Yes, life in the housing estates is full of daily violence:
- The violence of being refused a job even though you have all of the necessary diplomas, because of what your face looks like;
- The violence of having to take one temporary job after another, slave labour paid with crumbs;
- The violence of having already failed school before you have even attended your first class;
- The violence being crammed into slums because there is a housing shortage;
- The violence of living in a society where women are either pornographic whores or cloistered mothers;
- The violence of daily police hazing;
- The violence of a hypocritical society which offers no alternative to either seclusion or schizophrenia.
It is not the “youth” who are violent, but society itself. The media, the politicians, the pundits all say that we have to give young people structure. But what kind of structure? That of money and competition (and, thus, exclusion), the structure of might makes right?
These young people, they are our neighbours, our children, our sisters and our brothers. They are right to rebel, to refuse to continue to take it silently. Sure we can always discuss the methods, but we must not forget how the police manipulate and provoke things!
It is those who have nothing who are rebelling. It is their dignity that refuses resignation!
But in order to not stay with no way out, once the pressure lessens, this rebellion should organize itself, give itself a structure. To first become a Resistance, for today the enem is strong and powerful, and then ripen and become a Revolution. Because only a radical change in this society will be able to finally get rid of the injustices that have created our actual problems.
Interco Union, Paris North, CNT-AIT, November 6th 2005
Please note that the above text about the past week’s riots in Clichy-Sous-Bois comes from the Interco Paris North section of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT-AIT trade union, the Frenc section of he International Workers Association. Confusingly enough, the CNT-AIT is not the same thing as the CNT-F, who released a communiqué with the same title on the same day as this one which i translated just an hour ago…
This text was 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 author’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.
Categories: anarchism, clichy-sous-bois, france, revolution, riot, translation,