“CheckNews” found the people who kissed during the Manif pour tous Saturday in Paris. They implicate the security service and indicate that, conversely, the police “helped them to escape”.
Question asked by Christophe on 10/12/2020
Your question concerns the demonstration of the Manif pour tous held on Saturday in Paris, against the bioethics bill and the opening of the PMA to all women.
Several photos quickly circulated, showing two men kissing in the middle of the gathering on Place Vendôme. The Parisian, the same day, publishes a first photo, within a report of the day of mobilization. The two men embrace, surrounded by many people. One of them, a man, puts an arm around the neck of one of them. Police officers appear in the background.
Later, on his Instagram account, the photographer of Parisian Olivier Corsan uploads other pictures. We can clearly see the same couple kissing in the middle of a crowd. In another photo, one of the two men is exfiltrated by the police, his hands behind his back. A third image shows the other young man, held down by several people. In the caption, the photographer indicates: “Two men kiss each other full on the lips in the middle of the Demonstration for All, […] this does not go unnoticed. The security service relayed by the police had great difficulty in separating them.»
The case was taken up by Stubborn, this Tuesday. The LGBT + media explains that the couple was violently exfiltrated from the demonstration and quotes the prefecture’s response to them: “The intervention of the police took place when disturbances to public order were noted due to the presence of counter-demonstrators who did not declare their demonstration.. ” The article adds, in the introduction, that “for the police headquarters, their kisses constituted a “disturbance to public order».
What the prefecture was quick to deny on Twitter, specifying: “No, the prefecture does not consider kisses to be a disturbance of public order. Your interpretation is misleading. The police only intervene when people are attacked.»
The police only intervene when people are attacked. https://t.co/Y6d2cVwwWe
– Police Prefecture (@prefpolice) October 13, 2020
Despite the prefecture’s response, the story was largely taken up, in particular by the elected mayor of Paris David Belliard, with the expression “love is not a crime».
— David Belliard (@David_Belliard) October 13, 2020
So what exactly happened? Solicited by CheckNews, the Paris police prefecture has not yet given any information to clarify the situation. On the other hand, CheckNews found the two young men in question. They regret the communication “clumsyFrom the police headquarters. But on the facts, they question the security service of the Manif pour tous and indicate that, conversely, the police have them “helped to escape».
Alexandre and Richard, activists for Extinction Rebellion, are familiar with visual actions and face-to-face with the police. As CheckNews related it in a previous article, Alexandre is also the author of a complaint to the IGPN, in which he accuses a police officer of rape.
«That day, we wanted to do an action during the Manif pour tous. We got closer to the podium. A third person was there to film the action», Explains Alexandre. “We barely had time to start kissing when the order service fell on us. I was knocked down, the person filming too.»
A video, posted on the activist’s Facebook page, corroborates this version. In fact, we see the two men sneaking into the midst of anti-PMA activists and being caught by the security service very quickly, without really having time to kiss.
“They saved our lives”
Richard tells us what happens next: “Alexandre was pinned to the ground by a member of the security service, he was trying to strangle him, so I hit him. The police arrived to separate us. In fact, they saved our lives and I don’t say that often about the cops… They took us out and protected us from the security service.»
According to the statements of the two men, the police, intervening shortly after the security service, pick up the militants fallen to the ground and let them kiss each other again. “They were exfiltrating us and I felt they let go of us a bit so that we kiss a second time. Around, there was still the security service which tried to put us back on the ground ”, says Richard. This is the exact moment shown in the photo published in the Parisian.
The two activists are then exfiltrated. Richard sees himself passing the Serflex (plastic links used by the police). “They saw that I had just hit a guy from the security service”, he indicates. As shown in the photo posted on the photographer’s Instagram account Parisian, he therefore left the demonstration with his hands behind his back, escorted by police officers.
“They took the Serflex away from me five minutes later, when we were taken away”, he specifies. Alexandre explains for his part: “They waited for it to calm down a bit around, they helped me pass a barrier to get out of the area. Then we had an identity check and we were released.»
“Not the kiss that caused the problem”
The Manif pour tous press service, interviewed by CheckNews, recognizes the intervention of the security service but refutes any homophobic motive: “It wasn’t the kiss that was the problem. Before kissing, they tried to jump on the podium. the security service only intervened because they tried to get on the podium and then the security forces took over.»
«Faux», Replies Alexandre. “Between the podium and us, there was a line of activists with a Marianne hat. but even without that, we wouldn’t have tried. The only interest in getting closer to the podium was the cameras placed in front of it.The video posted on his Facebook page indeed shows them stopping in front of the podium and never attempting to climb on it.