Statue of Black anti-slavery heroine to be erected in Paris garden

“Solitude” became a symbol of the resistance of slaves in Guadeloupe.

Paris — Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo inaugurated the Solitude Garden on Saturday, a city garden dedicated to a Black woman and anti-slavery heroine from the former French colony Guadeloupe. It will be the first statue of a Black woman in Paris, which does not represent an allegory but is truly the celebration of an exemplary figure.

According to the Paris city hall, the move is a continuation of the mayor’s push for more representation of women in public spaces.

Born around 1772, Solitude was the daughter of an African slave and a white sailor who became a symbol of the resistance of slaves in Guadeloupe. When a French expedition landed in the colony on the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte to reestablish slavery, which had been abolished in 1794, former slaves rebelled. Among them, many women, including Solitude, who was a few months pregnant, joined the fighting. After the insurgents were defeated, Solitude was arrested and condemned to death.

On Nov. 29, 1802, the day after she gave birth, Solitude was executed by hanging. The Black citizens of Guadeloupe once again became slaves, but Solitude, through her sacrifice, remains the symbol of Guadeloupe’s resistance to slavery.

The small garden in the 17th arrondissement of the French capital was chosen on purpose. It is where nearly 80 years ago a sculpture of General Alexandre Dumas, one of the highest ranking men of African descent to lead a European army, stood and was melted by Nazis when they occupied Paris.

The Black Lives Matter protests which followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have had deep echoes across the pond in recent months, inviting large demonstrations against police brutality in France and elsewhere in Europe. Protesters in Paris used slogans and chants from the U.S. and in Bristol, protesters pulled down a 17th century slave-trader’s statue of Edward Colston.

French President Emmanuel Macron had expressed his disapproval, and has been vocal in his refusal to unbolt statues in France.

For Jacques Martial, this is a different way to deal with the issue of controversial statues and how to tell history differently. The statue of Solitude will help “repair an oversight and something that history has forgotten,” he said. “The issue is not to unbolt the statues but to know the history in its positive aspects as well as its shadows. Rather than breaking or unbolting, add presences in public spaces that tell history.”

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Trump’s Paris Agreement pullout could cause 400,000 deaths in New York alone: House Oversight report

President Trump’s controversial bid to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement could have devastating consequences for his former home state, according to a new scientific report out of Congress.



a large body of water with a city in the background: The New York City skyline is seen from the Staten Island Ferry.


© Barry Williams
The New York City skyline is seen from the Staten Island Ferry.

The report, produced by the House Oversight Committee and obtained exclusively by the Daily News ahead of its Saturday release, concluded that more than 400,000 New Yorkers could die prematurely from various illnesses related to climate change over the next five decades if Trump’s successful in rescinding the U.S. commitment to the landmark agreement.

The unsettling finding is based on research by Dr. Drew Shindell, a professor of Earth Sciences at Duke University and a leading expert on the health effects of climate change and air pollution.

The Paris Agreement requires nations to work together toward keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by limiting greenhouse gas emissions and investing in renewable energy. President Barack Obama and the leaders of most of the world’s other industrialized nations signed the accord in April 2016.

But Trump filed notice last year to pull out of the agreement. The U.S. exit officially takes effect on Nov. 4 — the day after the presidential election.

If the Republican president wins a second term and successfully cuts the U.S. out of the accord, the House Oversight Committee report predicts that the global average temperature would soar above 2 degrees Celsius, especially since the president has already rolled back “numerous key” environmental regulations during his first four years in office.

Such a temperature bump would cause a plethora of health issues across the U.S., including an increase in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as air qualities worsen, according to the report.

House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) noted that the report’s gloomy predictions can be prevented if the U.S. recommits to the Paris Climate Agreement.

“We could save hundreds of thousands of lives, prevent unnecessary illnesses and hospitalizations, avoid tens of millions of lost workdays, and save trillions of dollars in economic benefits — all right here in our State of New York,” Maloney told The News on Friday.

In New York alone, as many as 423,000 residents would die from climate change-related illnesses between now and 2070, the report assesses.

In addition to the staggering death toll, the report predicts that the temperature spike would result in 400,000 emergency room visits in New York over the same time period, including an estimated 5,700 hospitalizations of children with asthma.

There would also be a ripple effect on New York’s economy, the report says, with an estimated 45 million workdays lost, resulting in a $3.5 trillion blow to the state’s finances — above and beyond the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

White House spokesman Judd Deere disputed the committee’s findings as “completely partisan.”

“Other countries and the radical left remain obsessed with the Paris Climate Accord, which shackles economies and has done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Deere

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‘Little doubt’ Paris stabbing was terrorism, says French interior minister

PARIS (AP) — The main suspect in the double stabbing Friday outside the former Paris offices of a satirical newspaper where dozens were killed in 2015 was arrested a month ago for carrying a screwdriver but not on police radar for Islamic radicalization, France’s interior minister said.

Two suspects were arrested separately shortly after the stabbing in which two people were wounded, although the links between the two suspects weren’t immediately clear. The main suspect, the young man, was arrested on the steps of the Bastille Opera not far from the attack site, near the building where the weekly Charlie Hebdo was located before the 2015 attack.

The interior minister said the young man arrived in France three years ago as an unaccompanied minor, apparently from Pakistan, but his identity was still being verified.

“But manifestly it’s an act of Islamist terrorism,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said in an interview with the France 2 television station. “Obviously, there is little doubt. It’s a new bloody attack against our country, against journalists, against this society.”

France’s counterterrorism prosecutor said earlier that authorities suspect a terrorist motive because of the place and timing of the stabbings: in front of the building where Charlie Hebdo was based until the Islamic extremist attack on its cartoonists and at a time when suspects in the 2015 attack are on trial across town.

From the left, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, anti-terrorism state prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard, and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin answer reporters after a knife attack near the former offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, September 25, 2020, in Paris. (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

Prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said that the chief suspect in Friday’s stabbings was arrested, along with another person. Ricard said the assailant did not know the people who were stabbed, a woman and a man working at a documentary production company who had stepped outside for a smoke break.

The suspects’ identities have not been released. An investigation was opened into “attempted murder in relation with a terrorist enterprise,” according to an official at the terrorism prosecutor’s office.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the lives of the two wounded workers were not in danger. He offered the government’s solidarity with their families and colleagues.

The prime minister noted the “symbolic site” of the attack, “at the very moment where the trial into the atrocious acts against Charlie Hebdo is under way.” He promised the government’s “unfailing attachment to freedom of the press, and its determination to fight terrorism.”

In a tweet, Charlie Hebdo strongly condemned the stabbings.

“This tragic episode shows us once again that fanaticism, intolerance, the origins of which will be revealed by the investigation, are still present in French society….There is no question of ceding anything,” the newspaper said.

Police officers stand by a knife, seen on the ground, in Paris, September 25, 2020. (Soufian Fezzani Via AP)

The two people confirmed

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Can’t Travel to Paris? Bistro Chairs Bring Cafe Culture to Your Kitchen

OF ALL the morning rituals that take place in Paris, my favorite is the transformation of those whimsical, colorfully woven chairs from towering stacks to orderly rows outside the city’s brasseries, cafés and bistros. Sinewy but delicate, masculine but feminine, rational but romantic, they have always felt to me like little ambassadors, exhilarating indicators that I am truly in the city.

When bistro seating recently began showing up in American shelter magazines and friends’ houses as indoor furniture, I became fixated on owning some. They would ballast my sunny, modern Los Angeles breakfast nook. “They’re a great way to add interest to a space without introducing anything too precious,” said Dina Holland, an interior designer in Needham, Mass.

I’ve been all but unable to stop thinking about Paris since Covid made it inaccessible. So when I stumbled upon a pair of bistro stools for $94 in the clearance section of a local Target, I ignored their lack of provenance and lunged at them the way some women throw themselves to catch a bride’s bouquet. Hoping the seats would inspire the kind of languid, all-day conversations they seem to in Paris, I soon realized I had purchased the equivalent of off-brand soda. Their hollow, aluminum frames look hastily painted to resemble rattan, and the uninspired checkerboard pattern ends abruptly on two sides, leaving conspicuous bald spots.

I found comfort in the website of Maison Drucker. Although bistro chairs are available in myriad iterations from major online retailers to small boutiques, Drucker, located just outside Paris, has been making chairs for the city’s most famous restaurants since 1885. Among their clients are rival eateries Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore. The former commissioned a pine green and ivory chair in a clean basket weave, the latter, an intricate pattern of triangles in pine and burgundy. Both signature chairs have been used for more than 40 years. Constructed primarily of bent rattan, their seats and backs woven either of a synthetic called Raucord or of Rilsan, a natural fiber derived from castor oil, these are the perches of Sartre, de Beauvoir and Hemingway.

Drucker, however, does not recreate exact replicas of any chairs specific to a restaurant or hotel client. As Diego Dubois, the company’s vice president, diplomatically explained, “We have dozens of people, each trying to order the Flore or Le Roch hotel chairs, and each time we unfortunately have to decline.”

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