France must never allow hate and racism to prosper.
The images we have all seen of the assault on Michel Zeclerare unacceptable. They shame us. France must never accept violence or brutality, from any side. France must never allow hate and racism to prosper.
I believe in an exemplary Republic: law enforcement forces who are exemplary with regard to citizens, and citizens who are exemplary with regard to the law enforcement and to all representatives of the authorities.
Citizens who are exemplary with regard to law enforcement. I will never accept violence against our police and gendarmes, against all those in uniform. I will never accept that men and women who signed up to defend the Republican order are injured or killed in the course of their duties.
Exemplary law enforcement. Those who enforce the law must respect the law. I will never allow the gratuitous violence of the few to stain the professionalism of men and women who, every day, protect us with their bravery. Respect for the values of the Republic and ethics must be central to the commitment of all our law enforcement officers.
I ask the Government to swiftly make proposals to reaffirm the bond of trust that must naturally exist between the French people and those who protect them, and to more effectively fight all forms of discrimination.
I believe in our freedoms, of which I am the guarantor.
Freedom of expression and freedom of the press. I have never stopped defending these principles and all those who embody them. Defending them too against those who, from abroad, seek to weaken them. I will never allow these principles to be abandoned.
Freedom of protest. Whatever the circumstances, each citizen must be able to express their own believes and demands, safe from any violence or pressure.
France is a country of order and freedom, not one of gratuitous and arbitrary violence.
The values of the Republic are not negotiable. It is our collective responsibility to defend and promote them.
We need to be able to look the realities of our country in the face, and conduct the debates of today’s society with determination, calm and respect. Invective, condemnation and manipulations cannot contribute to that debate.
Always. Together. In harmony.
These remarks were originally published on the President’s Facebook page.