by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The French will tell you that this month’s ISIS attack inflicted the biggest death toll on Paris since World War Two. They would be lying. Fifty-four years ago, French police massacred hundreds of Algerians right in the heart of the city – and then pretended it never happened. France has enslaved much of the world, and clings to its remaining semi-colonies. The government in Paris “has millions of deaths on its ledger.”
Freedom Rider: 1961 Paris Massacre
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“The victims of white terror are stricken from the historical record and from memory.”
American corporate media and politicians have declared endless mourning for the terror attack which took place in Paris on November 13, 2015. France is a European country, that is to say run by white people, and an ally of the United States, meaning that it is protected by its criminal accessory. It is little wonder that we have been propagandized into grieving for France. The Islamic State carried out the killings of 130 people in Paris but also killed 224 Russians on a passenger plane in Egypt on October 31st. Because Russia has been demonized by the White House and the press corps no one was exhorted to put the Russian flag on social media pages.
While the individuals killed and injured were certainly victims, the government of France is nothing of the sort. France is involved in all of America’s imperial adventures in the Middle East and that intervention is the direct cause of the terror in Paris. France acts along with the United States and Canada as the occupiers of Haiti. Its former African colonies are still under its financial and military control. France has been on the wrong side of humanity many times and has millions of deaths on its ledger.
Not only is France guilty of committing great crimes, but like other white-governed countries, it has succeeded in hiding them from the world. That is what happened in the aftermath of October 17, 1961 when French police killed as many as 200 people in one night.
“France is involved in all of America’s imperial adventures in the Middle East and that intervention is the direct cause of the terror in Paris.”
After the defeated French were somehow given credit for victory in World War II, they immediately resumed imperial control of their colonies. In Vietnam and in Algeria the French redoubled efforts to maintain their hold, despite resistance from these colonized peoples. The Algerian war lasted from 1954 until independence was achieved in 1962. This war for liberation took place in France and Algeria with the French doing the typical dirty work of torture and imprisonment.
Maurice Papon had been an administrator in Algeria where his experience detaining and torturing freedom fighters made him the perfect candidate for the job of Paris police chief. Papon climbed the political ladder despite having ties to the collaborationist Vichy regime. Algerians were subject to brutality, imprisonment, theft and murder by Parisian police. The killings had already begun on a smaller scale before the fateful night.
After French police died in the ongoing conflict Papon instituted a curfew for “French Muslims of Algeria.” Protest demonstrations were called for October 17th but the police knew when and where the actions were to take place. They immediately began rounding up Algerians. When those who evaded arrest gathered in major public squares they were shot on the spot, others were beaten and still more were thrown into the Seine river, some already dead and some while still alive.
The cover up began immediately. The press reported only two deaths, even though several police officers admitted to the newspaper France Observateur that they killed 50 people. At least 100 bodies were pulled from the Seine. No one knows for certain how many died but estimates range up to 200 victims.
“Algerians were subject to brutality, imprisonment, theft and murder by Parisian police.”
The French government did not publicly acknowledge the killings until 2012, some fifty years later. There is now a plaque which blandly states “In memory of the numerous Algerians killed during the bloody suppression of the peaceful demonstration on 17 October 1961.” It doesn’t admit government guilt nor does it establish a number of casualties.
The event is largely unknown but has received new interest ever since the glorification of French suffering that began one week ago. The killings of 1961 took place in the middle of one of the world’s largest cities and could only have been covered up with large scale collusion between the government, the international media and the French people. Archives were destroyed or deemed classified and the lies continue until the present day.
“At least 100 bodies were pulled from the Seine.”
France is not unique in its criminality or in its ability to make it disappear. All of the so-called great countries became rich and powerful through conquest and theft and France is no exception. It was among the European nations who grew wealthy from the trade in enslaved Africans. After the Haitians successfully revolted against its rule France forced the still fragile nation to pay millions of dollars in “reparations” or risk being reinvaded. France joined in carving up Africa with other European countries at the Berlin conference in 1884 and 1885.
These facts should not be forgotten because we are instructed to make some victims more worthy than others. More than 40 people were killed by suicide bombers in Lebanon on November 13th yet they received a fraction of the news coverage. Nigerians and Kenyans have also died in mass slaughter this year without significant or lasting coverage from the international media.
The press and politicians only venerate the right white victims, those from the partner in crime nations. On the other hand, the victims of white terror are stricken from the historical record and from memory. While flags in the United States are lowered to half-staff in honor of people in a faraway place, let’s not forget that terror victims here are ignored, dismissed and denied justice. American police have already killed more than 1,000 people in 2015 alone. Perhaps we should place the photos of those victims on our social media profiles instead of images of an outlaw nation’s flag.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.