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Gilles Tautin

Page history last edited by Sophie Smith 2 years, 3 months ago

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Gilles Tautin (21st December 1950 - 10th June 1968)

Gilles Tautin was but 17 years of age and a student of the Stéphane-Mallarmé High School when he lost his life defending the rights of the student and the Union of the Marxist-Leninist Communists during the events of May - June 1968. The circumstances of Gilles Tautin's death, to this day remain a matter of controversy. On the one hand, it is suggested that Gilles - Tautin drowned in the river Seine during an attempt to escape 'la Gendarmerie mobile' (French riot police). On the contrary, Gilles Tautin's death has often been depicted as merciless murder enforced by 'la Gendarmerie mobile' themselves. Witnesses at the time recounted that they observed relentless acts of savagery committed by the police, it is said that the police were guilty of kicking, beating and even pushing the demonstrators into the river Seine, thus causing the death of young Gilles Tautin.

Tautin's merciless death sparked a turning point in the history of the events of May - June 1968, great public uproar arose, as French citizens began to realize the very seriousness of the matter. In their eyes, a minor had been killed as a consequence of the brutal and bloodthirsty violence. Thence, action needed to be taken and the rioting had to end.

From 10th June 1968 onwards, Gilles Tautin is still to this day remembered as a 'Martyr' of the events of May 1968. Thus, 15th June 1968, it is reported that 'Le chant des Martyrs' (The song of the Martyrs) was sung at Tautin's funeral.

 

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