Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Police Rape Black Man in Paris, Sparking Protests

Four policemen brutally raped a Black youth during an identity check in the northern Parisian suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois on Thursday, February 2. The 22-year-old victim was hospitalized for severe injuries. While the Internal Affairs Bureau deems the incident a mere accident, this new act of police brutality has sparked outrage both locally and nationally.

Ivan Matewan

February 10, 2017
Facebook Twitter Share

Theo, 22 years old, was headed to a friend’s house on Thursday, February 2 when he was suddenly accosted by four members of the Specialized Ground Brigades (BST) in his neighborhood of Rose-les-Vents in the northern Parisian suburbs. The four policemen, whose mission it is to police lower-income neighborhoods, immediately asked to see his license.

They proceeded to beat him up. They then forced an expandable baton into his anal passage. While in police custody, medical help arrived with delay. The hospital has since confirmed that the injuries sustained by the 22-year-old man are those of a rape.

Footage from local CCTV has confirmed the victim’s and bystanders’ testimonies, and there are dried blood stains where police brutalized the young man.

Although the four officers were held in custody over the weekend, the police department decided to release them. The Internal Affairs Bureau explained that they believe the whole incident was nothing more than an unfortunate “accident.” According to their version of the story, Theo’s tracksuit pants fell down and the baton accidentally penetrated him. A true climate of police impunity currently reigns in Aulnay-sous-Bois where Theo remains hospitalized.

Protests in solidarity with the victim and against police impunity were held in Aulnay-sous-Bois over the weekend and still continue. They have been met with a muscled-up police presence. Several dozen protesters have been arrested and have been accused of ambushes and violent and unlawful assembly. Meanwhile the electricity has been shut off by authorities several times at night, helicopters patrol the skies, and tear gas fills the air, and police have even shot at protesters with real bullets in scenes reminiscent of the 2005 French suburb revolt.

Both local and national government officials have tried to calm things down. Coming out of his usual silence, the French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux condemned the rape of Theo as “exceptionally grave” at the National Assembly. In a major communication operation, the French President François Hollande personally visited the victim in the hospital, pressuring him with presidential compassion to ask the protesters to calm down.

Protesters gathered in other cities across the country, such as Paris and Toulouse, to show their support of the victim. But the social movement’s reaction to this extreme brutality has been slow to come. The labor movement must officially denounce what happened to Theo and ally itself with the youth of the working-class suburb of Rose-des-Vents. They must demand that the military encirclement of the city cease immediately and that justice be served.

Local teachers’ unions should go on strike in solidarity with their students who are hunted and victimized at the hands of the police. The biggest labor unions – the General Confederation of Labor, Solidaires, and the FSU – must also enter the arena and call for the end of the city’s occupation by militarized forces.

Such acts of police brutality are not uncommon in France. Only through an alliance between the organized labor movement, the youth, and the residents of poor neighborhoods will institutional racism and police brutality be able to be beaten back.

Facebook Twitter Share

Europe

Thousands of Police Deployed to Shut Down Congress on Palestine in Berlin

This weekend, a Palestine Congress was supposed to take place in the German capital. But 2,500 police were mobilized and shut down the event before the first speech could be held. Multiple Jewish comrades were arrested.

Nathaniel Flakin

April 12, 2024

Fired by a German University for Solidarity with Palestine — Interview with Nancy Fraser

The University of Cologne canceled a guest professorship with the philosophy professor from The New School. In this interview, she speaks about Germany dividing between "Good Jews" and "Bad Jews," her politicization in the civil rights movement, and her time in an Israeli kibbutz.

Nathaniel Flakin

April 10, 2024

Pro-Palestine Activists in France Get Summons from Anti-Terrorist Police

As part of a repressive campaign against the movement for Palestine in France activists have gotten summons from “anti-terrorist” police. The movement for Palestine in the United States must oppose all repression of our movement here and in Europe.

Samuel Karlin

April 9, 2024

Berlin’s Mayor Loves Antisemites

Kai Wegner denounces the “antisemitism” of left-wing Jews — while he embraces the most high-profile antisemitic conspiracy theorist in the world.

Nathaniel Flakin

March 22, 2024

MOST RECENT

Liberal Towns in New Jersey Are Increasing Attacks on Pro-Palestine Activists

A group of neighbors in South Orange and Maplewood have become a reference point for pro-Palestine organizing in New Jersey suburbs. Now these liberal towns are upping repression against the local activists.

Samuel Karlin

April 12, 2024

“We Shouldn’t Let this Stop Us”: Suspended Columbia Student Activist Speaks Out

Aidan Parisi, a student at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, was recently suspended and has been threatened with eviction from their graduate student housing for pro-Palestinian activism on campus. Aidan talked to Left Voice about the state of repression, the movement at Columbia, and the path forward for uniting the student movement with the labor movement and other movements against oppression.

Left Voice

April 11, 2024

The Movement for Palestine Needs Independent, Working-Class Politics

As the brutal genocide of Palestinians continues with the help of the Biden administration, there is maneuver underway to co-opt the movement for Palestine. We need to have a democratic and independent movement that relies on the power of the working class, the student movement, and mobilizations in the streets.

Tatiana Cozzarelli

April 7, 2024
A hand holds a phone which displays the TikTok Logo

We Don’t Want TikTok Under Control of U.S. Capitalists — Put It Under the Control of its Workers and Users

The U.S. government wants to force the sale of the incredibly popular Chinese social media app. A TikTok owned by U.S. capitalists will only make things worse. We want TikTok under workers' control!

Nathaniel Flakin

April 6, 2024