Workers and Oppressed: Unite against Police Violence, Racism and Imperialism!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 30.10.2020, www.thecommunists.net
1. Two shocking examples of police brutality have provoked public outrage in France. On 23 November police attacked a short-lived tent camp of refugees on the Place de la Republique in eastern Paris in the night, merciless kicking and beating anyone resisting. A few days later, Michel Zecler, a Black music producer, was brutally beaten up and racist abused by several French police officers. Such examples of police violence happen nearly every day but as they were recorded on video this time and went viral in the internet, they have provoked massive protests.
2. These events also caused public outcry since in these days the Macron government wants to push through a new ‘police state’ law which shall supposedly “protect” the police. In fact, this law makes it a crime to publish images of officers “with intent to cause them harm”, which in reality means that it is forbidden to document police violence. Under the proposed law, those who post videos of police abuses online may be put on trial, where they would face up to a year in jail and a 45,000-euro ($53,000) fine.
3. In response, a wave of mass demonstrations has started. Last Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people went on the streets in Paris, Bordeaux, Lille, Montpellier, Nantes and many other towns. There were also violent clashes with the police. These protests are particularly remarkable as they have taken place despite the draconic Lockdown laws of the Macron government which forbid mass assemblies under the pretext of COVID-19. Even football stars like Samuel Umtiti, Kylian Mbappé and Antoine Griezmann have expressed their outrage. Public pressure has become so strong that even Macron has been forced to admit that the images of police violence were “shameful”. In addition, two of the officers are in jail while two others, also under investigation, are out on bail.
4. As these incidents are only the latest examples of a long series of police violence, they show once more:
a) Racism is deeply entrenched in the police – in France as well as in many other countries;
b) The police is an anti-popular force – serving the ruling class against the workers and oppressed.
5. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) strongly welcomes the mass protests against police violence and the new ‘police state’ law. They are all the more important since the Macron government currently is making a determined push to create a chauvinist bonapartist state with some elements of bourgeois democracy remaining. This has become evident from several political initiatives of Macron in the recent past.
a) The martial declaration of war against Islam and the Muslim world resulting in massive repression against Muslim migrants as well as an imperialist foreign policy against Turkey as well as in Northern and Western Africa;
b) The new ‘police state’ law;
c) The Lockdown policy imposing curfews for the whole population, restricting democratic rights and expanding the police and surveillance state.
In fact, Macron’s push is not only relevant for France but for the whole of Europe as he attempts to advance the formation of the EU as a reactionary Great Power on the lines of such an Islamophobic and authoritarian policy. The Austrian government has already started to copy such an anti-democratic offensive with mass arrests and banning of demonstrations against Islamophobia.
6. It is of utmost importance that revolutionaries in France oppose all these features of Macron’s authoritarian inward and outward imperialism. They have to point out that these attacks – the war against Muslims, the ‘police state’ law, the Lockdown policy – are all related with each other and part of one and the same political project: creating a chauvinist bonapartist state in the service of the French monopoly bourgeoisie.
7. Revolutionaries in France should call the workers movement and mass organizations of migrants to mobilize against Macron and his ‘police state’ law. Socialists should link the current protests with the struggle against Islamophobia, against imperialist interventions in the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa, as well as against the anti-democratic Lockdown policy. They should call for the formation of committees of action – uniting Muslims and non-Muslims – in workplaces and neighbourhoods in order to drive forward the struggle independent of the bureaucratic leaderships.
8. Most importantly, revolutionaries should unite – in France and internationally – on the basis of a revolutionary program. We call all militants who share such an outlook to join the RCIT in building a Revolutionary World Party!
International Bureau of the RCIT
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We refer readers also to the following articles and statements of the RCIT
RCIT: Boycott Imperialist and Islamophobic France! Solidarity with the Muslim migrants! Drive out the French occupiers from Mali and other countries! 26.10.2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/boycott-imperialist-and-islamophobic-france/
Yossi Schwartz: Down with the Islamophobia in France: “We Are Not Samuel!”, 20 October 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/down-with-the-islamophobia-in-france/
RCIT: Expel French Imperialism from West Africa! Macron and his G5 Lackeys plan to intensify their colonialist “Operation Barkhane”, 15 January 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/expel-french-imperialism-from-west-africa/
Michael Pröbsting: France: “Our Republic”? Social-Chauvinism and Capitulation to Islamophobia by the Left, 2 November 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/social-chauvinism-and-capitulation-to-islamophobia-by-the-french-left/
RKOB: Austria: Hands Off Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas! The Austrian government aids the state terrorist regimes in Israel and Egypt! 9. November 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/austria-hands-off-muslim-brotherhood-and-hamas/
RKO LIBERATION: Austria: Scandalous Bann of a Rally against Islamophobe Racism! Minister for Interior suppresses freedom of speech … in the name of freedom of speech, 9. November 2020, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/austria-scandalous-bann-of-a-rally-against-islamophobe-racism/