France: Solidarity strike for arrested teacher

Do their job - Sarkozy
Do their job - Sarkozy

French teaching unions have called for a one-day strike this Friday in parisian primary schools in support of an arrested teacher.

Submitted by jef costello on March 29, 2007

Valérie Boukobza, the headmistress of a school in the north of Paris, was arrested on the 20th of March after intervening to try to prevent the arrrest of a chinese illegal immigrant who was collecting his two grand-daughters from her school. A police car was damaged and an officer injured in the course of scuffles, with police using tear gas against those present. Ms. Boukobza was arrested and charged with damaging public property, she has since stated that her intervention was part of her duty of care towards the two pupils whose grandfather was being arrested.

Seven French teaching unions (SNUipp-FSU, SE-UNSA, SGEN-CFDT, SUD-Education, Snudi-FO, CGT-Education et CNT Sèvres-Babylone) have put out a joint call for strike action and for a march to begin at Sèvres-Babylone at 2pm.

The unions have denounced the heavy-handed treatment of Ms. Boukobza and have criticised the education authority in her district for failing to support her. The Interior minister (and probable next President) Nicolas Sarkozy has called for the courts to be 'allowed to do their job'. Something which Ms. Boukobza, currently held on remand, is unable to do.