The impossible count of injured demonstrators
With each demonstration against the pension reform, the number of injured among the demonstrators raises questions. In Paris, the exact number of wounded among the participants is almost impossible to estimate, as the sources are so disparate. The Paris fire brigade (BSPP), for example, sends all its interventions back to the police headquarters (PP). Asked by AFP, the BSPP however refuses to provide a report. It refers to the PP, which centralizes the data, and agrees, or not, to communicate them.
A police source told AFP on Saturday that the Paris firefighters had identified 59 demonstrators in relative emergency since March 16, the day of the announcement of the use of 49.3 followed by a spontaneous rally at Place de la Concorde, while specifying that he “these are not exhaustive figures”. What about the injured demonstrators in Paris who are not taken care of by the firefighters? According to a Parisian policeman, requesting anonymity, “the doctrine is that if the injured person is not reported on the air during the demonstration, he does not exist”. A source at the Samu de Paris reported, anonymously, the treatment of 41 demonstrators and 11 members of the police forces injured on March 23.
Teams of « street medics », volunteer first aiders, are present in processions. They are often volunteers, free electrons not attached to any organization. The Observatory of « street medics » lists “victims of police violence taken care of by unofficial relief” but does not communicate its results until weeks later.
In the regions, the census of the wounded is also random. In Rouen, a demonstrator had a thumb torn off on March 23, according to union and political sources, which was confirmed by the Seine-Maritime prefecture in the evening. In Ille-et-Vilaine, “the census of the injured is spread, either people do not say that they are injured, or we know it a posteriori”explains Dominique Besson-Milord, departmental secretary of the CGT. “There are a lot of people demonstrating for the first time and who don’t necessarily have the channel to get the information back”he said.