in Paris, a place will soon bear the name of Samuel Paty

It was the first subject on the agenda of the Paris Council, Tuesday, November 17. Before examining the 2021 budget or the employment support plan, Parisian elected officials paid tribute to Samuel Paty, the history and geography professor assassinated by a radical Islamist on October 16 in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines), very close to his college. After a minute of silence and statements of circumstance, the Council of Paris decided, unanimously, to soon give the name of Samuel Paty to a place in the capital, a street, a square or a garden, yet to be identified. .

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“We must pay tribute to those who, like Samuel Paty, teach their students the principles of freedom of expression and secularism”, declared the Paris adviser and senator Rémi Féraud, author of the proposal, on behalf of the Paris in common group of Anne Hidalgo.

This decision taken without difficulty, however, provoked in the corridors of the Town hall and on social networks a sudden runaway, the ecologists of the Council finding themselves wrongly accused of not wanting to pay homage to Samuel Paty. An example of “fake news” that is spreading at lightning speed.

It all started with the intervention of Fatoumata Koné, the president of the group of elected environmentalists. While affirming that the Greens were going to vote in favor of this project, she stressed that the decision constituted a departure from a rule of the Council of Paris: in principle, the attribution of a name to a place should take only five years. at least after the death of the person concerned. It is a question of avoiding hasty choices, taken in the heat of the emotion.

Anne Hidalgo, who chaired the meeting, did not appreciate this reminder of the common rules. The mayor regretted that the elected officials were not all perfectly aligned “On an event as major as the beheading of a professor in the context of a terrorist attack”.

“Political instrumentalisation by the right”

Then came the vote. As some of the elected officials participated from home, by Internet, the ballot was not held by show of hands, but electronically, and the count of the votes was announced in a somewhat confused way: 122 votes in favor, 20 abstentions . It was not actually abstentions. Some elected officials simply did not take part in the vote, sometimes because they did not understand the new system.

Several right-wing elected officials immediately accused environmentalists of abstaining, without any proof. Geoffroy Boulard, the mayor (Les Républicains, LR) of the 17the arrondissement, vilified on Twitter the “Shameful attitude” elected Greens, “Unable to support the name of a place in memory of Samuel Paty”. Adding: “This vote shows that the fight against Islamism is not unanimous in Paris. Anne Hidalgo must clarify her alliances urgently. “

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