France: Attack in Toulouse. What was behind it and what will happen now?

Nina Gunić, April 2012 (updated in June)


This article was translated from "Revolutionäre Befreiung"No. 204, April 2012, monthly paper of the RKOB, Austrian section of the RCIT)


The assassin in Toulouse, who killed seven people (including three children of a Jewish school), was allegedly shot and killed during his escape from a window. According to the media, he was a member of Al-Qaeda, an Islamist terrorist organization.

The crime against these people is more than terrible. We stand in full solidarity with the victims and their families. We condemn the reactionary Islamist terrorism and any form of anti-Semitism.

This incident shows how little protection the police force and private security services can actually deliver. The police act incredibly effective when it comes to the deportation of us migrants or when it comes to making random checks on the street (where they pick out in particular migrants with darker skin) and other types of harassment. But when it comes to protecting innocent children and adolescents, this apparatus is "suddenly" overwhelmed.

As revolutionary communists we see the police not as "workers in uniform" and hence not as part of our class. Regardless of the personality of this or that police officer, the police are simply the apparatus for the suppression and control of us by those in power. So it's no wonder that the police are not overwhelmed where they suppress us directly, and that they utterly fail when they are supposed to offer protection.


Active self-defense


In the case of the Jewish school in Toulouse (who have already before experienced attacks several times), we say: This private school should be transferred into the public sector and put under control of the workers movement and the students, teachers and parents. This also includes the formation of a self-organized defensive unit that provides continuous protection of the students. Such a self-defense unit has to be well organized, adequately militarily trained and democratically controlled. This will require the direct election of the people who are working in these self-defense units, and the possibility to recall them. This can become particularly necessary if one of them shows inappropriate behavior, agitation against minorities, sexism, etc. That would be the right answer for the protection of children in the Jewish school and would have prevented the worst.

In addition, criminals should not be put before a bourgeois court, which on one hand treats those mildly who have much money and on the other hand punish hard people from our class. Criminals should be put before of a tribunal of our class, a workers’ tribunal. Here a jury trial, which takes the background of the people involved into account, administer justice. This is our response to the bourgeois law system in which judges are corrupted and criminal acts are judged from the viewpoint of the protection of the capitalist system instead of the actual harm caused by the crime.


Victims are misused for bourgeois propaganda


At present, relatively little is still known about the assassin. Mohamed Merah was said to be an Islamist terrorist. However the former director of the French counter-espionage agency DST, Yves Bonnet, believes that Merah was an informer of the domestic secret service, the Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur, which was created in 2008 by the Sarkozy government. And the Italian paper Il Foglio claims that Mohamed Merah was in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2010 and 2011 as an informer of the foreign secret service DGSE.

It is clear, however, how the whole affair will continue. The rabid shooting down of the victims, the death of these people will be abused by the rulers for their own purposes. It will be used to increase the smear campaign against Muslims, to tighten further laws to monitor and also the machine of oppression against migrants. So close to the elections, the incident is perfectly positioned to initiate a harder and more racist policy of the Sarkozy government.

The tragic incident of 11th September 2001 (known as 9/11) has also been abused to wage a war against Afghanistan and later a war against Iraq, to push through various repressive laws (Patriot Act) and to massively reduce democratic rights.

Since that day the number of attacks on Muslims has dramatically increased: only in the first week after 9/11 the number of attacks, including assassinations, in the United States against Oriental-looking migrants (including many Indian) rose to 300 reported incidents. That was more than during the entire previous year. But not only directly after 9/11, but even in 2010 the number of attacks was 50% higher than in 2009! This account however does not include the number of harassment and assaults emanating from the state apparatus.

According to the Associated Press the police of New York have squandered millions of dollars in the last 11 years for monitoring Muslim communities and individuals without even a formal reason for suspicion. In the eyes of the rulers being a Muslim migrant means to have lost any right to privacy.


Not only in the U.S.


Not only in the U.S. has the ruling class intensified its campaign against immigrants, especially Muslim immigrants. The incident in Toulouse may play the role to start a new repression campaign against migrants. The bourgeoisie, the ruling class, doesn’t care about justice for the victims. This is only the pretense, the camouflage, to enforce its goals: a harsher monitoring and increasing agitation against migrants.

Many other imperialist countries, including France, have adopted racist laws and increased surveillance and harassment of migrants in recent years. The prohibition of wearing a burqa (the full body veil) in public last year was justified with the “argument” that it was a “full-body prison” for women. Instead of leaving the Muslim women the choice, it has now become the decision of the capitalist state. This is also justified with the “argument” that one has to make women independent of their husbands. Whether it is the husband or the capitalist state: In both cases it is not the woman who can decide. What hypocrisy of the rulers!

In the suburbs of Paris (banlieues) direct investment takes place not to improve living standards, despite the fact that youth unemployment is in some areas more than 40%. Instead money is channeled to set up more police stations. It is characteristic that President Sarkozy talks during the election campaign about "too many immigrants are living in the country".

Given the widespread agitation against migrants it is not surprising that Muslims, who were participating in the public memorial service for the assassinated victims in Toulouse, were abused.


Building a revolutionary movement of migrants


The massive repression and incitement against us migrants has demonstrated again how necessary it is to organize ourselves. We from the RKOB are committed to build a revolutionary, international migrant movement that is part of the workers movement. Such a movement is also important to fight against racism in the ranks of the workers' movement.

The struggle against the oppression of us migrants is not just an issue of migrants, but of our whole class, the working class! The liberation of our class goes hand in hand with the struggle for complete equality for all oppressed! In this sense, it is also urgent to build a revolutionary combat party, which organizes the workers and oppressed against the cause of our over-exploitation and oppression of proletarian migrants: capitalism.

The destruction of capitalism through revolution, the building of socialism will go hand in hand with dying away of any systematic racism!

And only in a truly socialist system such incidents as the assassination in Toulouse can be as much as possible avoided, the victims protected and the perpetrators brought to justice without monitoring and suppressing the mass of the people.