Death of Matisse in Châteauroux: a white march planned for Saturday May 4

Around 5,000 people began a white march in Châteauroux on Saturday May 4 in tribute to young Matisse, 15, killed by a teenager of the same age on April 27, at the call of the family, who refuses any political recovery, noted a correspondent from Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Death of Matisse in Châteauroux: a white march planned for Saturday May 4

Around 5,000 people began a white march in Châteauroux on Saturday May 4 in tribute to young Matisse, 15, killed by a teenager of the same age on April 27, at the call of the family, who refuses any political recovery, noted a correspondent from Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Under a clearing, Place La Fayette in the city center was packed with people, with, among the many people present, elected officials, carrying white or pink roses. Some people wore t-shirts with otters, a reference to Matisse's nickname given by his father, Christophe Marchais. Matisse's parents stood at the head of the silent procession, behind a banner bearing the image of their son.

The businesses were almost all closed and many had a photo of the teenager or an otter in their window. The need to do “something” became clear to Châteauroux’s catering professionals, explains Delphine Chambonneau, owner of the Albert Coffee Shop, located in the city center. Matisse was an apprentice cook at the CFA de l'Indre and his father owns a restaurant.

“We all know each other. We all have a link with this family,” explains Ms. Chambonneau, while a t-shirt with the words “restaurateurs and cafe owners united in pain/Rest in peace Matisse” was made. The day of Sunday April 28, the day after the tragedy, was particularly difficult, continues Ms. Chambonneau. “All the customers would start crying. »

Despite the call, in particular, from Matisse's father to guard against any political exploitation, Friday evening, a small ultra-right group displayed banners in front of the town hall: "Justice for Matisse", "French wake up". According to the prefect of Indre, Thibault Lanxade, the operation was “very quick”. “There were about ten of them. They unfurled their banners and left.” The action was claimed by the small group Animus Fortis.

A teenager and his mother indicted

The teenager died from his injuries on April 27, after several stab wounds during a “brawl” that occurred in the Saint-Denis district, according to the Bourges public prosecutor. His alleged attacker was indicted Monday evening for murder and placed in pre-trial detention. His mother, aged 37 and suspected of having “slapped the injured victim”, was indicted for “willful violence against a vulnerable person”.

Matisse's murder comes after a wave of violence between young people, such as the fatal beating in Viry-Châtillon of 15-year-old Shemseddine, and in the middle of the campaign for the European elections.

The Afghan nationality of the two indicted – legally in France – has led several figures from the right and the far right to denounce the government's “migratory policy”.

On social networks and in encrypted messaging loops, photos of the suspect, his parents and links to his personal accounts were shared, AFP noted. Given "pressures" and the presence of "very young children" within this family, the prefect of Indre assured AFP that "means were implemented to secure them from Thursday evening" .

“Let’s not mix everything up,” asks Matisse’s father

For several days, however, Matisse's father, Christophe Marchais, has been calling for restraint: “Let's not mix everything up. Be careful of all those on the right or elsewhere who appropriate this kind of thing,” he declared on RTL.

The family “does not want us to talk about immigration, to talk about nationality. It’s not something that resembles them,” reported, for his part, the mayor of Châteauroux, Gil Avérous, on Monday during a press conference.

To avoid any excesses during the tribute, the prefecture decided to “reinforce a CRS company” alongside the department’s gendarmes and police officers, to hold “checks on motorway exits and on entrances to the agglomeration of Châteauroux", where far-right activists are expected.

The prefect of Tarn also issued an order banning demonstrations on Sunday in Albi, a small far-right group having announced a gathering in tribute to Matisse, and the local FSU having called for a counter-demonstration.