Angry Youth, People from the Neighbourhood: Together Against the Government!
November 7th 2005
Chirac and the government are not budging. Far from responding to the crisis
by emergency social measures, those in power have decided to increase the
repression. Sarkozy continues his provocations. Revolted by the tragedy in
Clichy, where two teenagers died, young people from dozens of housing estates
across the country have been fighting the police for several nights. The anger
of these young people – who are unskilled, unemployed (Citroën Aulnay
just laid off 700 young temporary workers), victims of racism and discrimination
– is understandable, but they are attacking the wrong targets when they set
fire to their neighbours’ cars, schools, sports centers and day cares. The
enemy is the government’s policies, and it is all together – angry youth
and people from the neighbourhood – that we must struggle against Sarkozy
and all of the policies that have destroyed the neighbourhoods over the past
The Government Created This Situation
The policies of [Prime Minister] de Villepin and [Minister of the Interior]
Sarkozy lead to mass unemployment and poverty which feed into the ever-growing
misery. On the boundaries of the large cities, the creation of actual ghettos
goes along with ever-worsening discrimination. The public school system has
been dismantled, which increases the rate of student failure. According to
the logic of deregulation, social services in the community are left in pieces.
More and more they whittle away at the budgets related to prevention. Everywhere
social housing is sacrificed. This is the daily reality of large portion of
this country’s population. And at the same time, in the National Assembly,
the majority votes to reduce taxes on private fortunes and to give stockholders
a tax break.
Sarkozy, the Pyromaniac Fireman, Must Go!
The daily police checks are becoming more vicious and violent, which is
completely consistent with the government’s shameless class politics. Racism
is spreading like a toxin, encouraged by Sarkozy’s provocations. Carried
away by his desire to criminalize all young people, the Minister of the Interior
has gone so far as to insult them, calling them “trash” and “gangrene.” In
permanent election mode, hoping to attract some of Le Pen’s supporters, he
has declared that every week he will visit a different suburb. The only effect
this will have will be to increase the level of police repression in these
areas and to make the situation even more explosive. And this climate of
violence, which the people find intolerable, will only increase the number
of problems people have to face every day. Definitely, Sarkozy, the arsonist
of the suburbs, must go!
A popular mobilization is necessary! All together against the government!
It is not the out of control intervention of the police that will solve
things, but rather the intervention of the people. The mobilization of progressive
forces is key. The police provocations must stop; what we need instead are
immediate measures to encourage solidarity within our neighbourhoods and our
housing estates. Faced with the social disasters of years of neo-liberalism,
we must demand that priority be given to long-term job creation, public services,
schools, housing, and prevention. This government’s actions sow misery and
hopelessness. The most important thing is to put a stop to it. This is what
we of the LCR [Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire, or “Revolutionary Communist
League” – France’s largest Trotskyist organization – translator] are calling
Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire, November 7th 2005
Please note that the above text about the past week’s
riots in Clichy-Sous-Bois comes from the website of the Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire,
the largest Trotskyist group in France. It has been 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