A look back at the year 2018. Faced with the Yellow Vests movement and the high school mobilization of the past two months, an impression of something new emerges when we take stock of the repressive arsenal used by the government in power. It is undoubtedly first of all the terrible count of the physical victims of police violence that is staggering.
An armed police trained for war
The “instant tear gas grenade” GLI-F4 is misnamed because it is more than a tear gas but rather explosive and deafening. Since the withdrawal, in 2017, of the F1 grenade that killed Rémi Fraisse in Sivens, it has been the most powerful grenade in the arsenal of mobile gendarmes. It contains an explosive charge of 25 grams of TNT, which makes it a weapon of war.
France is the only European country using it for police operations. The flash-ball or “defensive ball thrower,” LBD 40, is also a mutilating weapon, and the exponential number of mutilated people in the face shows that police officers are now deliberately targeting this part of the body.
A legal arsenal at the service of the “State”
The violent, mutilating state and, also, increasingly disproportionately constraints and condemns all those who challenge the established order. The range of products used is extensive too. There are thus all the procedures for restricting fundamental freedoms decided by the administrative authority, which are the direct consequence of the incorporation of provisions relating to the “state of emergency” (and therefore supposed to be limited in time) into ordinary law since 1 November 2017.
And for those who fall into the net of immediate court appearances for the mere possession of objects treated as “weapons by destination,” it is often prison time or suspended sentences, even for people who have never been convicted before.
State violence as an agent of social violence
On the one hand, high school students forced to remain to kneel with their hands on their heads for several hours, on the other side, police officers pampered by a salary increase, and increasingly encouraged to use violence, to such an extent that some began to pull out their guns in the middle of a demonstration. On the other hand, there is a growing social protest, and on the other hand, power at the service of the rich and the bosses, which now has repression as the only answer.
The criminalization of social protest is the tree that hides the forest from the criminalization of social exclusion. The number of prisoners in France has just broken a new record: more than 71,000! Of which 1,500 sleep on the floor because the prisons are overcrowded, etc. The security and authoritarian state is the ultimate weapon for those who want to preserve the rotting capitalist world.