Riots in France

Riots in France

At least 3,700 people, over 1,000 of them under-aged, have been detained since June 27th in France as 45 thousand law enforcement officers were mobilized to suppress riots which have taken place across the country for weeks.[1]

Outraged by endless abuses by police, made explicit in the killing of a young Arab person, rioters set fire to cars, shops, police stations and city halls, and numerous arrests were made for even minor looting in order to apply police force to dispel the unrest. In the commune of L'aille-les-Roses, part of the Paris agglomeration, a car rammed into the house of Mayor Vincent Janbru.

The average age of those arrested was 17, some only 12 years old as they are charged with arson. About 60% of those arrested had no previous encounters with the police.[2] The international media has been quick to tie the unrest entirely to people of Arab or African origins, and intentionally divorcing this unrest from similar events earlier this year organized by French unions and masses against Macron's austerity program to undemocratically raise the retirement age.

For the audacity of protesting against police violence, the French Government has found its culprits and has prepared its measured response; the French President Macron says social media and video games were to blame for everything, threatening to fine the parents of rioters if they cannot ‘control their children’. [3] Police brutality towards citizens was given in unconditional support for the actions of the police by the French government.

But while the French state is struggling with social networks and video games, what does the opposition think?

It is quite typical for the bourgeois media, and even more so for the “opposition”, to present the case as if the incident is exclusively racial in nature. This mass unrest is reminiscent of events during the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, responding to the state covered up class contradictions with police racism.

After all, not only a child of Arab nationality that has suffered, but also a worker living in a poor neighborhood, Nahel Merzouk, worked as a food delivery driver, deprived of so many opportunities to realize himself as a person or live in an area free from abusive policing. We must draw our conclusions on the fact that the bourgeois police do not show pity for ordinary workers and their children of absolutely any nationality.

In France, during the protests against raising the retirement age in March 2023, 175 police officers were injured, and in July now more than 800. However, for the many thousands of workers that are affected by cruelty of police the bourgeois media sound only an indifferent silence [4].

According to the Cluster 17 sociological institute, about 64% of French police officers in the 2022 presidential elections voted for far-right candidates — Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour.

In 2022 alone, the police shot 13 drivers for refusing to comply with their demands, a record in the history of the country. [5]

Chauvinism, fostered among the masses, generates antagonism on racial lines, while our situation calls for the whole working class to unite and realize its own interests. It is impossible to stand up against the bourgeoisie, in whose hands lie the whole state, if the working class is divided by anxieties of race, attitude to LGBT people, or any other such identity. But it is very profitable for the bourgeoisie to use medieval tactics - to divide and rule. Only by uniting on the basis of worker’s true and objective interest, revealed through the mist of capital and bourgeois demagoguery by the tool that is Marxist-Leninist theory, it is possible to resist them.

Why didn't the protests in France succeed? Because there is no workers' party at the head of their struggle, to consciously advance the interests of the workers using the scientific theory of Marxism-Leninism. This is a party capable of organizing trade unions, legal organizations, and the masses of ordinary people not just to protest, but to achieve the aspirations of the working class - to shorten the working day, to establish a decent wage for everyone, to lower the retirement age, to ensure free medical care, free education, free housing. To help us build these political forces, you can join our work.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5