Since 2011, families of murdered, injured and mutilated victims have been marching against state violence on 18 March, in response to a call from Montreal in 1997 by the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP) for an International Day Against Police Brutality. As part of this mobilization, over 1,000 people demonstrated in Toulouse, France, at the call of many organizations including Toulouse Anti-CRA , the Truth and Justice Committee 31 and AutonoMIE. At the Palais de Justice metro station, the demonstrators gathered at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, carrying many banners in support of the victims of state violence, against racism and fascism, in support of the Palestinian resistance, for freedom of movement and against the immigration detention centers in France.
Before the demonstration started, several speeches took place, in particular in tribute to Dine, who died in the Albi police station, and to Marie-Reine, who was the victim of police violence in Agen. Then, an activist read the united statementt stressing that “this systemic violence is part of the spectrum of racist colonialist violence, suffered first and foremost by the inhabitants of overseas territories and working-class neighborhoods. We mobilize against state racism, part of the anti-racist and popular struggles, and affirm the centrality of the anti-racist struggle in the anti-fascist struggle.” She concluded her intervention by mentioning the fact that “anti-racist and anti-colonial organizations suffer from ongoing dissolutions and legislative, police and political intimidation and repression. In Toulouse, for example, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra has been fighting for more than a year against the Ministry of the Interior, which issued an order for its dissolution, and also against the city hall, which is trying by all means to ban the activities of the Collectif.”
The Collectif Palestine Vaincra, a co-organizer of the demonstration, was present with a Palestine contingent led by the banner, “From Gaza to Jerusalem: Resistance!” The Collectif is also a member of the Samidoun Network. The contingent emphasized the fundamentally anti-colonialist and anti-racist nature of the Palestinian people’s struggle for liberation. Throughout the course of the demonstration, the contingent chanted slogans in French and Arabic against colonialism and racism, such as “Algeria has won, Palestine will win” , “Down with imperialism and Zionism, long live Palestinian resistance” , “Down with state racism!” and against the twinning of Toulouse with Tel Aviv.
Many people carried posters calling for the development of the international campaign to boycott Israel, in support of the Palestinian resistance, to demand the immediate release of Palestinian prisoners and Georges Abdallah, and in support of the families of Palestinian martyrs whose bodies are still detained by the Israeli occupation.
The demonstration ended under the rain with a friendly and enthusiastic gathering at La Chapelle, bringing together many participants. An activist from the Collectif Palestine Vaincra read the statement below, discussing why the Collectif views this day as an important occasion for international solidarity and joint struggle:
The Collectif Palestine Vaincra is present today against state violence, systemic racism and borders. We walk with you because we are an anti-colonialist collective committed to the Palestinian people and to defend their legitimate right to resist settler colonialism, occupation and apartheid.
Despite the colonial violence that has plagued Palestine for more than 75 years, from mass imprisonment to ethnic cleansing to the imprisonment of the bodies of martyrs even after their death, the Palestinian people continue to fight for their right to self-determination. They remain a symbol of the struggles against racism and colonialism.
Let us remember that Israel is an extension of European colonialism and that committing to the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea also means fighting here against state racism, systemic violence and French imperialism. To commit to the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea is to commit to the liberation of all!
More than ever, we must intensify the ongoing mobilizations against pension reform, state violence and the Darmanin law, because a victory here in France would also be an important victory against the Israeli occupation, which is supported by the French government and French employers. This is the same government that wanted to dissolve our collective: one year after this decision, we are still here and the struggle continues!
Palestine will live, Palestine will win!
Finally, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra calls upon all to take part in the rally on Thursday March 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Capitole metro to demand the end of the twinning between Toulouse and Tel Aviv. We do not accept that Israeli crimes continue, in particular thanks to the support of the city where we live! Join us!