"Clement, it is someone who refused to look down, and that day he did not let them down". On 5 June 2013, the fragile and slender figure of Clément Méric crashed into the ground in a fight between young anti-fascists and right-wing activists in the center of Paris. In a deep coma he dies the next day. Three skinheads will appear for the Assises de Paris from Tuesday, September 4, for the blows they have made to the young man.
A youth from Brest
Son of two professors, Clément Méric spent a happy childhood in Brest. In the beginning, his interests – history, politics, observation of society – placed him on the path of political involvement. In 2010, at the age of 15, he read Karl Marx and manifested himself against the reform plans of the school. He then comes closer to anarchists and anti-fascist circles, through politics and music – he plays guitar and listens to reggae, rock, punk.
A boy "Bright" and "Attentive"
Very eulogistic, family members and former teachers call a boy "thoughtful" and "brilliant", sometimes "mischievous" and "ironic". "He was curious" and "would always have defended the widow and the orphan"according to one of his aunts. In 2011 he received leukemia and spent six weeks in a sterile room. A test that does not deviate from its libertarian obligations, but also antispecies (against the exploitation of animals and their consumption by people). His doctors will have the greatest difficulty convincing him to diversify his diet so as not to weaken him. "He had accepted"but "as soon as he was better he became vegetarian again, one of them remembers. He is then in the first, revised in the hospital, reads enormously. The disease weakens it, but also makes it mature according to its family members. He gets 19/20 from the French bac.
In the fall of 2012, with a high honors degree, he went to Sciences-Po Paris. He hesitates between journalism, justice, education and research. He rents a studio in the 9th arrondissement and quickly befriends one of his neighbors, Alain Rivarol. In this "build where almost no one speaks to you"The young man spontaneously came to introduce himself by crossing him on the stairs. Clément, he will say, "was a ray of sunshine in the building".
In Ménilmontant, the favorite district of Parisian anti-fascists, Clément Méric started to campaign in the Action Anti-Fascist Parisian suburbs (AFAPB), which has 30 members. fairly "discrete", he argues according to his comrades without ever raising his voice. "His commitment was through practices instead of speeches", one of them emphasizes. In the spring of 2013 they mobilized against the protests for all against gay marriage, popular right and extreme right. On 1 May, Clement was wounded in a fight with right-wing activists and he will end up in the hospital where he will be sewn in the head. The next fight, that of June 5, will be fatal.
After his death, his family is indignant to see that he is sometimes represented as one of the initiators of the fight. According to all the testimonies gathered by the researchers of his relatives, teachers or neighbors, the young man was certainly determined in his political struggle, but never violent. "He had an aversion to racism and people who did not accept each other, but he was never warlike, he never told me, skins, I hate them", emphasizes Alain Rivarol.
"We made a nice martyr" for skinheads
His fate does not move much in the camp on the other side. "We made him a nice martyr, while he was part of a group that decides that some people are fascists and have to be removed from society." He was looking for confrontation and he paid for it., answers Serge Ayoub, former head of Parisian skinheads, and in contact at the moment with those involved in the deadly battle.
At the time of his death, Clement Meric was at the end of his treatment against inhibition of leukemia. "It felt good, it was part of the idea that he was going to do something nice, that he would be free of this weight"his father told the researchers.
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