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Criminal policing, systemic racism, anti-social policies: supporting a legitimate revolt

Friday 30 June 2023, by Christine Poupin, Olivier Besancenot, Pauline Salingue, Philippe Poutou

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Since the death of young Nahel, working-class neighbourhoods have been mobilizing. This mobilization is legitimate. And the source of the violence lies with the police, Darmanin and Macron, who are responsible for this situation.

An anti-racist, anti-authoritarian revolt

For years, those in power have been strengthening the police and racist arsenal: police violence is increasingly regular and deadly, at demonstrations and in working-class neighbourhoods. With rare exceptions, the perpetrators of this violence enjoy organized impunity.

In the police force, it is the far right that sets the tone. Remember that “angry” police organizations demonstrated on the Champs-Élysées, and that they are still demanding more freedom to kill.

Macron and Darmanin are collaborating and contributing to all this by supporting and reinforcing this impunity, and through the many racist and freedom-destroying laws that strengthen the police and the far right: the separatism law, security laws, etc. Not to mention the authoritarian management of Covid and the repression of social and environmental movements.

The mobilization of working-class neighbourhoods is an opportunity for the working classes as a whole and for the world of work: it paves the way for a social mobilization for justice, against police repression, against the authoritarian power that also expressed itself through the anti-democratic methods used during the movement on pensions, with the 49-3, the 47-1, etc. This authoritarianism is at the heart of the social movement. This authoritarianism has been at work for years, with bans on demonstrations and violent episodes of repression, as well as the dissolution of the CCIF (Collectif contre l’Islamophobie) and Soulèvements de la Terre. [1]

Justice for all!

Justice means, first and foremost, justice for Nahel, for Zyed and Bouna, for Adama, for Alhoussein, for the three young people in the 20th arrondissement of Paris who were hit by a police car, for all the victims of police violence, for the people maimed in the protests. The guilty parties must be punished, and the victims and their families must be compensated.

We must put an end to preventive detention and release the young people imprisoned as a result of the demonstrations of recent nights. Let’s not forget that all the responsibility for these events lies with the government.

Public transport must be re-established in the neighbourhoods, and any state of emergency or curfew must be rejected.

The police must be disarmed immediately.

And (minister of the interior) Darmanin must resign.

Beyond that, we need social justice: the anger we are seeing today is at the same time the expression of a much deeper revolt, against racism, against the stigmatization of people living in working-class neighbourhoods, against racialized people, against Islamophobia, against poverty that is growing, particularly as a result of inflation, low wages, job insecurity, attacks on unemployment insurance, the destruction of public services, etc.

Supporting and extending the revolt

Make no mistake about it: while Macron’s government is increasingly repressive, it is not the only one in the world to act in this way. Repression is the rulers’ only response to the economic, ecological, social and political crisis into which they have plunged the world.

The NPA calls on people to mobilize alongside angry young people, to gather in front of town halls, every evening if necessary, to express our rage and our demands. It calls on the organisations of the workers’ movement, trade unions, associations and parties to meet as soon as possible to discuss how to build a mobilization on the scale and in the forms that will support the current revolt, obtain justice and launch a counter-offensive against the anti-democratic and anti-social power of Macron and his government.

30 June 2023


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[1The CCIF was dissolved by the government in 2020 and the radical ecology group Soulèvements de la terre in June 2023.