carnet de route
Dog trainers with no documents  
Wedding in the vineyard  
The victims of nuclear tests  
This film by Philippe Lioret moved me deeply. That movie is a must. The play of the actors is remarkable. You would think it is a documentary.  
étrangers sans papiers The action is located in the north of France, in Calais. Foreigners with no official papers arrive there after a long journey. There is still one obstacle, the most perilous: the crossing of the Channel to arrive in England. In the meanwhile, they spend months waiting, going through a long ordeal.
A few years ago, some people from Calais, committed to these young people with no official documents, had invited me for a visit of two days. I witnessed then the inhuman living conditions imposed on all these foreigners: they survive.  
The film describes the story of a 17-year-old young Kurdish who has just arrived in Calais. As many others, he will try to find someone to take him over the border to England, trying his luck aboard a truck at night. But the police found and arrested him.  
This did not discourage this young person. He wanted to join his girl friend that he had met when they were kids in their native country. They are in love and they talk by telephone whenever possible. That is why he takes the unbelievable decision to swim across the Channel.  
The swimming trainer is surprised by the tenacity of his young student and decided to help him. He even provided him with a place to sleep and defended him. And so it is in Calais for these volunteers and associations who help out the illegal immigrants without fear of being outlaws and having problems with the police.
traverser la Manche
I do not dare reveal the tragic ending!  
We were only three in the theatre to look at the film but three who related to it.  
haute en page  
Dog trainers with no documents  
At night when I go across the platform of a Parisian train station, I sometimes meet a security guard holding a dog on a lease. Fortunately, a dog with a muzzle, because it is an aggressive dog!  
maîtres-chiens sans papiers Often, these security guards are Africans with no documents. They work from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. or from 2 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. They are called by telephone, sometimes at midnight, to go to one of the 200 Parisian area stations.
Every day, they feel threatened to be arrested and expelled. Curiously, they are there to ensure the security of passengers, but they fear for themselves! With the help of a railroad union, they mobilized themselves and have my support.  
A gathering took place at place du Châtelet, near the prefecture. At the sound of the tam-tams and their demands, the Africans dance tirelessly. Banners are placed just about everywhere. And the police are there, surrounding us.
These workers with no documents are happy and proud to be together to protest and ask justice for them.
travailleurs sans papiers
Their spokesman starts to speak: « Today, we have had more than enough of being exploited and being in danger. We do not want to be illegal immigrants any more. We want wages. We want employment contracts. We want official documents. »  
Passers-by stop, take a pamphlet and look at the Africans dancing.  
For two months, the dog trainers have been waiting for a meeting with the prefecture. In vain. But today during the demonstration, a communication is made with the prefecture. A meeting is obtained for the next day. This is already a victory that the Africans greet with pride.  
haute en page  
Wedding in the vineyard  
Hautvillers Hautvillers is a famous village in the Champagne vineyards. A Benedictine monk, Dom Pérignon, was the great inventor of champagne. That was some 300 years ago.
Carole and Sebastien, who both live in the vinery, wished that I went bless their wedding. Carole works for a printer. Sebastien is a “master wine” at a cooperative and is little by little taking the torch from his father’s vinery.  
Both of them are very attached to the vineyard and love to compare the life of a couple to the work done to the vine. They know that a bad blow of the shears can wound or weaken the vine-stock. Every gesture has a consequence on the growth of the young sprout. It has to be protected, maintained, let ripened and one must take the time to observe it and listen.  
The Abbey of Hautvillers is packed like on the days of great celebrations. Carole and Sebastien come down the aisle and then welcome the assembly. They said how important it was for them that the celebration of the wedding was made in a church.  
I found it very moving the moment of their reciprocal engagement: « I promise to love you faithfully during all my life, in good times and in bad times.»
They pronounced these words with solemnity, looking at each other in the eye. For them, this is possible with the grace of God, with the help of their families and their many friends. When there is love, it is possible to go far together.  
I gave Carole and Sebastian this piece of advice that consists in taking the time to talk to each other and to forgive when necessary. Many couples, which have not done this, have separated.  
fêt de mariage In the great hall of the village, champagne flowed. It was the time to celebrate. A glass of champagne in my hand, I went to talk to those I did not know. Then, I took the train back to Paris.
haute en page  
The victims of nuclear tests  
A bill is being drafted for the victims of nuclear tests. It is a success! For many years, the support committee « Vérité et Justice (Truth and Justice) » has been fighting for the recognition of the consequences of the nuclear tests and a just compensation for the victims. But the Ministry of Defense has always persisted in declaring, against all evidence, that the nuclear tests have been « clean » and have had no consequences, neither on the health of the persons nor on the environment!  
The so touching film: « Gerboise bleue » on the nuclear tests in the Sahara recalls to us the sad reality. The United States, by the law of 1988, has admitted that the nuclear tests have made victims and have compensated them.  
A press conference was organized in the House of Parliament. The purpose was to make known our comments about the draft of the bill. There were many people. Polynesians were present.  
essais nucléaires It is recalled that there has been 210 explosions in the Sahara from 1960 to 1966. The bill cannot only be limited to the military consequences and the populations exposed but also to the environment. It is even truer in Mururoa and in the French Polynesians isles.
I share my fear that the bill will benefit only a small number of irradiated people. The conditions are such that few of the victims will be able to receive a compensation.  
Fantastic sums have been spent for nuclear tests. And it was never a problem for the French government.  
Today, in June 2009, the present status of the bill for the military program allows to the Ministry of Defense 185 billions of Euros, of which 101 billion for equipment. There does not seem to be any problem. But for irradiated veterans suffering from cancer and other sicknesses, there is a problem. There is no money.  
We are not asking for charity, we are demanding justice.
réclame la justice