The Persecution of Gaspard Glanz

Gaspard Glanz is a French videojournalist who founded and manages the website Taranis News. A few weeks ago we posted one of his videos, which showed a riot control tank testing some kind of new gas. Mr. Glanz asked the tank operator about it, but got no information in response.

Coincidentally or otherwise, Gaspard Glanz is now being harassed by the French authorities. He has been forbidden to cover Yellow Vest demonstrations in Paris, and was recently jailed for several days. In the following video he talks to fellow journalists about what happened to him.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:20   We just found out through your lawyer what happened.
00:24   What is your reaction to the requirement? —Towards which requirement? Because
00:28   there were several things. —Every Saturday forbidden to rally, included
00:32   May 1. The trial? —So I’ll answer you with what I answered, in order to not to
00:36   tell you something wrong. The prosecutor. I answered madame prosecutor,
00:40   “Friend, can you hear the black flight of the raven above our prairies?” [WW2 partisan song]Voilà
00:43   my answer to madame prosecutor. And I’m going to attend the rally this Saturday and May 1, despite
00:48   the prohibition that was issued against me… —How did you earn this prohibition?
00:52   And that’s my work. And that I live in Paris. — Bravo! —And that
00:56   the only crime I committed was to having explained unfortunately strongly
01:00   to a specialist of…
01:04   what was it called… Anyway… I accepted
01:08   making a deal with the house…
01:12   In fact nothing happened at all. In fact they were harassing me.
01:16   That’s what you can say. —That temporary arrest, how did it go? —Rather badly
01:20   I have bruises everywhere.
01:24   When I was arrested I got squished on the floor. I haven’t eaten
01:28   since Saturday. [he was detained 48 hours] I could drink, but it wasn’t easy; I had to fight for it
01:32   a bit, and I think that because I was known I could drink, while others in my situation couldn’t.
01:36   As much as this police station is beautiful and brand new, as much the police station
01:39   of the 14th arrondissement isn’t. I think you can still smell the odor of urine now.
01:44   It should give you a tiny idea of the atmosphere
01:48   of the place. What else can I tell you? I met people who are there
01:52   for “simply entering a store and exiting it”,
01:57   and who got a temporary arrest. There were some who had kicked
02:01   the shield of a CRS [police], which didn’t even fall, who similarly got temporarily arrested.
02:05   I’ve been a journalist for ten years. I worked for all the media that I can see
02:09   around me. I already worked for you, I already worked for you, I already worked for you
02:13   I already worked for probably all the media that are here, but still
02:17   “I’m not a journalist”. When there were attacks in Strasbourg,
02:21   and we were filming their [police] units in the town of Strasbourg, they were trying
02:24   to show us their helmets, their shields, their guns, and so on. There we were journalists!
02:27   No problem! Since we were promoting them! However, when we show
02:30   their excesses, we show what is happening on the street and the truth of what is going on in Paris
02:33   to the eyes of the world, then we are forbidden to return there, because we could show things
02:36   which shouldn’t be seen. And I think that we reached a point of no return, very serious.
02:41   I trust my lawyers to secure my right to go there freely next Saturday
02:45   and May 1. But I will be there with or without authorization, and
02:49   whatever the consequences might be. Because I’m a journalist in France, in the country of freedom!
02:53   Bravo! —And I’m sorry, but yes, I got angry, yes, I did, because I flipped the bird at a cop,
02:57   because I was hit by a grenade. I still have a hole in my pants from it, if you want to see it.
03:01   If I had no protection from my pants, you can imagine what would be left of my knee. But all in all…
03:05   Did Alexandre Benalla
03:09   spend more hours there than you under judicial control? —No.
03:13   Has Alexandre Benalla had a prohibition on going to certain places in France ? No. —It’s your status
03:17   as an independent journalist that was the reason…? —My status as a journalist isn’t recognized.
03:21   Voilà. That’s all. I repeat, I worked for all the mics that are in front of you, but in their eyes
03:26   I’m not a journalist. For ten years it’s been my principal source of revenue, 100%.
03:30   Ten years. Since… actually this month, actually. My first act of professional journalism
03:34   was a NATO summit in Strasbourg in April 2009.
03:38   This is 2019. It’s my main activity. If I open my bag, there’s material worth fifteen thousand euros.
03:42   Do you really think that someone who wants to hurt law enforcement throws cameras
03:46   worth three thousand euros at their heads? My arrest destroyed half of my material!
03:50   Did you show your status as a journalist? —Yes.
03:54   Of course. I have the journalist status it is in my bag, it’s long. There’s a status as author
03:58   [unintelligible]. So I have author status, just as any writer or photographer,
04:02   like probably most journalists who are here and who have no press ID; and I reiterate:
04:06   because I think that there inside they still haven’t understood: A police officer, in order to be
04:09   a police officer, needs to have a police ID. A baker, in order to be a baker, needs
04:14   to have a baker training. A journalist, in order to be a journalist doesn’t need a press ID.
04:18   He needs to have sold a certain number of times in the previous trimester to the media
04:22   around him. This is what defines his profession. Not a press ID. The press ID is a commission
04:26   recognized by the government, for sure, but that isn’t mandatory. And I think that among
04:30   journalists who are here now, there are many who have no press ID. Do you have a press ID?
04:33   Do you have a press ID? Do you have a press ID? OK, it’s 2 out of 3.
04:36   Do you have a press ID? No? Incidentally, this gentleman
04:39   is a photographer for Libération! [leftist daily] So voilà. Can you go there as well?
04:42   [In the police station behind]. So at some point it has to stop.
04:46   In this country I’m prohibited from going and doing my job. I’ve covered social movements
04:51   for ten years: Calais Jungle, Notre-Dame-des-Landes [airport construction protests] different
04:54   ZADs of France [zones to defend]. Rallies in Paris concerning the labor law, rallies in Paris
04:58   and so on, and there the only thing that I was forbidden to do is that, in fact.
05:02   I’m not prohibited from being in Paris. I’m forbidden to go to rallies to do my job.
05:07   They already did this to me: in Calais in 2016. I was arrested for
05:11   a so-called theft of a police walkie-talkie. I have 250 days of judicial control a double
05:15   prohibition on going to North Pas-de-Calais — prefectural and judicial [interdictions], and
05:19   we just found out — with my lawyers — that this @#&*! forgot to remove
05:23   the inadmissibility from my file, so now — even so it’s been since
05:27   2017 that I’m prohibited to go there — if I went to Pas-de-Calais, I would have been arrested,
05:31   I would have been detained, because they didn’t even remove it from my file. So in fact
05:35   I have trouble telling you about impressions; I think I need to sleep before telling you about
05:39   my position concerning justice, but… —What does it mean, “the current situation of our profession”?
05:43   I think that journalists should straighten up a little bit, raise their heads,
05:51   do their job. THEIR job, meaning NOT what they are being ASKED to do,
05:55   necessarily, not with the slant that they are being asked to promote.
05:59   Do their job as journalists. What is “their job”? It’s very simple: show what’s going on. You are
06:02   from the radio: tell what is going on! Voilà. And this is precisely what I am doing.
06:07   When I was hit by a grenade, I got mad. I went to see a police officer, I wanted to talk to
06:10   a commander; he hit me sharply with his weapon, so yes, my God, so I gave him my middle finger.
06:15   Do you regret that gesture ?
06:19   Of course, I would have preferred not have done it…
06:23   at a point in this rally, and I have pictures in my bag, I’m hoping that
06:27   the police haven’t erased it, which I don’t know yet; but I can show you from this rally
06:31   from three different angles: two police officers who are throwing
06:35   rocks at the protesters, two police officers who do same thing I did, meaning
06:39   that they’re flipping the bird at the protesters, and so on,
06:43   so at some point you consider that for a cop its normal to
06:48   get angry, we are in a situation where people fight, there are grenades exploding and so on;
06:52   everybody is stressed and nervous. I didn’t have to show that middle finger, of course.