A UNE ACTION CITOYENNE
A Crest (Drôme) le député maire M.Hervé Mariton (UMP) avait décidé de poser « le plus grand drapeau français (environ 100m²) sur le plus haut donjon de France » pour les célébrations du 14 juillet. Un mouvement spontané de citoyens crestois s'est accordé un droit de réponse.
Dimanche 13 juillet 2003, une cinquantaine de personnes, habitants de la vallée de la Drôme se réunissent, à quelques mètres de la mairie, habillés de bleu, de blanc ou de rouge pour défiler silencieusement par couleurs juxtaposées jusqu’à la mairie.
Dans la salle du conseil municipal, nous déposons nos couleurs
au pied des quelques invités à la réception. Nous
restons debout contre les murs, silencieux, sur nos corps sont inscrits
des slogans revendiquant notre attachement à la liberté,
à la république, à la démocratie. Un murmure
commence « Résistance, résistance », puis le
son monte, « résistance, République ».
ne sommes pas enseignants, retraités, infirmiers, intermittents
du spectacle, agriculteurs, syndicalistes… nous sommes des citoyens.
From Popular Exasperation to Civil Action
In the city of Crest (Drôme) the mayor and MP, Mr Hervé Mariton, (UMP) had decided to deploy “the biggest flag (approx. 100sq. metres) on France’s highest dungeon” to celebrate the national day, July 14th. A spontaneous association of citizens from Crest decided to respond to this act.
On Sunday July 13th 2003, around fifty persons, residing in the Drôme valley met near city hall, dressed in blue, white and red (colours of the national flag) to march silently to the city hall.
As we got to the council, we took off our blue, white and red shirts and t-shirts and put them down at the mayor’s feet. On our backs the very few guests present in the hall can read slogans claiming our attachment to freedom, the republic and democracy. We begin whispering “resistance, resistance” and slowly the tone gets louder and louder until the phrase becomes “resistance, republic”.
We then leave the hall and are joined in the street by inhabitants of Crest and tourists who had attended a music festival that ended the night before. At that point, there are approximately 200 persons demonstrating in the street. The crowd walks through the streets of Crest towards the dungeon. When we get there, army officers are abseiling down the dungeon and beginning to unroll the flag. We decide to go to the very top of the dungeon and, helped by the officers, take off the flag without putting anyone in danger. We are careful not to damage the flag and fold it as well as we can to take it back down to city hall where the mayor is waiting, absolutely furious. He drags it inside the hall and locks it up. Enthusiastically, we begin chanting the national anthem.
We are not teachers, artists, nurses, farmers, unionists… we are simply French citizens.
The flag is a symbol of the French Revolution; it bears the fundamental values of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Human Rights were established by the people’s revolt against their oppressors. These values have been defended throughout French history.
With the help of the media, our detractors will describe us as left-wing troublemakers or young, rowdy savages.
We are patriotic citizens concerned by globalisation and the inequalities it creates. This act was motivated by the will to defend our dignity and the values of the French Republic. We consider that Prime Minister Raffarin’s as well as Mr Mariton’s policies are diminishing cultural diversity. We believe that it is absolutely grotesque that the flag and what it represents should be displayed on a monument that once was a prison. The biggest flag on the biggest prison at a time when José Bové (unionist recently jailed for having uprooted GM crops) is in jail: that is much more than we can tolerate! We refuse to see our country being managed as a multinational, solely in terms of profitability.
Recently, many people have decided to take to the streets and act. We
have chosen this mode of action: faced with the government’s scornful
attitude, what other means of expression do we have?
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