The march of people without legal permit to stay in
- In Toulouse, with the sun shining on Capitol square, the people without
legal permit to stay in France get together at the same time as the market
starts its activity and weddings are celebrated at the Town hall.
- During summer, some of those people had started an hunger strike. The
promises of the local Administration were not fulfilled and have disappointed.
One of them commited suicide. His wife, still affected by this drama has
come for the demonstration. We speak to each other.
- But life is stronger, the struggle still goes on. Today we start the
march to Paris. A solemn time. With their backpacks and their caps the
walkers are impatient to start. After a few speeches I join them to cross
the city of Toulouse.
- The march should last a month and a half with well prepared stopping
places. What will happen during the march? Will they be well received?
Did the public opinion take its share of concern? Will others join them
- Each day on the net, I read with interest an account of their adventure.
The adventure of the Mission
- I was sharing bread and friendship with Frederick, a young missionary
on the departure to Guinea, in a rural area populated by a majority of
Moslems, without means of communication, even not knowing those with whom
he is going to work with. It is the unknown and the adventure.
- But Frederick already holds in his heart the people from Guinea to
whom he is sent to help and the young ones he is going to teach at school.
- The Gospel's Witness is a nomad who has for vocation the meeting of
people. Life at the Gospel's service is an adventure which shapes the heart
of those who commit themselves to it.
A meeting of Curds
In Germany, in Dortmund, the huge stadium is full of Curds, it is a festival.
Each time I participate to their meeting I am stricken by their dignity
and their determination. I meet again a group of young musicians who came
from Montpellier in a delivery truck during the night. They offer me their
CD as a gift.
- In the crowd, one Curd managed with a lot of difficulties to reach
me. Finally in front of me he said: " Do you recognize me? I am Mehmet.
I recognized Mehmet, an immigrant without legal permit who at that time
stayed several months at the Bishop's palace of Evreux. I am happy to see
him again and to learn what has happened to him. He is married, he has
a home, he has found a job, he speaks French well.... Our conversation
is unfortunately interrupted , I am asked to go to the speaker's platform.
I have to speak to the crowd, I am reading the text in German quickly translated
into Curd. "The catastrophic earthquake in Turkey has overturned world
opinion. We have seen an extraordinary movement of solidarity, through
the borders and the dissension's. But in regard of the terrorism of the
State which oppresses the people since 20 years, nobody cares, nobody becomes
- International opinion is not concerned.....
If Ocalan has been cowardly abandoned by our western governments, he
will never be abandoned by his people. Any humiliation done to Ocalan is
felt as a blow to the dignity of the Curd people. These injustices and this
oppression do not breach the determination of the Curd people. The meeting
of today is a testimony of this. An opportunity for peace is opened, it
is a political solution not a military one. Turks and Curds can win only
Dialogue at the airport
At the registry office, going to Germany, a young stewardess is preparing
my boarding pass. Suddenly, looking at me she says to me: " Can I speak
about a personal case? I am a catholic and I would like to be married at
the church, but my boy friend is not baptized. I was told that a marriage
at the church will not be possible if he were not baptized. We don't know
what to do."
- " Your boy friend does not need to be baptized to be married
at the church.
- Really? Baptism will not be imposed to him?
- One has not to imposed. One has to respect. A marriage at the church
is done in an atmosphere of freedom where the one who does not share the
catholic faith is respected for his convictions.
- This news is marvelous. He will be so happy when I tell him this
- I wish both of you lots of happiness.
Once again the plane is late, very late. It is an opportunity to speak
with another stewardess who is alone at the boarding gate. She is from Tunisia,
married with a Tunisian. Naturally the conversation turns into the foreigners
without legal permit. I was astounded by her statement: " Personally
I think that they are too many foreigners in France, they should come back
to their own country" - What? You are a Tunisian married with a Tunisian
and you speak like that? What you have succeeded to do in France, why don't
you want it possible for the others? France is a rich country which could
receive more foreigners. I don't understand why you don't fill a solidarity
for the foreigners without a legal permit" Clearly embarrassed, she
answered: " it is not very often that I hear these kind of statements
from a French person. You are probably right"