Collectif Rouge Internationaliste (pour la défense des prisonniers politiques) at 2015 International Meeting

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Comité d’action et de soutien aux luttes du peuple marocain – France

unofficial translation

Long Live the Resistance of People’s Neighborhoods!

First of all, we thank the comrades who invited us and welcome their initiative to organize this meeting in the very difficult context we know. Today, we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the uprisings in people’s neighborhoods.

What has precisely happened in France, in these neighborhoods, between October 27 and November 17, 2005? The “riots”, “social unrest”, “urban violence” ­ in the words of each one­ but, what is clear, with an exceptional record:

-in material terms: 10,000 cars and 30,000 trash cans set on fire, hundreds of public buildings damaged (schools, district halls, police stations, gyms, treasuries), 140 RATP train and bus stoned, some burned – an overall damage, estimated by insurances, of 200 million euros.

An exceptional record also: ­

-At the judicial level ­ that of the class justice ­ with 5200 arrests and nearly 600 imprisoned people (480 major and 108 minor) in force of sentences imposed in immediate appearance.

Furthermore: ­

-Never people’s neighborhoods in France had experienced riots of such duration and on such a geographical extension, i.e. lasting three weeks and in 280 municipalities. ­

-Never since the 80s, the state had mobilized so many repressive forces, with 11,500 police, supported by 7 helicopters and army presence in these neighborhoods.

Finally, the panic was such that the state used the curfew and on November 8, 2005 declared the State of Emergency on the entire territory by applying the law of April 3, 1955 adopted at the time of war in Algeria (and so far only used one time, on 1985 in New Caledonia).

Since the first urban riots in 1990 in Paris and Lyon suburbs, the scenario is always the same: an explosions related to a death (in 2005, those two adolescents: Bouna Traore and Zyed Benna) and then an evolution in 3 stages: first, on a local scale ­ in the case in 2005, in Clichy­ sous­ Bois; then a development with a gradual extension to the whole of the Paris region (Aulnay Bondy, Tremblay) ­ all on a period of 5 days; and, finally, from November 3, 2005, an extension to the rest of France in the people’s neighborhoods of a lot of cities including Lille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Rennes, Rouen, Bordeaux.

The theory of the criminal organization, as always, has been promoted by the French government through its media propaganda apparatus; but these riots, in fact, were more a form of urban insurrection, led by young people, inhabited by a strong sense of exclusion from society, based on the reality of their social condition that comes from school failure, no work, any kind of discrimination, injustice, humiliation and a real lack of future. Just remember that at the time in the 751 Sensitive Urban Zones (ZUS), lived 4.7 million people, the 8% of the French population, suffering a very precarious condition and clear exclusion, with an unemployment rate 2 or 3 times higher than that of other territories, with precarious or part­time jobs; low wages; an unemployment rate at 30 and 40% for 16­25 years aged youth and a general impoverishment of the population of these neighborhoods (debts, substandard housing …).

These riots ­ as the events today ­ were also an opportunity for the enemy: ­

-circulating a unique thought based on the exposure of the people’s anti­institutional attitude, aiming to conceal the real socio­economic grounds for these riots; a conspiracy theory.

It was also an opportunity for: ­

-A single response to the revolt: based on law and order, a fierce repression supported by emergency laws and a martial rhetoric against the alleged dangerous classes; Many were those who required riot acts, heavier penalties, more powers for police, the extension of the use of weapons, the organization of militias covered as “citizens committees”, and do not forget the medicalization of treatment for delinquency.

In front these revolts, we also heard everywhere proclaim for the supposed imperative need for national cohesion, a national unity for a bloc to address the seriousness of the situation.

Finally, the context of the recovery of control was also the occasion of a wide fascistization of the entire political class, facilitated by the instant treatment of immediate anxieties of a certain part of the population, by a securitarian escalation and an unconditional support to police operations. This widespread psychosis was orchestrated around a slogan ­ already put forward at that time: the war is declared!

The objective facts we just recalled (high precariousness, educational, social and economic exclusion, very high unemployment rate, overall impoverishment of the working classes …), are still existing today; the situation even worsened.

Today this situation is also used at advantage of reactionary fundamentalist backward organizations. They thus benefit from this distress to recruit some elements of youth to death.

Today, to commemorate these struggles call us to root in these neighborhoods to arm them ideologically and politically, to resolve issues in a fair and correct way: namely with the seizure of power by the proletariat and the people to wipe out a system in which the working class can not aspire to any better future and to establish a just socialist society to serve the people.

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