Saturday afternoon in Paris is traditionally a day of protest. On March 23rd 2013, a march was organised from Place de l’Opera, an upscale tourist area where department stores can be found alongside the cultural highlights of central Paris. At 3pm, a procession of around 300 demonstrators gathers. Their banners are all centred on a common set of demands: “truth and justice for victims of police crimes”; “no more impunity for a criminal police”; “no to the licence to kill”; “no justice, no peace”.
The Stolen Lives community group had called for the march to take place during the international week against police crimes. The group is composed of several families whose relatives died at the hands of the police. The victims remembered that day are part of a long list of people who have been seriously injured or killed during police questioning, while being chased, or in detention. All were unarmed victims, and had been constrained, beaten, or shot dead. The families* of the victims were present to denounce and raise awareness, turning the streets of Paris into a space of resistance.