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
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
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 enemy 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
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 French 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
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.
This originally came from my blog - Sketchy Thoughts
- and is one of a number of pieces i wrote or translated regarding the
riots that rocked France in October and November 2005. To see the a complete
list of such posts, i suggest you check out the 2005 Riots In France page on the Kersplebedeb