10 years after the assassination of Clément Méric: a successful week of tribute and struggle

JUNE 4 – PARIS: Demonstration in tribute to Clément Méric, young anti-fascist activist killed by neo-Nazis on 5 June 2013. JEAN KADER / ENCRAGE

Between Thursday, 1 June and Tuesday, 6 June, events and activities were organized throughout France to mark the 10th anniversary of the assassination of trade unionist and anti-fascist Clément Méric by neo-Nazis.

Organized by different organisations, several events took place in Île-de-France, beginning with the launch of the book “Clément Méric, une vie, desbates” at the Libertalia bookshop. A collective work by friends and relatives of Clément Méric, the book looks back on his life and seeks to restore the truth of the facts that led to his death. The rights to and proceeds of the book will be donated to the Committee for Clement.

The next day, the Kilowatt in Ivry hosted the first concert of the weekend, a punk and hardcore set bringing together prominent performers in the scene, including Agnostic FrontBrigada Flores MagonBull BrigadeSyndrome 81 and The Ready Mades.

On Saturday, 3 June,  the day opened at République, at the Bourse du Travail, for the first events of the anti-fascist meeting. Several hundred people made the trip to attend the roundtables and forums which took place throughout the day, translated into several languages ​​for the foreign delegations. Salah Hamouri, the French-Palestinian lawyer and former political prisoner forcibly deported to France by the Israeli occupation, was invited for a discussion around the current situation in Palestine and the state of the resistance. He also discussed the more than 10 years of political harassment against him until the revocation of his Jerusalemite resident status and his deportation last December by the colonial authorities.

In the middle of the afternoon, the MFC 1871 and its supporters gathered at the Louis Lumière stadium in the 20th arrondissement in Paris for the closing matches of the season of its women’s teams. A large display in the club’s colors and a banner were displayed in a crowded stand, encouraging to the club’s teams to excel and snatch two victories for this symbolic date.

In the evening, the day ended with the second concert of the weekend at La Parole Errante Demain in Montreuil. The rap and hip-hop event boasted a full bill, including several prominent names such as Rocé, Ryaam, Just Shani, Costa and Sean. Performers took turns at the microphones in front of more than 1,500 people before Médine shook the ground of Montreuil with its musicians, emphasizing on several occasions the importance of the anti-fascist and anti-capitalist struggle in the current situation. In addition, several Palestinian flags and banners for the release of Georges Abdallah were visible during the show while the crowd chanted “Palestine will live, Palestine will win!” This exceptional concert concluded in style with the set of DJ Pone, accompanied by the Svinkels, a last minute surprise, who made their classic hits resonate before a packed audience.

Samidoun Paris Banlieue attended the event with our comrades from Samidoun Brussels, holding a stand together with several other organizations. Throughout the evening, we denounced the situation of Walid Daqqah, Palestinian intellectual and freedom fighter, incarcerated for 37 years in colonial prisons. He is now suffering from a rare form of cancer which requires appropriate medical care, denied to him by the occupation. His family has launched an international campaign for his liberation, calling for the widest support around the world.

Samidoun activists also promoted various campaigns for the release of Georges Abdallah,  for support for imprisoned Palestinian students and for the boycott of Israel.

On Sunday, 4 June in Barbes, several thousand people had gathered for the mass anti-fascist demonstration, a central part of the commemorations that take place each year. For the 10th anniversary, and as in previous years, several international delegations had made the trip, waving their flags and badges above the procession. Alongside various organizations such as the NPASolidaires, la Fosse aux Lyons, Tsedek! and others, Samidoun Paris Banlieue marched in the demonstration. We expressed our solidarity with one of the longest-held political prisoners in Europe, incarcerated since 1984 in French prisons: the Lebanese Arab communist struggle for Palestine, Georges Abdallah.

Photo credit: Tulyppe

Throughout the march route, chants and songs animated the procession from Barbes to Gambetta. Accompanied by a multitude of torches, a sea of ​​double-masted flags rose around Gare de l’Est to pay tribute to the struggles and figures of the radical and anti-imperialist left. Thus mingled the faces of Zineb Redouane and Olivio Gomes (murdered by police officers on duty), Clément Méric and Carlos Palomino (killed by neo-Nazis), references to the struggles of the Kurdish, Kanak and Palestinian peoples as well as support for Georges Abdallah.

Photo credit: Tulyppe

At rue St Maur, a huge 15-meter banner was hung over the facade of a building, featuring a massive image of Clément Méric, guitar in hand, and these few words: “Clément – ​​Forever one of us – Paris Brest Antifascist”. A few meters further on, another banner bearing his likeness was unfurled. The demonstration ended in Gambetta where several speeches took place.

On Monday, 5 June, a tribute rally was held at rue Caumartin, the scene of the death of Clément Méric. On this occasion, several hundred people gathered alongside Sud Solidaires, the NPARévolution Permanente and others. This long weekend of commemoration and anti-fascist mobilization ended with the inter-union demonstration against the pension reform where nearly a million people demonstrated all over France. This mobilization underlined the determination of the workers to put a stop to this reactionary attack and to the neo-liberal savagery of the government and its allies. In addition, we denounce the repression which affected several participants in the antifascist weekend, as reported in this press release.

Photo credit: Audrey MG – @vanites_parisiennes

Samidoun Paris Banlieue was naturally present in these events alongside Samidoun Brussels, because the anti-Zionist and anti-fascist fights are inextricably linked. As Palestinian revolutionary Georges Habash said in 1977: “Israel is a fascist state, and I cannot believe it will last. Any struggle against fascism must win.” In the continuity of this commitment, we call for widespread participation in the next initiatives to support the Palestinian resistance, in particular the rally in support of Walid Daqqah organized on June 10 by CAPJPO-EuroPalestine and the demonstration organized by the Unitary campaign for the release of Georges Abdallah on 18 June.