush at the Bastille and had to retreat to the Marne in the early morning. In subsequent days we went on a crazy march through the city, we occupied Bercy, and finally we conquered the Stock Exchange. But the repression has been exhausting for many people, both physically and mentally.
Today, the police would not let us leave the square to walk to St. Denis in group. Some of us managed to break the barrier in small numbers. I walked alone.
When I left the city of Paris, it was like I could breath again. I was back in the real world, with real people of all races and ages leading real lives. The pressure from the authorities on everything different seemed to have lifted.
But that was all imagination. In St. Denis there are half a dozen of police present in civilian outfit. As long as we are in the greater Paris area, the police will not leave us alone. They will continue their repression and their intimidation.
Today it turned out that not all the detenidos have been freed. On the contrary. Eleven of them are still in custody. They are almost exclusively French, they are charged with damaging or degrading public property (the police bus), and resistance to arrest. But rumours are also going around that they are accused of ‘terrorism’.
It’s a dirty tactic by the authorities. They catch the French in our movement, and they fry them a couple of days to dissuade other indignés to speak up or to act. We are cooperating with a local lawyer and we have created a working group to have them liberated as soon as possible. This will prolongue our presence in the Paris area even more. Saturday a peaceful concentration has been called for to protest against police repression. Every day that passes, our daily marches to Brussels will grow longer and longer.