“Filming has become a way of demonstrating”



“Ahou, ahou, ahou …” The cry of yellow vests borrowed from Zack Snyder’s film “300” is launched at the Place de la République in Paris. It is not yet 2 p.m. and Sabine, 55, is already there. This woman who works “in a personal assistance service” came from Seine-et-Marne, this Saturday, November 28, to join those with whom she has been campaigning for two years. “I am here to denounce the police violence, and not just that of this week”, she specifies, referring to the brutalities during the evacuation of migrants from the Place de la République on Monday and the beating of a producer in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, broadcast Thursday by Loopsider.

“The telephone, a third hand”

“I don’t film the police, but we can clearly see with these examples that it is important that others do it, Sabine continues. I have several comrades who have avoided prison. Because we were able to show that they had been beaten. And then the telephone for many, it is a little the third hand now. So their law… ” The “Global Security” law was adopted at first reading Tuesday, November 28 in the Assembly, but recent images of violence have created a political crisis.

→ ANALYSIS. Police violence, the government at odds

The government envisaged Friday November 27 the rewriting by a “commission” of article 24, which wishes to limit the diffusion of the image of the police officers, before turning back in front of the exasperation of the parliamentarians.

Reinforce the feeling of impunity

Ariane knows this article in detail. This French teacher in secondary school presents Saturday, November 28 at Place de la République in Paris, quotes from head: “They (the parliamentarians NDLR) wrote something like: only videos that harm a police officer are prohibited… ” The text specifies indeed that only the images diffused “with the aim that it is attacked with its physical or psychic integrity” will be sanctioned by one year of prison and 45,000 € of fine.

“But when do we infringe?” Mostly psychically ? “, resumes Ariane, who has mobilized a lot recently, especially against the reform of the university. For some police officers, it’s as soon as you take out your smartphone. “This is what they want to limit. During a demonstration, a police officer told me: ‘you don’t have the right to film us’. This text, that’s what it will strengthen. The feeling of impunity. “

In République, some demonstrators, however, understand that the police want to protect themselves. “During the yellow vests demonstrations, it is true that there was everything on social networks, and also police officers who took threats when they had done nothing”remembers Sébastien, a 22-year-old makeup artist.

Even if he says “understand the police unions”, these abuses should not, according to him, lead to restricting the right to broadcast images. “It’s absurd,” resumes this young occasional protester, the more we have access to images, including those from police cameras, the more angles we have. This is the guarantee that we can have an honest view of what happened. People aren’t going to stop taking pictures anyway. Filming has become a way of demonstrating. “

Networks, new places of mobilization

This is also what Walid, 17, thinks, awaiting the start of the procession which must leave for the Bastille, his white bicycle helmet attached to the belt. Since December 2019, Walid, comes in demonstration to take photos. “For me, it is a way of opening up to the reality of the world, including for people who do not come on site or who are in countries in which there is no freedom of the press. “

→ REPORT. “Global security”, a very popular march of freedoms

Mobilizations, assures this young person who would like to join a school of journalism, “Is happening today almost more on social networks than in the street. “ “Besides, he continues, it’s stupid to just count the demonstrators. Against the labor law or for pensions, I had a lot of very mobilized friends who did not come. Sharing images is also a way of being active. “

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