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World Socialist Website - June 15, 2020

Tens of thousands filled the Place de la République in central Paris on Saturday afternoon to protest police violence and demand justice for the killings of George Floyd in the United States and Adama Traoré, a French youth killed by police during an arrest in 2016.

The police reported a significantly understated count of 15,000 people in Paris, the figure that has been reported in the media. Twitter videos show that the real number was in fact several times larger. The Committee for Adama Traoré, which organized the protest, claims that 120,000 took part.

The protesters were overwhelmingly young and encompassed people of every skin color and ethnicity. Protests also took place of between several hundred and thousand in every major French city, many of them organized by local groups of high school students.

This was the second mass protest in as many weeks in France since the protest movement launched in the United States over the killing of George Floyd, which has triggered demonstrations of hundreds of thousands from Europe to New Zealand. The family of Adama Traoré has called protests over the last four years against the cover-up of his killing.

The killing of Floyd also coincided with the handing down of a counter-report by a medical expert requested by the Traoré family on June 2. The report, authored by an unnamed medical specialist at a Parisian hospital, concluded that Traoré had died of a cardiac edema, which it indicated was caused by “positional asphyxiation” during Traoré’s violent arrest by three policemen, who put him face down on his stomach as they arrested him.

Adama’s sister, Assa Traoré, spoke at the protest and called for a continued mobilisation to demand that the police officers who killer her brother be prosecuted.

“The death of George Floyd, this African-American killed May 25 in Minneapolis by a white police officer directly echoes the death of my brother,” she said. “Today it is the French people that is denouncing these actions. It is not just the Traoré family, it is not just the families of the victims. It is the French people. No matter where you come from, what is your religious background or gender; no one can remain a bystander towards a death or to racist and social violence.”
Read full report at World Socialist Website