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<nettime> At Montreuil, the police force aims the demonstrators to the h
Aliette Guibert-Certhoux on Thu, 16 Jul 2009 06:45:09 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> At Montreuil, the police force aims the demonstrators to the head

Grand Paris

At Montreuil, the police force aims the demonstrators to the head

The morning of Wednesday July 8, the police force had emptied a
private clinic occupied in the downtown area. The private clinic, in
reference to the experiments from Italy, had taken the form of a
French" centro sociale”: residences, film projections, newspaper,
defense of illegal immigrants, meals… All those that think of the
lebensraum looked at this experiment with tenderness. The evacuation
was done without violence. The extraordinary deployed police means
settled the question in less than one hour. While crossing the market
the morning, I had noticed their busy and diligent airs.

Those that had stuck to this experiment and the residents decided to
protest against expulsion by organizing a gigantic grub out in the
mall of Montreuil.

Three immense tables of hand-manufactured gnocchi (at least five
thousand) rolled in the flour waited to be thrown in the broth. Tomato
saucepans quivered. They had tightened streamers to rename the space.
Images of the popular front or libertarian columns of the war of Spain
were superimposed on this festival because sometimes the images gain
widespread acceptance. I left the celebration at 8 PM by greeting

A few metres from there, it was the last day in the buildings of the
Parole Errante at the Maison de l ‘arbre in the street François
Debergue of our exhibition over May 68. For one year, it has
accommodated plays, film projections, meetings, the sedentary night,
the call of the Calls, readings, and presentations of books…

That day, one closed the exhibition with a part of Armand Gatti’s “
l’homme seul” read by Pierre Vial of the French Comedy, a long time

Several versions of the life of a Chinese militant are confronted with
it: that of the woman, the children, the father, the lieutenant, the
general, the comrades…

It was a three hours reading. We were surrounded by the newspapers of
May. Suddenly, young people arrived in the room, frightened, they came
to hide… they set out again. I received a call: Joachim is at the
hospital, at the l’hôtel Dieu.

He was indeed there. He had not lost conscience. His face was covered
with blood that ran out slowly as if he had become porous. In a
corner, the intern of service said to me that there was little chance
that he finds the use of his burst eye again. I say burst because I
would learn it later, he had three fractures on the face, the ocular
sphere split into two, a torn off eyelid…

Between these two moments; that is when I left him at the gnocchi
celebration and the hôtel Dieu, what had occurred?

He relates:

“There were fireworks on top of the market. We went there.
Immediately, the police officers that supervised the area within their
car deployed in front. One minute later, whereas we were still
opposite the clinic, at the level of the market hall, the police
officers that walked a few meters behind us, drew on our group by
means of their flashball.

I was walking and I looked in direction of the police officers. I felt
a violent shock at the level of my right eye. I fell on the ground
under the force of the impact. People helped me to stand up and
supported me until I sat on the pavement in the rue de Paris. As the
intensity of the pain and bleedings heightened, firemen were called.”

There has been no clash. Five persons have been hit by the flashball
shots, all of them above the waist. Police blunders cannot be invoked.
The demonstrators were about thirty and were no threat to anybody. In
fact, policemen shot images, as described by the following press
release by AFP.

A young man of about twenty lost an eye after a clash with the police,
as learnt from several coincident sources on Friday. He occupied,
together with other people, a squat at Montreuil (Seine-Saint-Denis)
that has been evacuated by the police last Wednesday. The young man,
Joachim Gatti, belonged to a group of about fifteen squatters who have
been sent off the premises of a former clinic Wednesday morning they
tried to reoccupy the place a little later in the evening but they
clashed with the police. They threw stones at the police, who replied
with flashball, according to the prefecture that ordered the action.
Three persons have been arrested and a young man had his eye injured
and was taken to hospital in Paris, according to the Mayor, who did
not however provide any detail on how severe the wound was. “We have
indeed been informed that a young man lost his eye, but there is no
clearly established connection between this loss and the flashball
shooting”, the prefecture stated before the AFP on Wednesday.

The police shoot at the image of a 20 year old young man who tries to
take back a squat. And for police and media alike, this justifies
acquittal; this is the first scandal.

Should one re-establish the truth on Joachim Gatti’s identity, at
least to disclose how the police manipulate identities to justify
their actions, as if there were a targeted population on whom shooting
is legitimate?

Joachim is not twenty, but thirty-four.

He did not live in the squat, but used to take an active part to the
numerous activities taking place in the clinic.

He is a cameraman.

He prepares exhibitions and is a film-maker.

His first film is called “Magume”. It was shot in Burundi, in a
seminary; it dwells on the question of genocide. At present, he takes
part in a project involving two Emmaüs hostels within a collective

One should be allowed to rewrite the AFP forgery and ask them to
publish it. It should run like:

Joachim Gatti, a film-maker aged 34, was hit by a flashball bullet
right in the face while he demonstrated in support of evicted
squatters. He lost an eye as a result of police brutality.

Stéphane Gatti

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