PARIS, March 28, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – 1.4 million people in the streets last Sunday and revelations of police brutalities and provocations against peaceful families marching against same-sex “marriage” have not changed French president François Hollande’s stance on the draft law legalizing “marriage” and adoption for homosexual couples due for its first reading in the Senate next week.
Hollande has been experiencing an unprecedented popularity drop that has prompted him to organize a televised interview on France 2 (tax-payer funded public television) this evening. An eye-witness told LifeSiteNews 2,500 protesters, mostly young people, awaited the arrival of Hollande’s that was being provided with massive impressive police protection. Some 500 police officers guarded the television building and all day police vans were parked in the area which was closed to the traffic for several hours.
During the 70-minute-long interview, a scant 60 seconds were devoted to same-sex “marriage” and not one word was said about last Sunday’s police violence.
François Hollande will not budge: same-sex “marriage” was an element of his electoral agenda and will serve equality, even if it is a “divisive” subject for, among other things, “spiritual” reasons, he said. He promised that the question of medically assisted procreation will be left out of the law, in order for the National ethics consultative commission to have time give its opinion, and promised surrogate motherhood will not be legalized as long as he is in office. Then he went on to other thing.
Pro-marriage and family advocates such as Grégor Puppinck, director of the European Center for Law and Justice, has analyzed European Human Rights Court case law and made clear that once “marriage” rights are given to homosexual couples the question of legalizing procedures giving gay and lesbian couples access to children will only be a matter of time.
Frigide Barjot, who had joined the protesters in front of the France Televisions building, promised many more actions against the projected law in the coming weeks, including more demonstrations and economic operations in which people would empty popular savings accounts or pay a few dollars extra income tax in order to oblige public services to refund that money.
Since last Sunday’s gigantic demonstration against same-sex “marriage”, more and more videos and statements have come in from participants who were either victims or witnesses of police violence. The picture that is emerging is hugely condemning for François Hollande and his Interior minister, Manuel Valls. Questions are being asked about whether a deliberate trap been set to provoke incidents to discredit the protests? Many signs are said to point in that direction.
Françoise Besson, a Paris solicitor who had come to demonstrate in full lawyer’s dress with several hundred other magistrates, law professors and legal counsels, was present when the police first attacked with tear gas and rubber bats against families who were being prevented from moving forward on to the place de l’Etoile – where the Arc de Triomphe stands – while more and more people were coming up from behind.
Besson and other jurists even tried to negotiate with the police to let the demonstrators pass, as the street was becoming dangerously packed. She is prepared to testify that there was no provocation on the part of the demonstrators. Instead, the police suddenly and without warning sprayed tear gas in the direction of several demonstrators, even those who were trying to run back into the crowd. Besson says she was also told on several occasions by officers that they were obeying explicit orders.
Besson later joined the crowds who moved down to the Champs-Elysées and witnessed several other brutal police attacks among the many that took place.
These included the tear-gassing of a middle-aged priest wearing his cassock, small children and even a baby carriage which, thankfully, was not occupied at the time, its ten-month old occupant having been lifted out by his mother to be fed. The law enforcement officer who committed this act was immediately apprehended and relieved of his duties.
But in all other cases police violence went unpunished while the government has been repeating that the situation had been perfectly handled to avoid letting the situation deteriorate.
This included, as multiple videos show, and as many reports personally received by this author confirm, attacks on groups of youngsters sitting on the streets, singing and laughing and the use of tear gas gel which adheres to clothes and continues to hurt and sting hours after being sprayed.
Children of two Catholic journalists, one from the weekly Famille chrétienne and the other from the daily Présent, were still under observation on Monday morning after having received tear gas directly in their eyes; in one case it is feared permanent damage has been done.
A pro-gay “marriage” professional working in his office on the Champs-Elysées saw the confusion and went out to bring water to people who needed to rinse their eyes. He was immediately set upon and gassed by the police. He indignantly told his story to the major French daily, Le Figaro, in its Wednesday edition. A group of mainstream journalists has issued an official complaint in the wake of multiple incidents of members of the press being treated like the demonstrators.
How can all this have happened? Confirming reports that many demonstrators were allowed, and even encouraged by the police to move down the Champs-Elysées which had not been authorized for the event, Mrs Besson told LifeSiteNews that she is “definite” that the whole affair was a pre-meditated trap. She personally witnessed how the police first let several thousand people move away from the main demonstration, and then stopped them with barriers and encircled them so that they could no longer escape, even when the police charged.
This fits in with the obstacles met by the organizers of “La Manif pour tous” (Demonstration for all) in obtaining a large enough venue. The definitive route was only known a few days before the event and supplementary avenues were opened without notice on Sunday afternoon where demonstrators were corralled streets away from the podium.
Police forces grossly underestimated the turn-out – even though they probably had better advance knowledge of the mobilization than the “Manif’s” organizers themselves – and allegedly deliberately created the conditions for dangerous over-crowding and panic scenes. At many points it was virtually impossible to move in any direction due to the density of the crowd.
But as a matter of fact the operation backfired as no one, not even the boisterous youngsters who can be suspected of having enjoyed the whole affair, responded violently.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Béatrice Bourges who is leading a new movement of “peaceful resistance”, the “Printemps français” (French Spring) said the government was lucky that no grave harm was done, quoting the death in 1986 of a demonstrator against a university reform, Malik Oussekine, a kidney-patient who was clubbed in the wake of violent skirmishes between student groups.
This made the point that opponents of same-sex “marriage” have promised: “We won’t let go”. However they are determined that their actions are for the public good and they are not seeking violent confrontation, even under considerable stress.
Since Sunday, all public appearances of ministers of Prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s government are being met by lively mini-demonstrations where flags of the “Manif pour tous” are flown to the chants: “François, we don’t want your law!” In one case, in Troyes where the minister of Agriculture was expected for a meeting with a farmers’ union, a dozen people – three men, women and several children in baby carriages – were taken to the police station for the duration of the minister’s presence.
A “Picnic for all” organized this Thursday by the “Printemps français” (French spring) in the public gardens at the foot of the Senate, where the law is to be discussed next week, was held during the afternoon. All participants were evacuated by the end of the afternoon when they planned to set up tents with the intention of camping until the law is removed from the government agenda.
The tenacity of these defenders of natural marriage has come as a huge surprise to many, leading even the mainstream media to dispute the government’sunreliably low estimations of Sunday’s turnout.
The prefect of police has told the press that he is ready to show journalists police video-footage of the event to corroborate the official claim that no more than 300.000 demonstrators took part, instead of the 1.4 million counted under the supervision of a former military governor of Paris, general Bruno Dary.
A phone call by a journalist of Présent to the press office of the “Préfecture” on Thursday morning to obtain access to the videos was met by surprise: no one there knew anything about the videos.
The recent marriage defense actions against the redefinition of marriage law have generally been good-natured and often humorous, but the powers that be are becoming increasingly nervous about the growing hostility to the abusive police intimidation and seemingly deliberate provocation of the peaceful demonstrators.