Rabat - Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Melenchon and several elected officials paid tribute to the memory of Brahim Bouarram, a 29-year-old Moroccan who drowned in the Seine 22 years ago after being pushed into the river by skinheads on the fringes of the National Front's traditional May Day rally.
Rabat – Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc Melenchon and several elected officials paid tribute to the memory of Brahim Bouarram, a 29-year-old Moroccan who drowned in the Seine 22 years ago after being pushed into the river by skinheads on the fringes of the National Front’s traditional May Day rally.
Macron made sure to remind the National Front of its bloody history on this May Day, as the French presidential frontrunner visited the Carrousel Bridge in Paris to honor the memory of Brahim Bouarram, a victim of racism.
On May 1, 1995, the 29-year-old Moroccan was thrown into the Seine from the top of the Carrousel bridge in Paris. That day, the currents were very strong and the young man drowned. His murderers, four skinheads, had been participating in the annual celebration of the National Front in honor of Joan of Arc.
The killing aroused great emotion in the French population, just a few days before the second round of the presidential election. François Mitterrand, still at the Elysee for the end of his term, threw a bouquet of lilies-of-the-valley into the Seine. Bouarram’s death was followed by numerous demonstrations against racism all over France.
The main perpetrator, who was 19 years old at the time he committed the crime, was sentenced to eight years in prison in 1998. The three other assailants, who were prosecuted for failing to provide assistance to a person in danger, were each sentenced to one year in prison.
At the time, the National Front denied any responsibility for the crime. Jean-Marie Le Pen, father of current presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, even described the event as “an accident” and saw it as a manipulation of the media and a provocation against his party. But as Macron told the reporters on Monday, mere steps away from Bouarram’s memoriam, “we must not forget what happened.”
The tribute comes only six days ahead of the May 7 presidential election that will have voters choose between Le Pen to Macron. The candidate of the “En Marche!” movement plays his cards well. Accompanied by former PS Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe and Saïd Bouarram, son of the victim, Macron said that “nothing will be forgotten” of the Le Pen party’s past, whose extremist “roots” are “perennial.”
“I shall never forget, and I will fight up until the very last second not only against her (Le Pen) program but also her idea of what constitutes democracy and the French Republic,” said Macron.
Socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, who called for voters to choose Macron to defeat the scourge of the far-right party, had earlier come to lay a wreath at the scene of Brahim Bouarram’s death. She was also accompanied by Bouarram’s son, who was 9 years old at the time of his father’s death, and by Senator David Assouline and deputy Seybah Dagoma.
Shortly before noon, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who came fourth in the first round of the presidential election, also came to pay tribute to the memory of the young Moroccan. The leader of La France Insoumise, warned voters on Sunday against the “terrible mistake” that a vote in favor of the National Front would represent.
Mon combat aujourd’hui, c’est un combat pour que d’autres puissent me combattre démocratiquement. C’est la vraie différence avec le FN. pic.twitter.com/raECSxIVwF
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 1, 2017