The anger began in a neighbourhood in Paris. Next it spread to dozens of cities throughout France. The anger initially set some cars on fire. Very quickly, this anger set thousands of cars on fire. If this anger had no material basis, then no declaration or organization would have been able to summon it up. It is imperialism’s attitude towards the poor that can be seen to have provoked this anger.
The rebellion in Paris is a rebellion of the most poor, the most oppressed, the most humiliated; it is a rebellion of those who do the dirtiest jobs and who live in the most rundown dwellings, those whom the system despises, who ‘deserve’ everyday social violence.
For decades imperialism has exploited and forcibly assimilated immigrants and refugees, considered true ‘subhumans.’
There are in fact ‘ghettos,’ ‘zones,’ ‘suburbs,’ in all of Europe’s cities.
Amongst other things, the immigrant population is constantly faced with economic, political, social and cultural exclusion, and is degraded by the useless ‘integration policies’ which serve as a fig-leaf for repression.
The time has come to face facts. The fires in Paris are shining light on the sorry state of imperialist Europe and European society.
It is ridiculous to hide behind fear-mongering about “street gangs” when the role of the imperialists in the Paris revolt is so obvious.
All of the imperialist leaders and those who support the French government’s “law and order” discourse and policies must know that there is no solution to be found in curfews, police raids or any other kind of violence.
So long as the economic conditions that cause such suffering – unemployment, insecurity, humiliation – remain, there is no way this rage will be crushed; indeed, it is likely to increase.
The French Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy has accused young immigrants who rebel of being “trash” and “thugs”; he has gone so far as to talk of “cleaning them with Karcher.”
Who does he think he is, to call people “trash”?
Like their colonialist parents, Sarkozy and his heavies take themselves to be the lords of civilization.
Sarkozy and his gang should know that it is the colonialists, not the people, who are responsible for barbarism, violence and pillage.
The people who emigrate to European countries come from precisely those countries that have been pillaged by imperialist Europe, that have been stripped down to their bones, that have been made destitute; they come from countries where people have been robbed of any chance to find bread or work.
Those who have rebelled in Paris were also exploited by the imperialists in their own homelands.
Following their economic or political exile in the imperialist countries, their fate remained much the same.
So isn’t it obvious by now that imperialism is not going to change until its victims rise up?
This is not only France’s problem!
This situation is definitely not limited to France.
For there is not much difference in the social policies of the different imperialist European States, and what’s more the tendency is towards greater standardization.
So it makes sense that the other European States are concerned and worried about the rebellion in Paris.
For they know quite well what they make “foreigners” endure.
Today, the fascist parties in France are putting up signs everywhere saying “France: Love It or Leave It.”
The racism which infects the European countries has always been perpetuated by big business and the State.
By means of this State strategy, racist organizations have always served as the “stick” against the immigrant working class.
Following September 11th 2001, the so-called “anti-terrorist” legislation has enabled the State to further legalize racism.
According to this legislation, being a “foreigner” is now considered sufficient to be subjected to arbitrary measures, which are now enshrined in law.
The cutbacks in the imperialist countries in Europe in the early 1990s all hit “foreigners” particularly hard.
In short, life in Europe has become a true hell for foreigners.
There is utter hopelessness.
There is no way one can talk of democracy or rights when talking about what immigrants are going through.
For this super-exploited labour force – which doesn’t cost much, often doesn’t enjoy any social benefits, is condemned to the most abominable working conditions, is deprived of its political rights, is socially and culturally despised – it is too much to take.
The Revolutionary Peoples’ Liberation Front considers that the explosion of people’s rage in Paris is just and legitimate.
Of course, these young immigrants are expressing their anger in an unorganized, spontaneous, and at times unconscious manner.
But without a doubt, so long as there is racism, discrimination and humiliation, this anger will become more and more conscious, structures and targeted.
By “targeted” we mean that this anger will be directed at those who cause suffering, who are responsible for unemployment and exclusion.
Those who humiliate the people, who impose colonial occupation, assimilation, hunger and a beastly existence, must know that the people will never accept such a life!
Racism is a crime against humanity, it is part of the imperialist strategy.
It is about time we put an end to it.
On the economic level of wealth redistribution, immigrants are considered to be beggars living off charity. This racist and imperialist mentality must end.
The European imperialist States should immediately put an end to their racist policies that target immigrants, and must guarantee living conditions fit for human beings.
Until they do, they will be faced with the rebellion of the poor.
Revolutionary Peoples’ Liberation Front
November 8th 2005
Please note that the above text about the past 16 days’ riots in France comes from the Turkish Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front and has been translated by yours truly. The Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front, (Devrimci Halk Kurtuluş Partisi/Cephesi or DHKP/C) was originally formed in 1978 as Revolutionary Left (Turkish: Devrimci Sol or Dev Sol), a splinter faction of Revolutionary Youth (Dev Genç). It changed its name in 1994. Over the past decades it has carried out numerous armed attacks against the Turkish State and imperialism.
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: armed-struggle, dhkc, france, imperialism, racism, riot, translation, turkey