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Students in the knees: why near Paris detained dozens of teenagers?

Школьники на коленях: почему под Парижем задержали десятки подростков?

Several dozen teenagers and young people are silent in the knees, hands behind his head. Surrounded by armed police in helmets, with shields and batons. This video on Thursday, December 6, spread on French social networks, causing outrage not only ordinary users, but also representatives of the authorities. The scene was filmed on the same day to Mantes-La-jolie, a small town 57 km from Paris.

“Finally, a class that is well behaved,” the voice on the video. Teenagers lined up in rows, on their knees in silence with their heads bowed. The scene was filmed by one of the police officers that he uploaded it to the Internet and then removed. The video had already spread to his Twitter independent “monitoring Center of police violence” (Observatoire des violences policières). It — 153 young men (according to other sources — 122), which the police detained a few hours earlier. They were charged for aggressive actions against the police. During the school riots the main location of the Department was the area around the two local high schools. Students block high schools, were thrown at the police officers with stones.


The riots started a few days before the events captured on video. So, December 4 the police also threw stones, the students burned garbage cans, and police used tear gas. As evidenced in the pages of Le Monde, one of the residents of the city, “about 200 young people attacked the police, pelting them with stones.” Thierry Laurent, Director of the office of the prefect of police of the Department of Yvelines, where is Mantes-La-jolie, says that not all the perpetrators were students and that the police used “only two or three teargas grenades to disperse the crowd.” He stressed that the prefect was specifically asked not to use tear gas against young people, but the situation became critical. Recall that French youth is graduating from high school in 18 years, among school children is also a lot of adults.

Prefect Jean-Jacques Bro said that despite the shocking nature of the video, none of the young people was injured, they did not use force. Currently, the police have not received a single complaint from the detainees to ill-treatment. Moreover, the Prefecture did not pursue the most radical rioters, trying to calm the situation.

5 Dec excitement was growing, and before one of the high schools, according to eyewitnesses and police, gathered about 300 people. They built barricades, lit them, and, hiding behind the burning rubble, pelted police with stones and cobbles. At the same time, as writes in his investigation of Le Monde, a small group of young people broke into the apartments of the surrounding houses, took out the gas tanks and threw them in the garbage cans set on fire. On the same day five young men were detained.

On Thursday morning the trash cans began to burn at 9 am, and then burned two cars in a nearby Parking lot. At noon, more than a hundred people were arrested and detained in connection with “participation in the study group to violent acts,” according to police Prefecture of the Yvelines Department. The interior Ministry also reports that the 37 detainees had been in the Balaclava and that when they found baseball bats and tear gas canisters. Shocking image with youth, placed on his knees, the police explained that due to the large number of detainees required “special measures” of policing.

According to the AFP, about 70 police officers participated in the operation on Thursday, December 6. The youngest of the detainees, 12 years old, the oldest is 20.

French elected officials, representatives of left-wing political parties have criticized the police action, condemned the “humiliation” of students. A former candidate for the presidential elections from the socialist party, now the leader of the movement Génération.s Benoit Hamon called the image “inappropriate,” and “chilling”. In those expressions said about the video, the former Minister and current Director of the French branch of a large international charitable organization Oxfam, cécile Duflot. Despite the fact that the police did not apply to detainees strength, left-wing political forces condemn the police for “humiliation” students and “forced them into submission”. The Minister of education of France, Jean-Michel Blanker is also called the video “shocking”.

Student and school excitement that day has spread to many cities of France. The students demanded the abolition of many of the provisions of the school reform undertaken in the expiring year. About 300 high schools failed on 6 December to conduct the lessons. More than 700 high school students were detained by police for arson, throwing stones at the representatives of the security forces and other violent acts.

In Paris in Friday, December 7, high school students held a March in support of students Mantes-La-jolie. It was attended by several thousand people, reports AFP. Among the demands — the resignation of the President of Macron.

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