Relatives of the young girl and anonymous gathered for a last tribute

Like Anna, a pupil of the Georges-Brassens school complex, who came with her big sister, a few hundred people took part in the march this Wednesday afternoon, organized in honor of Lola, this 12-year-old schoolgirl, killed on 14 last October, in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. Ahmed came with his three children aged 8 to 15, explained to them why this tribute is important. “We did what we had to do: show our solidarity by being there this afternoon alongside the family of this neighborhood child, murdered by a madwoman. »

The parents and the two brothers of Lola pay tribute to the teenager, on November 16, 2022, in front of their home in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. – Juliette AVOT/SIPA

In the insidious rain of November, faces were serious and closed, journalists kept at a distance and no distinctive sign of belonging to a party or movement was visible, as the family had expressly requested. Gathered around Lola’s parents and her two brothers Thibaut and Jordan, middle school students, parents of students and staff from the establishment where the teenager was educated, formed the first part of the procession, which slowly went up the rue Manin, followed from a distance by a compact crowd massed under umbrellas and K-Ways.

A procession of schoolchildren and relatives

Even before the start of the march, a cord of fluorescent vests strictly protected relatives and schoolchildren. A woman who lives on Allée Darius Milhaud was trying to join her daughter: “Ah, your child is educated in Brassens? You can walk past to join the college students. Because it is in a tight row that the teenagers took over the head of the procession, surrounding a family and very marked relatives, dressed in a white T-shirt bearing the image of Lola and holding a white rose. In front of 119 rue Manin, where the teenager’s family resides, songs in her honor rang out, before the crowd resumed their march towards the town hall. Alphonse, 84, with a serious face, wanted to reflect: “I have lived in the neighborhood for more than thirty years, it’s horrible what happened, we can only be touched, even collapsed “.

The college students, friends of Lola, were gathered at the head of the procession to pay a last tribute to their comrade, on November 16, 2022, in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.
The college students, friends of Lola, were gathered at the head of the procession to pay a last tribute to their comrade, on November 16, 2022, in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. – Thibault Camus/AP/SIPA

In front of the Buttes-Chaumont park, massed on the forecourt, anonymous people listened to the few words of the girl’s mother, who was speaking publicly for the first time. “It is in these difficult times, of extreme violence, that the best rubs shoulders with the worst. The best thing is you here, it’s solidarity, it’s fraternity that allows us to still believe in the values ​​that unite us. The worst is the uses of our daughter’s image for mercantile or political ends. »

“Do not respond to violence with violence”

At the mention of the suspect, Dahbia B., indicted for murder and aggravated rape, and placed in pre-trial detention, the voice became more hesitant, the sobs more painful. “We understand the need to understand how and why this young woman was able to make such a heinous attempt on the life of a little girl,” said Lola’s mother. If we want to know and understand, we must not respond to violence with violence. “Jeanine, who came to the town hall for a last tribute, cannot help but slip: “I hate her, it is violent to say but that is what I feel against this woman”.

After a few minutes of speech, and while the family had expressly warned that they would not respond to any interview, the mother of the young victim asked that their privacy be respected, that space be left “for the long time of Justice “. The family also announced the creation of a foundation or an association to support all child victims of violence and specified that Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, had pledged to support their action financially. Then, as “It was Loli, it was Lolo, it was Lola”, a popular Corsican tune from the 1980s, resounded in a loop, the crowd dispersed at nightfall, promising to never forget. “We must now learn to live without Lola,” whispered her mother.

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