Log-book: May 1999
MARSEILLES: FAMILIES EXPELLED
I was going by train with Professor Schwartzenberg and the President of DAL (Droit Au Logement: A right for lodging). It was a pleasure to travel in such company. For the second time in a week, we were going to Marseilles. Several families had occupied an empty building down town. In the evening the police came to expel these families using brutality. They had no alternative lodging. They had no other place to go. The DAL in Marseilles took it to court.
A demonstration took place in the charming old harbor. It was holiday time and Holy Saturday! These families were pleased to see us. They still want to go on and to struggle for decent lodging. After several speeches, we walked together to the town hall to make protest to the council. On our way people stopped and looked at our banners, listened to what we were saying" To have a roof over our head is our right" "No expulsion without a new lodging"
STRASBOURG: A WALK FOR PEACE
The Movement for Peace, to which I belong for several years, is holding
its meeting in front of the Palace of Europe. Many young Germans are there
with their banners: "War: a crime against humanity" " Stop
air raids" "NATO and bombing are not a solution". It is an
opportunity for me to tell to the media that the state of war is already
a failure. After the speech we start a long walk through the streets of
Strasbourg. A walk for peace at Easter day!
DJIBOUTI: POLITICAL PRISONERS
Since 19 months, about forty prisoners are under unhumanized conditions
of arrest in Djibouti. Two prisoners have already died. Height others are
in danger. To protest against these harmful conditions, the other prisoners
started a hunger strike. To show their solidarity, people from Djibouti
living in Belgium and France did the same thing: a hunger strike. I am going
to meet the group in Bagnolet, a suburb of Paris. In a humble lodging I
met Aicha their leader. What a person! In the media world she is called:
"The lioness of Djibouti", "the unsubdued"...She cannot
be forgotten. I like to visit and to join them in their struggle; they became
a kind of a family for me. Aicha demand the liberation of political prisoners.
She accuses France for an unconditional support of the anti-democratic regime
PHILADELPHIA: DEFENSE OF MUMIA ABU JAMAL
In a Parisian cafe a press conference is hold to explain our departure
to Philadelphia and why we are going to defend Mumia. Danielle Mitterand
is among us and will come with us. Mumia is a courageous journalist who
maintains his innocence since 17 years. During all this time he is waiting
that his death sentence is applied. He was arrested in 1981 when he was
going to help his brother attacked by the police and he was accused to have
killed a policeman. He was condemned to a death sentence after an unfair
trial. In reality he has been condemned for his political action in favor
of the Black Panthers in 1970.The Police and the Judges wanted to silence
him, because he was known as the one who "gives voice for those who
are not allowed to speak". On April 24 for his 45th birthday, a big
demonstration will take place in Philadelphia to demand a new trial and
abolition of death penalty. I will be a member of the French group, about
60 persons, all active in human rights.
SILENT WALK FOR SOLIDARITY
A young man died during a police search in a popular area of Paris. His name is Souleymane. He was 21. His family and associations in the area are acting for clarifying the circumstances of his death and for avoiding stopping the enquiry. I am impressed with this silent walk. What a dignity! Young ones hand out leaflets where it is written: " Stop violence", this is popular in these suburban areas. The young are fed up with racism, violence and fear. They want to reverse that logic of death. Who will be able to do it if not them? This gives us some hope.
PS: Partenia some figures, 1998
Total number of pages presented in seven laguages on the WEB last year: 66 430
Total number of visitors last year: 114 000
Increase of visitors last year: 22'000
Month average of visitors: 9 500
Number of e-mail messages received by Bishop Jacques Gaillot: 2 500
Number of e-mail messages received by the Webmaster: 1 460
Active Forum members form October 1 to December 31, 1998: 393