Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Decision to Impose Curfews and the Prefects

[Prime Minister] de Villepin has decided not to call in the army (“We’re not at that point yet”), but intends to re-establish order by all means that the police can offer: “at ever step we will take the necessary measures to re-establish order very quickly throughout the nation.”
To do this he needs a curfew, so that the police should have the means necessary to act like a military force and treat civilians like enemies.


The matter of whether or not to impose a curfew will be decided on a case by case basis by the prefects.

What is a prefect? It is a high-level bureaucrat appointed by the president of the Republic, who can dismissed and replaced whenever the President wants.

The prefect is not allowed to engage in politics nor can he leave his department. Most often they have graduated from the National Administrators’ School. The prefect is the highest level bureaucrat in each department: he is in charge of applying the government’s decisions, maintaining public order, holding elections, managing drivers permits, etc.

This means that the decision of whether or not to impose a curfew is decided on by the State structure itself, not even by elected politicians in a “democratic” system.

It is a decisive step towards fascism.

This shows that the proletarian class struggle has shaken the ruling class, and that the bourgeoisie is no longer in a position to exercise its power as before.

Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist 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 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.

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