By Writing Cahors
Since February 2022, war has been on Europe’s doorstep, with the invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine. In the Batch and to Cahors, an association that has been informing for years and has been campaigning for human rights. This is’ETM 46.
We met its president, Yves Quintal.
News: How was your association born, with what goals? What were your first actions?
Yves Quintal: ETM 46, for Écoles Tiers-Monde, is the “little brother” of “Égalité Toulouse Mirail”, an association created by a team of teachers from Mirail, of which I was a member, with a view to teaching migrants literacy, and which worked in support with the peoples of the South.
ETM 46 is part of local and international solidarity. We are at the initiative of the Festival des Solidarités, today Festi’Sol, in Cahors.
At the beginning, our association welcomed six groups of children, coming from Western Sahara, and who went to Figeac, Toulouse, Tournefeuille, Lille…, with the support of elected officials, such as Martin Malvy or Pierre Mauroy.
Our association works for the self-determination of peoples, for democracy, for democratic human rights, and for women’s rights. In this, we collaborate with any association that shares our values, such as Cimade, Amnesty International, AMIgrants, ATTAC… We are members of the Ritimo network, the Information and Documentation Network for international solidarity and sustainable development.
We invited, in Cahors, during the civil war in Algeria, in 1998, Dalila Taleb, Algerian deputy, who was fighting for democracy, for a dialogue between the opposing forces, in connection with the Italian current San’ Egidio. During the civil war in Algeria, we were in contact with the Algerian League for Human Rights. We also work with the Human Rights League in Cahors, and in Toulouse with the International Federation for Human Rights.
We also worked with the Federation of Tunisians in France, and brought to Cahors Tunisians who had taken part in the Tunisian Revolution, in conjunction with the Léo Lagrange Federation.
ETM has invited a former deputy mayor of Aleppo to the town hall of Cahors.
Our meetings-debates, with quality speakers, in Cahors, have met with success each time.
What is your way, today, to make Lotois and Cadurciens aware of democracy and the self-determination of peoples?
YQ: We use the cinema to bring people together, during film-debates, in order to raise their awareness of these themes, in close connection with the Quercy cinema, and today the Grand Palais. Cinema is a means of counter-propaganda. The selection of films that we offer at the Grand Palais is made within our association, in conjunction with the networks of which we are members. For our interventions, we follow the news. ETM also participates, with other friendly associations, in leading demonstrations, for democracy, in support of migrants, against racism, in particular.
ETM and Ukraine
What is your view of the situation in Ukraine? How do the networks, with which ETM collaborates, react?
YQ: In Ukraine, towns are shelled, killing civilians. Every conflict has solutions. Peace is built. War is inhuman. Humanity is affected.
The European network of solidarity with Ukraine, which brings together Syllepse editions, citizens, associations, with whom we share the same democratic values and with whom we work, such as the CDTM, resource and documentation centers for development and international solidarity…, unions, such as Solidaires or the FSU, demand the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory, and the reception without discrimination of migrants from Ukraine and elsewhere. Unions, associations… send truckloads of medicines, goods, clothes… to Ukraine. In many villages and towns in the Lot, humanitarian actions continue.
Will ETM 46 organize parties, in support with Ukraine?
YQ: As part of the International Solidarity Festival, we invited Bernard Dréano, President of the Assembly of European Citizens, a specialist in the Caucasus and Eastern countries, for which he has written several books. He is a specialist in democratic struggles and the rights of peoples. He is part of the nonviolent movement for nuclear disarmament. He is a member, like us, of CERI, the center for international studies and research. On Wednesday, November 30, at 6:30 p.m., at the Bourse du Travail, in Cahors, he will lead a conference-debate. It will deal with the origin of the conflict, the rights of peoples, the reception of migrants and how to build peace. During this evening, a documentary by Olivier Besancenot, returning from Ukraine, will be broadcast, giving the floor to Ukrainian trade unionists. An exhibition will be visible at the Labor Exchange.
Bernard Dréano will be the next day, on our initiative, and within the framework of the International Solidarity Festival, at the Grand Palais cinema, where he will lead a debate, around an aperitif with Ukrainian dishes, following the screening of the film , at 6:15 p.m., “Dombass”. This film, released in 2018, directed by Sergei Loznitsa, Ukrainian filmmaker, who grew up in the Soviet world, is a hard-hitting, laughable fiction, telling the origin of the conflict. Residents of Dombass participated in the making of this film. An exhibition will also be held on December 1 at the Grand Palais.
As we did with Tunisia or Algeria, we are raising awareness and informing the population about the real situation in Ukraine. During these two evenings, a collection will be organized for the benefit of schools in Ukraine, which have been devastated.
Contact: 06 20 38 24 79.
Interview by DIDIER QUET
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