In France, DiEM25 works alongside trade unions and many other associations in action against the labour reforms bill and more recently against the use of 49-3, the article which allows the government to force through this much contested law. This attempt to force the bill through prevents parliament performing its duties and is a blatant denial of democracy.
Protest movements such as the Nuit Debout, which has given citizens back their voice, continue to grow and the support of Yanis Varoufakis in Paris on 16th April was an important step for DiEM25 in France. The marches and the squares occupied by the Nuit Debout throughout France are made up of peaceful, non-violent protestors. The number of rioters is small and they are easily recognisable. Despite that, the police is now brutally attacking the demonstrations.
In Paris, we, members of DiEM25 were confined to a police controlled zone and closed in by a wall of Plexiglass. Then the police sprayed tear gas on a large scale. It was impossible to leave this area in spite of repeated requests. We saw a doctor being refused his request to evacuate somebody with breathing difficulties. We witnessed minors, asking to move away from the gas, being treated as potential terrorists.
The DiEM25 group were finally able to leave this Plexiglass cage after a long half an hour. Some of our members, in other parts of the march, were hit by police. One has three broken ribs.
We have heard similar stories from protests in other towns.
If, as according to Noam Chomsky, “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state”, we no longer know where to position ourselves because in France, we have both these problems.
We believe in the strength of ideas and remain mobilised so that our country once again sees the light that characterised it in the past.
France must rediscover its values and the “Demos” must once again find their place.
The DiEM25 fight for democracy is more than ever ours!
See also: Yanis Varoufakis’s message to DiEM25 members injured in Paris
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