The Amis de Jules Durand plan to donate a statue of their hero to the city of Le Havre to honor his memory on the site where he worked, on June 15, 2018, the hundredth anniversary of his discrete rehabilitation.
A Statue to Jules Durand
Les Amis de Jules Durand is an association dedicated to the memory of Jules DURAND, a social activist sentenced to death for what he was, the secretary of Le Havre’s Coal Porters’ Union, a CGT affiliate at a time when there was only central labor federation in France. Socialist founding figure Jean Jaures explained the importance of the case in 1910:
“I believe that the investigation and the parts of the files I have published in l’Humanité are enough to show that it is one of the most violent and inept cases of "class justice" we can imagine”.
Durand was sentenced to capital punishment on November 25, 1910. To this day, his case remains the only one in French history in which a court of justice condemned an elected trade-union leader to death for being in office while actions in which he had no part whatsoever took place. The Jules Durand affair triggered a vast defense campaign inside and outside France in the ranks of the labor movement and human rights associations. The frame-up was finally recognized and he was rehabilitated on June 15, 1918, but in a discrete and strictly judicial fashion. Unfortunately, his imprisonment had broken him and he was interned at the Quatre-Mares asylum, near Rouen.
Since then, a handful of faithful have kept his memory alive. On the 100th anniversary of his rehabilitation, our association wishes to make him better known and appreciated. Today, in 2018, over 100 years after the injustice, a full-fledged public rehabilitation has still not been organized by the authorities, and his memory is not honored as it should.
Those who cherish the cause of workers' rights cannot accept such a state of affairs. Today the right to organize and to strike is threatened everywhere and attempts to criminalize labor action are numerous.
Les Amis de Jules Durand has launched a campaign to erect a statue to the unionist who paid his attempt to organize the coal dockers of Le Havre with his sanity and his life. A fund has been constituted for this purpose.
We turn to all who embrace the struggle for human justice and democratic rights, particularly wage earners' right to organize, in France and in the world. We call on you to contribute to our project because we cannot accept that this injury remain unrepaired
If you think this act of redemption, justice and democracy deserves to be supported, please contribute either directly or by spreading this call for donations around you, wherever you think it might be useful.
Attached, you will find a support message and information about the project. We will, of course, inform you of the results of the campaign.
We remain at your disposal for any further information and extend our fraternal greetings to you, dear friends and comrades.