Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Remembering the Paris massacre 50 years on

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012   No comments


Protesters gathered in central Paris to mark fifty years since a deadly police crackdown on Algerian anti-war protesters, one of the darkest days in modern French history.

Rachel HOLMAN (text)
Anti-discrimination organisations and advocacy groups gathered for a massive rally in the heart of Paris Monday to remember the victims of a deadly police crackdown against Algerian protesters in Paris fifty years ago
On the evening of October 17, 1961, tens of thousands of Algerian anti-war protesters from the Paris region gathered at various landmarks in the city to protest against a curfew targeting their community.
The demonstrations were organised by the Paris-wing of the revolutionary Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN), which was fighting for Algeria’s liberation from France. The protest was meant to be peaceful but scores were killed and a community left devastated.
Bodies found in River Seine
That fateful night, French police acted swiftly and ruthlessly under the orders of their chief Maurice Papon to quell the protests. Gun shots rang out as thousands were arrested en masse, herded on to buses and transported to the makeshift detention centres in the Paris area. Those detained reported that they were beaten and held for days without food. Dead bodies were also found washed up on the banks of the River Seine after they were allegedly dumped in the city’s famous river by the French police.


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