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(en) France, Communique from the Federation Anarchiste - No Justice, No Peace!

Date Thu, 10 Nov 2005 11:13:15 +0200

The events that have shaken the French suburbs for almost two weeks now
are definitely the expression of a rebellion with an undeniably political
dimension. The riots are obviously against the representatives and symbols
of a social order that is unequal, racist and oppressive, which considers
young people from the popular neighbourhoods to be “trash” which need to be
cleaned with “Karcher” and then sent to rot in prison. In this context, setting
fire to a car, a public building or a business, is a political act. Even though
we might question the wisdom of these actions, especially as they cause more
problems for the people than for the bourgeoisie and those who are
truly to blame for this situation, the fact remains that this is the only
way that these young people can make themselves heard, for this
society has nothing to offer them but servitude, frustration and cops.
In order to be able to put in place repressive policies, and to
criminalize the suffering of the suburbs, the social origins of this
violence must first be denied.

It is as if they did not know that human beings lived in these dormitory
housing estates, built on the fly outside of the cities, where
immigrants and poor people are kept as in warehouses. These housing
estates are like a condensed version of all the bad ways to plan a city,
and thus they include everything that makes life difficult. In these
housing estates there is no social space to meet together. In these
housing estates unemployment and suffering are the daily lot of the
adults and the future of the children. One did not need to be a
sociologist or a fortune teller to predict what is happening today. When
the individual is negated to such an extent it is natural for him [sic] to
rebel. When the politicians get indignant about how the young people
in the suburbs do not respect republican institutions, they seem to
forget that the republic has not cared about them for decades.

But after a series of electoral failures and provocations from a Minister
of the Interior who “knows how to talk,” these marginalized,
mistreated and scapegoated people have spontaneously rebelled. Only
someone like the Minister of the Interior could actually believe that
there is an organization behind this. Those who are to blame are those
who allowed these “housing estates” to be built and those who
let the living conditions for the people there deteriorate without
providing them with any of the help or support that they needed.

The occupation of these neighbourhoods by the riot squads and shock
troops from the police, of helicopters that hover overhead all night
long, as well as the calling up of reservists… all of this is just a
military bonus for the government, but it will do nothing but feed the
fire and the anger. Thousands of arrests, over 700 prosecutions under
often ridiculous pretexts and without any proof, all of this will do
nothing to solve the social alienation of the suburbs and the youth.

The application of special legislation such as curfews, which
originated during the Algerian war, is truly a provocation to these
angry young people as well as a fundamental threat to public
freedoms. The law allows prefects to simply decide whether or not to
impose a curfew; it sanctions police raids by night or by day, forbids
people deemed threatening from visiting the area or forbids them to
leave their home, allows them to ban public assemblies, close
cinemas, theatres, coffeehouses, meeting places, and also control the
media – including the press, the radio, television or the internet.

Following the systematic repression of the social and trade union
movements (the GIPN’s intervention against the postal workers at
Bègles, the massive crack-down against anti-GMO activists, the
assault of the GIGN and naval commandos against the mutinous
sailors of the “Pascal Paoli”), the State is preparing to wage
social warfare against the poor and against all those who resist this
class society. The government is charging full steam ahead down the
road towards fascism, and this should be enough to mobilize all
sections of the social and trade union movements to organize in
defense of our freedoms and our past social gains.

Yes, there are reasons to rebel, but setting fire to cars (which
sometimes belong to people who are just as poor) and striking out at
random does not do any damage and simply reinforces a narrow
inwardness (whether nationalist or religious). Our rebellion should
base itself on opposing those who are truly to blame for the entrenched
suffering and poverty: capitalism and the State. And our rebellion will
only become coherent by organizing against capitalism and its
destructive effects, by organizing in the community against bailiffs,
against high rents, for real public services (equal access, including free

The Anarchist Federation demands the forces of repression be pulled
out, the repeal of the emergency measures and special legislation, a
stop to all prosecutions of the young rebels, the release of everyone
who has been imprisoned as well as an investigation into the
circumstances surrounding the death of Ziad Benna and Bouna
Traoré. The Anarchist Federation reiterates its support of the
residents, the families, as well as the workers in the areas that have
suffered social violence from rioters like the police. To put this
fascistic arrogant and contemptuous government in check we need
power on the ground. So we need to build a social movement without
parasitical politicians and bureaucrats, built on a basis of libertarian
federalism [translators note: in France the word “libertarian”
does not have the right-wing connotation that it does in America;
rather it has a similar connotation to the term
“anti-authoritarian”] and direct democracy with the goal of
bringing about a revolutionary transformation of society. This is what
is necessary to bring about social and economic equality, which will
also guarantee freedom and security for all!

Those who sow misery, will reap anger!
For a libertarian and egalitarian society
We still need to make a revolution!

Fédération anarchiste [Anarchist Federation]
Secrétariat of external relations
145 rue Amelot 75011 Paris