Log-book: May 2002

  Illegal Refugees Invite Themselves to an Electoral Campaign 
  Partenia Meeting in Brussels  Illegal Refugees on the March 
  Blood Donations  Meeting Support 
  French Bibliography  Archives of Partenia 




The Bible

Special Edition

Illegal Refugees Invite Themselves to an Electoral Campaign

The Museum of African Arts is quickly occupied by three hundred illegal refugees, most of them African. What a beautiful symbol to find oneself in this ancient "House of Colonies" from which these African have come!

prendre la parole 

Streamers are unfurled, followed by speeches, the media gears up and portable telephones are used to have a delegation received by the Directors of the electoral campaign from the Right and the Left. This risky action does not displease the illegal refugees.

As usual, the police parked their cars in large numbers near the building. Then there was the strange spectacle of the police deploying with their helmets, their shields, their clubs. With expulsion as their goal.

We entered the office of the electoral campaign and our delegation was received by the Director himself. The illegal refugees then stated what none of the rest of us could. "You are trying to take away our dreams" said a Morroccain in France for eleven years. "I am ashamed to tell you that I have been wearing the same clothes for a month. I cannot change them" confided a young Kabyle who works under the table. "We are at the end. We are trying to survive" claimed an African spokesman of a refugee shelter I cannot get used to such disturbing words. The Director was taking notes, listening attentively. On an official form , he confirmed the receipt of about one hundred files.

Outside, in the night, all the waiting illegal refugees were surrounded by the police. The delegates expressed hope about their meeting by showing the magic form from the Director.  survivre






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Partenia Meeting in Brussels
Bruxelles  It was a pleasure to come to Brussels to meet friends who are dear to me. 
The network of friends of the Partenia is very active here, especially through their regular correspondence with the Cardinals and the Papal Nuncios of Brussels and Paris, the Chief Cardinal of the Congregation of Bishops in Rome as well as the Secretariat of State.
For a long time my Belgian friends have been hoping to be re-united with me, to understand each other better, exchange stories of their experiences and hopes, hear what I am doing and to take the time to enjoy ourselves at a buffet with Belgian beer! We didn't notice the passing of the time!
I gave thanks to God for this joyful moment shared by happy people who do not tolerate injustice and know how to give the best of themselves.



Illegal Refugees on the March

In bright sunlight I came to Lyons to meet the illegal refugees from Marseilles. There were about sixty of them. It was a march of rebellious dignity. A march to regularize their situation.

Sans-papiers en manifestation 

With joy I found myself amongst the illegal refugees of Lyons who had known eight months of battle and servitude: a shut-down and unhealthy hotel , Carnot Square after the hell of the Sarrail Wharf where they were not permitted to erect tents to protect themselves from the elements. On top of that, they were expelled, in the snow, from an empty office building in the middle of December, attempts of police brutality, the silence of public opinion…. Today, there are more than one hundred people occupying the hall of the train station. What sadness to live in such a dilapidated building! The women reminded me that they had told me at the beginning of their fight "we won't give up!" They are still determined.

conférence de presse  After the Press Conference, there was a big meeting at the Trade Unions building. 

We denounced the indifference, the contempt of the political leaders in the face of this tragic situation for families and single people alike. The illegal refugees are condemned to going underground, to working under the table, living in unhealthy dwellings, at the mercy of police control. They survive. But we also took the time to celebrate: there was music, songs, dancing. The illegal refugees are visibly happy.

If the march on Paris does not produce results, they'll play their last card: a hunger strike.




Blood Donations

In front of the hospital, near Notre-Dame of Paris Cathedral, people, mostly youths, came to donate blood for hospitals in Palestine, that badly need it. The lines formed and everyone registered.

Marie, a young woman. who had come to see me, asked me if she could accompany me to the hospital. We left together. I felt that she was happy to discover the ambiance that reigned between the militants of the associations, happy to do something concrete for the Palestinians. She registered to be a blood donor.

Donating her blood was not just simply humanitarian aid, it was also a political gesture. The most difficult thing to obtain is the political willpower so that this blood actually arrives in the Palestinian hospitals. We pestered the hospital! Despite the promises, nothing was done that day. 




Meeting of Support

banderoles  I went to the Exhibition Park to support "a little candidate" in the Presidential elections, according to the term used by the media. There were 3000 militants and sympathizers 100% from the Left, in an overcharged atmosphere. 

I applauded when I heard a young Israeli reservist who had refused to serve in the army in order not to be part of the dirty work in the Occupied Territories. He only speaks Hebrew. His testimony was courageous. He received an ovation from everyone.

I again applauded when I heard a Palestinian affirm that his people are resisting and will continue to resist all efforts to destroy them.

Now we come to the intervention of the little candidate for whom I will vote. But as usual, I vote for people who are never elected…..   carte électoral

The candidate is a mailman. He is 27 years old. I discovered a militant person full of life, culture, commitment, who speaks plainly (the truth). I enjoyed listening to him. He represents a youth that is fighting so that a better world will be possible.