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France

Steve’s dead. Enough police violence and state lies! Castaner out!

Statement by NPA

Sunday 11 August 2019, by NPA

The body of 24-year-old Steve has been identified. The young man died, drowned in the Loire River after a police charge on the evening of the Fête de la Musique in Nantes. Our thoughts are obviously with his family, his loved ones, and all those who almost lost their lives that night.

They had come to celebrate. And then suddenly, shortly after 4:00 in the morning, the police charged. Dogs, batons, tear gas, hundreds of people in panic. And some of them threw themselves into the Loire to escape the police. Fourteen of them were rescued by the fire brigade, fortunately present on the scene. Steve wasn’t so lucky.

This latest episode of violence adds to the endless list of misdeeds committed by police officers who are driven by such a feeling of hatred and impunity that they do not hesitate to endanger lives, wound, maim and kill.

Steve died, as have dozens of young people in the working class neighbourhoods, either under police blows or trying to escape them. Steve died, as did Rémi Fraisse before him, guilty of having demonstrated. Steve’s dead, and we’re angry.

In his first statements, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe dared to state that there was "no link" between the police charge and Steve’s death. After the lies about Geneviève Legay, the lies about the Pitié-Salpêtrière, the lies about the violence against the yellow vests, the government is once again trying to cover up police abuses.

Enough! Enough! Steve died because of an unjustifiable police charge, ordered in the middle of the night, on a platform without barriers, with obvious risks known to the police, as Mediapart revealed. Those responsible must be identified. And the principal of them, Castaner, must resign. Beyond that, it is time to put an end to the authoritarian governance of Macronia: we claim the right to demonstrate, but also to celebrate, and quite simply to come and go, without risking being hit by the cops. The street is ours!

Montreuil, July 30, 2019

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