Dead Men Left

Monday, November 07, 2005

Un seul week-end non révolutionnaire est infiniment plus sanglant qu‘un mois de révolution permanente.

Political analysis:

Much of the youths' anger has focused on law-order Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who inflamed passions by referring to troublemakers as "scum."

In Strasbourg, youths stole a car and rammed it into a housing project, setting the vehicle and the building on fire.

"We'll stop when Sarkozy steps down," said the defiant 17-year-old driver, who gave his name only as Murat. Under arrest, he and several others awaited a ride to the police station as smoke poured from the windows of the housing project behind them.

From Liberation (dubious translation ahead):

Christophe, 22 ans, étudiant dans les Hauts-de-Seine: «Quand je vois ce qui se passe en ce moment, j'en reviens toujours à une image: Sarkozy à Argenteuil qui lève la tête et lance: "Madame, je vais nettoyer tout ça." Résultat ? A force de se la jouer superhéros... Il a montré un total irrespect envers tout le monde.»

Christophe, 22 years old, student at Hauts-de-Seine: "When I look round at the moment, I always return to one image: Sarkozy at Argenteuil, raising his head and shouting: "Madame, I will clean all that." Result? A force that plays at superheros... He showed total disrespect to everyone."

...Encore et toujours Sarkozy. Un autre, à peine 16 ans, bonnet enfoncé sur la tête et sourire d'enfant: «Il faut que Sarko ferme sa bouche, qu'il s'excuse ou qu'il démissionne au lieu de venir foutre la merde en banlieue comme Bush en Irak.»

...always Sarkozy. Another, barely 16 years old, hoody pulled over his head and the smile of a child [!]: "Sarko should shut his mouth, whether he apologises or resigns instead of coming to spout shit in the banleieues like Bush in Iraq."

Meanwhile, Sonic has an extended commentary from one of the organisers of the Irish mobilisation for the European Social Forum in Paris, two years ago. Sample:

...what struck me most about the French left [at the ESF] was their lack of contacts with the Arab and African ghettoes of Paris and beyond. A group of us North of Irelanders went out to an Arab cafe one night, and I'm nearly sure we were the first caucasian group EVER inside! IN our broken French we talked about the ESF- most of them had not heard about it. But they were amazed to learn that we were against the war, supported the resistance in Iraq and Palestine, hated the Front National and defended the right for Muslims to wear the hijab. We left that Arab cafe late that morning with a lot of new friends! Many of them will have been out fighting this week.

I am disapponted to see that the resurgent French radical left, that has been kicking neo-liberal ass with the defeat of the EU COnstitiution and the nearly monthly mass strikes, is nowhere to be seen defending the kids of the banluies...

There is now an uprising, an intifada, in urban France. le Pen's fascists have been along to some of the so called "peace marches", wearing tricolour sashes and talking about the need to clear the ghettoes of "scum". In the weeks to come, the French radical left has a major part to play. Will they end up like the old CP in May 68- condemning the students whose bravery fighting the CRS led three weeks later to Western Europe's closest shot to a socialist revolution, with over 10 million on strike? Much better if they'd play the role of the students...