ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Les tuéries à Toulouse et Montauban
by Jean-Luc Mélenchon
Translated Wednesday 28 March 2012, by Henry Crapoand reviewed by
From the town of Gennevilliers, department of the Hauts-de-Seine, on Wednesday, 21 March,
Jean-Luc Mélenchon made a statement on the murders committed earlier
in the week in Toulouse and Montauban. We provide a translation of his remarks, transcribed from a video made at that site.
Regarding the murders that took place in Toulouse and Montauban... we were all united, whatever our age, man or woman, young or old, whatever our religion — all united in pain. We all felt that such an act put the perpetrator outside the realms of humanity. Whatever the words that came out of his mouth, we heard only one thing: criminal, criminal, criminal.
We don’t want to hear anything; his words don’t count, he has no name. Everything he says... we don’t listen to a single word. We see only an assassin who murders children, which is against the most elemental of human feelings. It’s all we see; we see someone who murders in a cowardly way people with no defense. That’s why he attacks: he’s a coward, he wouldn’t have the courage to fight; he’s a coward who shoots people who can’t defend themselves, and afterwards he shoots children.
We were united in saying that we don’t care about religion, we don’t care about skin color; we are brothers and sisters in humanity. (Applause)
That’s the first thing. As we have been in the past, so must we be again. That’s our work. I know that there are people here who work in (benevolent) associations, people of good heart, who come here to be together, who are always ready to devote themselves to others, right? (Cries of: oui, oui) Well, now we’ve got to be united again. It’s not often that this happens, right? The rest of the time, as is well known, there is a political right and a political left, those who win, those who lose. But now, at this moment, the first thing is that we be united in our decision not to listen to this criminal - whatever he says, or if he says nothing - it’s the same thing. There will not be any disharmony between us; we are not going to start wars that we don’t want to see here. What he says - or nothing - it’s all the same. If we have something to say, we’ll take care of it ourselves. And when that odious murderer who killed people in Norway, in his madness, claimed that he did it because he was white and blah blah blah and all that, no one among us said… "Oh yes, it’s a problem, but there are others who think like him." No. We said: he’s crazy, a murderer, a criminal who killed ninety people in cold blood - young people who carried within themselves all of life’s future.
Well, here it’s the same thing - the act of resistance that we have to adopt - that we do not accept for a minute, for a second, for a quarter of a second - that anyone, in the name of a crazed individual, speak evil of the second religion of France. It’s not my religion. But that’s what we have to pay great attention to now. That’s why I tell you that you have to remain united, that you have to place under your protection, every one of you, those who would be the most threatened. And to everyone I say: "Don’t lower your gaze; whatever somebody may say, don’t divert your eyes. We are on the side of the victims; we are not on the side of the executioners. We are in the camp of the victims; we suffer with those who suffer. Those are our children who have been murdered, big and little.
These words are the ones that count now. If you let the poison spread, afterwards you will have a hard time controlling it. There are a few hours, a few days during which one has to resist. This time, it’s not social resistance, nor political resistance; it’s the resistance of feelings of the heart, of the human fraternity. That’s the first thing.
The second thing is to applaud the national police who succeeded in catching and isolating and identifying the criminal. And a warm, fraternal greeting to those police wounded in the operation.
Let everyone reflect on this; now you see why we need a national police force of the people, that it be the police of the state, why one needs a state and not simply a marketplace, because with the latter, the criminal would still be at large.
At the same time, we’ll reflect on the fact that we prefer - by O! how much - we want only a national police force - not private security forces. We are in favor of public service in all instances, and especially in the realm of public security. This, too, is a question that arises in this affair.
A second video, with a variant of this speech presented in Bobigny, is available on the web.