Death of Nahel M., urban riots: breaking the cycle of violence

Death of Nahel M., urban riots: breaking the cycle of violence

Jul 3, 2023, 11:27:05 AM UTC
Volt expresses its deep sorrow and grief to Nahel M.'s family and friends, and proposes a new start based on three principles.
Volt France - Décès de Nahel M. - Rompre avec les violences

> Volt expresses its deep sorrow and grief to Nahel M.'s family and friends, and hopes that all possible light will be shed on the exact circumstances of his death.

> Volt calls for calm and an end to the unacceptable violence that has been unleashed for several days, which can only deepen misunderstanding and inflame anger. Volt expresses its support for the assaulted elected representatives and their families.

> Volt strongly condemns the intolerable violence of the recent joint press release from the Alliance and UNSA-Police unions, who consider themselves at war. We also call for a halt to the provocation of a fund to support the accused police officer.

> Volt is proposing a new start based on three principles: combating police violence, revaluing the social and community role of the police, and giving sensitive neighborhoods a European future.

Paris, 2nd of July 2023 

Since the death of Nahel M., killed on Tuesday by a police officer during a traffic stop, France has been plunged into a new cycle of violence. The inexcusable shooting that led to Nahel's death was followed by tensions between young people and the police, and then by unacceptable attacks and looting. The events of the last few days are like an earthquake that has released the tensions built up by a social divide left gaping, by a policing policy reduced to its security arm, by a persistent denial of police violence - particularly as manifestations of a systemic racism that persists in our society - by the rise in everyday incivilities, by the difficulties facing young people.

We need to recognize that, because of our country's history, our society today is multicultural and individualistic, and we need to work hard to make it work for everyone. Our governments must recognize that we are not alone in this effort. 2005 in France, 2011 in the UK, 2013 in Sweden, 2021 in the Netherlands: if all of Europe is concerned by urban riots, we can also find solutions in Europe. So the example of other European countries, such as Germany, whose paradigm for security forces is de-escalation and prevention, shows us that we don't have to respond to civil unrest with more force. We need to address the underlying social reasons for this crisis, rather than resorting to a state of emergency to provoke further escalation.

With this in mind, Volt proposes a new start based on three principles: revaluing the local social role of the police, combating police violence, and giving sensitive neighborhoods a European future.

Firstly, we're fighting to enhance the social and community role of the police. To achieve this, we want to significantly strengthen cooperation between the police, the justice system and social work, and raise their salaries. We also propose to develop and strengthen municipal and community policing, in particular with a municipal public tranquillity service as in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Poland. This body, independent of the police but working in close collaboration with them, would be responsible for all tasks that do not require police intervention, such as road safety.

Secondly, in order to combat police violence, we want identity checks to be better supervised, by making pedestrian cameras more widespread and introducing a receipt to be given to the citizen at the end of the check. We want our police forces to be supervised by an independent authority at regional level, as is the case in other European countries. We also want to reform law n°2017-258 of February 28, 2017, which has led to lethal inflation in the use of weapons by police officers. According to IGPN figures "the use of weapons by police officers increased by 26% over the period 2017-2021 compared with 2012-2016. Finally, we want to ensure reinforced training between European police forces in ethics, human rights, gender bias, racist prejudice, as well as rules of engagement and keep the principles of de-escalation and non-violence as fundamental principles during demonstrations.

Finally, our third priority is to give young people in the suburbs a European future, by developing and strengthening European mobility and cooperation in the fields of social action, education, culture and entrepreneurship in urban areas and sensitive neighborhoods. We need to make efforts not only to change the image of the suburbs, but also to give residents access to the opportunities offered by Europe.

Volt would like to reiterate that the violence of the rioters, like the calls for repressive one-upmanship, are not solutions and will only lead to more misunderstanding and aggression between our fellow citizens. We understand the anger of young people, the exhaustion of police officers mobilized by the riots, the exasperation of our fellow citizens whose town halls, libraries, social centers and shops have been damaged or looted, and the pain of elected representatives who have been attacked, like the mayor of Pontoise, or whose house has been ransacked, like the mayor of L'Haÿe-les-Roses. In the last century, Europe was destroyed by racist violence and war, and rebuilt by trust and democracy. A better future won't come about through violence in the streets, but through civic engagement and voting, especially against politicians who call for more violence or repressive escalation.

Signatures

  • Sven Franck, Co-President of Volt France
  • Ulysse Gounelle, Responsable Communication
  • Alexandre Bisquerra, Responsable Politique

Sources

  • (en) Wikipédia - Code enforcement (lien)
  • Avis sur la prévention des pratiques de contrôles d'identité abusives et/ou discriminatoires, CNCDH, 2017 (lien)
  • Violences policières «Refus d’obtempérer» : depuis 2017, une inflation létale, Libération, Fabien Leboucq, juin 2023 (lien)
  • Mort de Nahel à Nanterre : qu’est-ce que la loi de 2017 sur l’usage des armes par la police évoquée par Yaël Braun-Pivet ?, parJade Toussay, Huffington Post, juin 2023 (lien)

About Volt 

As the first truly pan-European party, Volt is committed to reforming the European Union and responding to today's challenges in a coordinated way at European level. Volt's vision: a progressive Europe with an inclusive society, a climate-friendly economy, an adaptable education system and self-determined digitalisation.

Volt is convinced that only the democratic participation of all European citizens will prepare us for a sustainable, economically strong and socially just future. This is why Volt acts at all levels - from local to European, as a movement and as a party. The movement gives everyone a voice and the opportunity to engage politically from within society. Today, Volt is present all over Europe: thousands of people of all ages and professions are involved in 30 European countries with teams in hundreds of cities.

For interview requests or further information, please contact us at the following address :

Contact

Zoé Gadeyne - Co-Responsible Communication

Mail : zoe.gadeyne@volteuropa.org

Sven Franck - Co-President de Volt France

Mail : ulysse.gounelle@volteuropa.org - Co-Responsible Communication

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Updated on July 2nd, 2023 Photo by the Courier International