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France: « Let’s wake up », by Omar Sy

PETITION

Sunday 7 June 2020, by siawi3

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Source: https://www.nouvelobs.com/societe/20200604.OBS29701/let-s-wake-up-by-omar-sy.html

« Let’s wake up », by Omar Sy

After the death of George Floyd in the United States, the actor, favorite person of the French, is commiting himself to the fight against racism and police violence in an international appeal.

by Omar Sy

04 juin 2020 à 14h47 Mis à jour le 04 juin 2020 à 15h37

photo: Omar Sy. (Sylvain Lefevre / Getty Images)

George Floyd, aka « Big Floyd », a 46-year-old African-American father of two went to buy a pack of cigarettes on May 25 in Minneapolis. With a twenty dollar bill, which the grocer took for a fake. On the ground, his neck crushed by the knee of a policeman, suffocated, asphyxiated, George Floyd is dead. For nothing. A surge of indignation, natural and obvious, seized crowds all over the world. I walked for George Floyd in the United States. The name of George Floyd had many others echoing in my head.
That of Adama Traoré, in France.
A human tide invaded the surroundings of the Paris court on June 2, rallies were held in several cities in France. The death of Adama Traoré is as unjust and unworthy as that of George Floyd. I am delighted that we are aware of this today, I am delighted to see tens of thousands of people from all walks of life surrounding Adama Traore, his brothers, his sister, Assa, to hear their supporters coming from all over the world. For four years, this family has shown unrelenting, daily determination that is matched only by its endless grief. For four years, this family resisted in too great a solitude, in the face of injustice, in the face of the inertia of the judiciary system, in the face of the indifference of the public authorities. She bravely stood firm. But how many other families, less numerous, less supported, have collapsed under the blows of a deaf justice at their requests, flouting the rights which it is supposed to represent ? Let us remember their names: Malik Oussekine, Makomé, Lamine Dieng, Babacar Gaye, Gaye Camara, Ibrahima Ba, Rémy Fraisse, Angelo Garant, Sabri Choubi, Cédric Chouviat, Ali Ziri, Hakim Ajimi, Gabriel ... the list goes on and on.

Let’s wake up.
Adama Traoré, a resident of Beaumont-sur-Oise, who was celebrating his 24th birthday on July 19, 2016. He rode a bike, Bermuda shorts, bob on his head, smiling, quiet, in the streets of his city, accompanied by his brother, Bagui. French gendarmes controled him. Adama Traoré did not have his ID. He ran away. The police caught up with him. Crushed, asphyxiated, embarked. Adama Traoré died a few hours later, on the floor of the Persian gendarmerie. For nothing. To him, as to George Floyd, justice has invented « a heart disease », failing hearts. But I have only one question, and it is the only one that counts : Would these men have died if they had not crossed the path of the police?

Let’s wake up.
Let’s hold on in our turn, let’s arm ourselves with courage, be vigilant, let no more pass four years to demand accountability. The death of a man in the context of a disproportionate and excessive use of force must be punished.
George Floyd and Adama Traoré had one thing in common: They were both black and large, their lives turned into horror in a matter of hours. For nothing. I’m 1.92, I’m black, I look like them. Can the same thing happen to me ? Is this likely to happen to my children tomorrow? To your children? This nameless fear, this unjustified fear, which swells in our lives must disappear. I know this feeling that eats away from the inside, I have seen in my life dramas related to the intervention of the police, at the time when I was an anomyme. Like Adama Traoré, like Zied and Bouna, who died at the age of 15 and 17 in Clichy-sous-Bois in 2005, I ran when I crossed the path of the police. I didn’t have an open microphone to say how real this fear is. That of dying in the hands of the police. I affirm today that it has existed for too many years, and this fear is transmitted from generation to generation. No matter what threats or pressures come back, you should never be quiet again. No word should be isolated when it carries a speech of justice. Our leaders must hear, understand, act to change this, it is a disease that is eating away at our country, and it does not bode well for our future.

Let’s wake up.
Look ahead, have the courage to denounce the police violence that is committed in France. Let us commit to remedy it. Let’s no longer be spectators of a violent system, which buries the memories of these dead in oblivion, which systematically throws their names in the pit of dismissals. We must take advantage of this momentum created by the Floyd affair to refuse this coarse cleavage, which consists in sorting out among us, the bad guys and the good guys. There is only one camp, that of justice. We all aspire to a police force worthy of our democracy, a police force which protects its population, regardless of skin color or social origin, the same for everyone, whether they live in downtown or in working-class neighborhoods. Police capable, as we have seen in recent days in the United States, of joining the demonstrators, of kneeling on the ground to denounce the violence that soiled their uniforms. In France too, it seems obvious to me that the majority of police officers do not condone these violent acts. I invite them to break the silence.

Let’s wake up.
The massive support given to the family of Adama Traore, four years after the facts, is a necessity. It is the springboard of our united, determined, reasoned commitments for a fight that in reality does not suffer any debate: that of our rights to all. The cause is just, I guarantee you that joining it is full of fervor. We will all sleep better. I call for change, for a challenge to a system that cannot claim justice without ending the organized impunity that has plagued it for decades. This established order is no longer tenable.
Be together.

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