Clichy, Aulnay, Blanc-Mesnil, Bobigny... It is right to rebel
The far left should talk about what’s going on in Clichy
The nights of rebellion continue. A popular rebellion taking aim at the State, which is completely overwhelmed by what was easy to see coming.
But even if you see it coming, a popular rebellion cannot be crushed, for history is the history of class struggle.
Chirac can say “People have to calm down,” but what difference does it make?
The police section of the CFTC trade union, which represents 20% of the unionized police force, can ask for “a curfew to counter the civil war which is being waged in numerous French ghettos,” as “tomorrow it will be 700 out of bounds suburbs that will join the civil war,” just as it previously asked for the army. (see our document “La révolte de Clichy, expression du besoin d'autodéfense ou celui de la guerre populaire ?”) But what difference will it make?
None of this will change anything, for it is the masses who make history, and these seven nights of rebellion already have their place in the revolutionary history of France.
There rebellions are the proof that the class struggle is not over, even though certain people tried to suffocate it with electoralism and the campaign to vote “No” against the European constitution!
The popular rebellions taking place right now are sweeping away opportunism and this is a good thing.
They are showing that revolution is both possible and necessary.
They have silenced the electoral far left; it was several days before they dared to speak about what was going on, all of their strategy of having the working classes submit to the peace-loving petit-bourgeoisise just fell apart!
And yet when the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that “Israel must be wiped off the map”, the “French Communist Party” spoke up immediately, saying that this statement provoked “legitimate emotions and indignation.”
Apparently the popular rebellion creates less emotions… especially when we know that it is taking place in many suburbs with Communist mayors!
For the French Communist Party “Calm should be restored as quickly as possible and everyone should learn what they can from this”, “Community policing had allowed us to make important progress, but it was scrapped. Community groups carrying out extremely important work on the ground are seeing their funding cut.”
All of which amounts to the same as what Georges Mothron, the UMP [the ruling political party] mayor of Argenteuil has said: “This is the first time i have had to deal with this shit personally. My car was torched my house attacked. I have never seen anything like this! I was born in Argenteuil and I have always been able to wander around at any time of day, but here we are at a different level. That said, it is no good waving the stick without the carrot.”
The [Trotskyist] Revolutionary Communist League is saying the same thing: so far as it is concerned, the rebellion is only about “anger,” an expression of suffering and hopelessness. They consider Sarkozy to be a “pyromaniac firefighter.”
Much of the far left thinks this way: for them struggle exists on an organizational level, nothing else exists.
“This kind of ‘revolutionary’ says the same kind of thing as the Trotskyists, verbally kissing the workers’ asses even when they are completely ideologically backwards and screaming about anarchism as soon as some windows get smashed in a demonstration. We Maoists like it when windows get smashed. And the worker who is sorry to see the windows break is an idiot who needs to be politically educated.” (“Vive le léninisme,” Communist Party (Marxist-Lenininst Maoist) April 2003)
It is right to rebel!
Communist Party (Marxist-Lenininst Maoist) November 2005
Please note that the above text about the past week’s riots in Clichy-Sous-Bois come from the website of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist Maoist) in France and is translated by yours truly. I have a “fast and loose” translation philosophy, meaning that when there is a choice between readability and the original phraseology i tend to favour the former, provided that the meaning stays the same. The original document can be seen in French.
Please also note that i am translating this as i have not been able to find any radical accounts of the riots or the police racism that provoked them in English… i do not necessarily agree with the PCMLM’s point of view, nor do they necessarily agree with mine. Si quelqu’un a un meilleur texte à suggérer, svp envoyez-moi le!
For background to the riots, including a timeline, check out the Wikipedia entry.
Or see on my blog:
- Riots Against Racism: Paris is Burning (Novmber 3rd 2005)
- Zero Tolerance in Clichy-sous-Bois (November 3rd 2005)
- State Violence in Clichy-sous-Bois: An Eyewitness Account (November 3rd 2005)
Categories: clichy-sous-bois, france, maoism, revolution, riot, translation