First police union calls for a general strike
Launched by Unité SGP Police FO, the call for “minimum service” should be observed, from June 19, until the demands of police officers, in conflict with Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, are met.
No more tickets issued, no more controls, no more enquiries and arrests, except in case of requisitions and urgent requests: it is a “disengagement” that police officers are beginning to observe, as of today (ER: June 19) and throughout France, according to our information. At the origin of this strike which does not say its name is the main national police union, Unité SGP Police FO. “We demand strong action in relation to the major issues on the table. We don’t want any more declarations of intent”, explains its departmental secretary in Paris, Rocco Contento. For the trade unionist, who is angry with Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, disavowed by police officers because of his many outbursts, especially on racism in the police, the technique of “stranglehold” arrest is only the tree that hides the forest. “Castaner, it’s over, nobody wants to listen to him anymore”.
A “disengagement” designed to last
“There is a breakdown of trust among all police officers towards the Minister of the Interior,” says Contento, who says that many of them have already started this protest movement, on their own initiative, which is rare enough to be highlighted. As early as this afternoon, when the call for a “walkout” had just been launched, several police brigades reportedly responded favourably. “The brigade of the Ile-de-France networks (ER: this is the large metropolitan area surrounding Paris), which patrols the metro, returned this evening with zero checks on the meter,” explains the trade unionist, who believes that the movement will be followed, with the upcoming and probable support of other unions of the national police, starting with Alliance. “It takes time for the appeal, which was broadcast this afternoon, to be heard by all colleagues, but it will last.”
For several days, spontaneous protest movements had been emerging within the police force throughout France, with hundreds of civil servants putting their handcuffs on the ground in a symbolic gesture. “The authorities are afraid that the country will be set ablaze, but they should also beware of the police who, one day, will let it happen (the protest movements enamelled with anti-fascist riots, VA editor’s note). We’re going to let them get into the ministries,” warned an outraged Parisian police official to Valeurs Actuelles.
In the line of fire of the trade unions: the resignation of Christophe Castaner, whom they now consider unfit to head the Interior Ministry. A harbinger? Dozens of empty boxes have just arrived at Place Beauvau, according to our information. Is a move in preparation?
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