Log-book: October 2004

  " Ein Katechismus, der Freiheit atmet " Saint Bernard Church: Year VIII
  Travel diary   
  Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike 




The Bible

Special Edition

" Ein Katechismus, der Freiheit atmet "

Ein Katechismus, der Freiheit atmet
Our German friends like this title: a catechism that makes breath the liberty! This new publication is a translation of "Catéchisme au goût de liberté "
(Ed. Ramsay 2003)  

This translation is the result of the work of Katharina Haller who, from Zurich, has organized the translation, promotion and distribution of the book. It is an enormous task. May we express that all our thanks and appreciations go to her!

I was invited to attend in Erfstadt, near Cologne, to the 25th anniversary of a parish center and 30th anniversary of the ordination of the parish priest.

à Erftstadt

A very beautiful celebration that will stay in our hearts. 

The only problem: the Cardinal of Cologne had just forbidden me to speak at the parish center. This saddened the Christians and the journalists showed their interest.

The mayor of Erfstadt immediately offered the large municipal hall to the organizers.
The event attracted a large and hearty group of people. In my opening remarks, in respect for the Cardinal, I declared that I would not give a speech, but I would gladly answer any questions from the audience. A very good meeting.
" Ein Katechismus, der Freiheit atmet " was a success!






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Saint Bernard Church: Year VIII
fracasser les portes On August 23 1996 at 7:56 in the morning, the French State Police Force (CRS) entered the St. Bernard Church after smashing the doors. The event was immortalized on a post card.
We still remember images of the scene. The families of the evicted homeless people without a working permit will never forget.
After eight years, like every year, a meeting in front of the Church is held to commemorate the event. Like always, the doors have been cautiously secured. Around the area, one can see the usual display of the CRS police force.
It is the summer vacation period. There is not a large crowd. We are maybe 1 500 people to march from République Square in destination for St. Bernard Church.
The homeless people organized the march themselves. The slogans were often the same as those heard during other demonstrations. But it is important to stay together and to continue our fight.
The demonstration lasted approximately two hours. In front of the Church, I am invited to speak to the demonstrators.

"This demonstration is one to defend our dignity, a rebellious dignity that shows our resistance. 

on lutte ensemble

Eight years after the eviction from St. Bernard Church, we are still here.
The CRS police may have smashed the doors of the Church. But they have not smashed our determination.

They have evicted the homeless from the Church, but did not succeed in preventing their legalization.
All or most of them have obtained their papers to be able to work.
This fight has been a long one. The obstacles were numerous. But our solidarity remained intact.
Their rights have been recognized.
The situation is still difficult today but it is not without solutions.
When we join in the same fight, we often win ".



Travel diary

I liked very much the new Walter Sales film on Ernesto Guevara that just came out this week in Paris.

Ernesto Guevara Ernesto, a student in medicine, is not yet known as the Che. He is 23 years of age; he is going on a trip across Latin America with a friend. He is hungry for discovery, but penniless and suffering from asthma.  

It is an initiatory voyage that will transform him and will reveal to him his true self. " I am not myself any more " he says on his return to Buenos Aires. His perception of life is going to change. Ours also after viewing the film!

He is deeply moved and revolted when he meets Indians dispossessed of their farms, peasants chased from their lands, oppressed workers and leprous kept at a distance.
The injustice he sees with his own eyes is unbearable to him. He gives away the little he has. His anger will bring him one day to take arms.
Ernesto Guevara does not hesitate to take sides for the people who suffer. He treats leprous like normal people. Wherever he goes, he shows solidarity with the oppressed.

This voyage prepares him to his destiny. The Che will become a legend.
His face, the star on his beret, will be known all around the world.
Che Guevara has become an icon.





Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike

On the 15th of August, around 4000 prisoners started a hunger strike in the Israeli prisons. They were denouncing the bad treatments, their isolation, that they were being kept away from their country, of having difficulties to communicate with friends and family, of being submitted to humiliating searches, of having no access to medical services...

prisionniers palestiniens When everything else fails, the prisoners still have the hunger strike.  

At the Fountain of the Innocents in Paris, a meeting to support the prisoners was organized. We were not very many, a lot less than the Palestinian soldiers! No member of the press was present. It was not the question of the day!

I found consolation in thinking that maybe the prisoners would hear that a few hundred militants have supported their action in Paris!
And even the Israeli ambassador in Paris had heard of our meeting!

Anyway, my place was there.
It reminds me that Théodore Monod said to me one day. We were demonstrating on a 6th of August in front of the Nuclear Commandment Center in Taverny, near Paris, for the anniversary of the launching of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. " Whatever little we can do, it must be done". And he added: " but with no illusions! ".