Emmanuel Macron hits in front of memory of victims of “inexcusable crimes” of October 17, 1961

Sixty years after the facts, the head of state filed a tricolor wreath in memory of Algerian protesters thrown into the Seine. One more step towards a memorial reconciliation or a missed opportunity, the opinions diverge.

by and

The wreath of tricolor flowers, bull of the ribbon “The President of the Republic”, was deposited on the boards of the walk of the Bezons Bridge, the same where the bodies of protesters FLN were thrown into the water. October 17, 1961. Emmanuel Macron frozen in a minute of solemn silence, a serious face. “I was moved to be there,” he’ll slip later. In front of him, the course of the Seine is just disturbed by the intermittent passage of the barges that slide under the autumn sun between Saint-Denis and Reuil-Malmaison. This Saturday, October 16, sixty years after the facts, the Head of State knows that the least of his actions on this theater of one of the great tragedies of the period of the Algerian war is thick, scrutinized. And that the least of his words will wear, including beyond Mediterranean. The event is one of the highlights of the approach of “memorial reconciliation” that it calls from its wishes around Algeria, its poisoned heritage and his desires for the future.

At the foot of Bezons, alongside the different “memories” (children of FLN families, harkis, black feet etc.) welded in the emotion, there were tight hands, braces, Words slid in the ear, white roses thrown by each other on the waves. But there was no speech. It was a bias of the Elysée who considered that his only “presence” was eloquent. The presidential speech will fall later in the form of a statement that everyone will discover, happy, half-satisfied or disappointed according to the level of his expectations.

“A brutal, violent repression”

In this text, Mr. Macron recalls “the tragedy” of “a brutal, violent, bloody repression” with his “dozens of killed” and “the bodies thrown at the Seine”. And he adds, the most awaited formula since he had to a moment qualify the facts: “The crimes committed that night under the authority of Maurice Papon are inexcusable for the Republic”. He therefore expresses the word “state crime” that the associations of the memory of 17 October 1961 hoped. He avoids as much of mentioning the responsibility of the police institution in the Commission of these “crimes”. There is talk of “the authority of Maurice Papon”, the police prefect of the time, promoted scapegoat of the whole “tragedy”.

Around the president, the emotion is palpable, especially since he has been able to address in complete intimacy to the various representatives, to listen to their grievances, their pain and their hopes. “It’s a very important moment, it’s a recognition that repairs”, abounds Zina Berrahal, daughter of a demonstrator of October 17, 1961. “I would have liked to hear this speech because I know it’s his own words, Comment Mehdi Ali Boumendjel, grandson of Ali Boumendjel, Algerian nationalist lawyer “tortured and murdered” by the soldiers in full battle of Algiers in 1957. But recognize the facts as he pronounced them, it’s a real Advanced. “Journalist Nora Hamadi, active activist on popular neighborhoods, believes that the coming of the president at the edge of the Seine is” a big step on this path, but it remains long “. She was able to explain directly to the Head of State that this work of memory must also pass through “the issue of discrimination and police-population report, the historical continuum”. “The Republic does not have to stay a slogan,” she adds.

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/Media reports.