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Nice attack: What French think

Update: July, 16/2016 - 01:32
A picture taken on July 15, 2016 shows a sign reading "I am Charlie, I am Bataclan, I am Nice, long live the Republic, long live France" next to a candle and roses in Strasbourg, eastern France, after a gunman smashed a truck through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84. — AFP PHOTO
Viet Nam News

At least 84 people were killed on Thursday night when a large truck ploughed through a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France, in what President Francois Hollande called a "terror act" and many other world leaders have condemned. Several French, Vietnamese-French people who are living and working both here in Việt Nam and in France share with Việt Nam News their feelings and opinions of the attack.

Valerie Chatel

Valérie Chatel, chief territorial administration, General Director of services in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region

This attack reveals more than the previous attacks, the nature of fundamentalism of its authors.

By attacking a crowd gathered for a party, they were attacking the collective spirit and the pleasure of being together.

By choosing July 14, the National holiday, they show their hatred of this symbol of freedom and power which was given back to the people.

But first of all, while killing children, young people, people from all walks of life, they show that what they hate, is life and hope in the future.

They prefer to kill what is different from them rather than convince. They want to create a sterile dictatorship and a regime of submission.

I mourn for the victims but am appalled by the attackers actions and by their obscurantism.

I am convinced that we need more than ever to fight for secularism and especially equality between women and men to show that we will not be submitted.

It is very difficult to prevent such attacks, especially at a very popular event for which you cannot really take security measures to control access to fireworks.

Even though we should not fall into a security regime, I think that to limit such attacks, public demonstrations should be more protected, the circulation should be cut off, and the police should be more present.

 

Pierre-Antoine Lépine, artist and teacher

My feelings are sadness, anger and fear. I am afraid that it will happen again (but I will not yield to it) and fear that political extremists use this to divide our national community. This is particularly cowardly to attack children as well.

I believe we have entered a long cycle and that it will take time for our country to no longer be the target of such attacks.

We must make disappear the authors of these attacks and especially avoid allowing them to recruit and start again.

We are all involved at this level and education should play an important role: not to disseminate false information, think about what you share, its usefulness. I see many impermissible things on the Internet: intolerance and a lot of stupidity that spreads without embarrassment.

What’s disarming is that it is also impossible to control everything: a truck is not a weapon in itself and it is impossible to know what next “lone wolf” will decide to take action and how.

We cannot go into people’s heads and it is impossible to monitor everybody. I also think of all the victims of terrorism around the world and it tells me we should be more supportive of each other, be more responsible to resolve all problems: it is urgent. July 14 should have been a nice party.

Michael Menot

Michael Menot, business development freelance consultant

Many French, shocked like me, will spend the day glued to the TV, radio or Internet. Not me. I flee from it. I will preserve myself from maximum unhealthy details of this new tragedy.

And it’s the anger that drives me most: anger against a series of incendiary governments, which we helped create these monsters, they are called Bin Laden, Abubakar Shekau or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. These people are not necessarily the louts that we portrayed: they have an ideology, strategy and they implement it. This ideology is not based on religion but on power: these people want power. Religion is only a pretext to divide our societies and draw in their mesh lost people which become fanatic.

And our governments have fallen into the trap: the more we oppose Islam in our western lifestyle; more we throw discredit on Muslims in France and we make these people who are ready to turn into human bombs or destroy 100 lives with a truck.

I am angry because instead of better integrating these young French people of immigrant Maghreb, we make them second-class citizens and prepare the terrorists of tomorrow.

Marie BM

Marie BM, communication assistant, International Organisation of la Francophonie in Paris

First of all, it’s a great shock, because it’s not in Paris or a real big city in France.

That night, I went to bed before hearing about this attack. I was very shocked, because nothing happened during the day before I went to sleep.

Nice is one of the most peaceful cities in France. It is a city of holiday and joy, of the sea, of the sun, near Cannes. Many old people have moved there for their old age. Now everything changed. I’m sad. Now we know that everything can happen, and our police force can’t be everywhere. I guess we have to live with it.

I don’t really think we can prevent this kind of attack. During the Euro 2016, as my work was near the fanzone of the Eiffel Tower we had the feeling of living in a military base. There was so many soldiers and policemen... It was quite unbelievable. I was really feeling bad as if we were in state of war. And we just can’t put a soldier behind every citizen.

Many people will blame refugees but I don’t think it’s the trouble.

I think some kind of people misreading Islam are in a crusade against states whom they identify as symbols of the West and as melting pots of Muslims and other cultures. That’s what France is about. We are cultural diversity and life and joy.

And I don’t think we should stop fighting in Syria. Because I really don’t think they’ll stop attacking us if we do so, they’ll just get more and more territory, resources, money and so on.

The only thing that frightens me more than the terrorist threat is the possibility (very real) that people will vote and put into power the National Front party – the far right of real racists and anti-European people.

Olivia

Olivia Pesenti, lawyer

It was another morning. A sad morning. It’s starting to become commonplace. We celebrated July 14 last night. For us, the French, this is a holiday that symbolises the taking of the Bastille in 1789 and the advent of the French Revolution. Last night, a Tunisian killed 84 people with a 19 tonne truck. I am annoyed, angry. For some time, our flag turns black. France is terror, sadness and mostly silence. A silence that’s chilling and I’m afraid.

Nuage Rose

Nuage Rose, Vietnamese-French citizen living in Paris

I am OK now but I am still shocked. You are never fully prepared you know. People keep telling you it’s gonna happen again, and you know it will but it’s still horrifying.

Last night, like millions of Parisians, I was watching the fireworks. I love this city. There was something dreamlike about that night, it was magical, all the colours and the music, the celebration. It was simply beautiful.

And then the news came about the attack in Nice. The contrast between those two feelings made it even worse to swallow. I don’t want to change my life because of that, I will keep living my life the way I do, I will continue to go to the cinema, to concerts, to the opera and the theatre.

We have that very important thing that they don’t. We get to know happiness, to share and to celebrate life while all they know is how to prepare death. I also feel angry because almost every time an attack occurs it turns out it could have been avoided, what if and what if...

The French government established the “emergency state” but still allows people to gather. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against Nuit Debou or Up All Night movement that gathers people to stand all night as an act of protest - for example, but it kind of is scary to see so many people gathering in one place, isn’t it? I know, it is paradoxical, I just said we shouldn’t change the way we live our life...

But what to do against madness? Those people do not lack imagination when it’s about creating terror. This invisible war is a poison. It’s a non-declared war! The attackers are hidden, but present and among us. — VNS

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