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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Protection citoyenne

by Jean-Emmanuel Ducoin

Citizen protection

Translated Sunday 20 September 2015, by Rosalind Sanders

An editorial by Jean-Emmanuel Ducoin. “Even if they are late, any authentically civic and humanist reactions are welcome. This is what, it seems, we are seeing with regards to the fate of migrants: a possible huge shift in public opinion.”

To capture some of the reality of a moment, and to chase away the shadows that haunt the human spirit, the courage of intelligence and reasoning must overcome the test of fear. Only then can we bring light to these shadows. Whether we want it or not, and no matter what we think about it, the cliché of a tiny, lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach, like a piece of debris, has brought to light, on a global scale, all of the emotional elements behind the situation that has been normalised. It seems, unfortunately, that we needed a photograph, and this photograph in particular, to ensure that the horror, which has become banal and everyday, is no longer seen that way. A certain collective cowardice has been washed away by shame, which is as large as the terror caused by a sort of passiveness which is no longer sustainable. Although it has become iconic, this photograph will not change the world. But through the power of a sudden revelation, which will halt any normal human brain, a photograph, as history has often shown, can change the way people think, sometimes on a large scale. And then, it is these people who change the world… Even if they are late, any authentically civic and humanist reactions are welcome. This is what, it seems, we are seeing with regards to the fate of migrants: a possible huge shift in public opinion.

The climate is no longer the same, and it seems that citizens, across the whole continent, are perhaps in the process of weakening the ‘fortress Europe’, which is responsible for participating in this chaos and this cruelty that is against fundamental human rights. If people get involved, a sort of citizen protection can be established to break through the barrier of selfishness. Future generations are already judging us. Just as they are judging the French leaders, who continue to feed warlike mentalities and who, it seems, are preparing to launch another offensive without a mandate from the UN. We all know that this sort of madness is what caused the terrible events that led to the collapse of part of the Middle East. We needed an image for millions of Europeans to feel less alone. Less alone in the fight against this infernal cycle of inhumanity.

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