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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Deux militantes de l’UNEF agressées

by Benoit Delrue

Two UNEF Activists Assaulted

Translated Thursday 24 October 2013, by Gene Zbikowski

A student union activist from Paris-I university was attacked with a Stanley knife at her home on Oct. 17. An activist from Nanterre was assaulted on Oct. 21.

“You dirty leftist, we know where you live, we’re going to rape you!” Those were the threats made on the evening of Oct. 21 to a female student from Nanterre by a man wearing gloves, who had pinned her against a wall as she left her dance class. The attacker spat out the young woman’s address to prove he meant business. Then he left.

This was the second assault on a UNEF (Union Nationale des Etudiants de France / National Union of Student of France) [1] activist, four days after the assault and battery on Roxanne (1), a student unionist at Paris-I university. As she was leaving her apartment on Oct. 17, she was attacked with a Stanley knife and heard the same invectives.

“Somebody was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairway and pinned me to the wall. It was dark and I couldn’t see his face, but he was wearing gloves. He threatened me, then stabbed me twice, in the face and in the neck.”

After hospital treatment, six stitches, and five day’s incapacity to work, Roxanne has returned to campus. “Quit UNEF? That’s out of the question.” The 20-year-old woman is more determined than ever to continue her student union struggle, “to let all students know that the far right groups are not parties like any other.”

These attacks occurred in a particular context. On Oct. 14, three days before Roxanne was attacked, clashes – for a banal issue of pasting up posters – occurred with the Paris-I Fédé, an apolitical student organization that regularly comes into conflict with the student union.

“At one point, they brought an iron bar and let it fall to the ground. I picked it up and I told them they were sick, that this was no longer the 1970s,” recounts Emilien, the president of the local section of the UNEF.

But a silent video of the scene was put on line by the Paris-I Fédé, suggesting that UNEF was threatening students.

“As soon as it was published on YouTube, the first to relay it were the far right media. That’s when the threats began.”

Two complaints have been filed, by Emilien against the author of the video, for libel, and by UNEF following the assault and battery on Roxanne. A third complaint will be filed following the assault against the Nanterre activist. The police say they are taking the matter “very seriously.”

(1) The name has been changed.

Inter-union committee re-formed. At Paris-1 university, an inter-union committee (made up of UNEF, SNESUP, the CGT and Solidaires étudiants) has been re-formed following the Oct. 17 attack. The committee will fight against all acts of violence against progressive activists. For all that, “we don’t intend to capitalize on an assault before we know the results of the police enquiry," pointed out Emilien for the UNEF. The student union is continuing its campaigns, notable in favor of a supplement to the university budget.

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