Nov 13, 2014

Savoy: Denied Access to Remembrance Ceremonies by French Police

Photo courtesy of: Anders@flickr

On 9 and 11 November 2014, in Bonneville and Chambéry respectively, several Savosian individuals were denied access by the French police to World War I remembrance ceremonies. These incidents demonstrate how the French authorities regularly deny the Savoy people their right to enjoy their own language, freedom of expression and celebration of their culture and identity.

Below is a summary of an article written by Fabrice Dugerdil:

On 9 November 2014, 8 Savosians were prevented from attending a remembrance ceremony for World War I in the town of Bonneville.  The Savosians intended to bring the flag of Savoy to the war memorial to remember those who had died in the First World War, but were stopped and had their identities checked by over 40 French gendarmes.  One of the gendarmes was reportedly overheard calling their superior by radio, who told him, 'It is a Savosian, he has no right to come'. After the identity check, they were prevented from accessing the war memorial until the end of the ceremony, and Savosian flags were banned near the war memorial.

Savosians were also prevented from attending and unfurling their flag at the November 11th remembrance ceremony in Chambéry, in the same conditions.

Nevertheless, many municipalities of Savoy have a Cross of Savoy on the war memorial as to saint Gervais les Bains or Ayze (near Bonneville).