‘Illegal’ African saves French toddler’s life

This video, recorded in France, says about itself:

Video of Mamoudou Gassama ‘Spider-Man‘ spectacular rescue of child in Paris wows France

28 May 2018

A Malian migrant has been hailed a hero after he scaled the front of a building in Paris to save a child hanging from a fourth-floor balcony.

Video of Mamoudou Gassama’s spectacular rescue went viral on social media.

In less than a minute he pulls himself from balcony to balcony and grabs the four-year-old as a [presumably Arab] neighbour tries to hold the child from an adjoining flat. …

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also praised the 22-year-old’s heroism and said she had called him to thank him. She referred to him as the “Spider-Man of the 18th”, referring to the Paris district where the rescue took place.

“Congratulations to Mamoudou Gassama for his act of bravery that saved the life of a child”, Ms Hidalgo tweeted. “He explained to me that he had arrived from Mali a few months ago dreaming of building his life here.”

People flee from Mali to, eg, France, because it is a poor country after so many years of French colonialism and military dictatorship. But also because there is a bloody war going on. A war with at least three sides: apart from northern Mali Tuareg people fighting discrimination, involving soldiers from France and other NATO countries, and jihadist products of the NATO 2011 war on Libya; both committing war crimes, causing many Malians to become refugees.

“I replied that his heroic gesture was an example for all citizens and that the City of Paris will obviously be keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France.”

Being an ‘illegal’ ‘sans papiers’ person put Mr Gassama in the crosshairs of President Macron’s hardline anti-refugee policy. Ms Hidalgo is a member of the oppositional socialist party. Will the Macron administration agree with Ms Hidalgo, once the media publicity about Mamoudou Gassama’s heroic act will be gone? UPDATE: at the moment, in this wave of publicity, Macron makes a deportation exception for Mamoudou Gassama.

No human being is illegal. That goes even for human beings who don’t save toddlers from fourth floor balconies, but are, eg, refugees from the Iraq war who try to save a little girl from drowning and are then smeared by corporate media as ‘pedophiles’.

The drama unfolded on Saturday evening on a street in the north of the city. Mr Gassama told journalists he had been walking past when he saw a crowd gathered in front of the building. “I did it because it was a child,” Le Parisien newspaper quoted him saying. “I climbed… Thank God I saved him.”

The Parisian fire service said crews had arrived to find the child had already been rescued. “Luckily, there was someone who was physically fit and who had the courage to go and get the child”, a spokesman told AFP news agency. Local authorities quoted by French media said the child’s parents were not at home at the time.

According to Dutch NOS TV, the saved toddler has only a broken fingernail. His saviour has some scratches and a painful knee. Mamoudou Gassama did not have any experience as a climber before. He says he feels ‘happy’ now. I hope he can stay happy because the French anti-refugee bureaucracy for just once stops their inhuman deportations. Thousands of French people have signed an Internet petition to grant Mr Gassama asylum. He hopes to get a job as construction worker. UPDATE: the fire brigade has offered him a job.

If authorities will now exempt Mr Gassama from deportation, will they then also exempt Mamoudou’s girlfriend, with whom he was walking towards seeing the Champions League football final on TV; when they spotted the toddler hanging from the balcony?

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