carnet de route
A march for Gaza  
Place des Vosges  
In front of the of Haitian Embassy  
« You have not talked about God »  
A march for Gaza  
dialogue A press conference was held in Paris. I was next to an Imam and a Jewish friend of mine. A symbol showing better than words that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a religious one.
I will participate to this march so that the Palestinian people of Gaza will not sink into oblivion. Silence has fallen gradually onto this country destroyed by the Israeli aggression. During the conflict that started on December 27th 2008, Gaza hit the headlines in the international press. Today, the Middle East policy is sinking and the plan for peace is still at a standstill. But the Palestinians continue to survive with dignity and courage that commands admiration.  
How is it possible to forget that one million and a half people are deprived of their fundamentals rights? Right to work, right to education, to health care, to free movement, to drinkable water, to electricity... How is it possible to accept a blockade that asphyxiates the population? The Gaza strip has become a large prison in the open air.  
The poverty line reaches 80% of the population. The unemployment rate hits 60%. Not less than 900 prisoners in the Gaza strip are incarcerated in Israel. The young people have grown up into an occupied territory and families are decimated by violence.
asphyxie d'une population
Passing by Egypt, we will try to cross the roadblock at Rafah. They will be waiting for us. The population of Gaza will know that it has not been forgotten, nor abandoned. At this time of the season, we will live with the population a moment of fraternity and solidarity.  
la paix est possible The March for Gaza will demonstrate that peace is possible and that it is placed in our hands. Collective awareness is on the march. Is hope not, in part, in the civilian society?
We will be many to come to this part of the world where is being played, undoubtebly, the future of humanity.  
haute en page  
Place des Vosges  
sans logement The seasonal winter truce is now effective. 1.8 million families who have difficulties to pay their rent have been waiting for this moment. The eviction of tenants is thus prohibited in France until March 15.
The « Black Thursday » students, these galey slaves of housing, have squatted in an 18th century private hotel at the time that the truce was beginning. It is situated at the famous Place des Vosges at the heart of Paris. Famous because the Marchioness de Sévigny was born there.  
This building has been abandoned since 1965! It has deteriorated throughout the years. José, a student, gave me a tour of this residential estate: large windows looking onto the place des Vosges, painted beams, ancient chimneys, interior court...It is a luxury squat! How is it possible to abandon such a space, when housing is so short! A recent study showed that 110,000 housing facilities are vacant in Paris.
action Jeudi Noir
The owner of the premises, an old woman of 87 years, has brought an action against the young squatters.  
In the meantime, the « Black Thursday » students are organizing themselves and giving life to this abandoned hotel. They will spend their winter in a warm place.  
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In front of the of Haitian Embassy  
People with no official documents from Haiti have gathered on the sidewalk in front of the Embassy. They sang, they danced, listened to speeches, and they yelled out untiringly their slogans. What vitality! Time flies and they showed no sign of weariness.
These Haitians are like the great majority of the 400,000 workers with no official documents in France. They pay their taxes and social contributions without being able to have access to the rights and benefits that are attached to them (retirement, unemployment benefit, local authority housing, public services...) The French State receives each year approximately 2 billions of euros from their taxes. When they are deported to their country of origin, they are left with no resources.  
On the same occasion, their country is penalized. Because this workers with no official documents are undeniable actors of the economic and social development of their country with the money sent by them to their country each month.  
The money sent by the immigrants (with or without official documents) represents three times the financial aid of governments of rich countries.  
In France, it is the consulates that deliver the necessary passes for their deportation. In doing so, they become accomplices of this racket and deprive their country of an indispensable aid.  
A delegation is received at the Haitian Embassy. We have already met 7 consulates: Algeria, Burkina-Faso, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. It is recognized by the authorities that the deportation of these workers is an injustice. The consulates do not sign the passes anymore.  
The only way to stop this inadmissible racket is to stop the deportations and to regularize all the workers with no official documents.
arret l'expulsion
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« You have not talked about God »  
After talking during three quarters of an hour, it was the audience's turn to speak. « You have not spoken about God, nor pronounced the word God. Why? »
nous porton des images de Dieu
I avoid indeed using this word. We have in each and every one of us a very different image of God that is sometimes a caricature. When I hear speeches on God, they tell me nothing or very little! But when someone speaks well about human beings, it tells me something about God.  
The philosopher Simone Weil once said: « It is not in the way that a man talks about God that I see that he has been touched by God's love, but in the way he talks to me about terrestrial matters. »  
The theologian Maurice Zundel liked to repeat: « When someone asks me who is God, I answer: Tell me first who is man? »  
Jesus was not speaking about God in using the Bible but he was drawing examples from the large book of human experience. He started from the life of everyday and that of ordinary people he met to unveil the mystery of God. Are we not made to the image and likeness of God? Christmas invites us to see God in the face of man.