Monday, November 07, 2005

If You Sow Misery, You Will Reap Anger

For years, the most poor and hated section of the people – destitute, often immigrant – has suffered from massive unemployment and poverty. The working class jobs their parents held have often disappeared, and school no longer offers any hope to young people. This society has nothing to offer them other than hanging out bored in the streets and stupid humiliating police checks. So nobody is really surprised that a fatal incident should set off violent reactions across the country.

Of course the teachers with the CNT, most of whom work in these neighbourhoods, do not call for the destruction of cars or public buildings, but nor do they call for resignation. For these young people, they demand more justice. In practical terms, this means secure jobs, decent wages, humane working-hours for the parents, adequate housing, an end to counter-productive police repression, necessary and adequate social services, and a truly liberatory school system. This is how we suggest our colleagues and the parents of our students struggle.

The federal secretariat of the CNT-FTE, November 6th 2005

Please note that the above text about the past week’s riots in Clichy-Sous-Bois comes from the teacher’s section of the anarcho-syndicalist trade union the Conféderation Nationale du Travail (CNT-F) France in France and 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.

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