France waged a long and bloody war of repression in their Algerian colony from 1954 to 1962 against the FLN or National Liberation Front. The French army outnumbered their adversaries, but the NLF had the support of the populace from Algiers to the Magreb. There were few pitched battles and every street was considered a front line by the antagonists. Both sides participated in massacres, reprisals, and torture, although the French Foreign Legion specialized in 'scorched earth' policy throughout the country without gaining an upper hand over the maquisards.
After De Gaulle became president, the old general sought to end the conflict, which had spread into France dividing the Fifth Republic into opposing camps. To curtail the bombing campaign the prefecture of police introduced a 8:30 PM to 5:30 AM curfew barring Algerians from being on the street of Paris. A huge demonstration on October 17, 1961 was quashed by the Police, who arrested 10,000 and then threw scores of Algerians off the St. Michel Bridge into the Seine River under the order of Minister Papon.
Over 200 demonstrators died in the reprisals and the 'flics' hung a sign with the words 'Ici on noie les Algerians' off the bridge.
The cops laughed about this.
The families mourned the dead and the massacre was never recognized by the French Government.
'Ici on noie les Algerians' means 'Here we drown Algerians."
It was meant to be drole or funny.
I don't see any humor in this punchline, but then the irony in the freedom of speech is that not everyone has to find 'racism' or Jerry Lewis funny,