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Mantes-La-Jolie: “No Fault” According to the Investigation, or How to Encourage Roundups

150 young people arrested, handcuffed, hands on their heads or kneeling, it was the Mantes-la-Jolie affair. Today: total whitewashing. The IGPN therefore enacts the trivialisation of the police methods used that day.

Everyone remembers the images of December 6th in Mantes-la-Jolie: following a demonstration, about 150 young people are arrested and put on their knees, with their hands on their heads, in a row, some face against a wall or with their face in the dirt, encircled by super-armed policemen, the images made at least a tour of France, indignation is everywhere. It is a repressive turn in the sequence of the Yellow Vests movement. The hallucinatory repression that these young people have undergone has become a symbol.

An investigation was opened following the events, and complaints were filed by some young people, as well as the UNL (Union Nationale des Lycéens), near the IGPN. This Friday, the prosecutor of Nanterre made the verdict: the case is closed. The conclusions are as follows: “The fact of detaining persons arrested in a kneeling or sitting position, some of who are impeded, appears justified by the exceptional context of serious urban violence and the number of people to be taken to the police premises, requiring incompressible material organisation”. The methods used that day are therefore considered normal for the police institution, including the IGPN.

A real encouragement, which can only predict a multiplication of these methods in neighborhoods and the next social mobilisations! As we said some time after the events: “The raid of Mantes is a symbol of a sacrificed generation that we want to bring to heel for having challenged their anti-future predefined by Parcoursup and the severe social selection it promises”. And this bringing to heel does not pose any problem for the different state institutions. We will see moreover perhaps the commander of this operation decorated by Castaner soon …

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This judgment is added to the list of cases of police repression that were classified without a result. If this is not a surprise, the findings of the IGPN survey, whose head refuted the very term “police violence”, illustrates how the police institution, widely discredited, intends to respond to the next social movements. Thus, the logic is the whitewashing of all acts of repression towards the mobilisation of Yellow Vests, the government thus prepares the continuation of its operations, and the start of the school year will be certainly hot. So, the degree of repression used against the Yellow Vests, already used in the neighbourhoods, intends to normalise itself in the political landscape as a normal way to respond to mobilisations. The problem for the ruling class now lies in the fact that the massive use of repression becomes a necessity, hence the process of legitimisation in progress.


Revolution Permanente, Antoine Bordas

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