[English] Antifascist solidarity with our comrade Seb!
Antifascist solidarity with our comrade Seb!
On June the 17th 2012, six antifascist activists were arrested by the police in the French town of Hénin-Beaumont. Our comrades were on their way to attend an antifascist rally to protest against a possible victory of Front National leader Marine Le Pen in the second round of the parliamentary election.
Our comrades were forcibly arrested by several police units before they could even reach the rally's meeting point. They were handcuffed and taken to Lens Central Police Station where they were held in custody for the night.
Two of our comrades have to undergo legal proceedings. One of them is underage, and for him things seem to have reached a standstill, but we must remain vigilant.
Seb, on the other hand, is awaiting trial at Béthune on November the 6th 2012. He will have to answer to charges of "carrying a weapon (namely, a truncheon) with the aggravating circumstance of being in the presence of one or more persons also carrying weapons ; and refusing to submit to DNA sample collection.
By formulating these accusations, the French public authorities would have us believe that all antifascists are troublemakers who only seek mindless violence. However, the reality is very different : during the weeks preceding the elections, fascist activists from the Front National and other extreme-right-wing groups - some of them dispatched from other parts of France for that purpose - had been attacking and intimidating left-wing activists in general, and antifascists in particular. Despite their growing scale, these agressions remain unpunished by the repressive powers of the French state.
For the French state, Seb and our antifascist comrades are guilty of considering the need of defending themselves in the case of an aggression by a group of neonazis. Not an unrealistic scenario as several of those were patrolling the streets of Hénin-Beaumont at the time.
We appeal to popular support, and we encourage all antifascists to carry out acts of solidarity, to disseminate information and to organise supportive initiatives.
What is at stake is not just an individual matter. The conquest of Henin-Beaumont and the surrounding unemployment-ridden, ex-mining area is a key objective of the extreme right. The criminalization of antifascism, and the instauration of a climate of fear among all progressive activists, are parts of this strategy.
We need to be as many as possible to support Seb at the Tribunal of Béthune on the 6th of November. We also appeal to financial support as legal proceedings cost a lot of money.
Solidarity with all antifascists in Hénin-Beaumont!
Acquittal for Seb on the 6th of November!