The rally was organized Tuesday evening at Place de la République in Paris to pay tribute to George Floyd gathered thousands of protesters. The leaders of the left and the green ones knelt on the ground.
The feelings of George Floyd’s funeral, which took place in Houston on Tuesday, June 9, were felt in France. They were about 2,400 protesters gathered at Place de la République in Paris, according to police headquarters – 12,000 according to organizers – to pay tribute to the man who has become the symbol of police violence around the world.
The crowd observed, kneeling on the ground, eight minutes and 46 seconds of silence, the time Derek Chauvin, charged with murder, held his knee to George Floyd’s neck, pressed to the ground and complained that he could no longer breathe.
George Floyd’s death: tribute to the Place de la République in Paris
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Jean-Luc Mélenchon (LFI), Olivier Faure (PS), Yannick Jadot (EELV), Fabien Roussel (PCF) were among the hundreds of people gathered at the call of SOS Racism, who echoed a ceremony in memory of George Floyd of Houston in USA.
“There is a movement that is growing in awareness in the country against the terrible pollution of racism, where we would not like to see it, in one important instance, the police,” said Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who came to demonstrate with several leaders for his movement.
“We must end the denial,” he added. He welcomed the fact that Christophe Castaner, announcing the end of the preventive immobilization procedure, recognizes that “gestures can kill”. “The national police must be taken back,” Jean-Luc Mélenchon added.
“I invite the police to report to their colleagues when they are racist and violent,” he added.
Singer and actress Camélia Jordana, who sparked controversy in May after accusing the police of “massacring” men and women for their skin color, came to sing “We Will Overcome,” an anthem for the civil rights movement.
Meetings in several cities in France
Collections of a few hundred people were also held in Mulhouse, Colmar and Metz. Several posters were labeled by the Parisian participants as “I say no to racism”, “White men are born free and equal” or “George Floyd, Cédric Chouviat, same police, same racism, same asphyxia”, referring to the delivery man who died in January in Paris during a controversial arrest.
These gatherings, although prohibited by law due to the health crisis, will be tolerated, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Tuesday.
To ease the controversy, Christophe Castaner on Monday announced measures to improve police ethics, including a “zero tolerance” of racism.
During a trip to the Paris region where he met the police, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe also tried to calm the controversy by demanding “respect and confidence” towards the police, but also the “requirement”, in a context of “very great” feeling.