last Sunday, in Paris as in France, I was million people marching. I had all colors, all religions, all ages and all looks.
Whereas I was mourning my caricaturist, psychiatrist, typographic, policeman, arab, jewish friends,
my French friends with thousands of colors and ideas,
I was feeling reborn again.
I was smiling : « How sweet it is to be together, all together, just like in my neighbourhood… »
You know, these days I live in Paris, in what people call « a popular neighbourhood ». In my street we are black, arab, chinese, white, indian, jewish, muslim, christian, atheist…
But we don’t care. We are neighbours, that’s the most of it.
Monday morning, the day after we all marched, I came to my usual laundromat to have coffee with my friend Boubakar. I arrived just after the end of one of his five daily prayers. He did not look well. On this very Sunday, he told me, he stayed home. The whole day.
– I was scared.
– Man, you should have come to march with me, everybody was so cool !
– Yes.. but you didn’t call me.
Last Sunday, I was million people marching. But it was Monday now, and I was standing alone. I had fucked up. I hadn’t told Boubakar the essential. I had thought there was no need to tell again what is obvious : Boubakar and I, we walk together.
So since Monday, I think about what to do. What to say. What to think. And most of all : how can I prolong, extend this momentum of fraternity shared with million people when my muslim friend is afraid to go out, and when my jewish friends are afraid to wear a kippa on the bus.
And then a friend told me about what the Australians had done last december, when a whole cafeteria was being taken hostage by a man with a Daesh flag. For a whole hour, my friend explained me how the whole Australia had supported its muslim community, then all the religions and differences.
By wearing stickers # I’LL RIDE WITH YOU. So that if someone would feel afraid to go out with a hijab or a kippa or a sweat-shir, they could come to you and ask you to walk along.
After having seen almost 5 millions people marching the street to say NO to racism, to hatred, to intolerance, to fear, I thought maybe we could be clever as Australia. And since Monday, I hear so many people here in Paris and in France telling me : « I wish I could do something ».
So I made this small video. I stopped people in the street on a cold morning, and told them : « I have muslim or jewish friends that are afraid to go out with religious signs. Would you agree to walk with them on their daily travel to work, or home, if they asked you ? And would you agree to wear a sticker # JE MARCHE AVEC TOI to tell them that we are together, that there is no US and THEM »
I don’t ask you much.
But if you are willing to do even just a bit so that this country continue with a multicolored heart, please clic on the link below and watch this 30 seconds movie. Then share it. Share this mail if you wish to. Share the video on Facebook, Twitter, the photo on Instagram. Do your own #JeMarcheAvecToi video, photo and then post it. Then call your friends. Your neighbours. To remind them we are walking and marching together to say NO to hatred, No to fear of the difference.
March « with », not « against ».
And do the first step yourself…
Don’t let fear win the match.
Don’t loose your sense of humour, and your sense of love.
Tell how the world is beautiful when everybody mix with one another.
I wish you the best of days
if you need rain,
and a lot of friends of all colors.
At my window, this morning, the world is grey. But behind the clouds, you can feel and almost see the blue coming. So i smile again :
sometimes, to have a good weather, you just need to believe it’s possible.
Rom, the itinerant man
PS : here is the translation for the text at the end of the video :
« What do I do
if I want to do more ?
(i walk with you)