Saturday, 8 October 2011

Bookshop in Seine-Saint-Denis, Marie-Neige Sardin was attacked twenty six times in seven years. She resists, while deploring the abandonment of the justice system.

No question for Marie-Neige Sardin, 54, of leaving her little bookshop in Bourget. Despite the violence and the intimidation, despite the shop-owners who used to be alongside her leaving, this energetic woman wants to yield nothing to her attackers. “In France an enormous number of people are living through what I live through in my banlieue”, she writes in the book she has just published. In it she denounces the weaknesses of a justice system that is too accommodating to delinquents. A shocking testimony.

Why have you written this book?

To serve witness. To what I’ve gone through and what other victims have lived through and are still living through, those who don’t have the means to make it known.

What have you gone through?

Twenty six attacks in seven years, some with extreme vio¬lence. I was raped. Don’t ask me to talk about it.

When was this?

22 June 2004. I had filed a complaint about an initial attack, in January the same year. Two men armed with a pistol and a tear gas canister stole the contents of the till and the scratch card games. I received a blow from the butt of the gun that time, which opened up a wound on my scalp. I was covered in blood. The rape took place a few days before a confrontation that was due to take place within the context of this affair. There were four of them. They said to me: “Withdraw your complaint. If not, we’ll do the same thing to your daughter.”

You recognised some of your attackers?

Yes, the head of the gang, on the police sheet. In my book I designate him with the initial G. He is known to the police for attacks, thefts, damage… I also identified one of the attackers. But it served no purpose.

What happened?

With the break-in, the children’s judge dismissed the case. His mother and sister swore that G was sleeping at their house when the incident occurred. It was their word against mine. Theirs weighed more heavily than mine.

But there were witnesses… Yes, a father accompanied by his two children. In the end he abandoned his testimony, the two robbers threatened to attack his children … Two years later, G’s sister came for a package in the shop. I asked her why she swore that her brother was sleeping during the robbery. “I cover for him,” she told me. There was a priest in the shop at the time. He testified to what he had heard, but the case wasn’t reopened.

And with the rape?

There, too, the suspect said he wasn’t involved: he was sleeping at his brother’s house. The fingerprints the police took just after the rape couldn’t contradict him. So the judge dismissed the case, because of the lack of proof. Which didn’t prevent the gang in question from boasting all over the district about how they had raped me. A building security guard even went to the police to tell them about it, but nothing happened.

You received compensation all the same…

Yes, from the Commission for Compensation of the Victims of Crime. It’s a recognition of the rape I was subjected to, but it is the state that compensated me, instead of the perpetrators… Society recognised that I had been the victim of attacks, but it declined to pursue those responsible for those attacks.

On the other hand, you were sentenced, in June, to a fine of 500 euros for “insulting an individual because of their race, religion or origins”. What happened?

I appealed this decision. The incident goes back to 2008. I talk about it in detail in my book. A young woman came to live in the apartment opposite mine. She had a house-warming party over three days, or rather three nights. On the third night I went to ask her to stop “faire la bamboula”[ making a racket]. It poisoned our relations… Two years later, she went and said that I had dared to call her a “bamboula” [offensive racial term referring to black African ‘natives’], which I dispute, obviously. I have a frank way of speaking but I never insulted anyone because of the colour of their skin or their religion. I was born with diversity, I grew up with diversity, I work with diversity. I am not racist. I don’t accept being convicted of slander, while the justice system just ignored my word when I was attacked. It’s the inversion of values I’m fighting against. I want a criminal to be judged as a criminal, and that people stop looking for false excuses for them. I’ve come to understand that they need to be given a chance… the more you find excuses for them, the more they lapse into violence. And this violence comes back against them. I said before : these young people, I saw them grow up. I’m not sure I’ll see them grow old.

Why do you stay here?

My father was a gendarme. My mother worked in the police. They instilled certain principles into me. I’m not going to pledge allegiance to gangs who want to impose their laws. I will not submit. If I left, I would feel like I was deserting. I know that some of them are just waiting for that. The other shop-owners left. They’ve been replaced. My shop is in a good position. You can see it from the RER [Rapid Transit Rail System]. Some men I don’t know come almost every month to try and buy it from me. Curiously, their visits often come after a new attack… I bought this little bookshop in 1978, with my father. What would become of it if I sold it? A fast-food joint? A payphone place? And then, I’m not fighting for myself alone…

For who then?

For the kids who come to buy books from me. I lend them to them sometimes. One of them I lent L’Étranger [Albert Camus novel] to started reading it two months ago. Now he’s reading Balzac! And then there are these young girls who come to see me because they know what I’ve gone through… In seven years, I would say that around a dozen have come to see me to say that they’ve gone through it too. They don’t dare to file a complaint about it: culturally, it’s very difficult for them to speak to their parents. I’m a sort of safety valve for them. I give them the telephone number of an association that helped me a lot, the Collectif féministe contre le viol [Feminist Association Against Rape]. I never really recovered from it myself. I can’t bear anyone touching me anymore. Going to the doctor is an ordeal. But I was lucky enough to have been a mother before. Imagine how traumatic it must be for a girl of 15 or 16!

What are your expectations of politicians?

Not much… I expect justice and for the police to protect honest people.
Source: Valeurs Actuelles

Her book is called "Celle Qui Dit Non" [She Who Says No] and can be found here.

See here for more on the rapid islamification of France.


Anonymous said...

To practice shooting was and always will be the best way of self protection. If you don't like it maybe one day a gun can save your life or someone you love... think about it.

Pastorius said...

How are we to know this is a "Muslim-colonised area"?

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

Seine-Saint-Denis is well-known as a Muslim-colonised area.

Rita said...

Yesterday Seine-Saint-Denis, today Paris, tomorrow the World!

Anonymous said...

I just discovered Marie-Neige's story after my father sent me a link to a Utube video. Shocking, but not surprising as the politicians are afraid of standing up to these monsters. It is the same here in Canada. Even in my small, northern city we are starting to see women wearing the burqa and Muslims in other parts of Canada insisting on their disgusting Sharia law.

Has her book been translated to English? I would like to buy it as a form of support. We are also taking out a family subscription to Charlie Hebdo. After the massacre in Paris I pray that the tide is finally going to turn on these criminals and that governments will start expelling them from western countries before we're all forced to wear the veil. I'll fight that to my dying breath!

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