France 1962

The Metro Charonne Massacre

Source: Jean-Paul Brunet, Charonne: Lumières sur une tragédie ;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor.

In early 1962, as the war in Algeria continued, activity in metropolitan France stepped up as well. The Algerians of the FLN attacked police on the streets of Paris, and the fascist partisans of French Algeria of the Organisation Armée Secrète – OAS – carried out a campaign of bombings of the homes and offices of opponents of the continued French presence in Algeria. After a wave of bombings that included, among others, the homes of the Communist writer Vladimir Posner, which injured its intended victim, and André Malraux, which wounded a four-year-old neighbor, the left called a demonstration for February 8. The demo was banned, but went ahead anyway. It was met with ferocious violence on the part of the police, who drove demonstrators into the stairwell of the Charonne metro station, where nine people were killed – eight dying that night and one a few weeks later – the victims dying of suffocation or from police beatings. All the dead were Communists, and four of them were buried in Père Lachaise cemetery, not far from the Mur des Fédérés, where the last fighters of the Paris Commune made their final stand. Since the demo had been banned, in order to keep it from the police until the last moment the following flyer was only distributed the morning of the event – Tr.

This evening a 6:30
Place de la Bastille

The OAS murderers have stepped up their activity.

Several times on Wednesday the OAS made an attempt on the lives of political personalities, union activists, professors, members of the press, and literary figures.

Regrettably, there have been people wounded.

The writer Pozner [sic] is in serious condition.

A four-year-old girl was very seriously injured.

The time has come to put an end to these acts by the fascist killers.

We have to do all we can to stop them from doing harm.

Despite official speeches and declarations, the complicity and impunity the OAS benefits from on the part of the government encourage their criminal acts.

Yet again, it’s been proved that antifascists can count only on their own forces, on their unity, on their action. The organizations listed below call on the workers and all the anti-fascists of the Paris region to proclaim their indignation and their determination to block fascism and impose peace in Algeria

This evening, Thursday February 8
At 6:30, Place de la Bastille

Union organizations: The Union of the branches of the CGT of the Seine and Seine-et-Oise, the Parisian regional union of the CFTC, UNEF, SGEN, the Seine-et-Oise sections of the FEN and the SNI.

Associated with this appeal are: the Seine and Seine-et-Oise federations of the French Communist Party, the Seine and Seine-et-Oise federation of the Parti Socialiste Unifié, the Seine and Seine-et-Oise federations of the Communist Youth of France, UJFF [the Communist-affiliated Union of Young Women of France] , UEC [Union of Communist Students], The Unified Socialist Youth and the students of the PSU, the Peace Movement of the Seine and Seine-et-Oise.

Paris, February 7 (11:45 p.m.)