a massacre almost forgotten in our history



Article written by

H. Huet, S. Guibout, M. Laban, M. Tafnil, S. Korwin

France 3

France Televisions

On October 17, 1961, Algerians demonstrating peacefully against the Algerian war and the bullying They will undergo were killed by French police in Paris. A massacre encouraged by Maurice Papon, at the time prefect of police of Paris.

Each time he returns to the Saint-Michel bridge, Said Abtout plunges into the horror of October 17, 1961. “All my life, until the end of my days, I’ll remember this carnage“, he confides. On that day, 30,000 Algerians converged on the center of Paris. This peaceful march aimed to protest against the war in Algeria and the bullying of which they were the object. policemen armed with guns and batons, charging.

The cops came to meet us and they started killing people, says Said Abtout. Blows to the head with a baton, kicks to the skull … I’ve never seen such a thing.“Protesters were even thrown into the Seine. This massacre was encouraged by Maurice Papon, then the Paris police prefect. Three people died according to the official truth, but historians estimate that at least 200 demonstrators were killed. This tragedy has long been overlooked by France, and historians and associations are now asking France to officially qualify the repression of the October 17 demonstration as a state crime.


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