PERPIGNAN: Commemoration of the exodus of the French from Algeria in 1962 for the RN town hall of Perpignan, “Freedom, equality, the Mediterranean” for the left and SOS Racisme: two visions of the independence of Algeria oppose each other at the end of June in the Catalan city.
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Evian agreements, from Friday to Sunday, the city of Perpignan and the Algerian Circle have scheduled exhibitions, conferences and testimonies to pay tribute to returnees and “restore history” in an “emblematic” city. in the welcome of the pied-noirs and the harkis”, underlines the mayor Louis Aliot.
He regrets “the truncated pages”, according to him, in the history textbooks on the French presence in Algeria.
“We too often forget the simple people who worked in Algeria, insists the mayor of Perpignan, elected in 2020. We cannot be in the unilateral accusation of France, we must remember the contribution of France. to see the state of Algeria today, we cannot say that it is glorious”.
The departure of the Pieds-noirs “towards the motherland, yes, it’s an exodus, they abandoned everything, they left one hand in front, one hand behind, a great trauma”, highlights the vice-president of the National Rally, which won the four seats of the Pyrénées-Orientales in the National Assembly on Sunday.
Among the highlights, the town hall of Perpignan will inaugurate a square Mourad Kaouah, deputy from 1958 to 1962, arrived in Perpignan in 1962, and close to Jean-Marie Le Pen.
In 1962, 12,000 Pieds-noirs and 12,000 Harkis arrived in Perpignan, a city of about 80,000 inhabitants at the time.
In response, the local left and SOS-Racisme have imagined a festival called Nostre Mar (“our sea” in Catalan), with conferences and events from June 27 to July 3.
“We found a demonstration based on memorial resentments dramatic, we wanted to offer a cultural offer that speaks of the unity of the Mediterranean world”, explains Nicolas Lebourg, historian, specialist on the far right and co-organizer of the festival. .
“We want to convey another discourse, he says, a plural and positive vision of the relationship between the peoples of the Mediterranean. It is not just the refugees and the war in Algeria”.
For the organizers of Nostre mar, this is the first edition of a festival that they would like to anchor in the Pyrénées-Orientales, a crossroads between France and Spain, with the aim of making it “a high place of anti-racism”.
On July 2, the festival has scheduled an LGBT pride march in Perpignan.
After the presidential campaign and an “assault of the most uninhibited racisms”, SOS-Racisme claims to want to “bring the cultural fight against racism, anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT hatred back to the heart of the public square”.
“The memory of anti-Semitism has even suffered the attack of a revisionism wanting to rehabilitate Marshal Pétain. It was time to act, and to do it here”, underlines the association for the defense of human rights .
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