A new “March” against racism is being organized! In 1983, 40 years ago, France began to see the face of its neighborhoods. Following a police incident and the events in the “Minguettes,” a major “March” against inequalities and racism was organized. If Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables” became Ladj Ly’s “Les Misérables,” and if, in a century, nothing has changed in Montfermeil, what is the situation in the neighborhoods nearly 40 years after the March?
Of course, some descendants of immigrants have experienced a form of social mobility. But despite progress in this area, it is evident that in European countries and more broadly in the Western world, incidents of police misconduct continue to occur. After the death of George Floyd in the USA, a series of incidents stirred the country, leading to the death of Naël, which sparked a series of riots in France. Since 2005 and the deaths of Zyed and Bouna, France had not witnessed such violent riots. Additionally, in the neighborhoods, there is regret over the deaths of several innocent individuals who became collateral victims of the drug trade.
Is the French police force, weakened by the chain of Yellow Vest protests, becoming overwhelmed and fatigued? Faced with increasingly powerful and controlling drug traffickers in certain neighborhoods, is the police force at its breaking point? Regardless, incidents of police misconduct continue to occur. While police unions speak of a justice system that fails to consider realities and is too lenient, France’s neighborhoods speak of injustice and “systemic racism.”
A new march against police violence and systemic racism is being organized. It seems increasingly evident that from the United States to France, and including Eastern European countries and even Italy, two factions with opposing values and understandings of society are growing apart. Twenty years ago, one could have spoken of conservatives and progressives, but today, these two factions, irrespective of old classifications of political sociology, lack a clear ideological foundation. They find their reasons in rejecting the values of the other camp. Yes, France is at risk of breaking apart.