Being Wendy Williams
Being Kandi Burruss
“We have a French government that is depriving a group of citizens of its democratic rights,” said Youssef Boussoumah, a teacher at a school on the outskirts of Paris, in a community often qualified as a North African “ghetto.”
For Boussoumah, the decision echoes the Parisian police’s infamous crackdown on demonstrations for Algerian independence on Oct. 17, 1961. Police shot what some historians say was well over 200 protesters and buried them in mass graves.
“We are convinced we are seeing a continuity of colonial and racist policies,” said Boussoumah. “My parents were here at the time of the Oct. 17 [Massacre]. I am convinced that while the circumstances are different … the mentality [that precipitated the events] persists.”
The protest ban may result in a larger legal battle to preserve what one lawyer said was the freedom of expression of French Arabs and Muslims.
“We in France see a situation where Islamophobia is gaining ground,” said Hosni Maati, a lawyer who was set to address Paris police hours later to decry what he called “discrimination against our rights as Arabs and Muslims.”
“It is necessary that we take action to preserve the rights of French citizens,” Maati said.
Sunday’s pro-Palestine rally was significant for France’s Arab and Muslim communities because many economically, politically and socially disenfranchised youth participated, said Boussoumah.
“It was the first protest for many,” he said. “What are we telling them? ‘You are barbarians and anti-Semites, and you are no longer allowed to come out. You are condemned to watch images of Palestine without being able to express your outrage.’”
Although Boussoumah indicated that he feels disheartened by the Parisian police’s decision, he said he’s hopeful — for Palestine activism and the French Arab and Muslim communities.
“The fact that they are so afraid to see so many Arabs rising up in society is a source of hope. They act on that fear when they take away our democratic rights,” he said.
He explained that in his parents’ generation, French North Africans were only factory workers. Now North Africans have advanced themselves, where possible, in the arts, sports and sometimes politics.
“That unsettles people,” he said.
[Transcript: tweets from @MalcolmLondon reading, from top to bottom, “lets do some numbers. how does a city get 82 shootings in a weekend?” / “maybe because you closed 50 schools.. or have been closing schools for past 10 decades in these communities” / “maybe because 92 percent of Chicago’s black male teens are jobless because our city doesn’t invest in jobs for them” / “or mayb black youth are arrested 7.6 times per 100 youth, 5 times more than latino youth & TEN times more than white youth 4 similar crimes” / “or maybe because there’s not ONE trauma center for miles on miles for the entire southside because UofC won’t open theirs” / “or maybe because while murderers have gone down in chicago the rate of which the media covers them has skyrocketed”.]
important. watch how you talk about the violence in chicago; understand where it really stems from. if you are blaming communities, get the fuck outta here.