The disgraceful events of the Place de la République

By and

On Monday evening in central Paris, migrants and journalists were physically abused by police engaged in a brutal, manu militari evacuation of a makeshift camp set up on the Place de la République. The police violence was exposed in images circulating on social media and which would be banned if draft legislation currently before parliament is approved. In this joint op-ed article, Mediapart co-editor in chief Carine Fouteau and social affairs editor Mathilde Mathieu argue that the overnight events are a representation of the liberticidal drift of President Emmanuel Macron’s administration, and may prove to be a political turning point.

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A man falling to the ground after he was violently removed from his tent, reduced to the state of an animal chased out of its burrow, reduced to a state of detritus. That is the sentiment prompted by the images of the supposedly legitimate police officer lifting up the tent of a migrant and recorded by journalist and filmmaker Rémy Buisine during the night of Monday and early Tuesday (see his video post on Twitter below). The events concern a man who is not any ordinary person but someone who has come to France after fleeing misery or violence.