Charity, the perfect alibi for the expulsion machine

The wars and shitty conditions inflicted by capital and the state drive thousands of people towards exile. Many of them flee religious and state persecution towards European countries, in hopes of being granted asylum or refugee status. For the authorities, the main issue is to get them on file (notably via a genetic database put in place by the EURODAC regulations, which form part of the Dublin II law), to keep them under control, to park them until they can be sent back. Those with degrees can “win” the right to stay, since they are directly exploitable by the economy. But hell awaits the the vast majority of those who manage to set foot alive on the national territory – in other words a “life” of permanent anxiety and fear of being arrested by the police, of ending up locked in CRAs (French detention centres) only to be expelled back to their country of origin (or to the first European country they arrived in, according to the Dublin III rules).

To file, sort, detain and expel undocumented migrants, the state relies on many charities, who in exchange are generously showered with subsidies. The most notorious are: the Red Cross which currently shoulders the police at the border between Menton and Ventimiglia in order to send migrants who seek to enter France back to the CIEs (Italian detention centres), which it runs ; Emmaüs, abbot Pierre’s association, which sorts undocumented migrants in Paris so as to facilitate the police’s job, and runs reception centres ; the Order of Maltaand France Terre d’Asile (“France Land of Asylum”), which run practically all of the detention centres in France ; the CIMADE, which supposedly intervenes in the CRA to guarantee refugees’ rights but in fact seeks to make their interment “more humane”, in other words more acceptable. They play the ideal role needed by the state: that of social pacification. But the large charities (the most well-known ones) which manage the lions’ share of the market of misery are far from the only ones to intervene. We already recalled (in the 6th issue of the paper) the role of La Vie Active (“Active Life”) in Calais, where the organisation was granted management of the high-security mega-detention camp.

In Besançon as in many other towns of France, a new method of policing undocumented migrants has been experimented with by the state during the summer of 2016, in the framework of the new reform of the CESEDA (Code of entry and of stay of foreigners and of the right to asylum) which was voted on March 7th: house arrests, which are presented as an alternative to detention. To extend internment beyond the confines of prisons is part and parcel of the current logic of the powers that be. Be it for the prisoners (under the authority of the Ministry of Justice) or for the migrants (under the Ministry of the Interior), the state is attempting to unclog prisons and detention centres by issuing alternative sentences, such as electronic bracelets, judicial reviews and various obligations to regularly appear before the police or judges, etc…

In the capital of the Doubs, the organisation which runs the “reception centre for refugees” (night-time accommodation) of the St-Jacques hospital is ADDSEA (Departmental Association for the Safeguarding of Children and Adults of Doubs), located at 23, rue des Granges. Its staff, particularly its mediators, in true policing form, exert ever-increasing control over the life of migrants, such as by imposing a curfew (9 PM). If the migrants don’t return to the accommodation on time, they are barred from all social services (meals, supplies, pocket money, etc) and have no other choice than to “fend for themselves”. They are made to pay for the slightest help they receive, such as access to a less hostile, gloomy and miserable environment to sleep in than the “reception centres”. Furthermore, the migrants have to go to the police station every day to signal their presence. If there is the slightest departure from the centre’s regulations, the association expels them and sends the police after them to catch and expel them. This policing, which definitely doesn’t save migrants from the risk of expulsion, forces them to accept being controlled in order to receive the bare minimum needed to survive. It is to the police’s advantage since they know where to find the migrants when the order to expel them comes. Thus, some undocumented migrants decide to put an end to this loathsome blackmail by deserting the state and town services, at the risk of being caught, locked up in the CRAs, and forcibly expelled.

Considerable means of expressing mutual aid and solidarity towards undocumented migrants do exist (such as opening squats or collecting food, clothing…). However, a large number of revolutionaries and folks who stand in solidarity tend to forget that practical solidarity can be carried out by sabotaging the innumerable cogs in the expulsion machine, which are to be found everywhere: the banks who report undocumented migrants to the police (such as La Poste, BNP Paribas, LCL), the airline companies who charter the expulsion flights (such as Air France), cleaning companies who maintain the CRAs (such as Derichebourg), or the infamous charities which collaborate with the state’s migration policies.

The youth of the Paris banlieue

We regularly hear the same tall tale about the youth of the Paris banlieue: the teenagers out demonstrating and “burning bins” supposedly don’t even know why they’re even doing it, other than for the fun of wreaking havoc… because they’re supposedly “depoliticised”.

During the 2005 banlieue revolts, we already heard the same old tune of “depoliticisation”, chanted by practically all the political and union “leaders”, by all the televised “experts” and other licensed (and, above all, subsidised) imbeciles, from the far right to the far left (including certain “libertaires”, for instance those of Alternative Libertaire).

Those who, today as in the past, in all their great “wisdom”, give such disdainful and peremptory speeches, would do well to take a long hard look at the truth rather than gaze down at their own navel.

The truth is that many banlieue teenagers, many of those who protest, have seen, often from birth, their parents slave away to make it the next paycheck. They know (because it’s a fact of daily life for them and those around them) what “employment” means in our society. They know that it means mothers forced to work nights “cleaning offices” for three quid six pence, that it means fathers going off to the temp agencies, for nothing of for insecure, dangerous, underpaid jobs. They know that it means brothers, sisters forced to humiliate themselves to “prove” they applied for jobs when everyone knows full well that there aren’t any. They know all that. They know that there’s a huge amount of children living in poverty in France (2.4 million in 2011, probably many more in 2016!), [1] because many of them do too. They know, first hand, that hundreds of thousands of children and teenagers can’t eat their fill every day, [2] to quasi-general indifference. And the poorest among them live (and have sometimes done so for years now) in “social hotels” and other dumps… And all these young people supposedly have no reason to revolt? Do you think that when their hear all the El-Khomry-esque gibberish, that they don’t understand, one might say “instinctively”, that things are going to get worse? Not just for their “future”, but even for their day-to-day existence!

Yes, their perception of society’s is confused. Yes, they’re caught up in contradictions (but they’re hardly alone to be). Yes, they dream the dreams that they’re fed by the media (earn lots of money, fast). Yes, they’re laboured by reactionary ideologies, by conspiracy-theory beliefs… Yes, but there are also many “political” things that they experience every day and that they understand, sometimes “in depth”, even if they don’t have the “right words” to put on them. “It is monstrous to pretend that those who haven’t spoken have nothing to say”, argued André Gide in an antifascist meeting in 1933. [3] Because just as our banlieue teenagers, those who don’t “speak up” are often those who would have the most to say, even if they don’t have the “means” to do so.

Besides, among all the “negative” things we can find in the banlieue youths, they’re perhaps not so different from the the town-centre ones (who are also brimming with conspiracy theories and reactionary ideologies…). However the dominant discourse doesn’t accuse the latter of being “depoliticised and lost”. Such a difference in characterisation between them raises questions. There is, of course, several reasons for this. The most important is probably that those in power don’t want a junction to form between these two worlds, that the youth of the banlieue “descend upon” Paris. The denigrating treatment they receive is meant to keep them in place, to keep them far from the capital city.

CNT-AIT Paris-Banlieue

Translation notes: Banlieue : suburban area (here specifically, low-income housing projects). Libertaire : libertarian, but in the original sense, that means left-libertarian (unlike the way the word libertarian is sometimes used in the US, “libertaire” cannot be used to described so-called ancaps).


[1] Figures from the 2011-2012 report of the Observatoire National de la Pauvreté et de l’Exclusion Sociale

[2] Before accusing us of miserabilism, take a moment to think over these words from someone in charge of the Secours populaire : “Each year, we enable children from families experiencing financial difficulties to go on holiday. Upon their return, we ask them what they liked best… The colour of the Mediterranean Sea or the heights of the Eiffel tower that they had never seen before? No, many among them tell us that what marked them most was the fact that they received three meals a day! This lack of food in their daily lives is alarming!”  (Reference:

[3] André Gide, Littérature engagée, texts collected by Yvonne Davet, NRF Gallimard, 1950.

I witnessed the citizen hell of Nuit Debout

18 May 2016

For reasons not entirely dependent on my own will, I found myself drawn into Nuit Debout. Not that I had any intention of “radicalising” the middle class’ revolt, but I had been told that it wouldn’t be what I soon discovered it was.

I thus ended up at a Nuit Debout occupation (in Clermont). I managed to enter because I knew people inside (entry is otherwise forbidden, in case “rioters” come to “vandalise”, of course…). At the entrance, two people searched my bag… An “occupation” in name only, and which I would designated by another term, upon learning that the owner of the place consented to it. So be it.

Entering, I had the completely feigned joy of finding the place full of littered bottles, of hippies smoking joints and playing the guitar. Further on, a (sitting) General Assembly. A few activist photographers. A flag of Che. Oh, well. I felt like I might have some trouble finding congenial folks, other than those I knew. Thus, nothing happened, the hippies smoked, drank, played and the others did too. I soon found a corner in which to rest by weary head. At least until, early in the morning, a bunch of cops came along to perform identity checks, so I made it for the exit. Tremble, bourgeois, here come the petite-bourgeoisie.

A little later, I ended up at the Nuit Debout proper, in the Big City (Paris). Okay. Why not, there were concerts. Well, mainly a concert by a reggae band well-known to the citizens, but unknown to me (Rastafarianism stinks even more than citizenism, so…). I went around the stalls, having been told it would be different… A huge Palestinian flag (I’ve never seen such a large flag). Because, dear companions and proletarians, let it be drilled into you skulls: the nationalism of the oppressed has nothing to do with bourgeois nationalism, hence the French flag painted on the Square, still adorned with the words “Je Suis Charlie”. There quite a range of stuff concerning Palestine: GA Abdallah, BDS, Palestinian students, a meal to collect funds, all spread out over 30 metres. I also saw an activist library, advertising its donations, mainly to… l’Humanité. And to other papers that I didn’t know, but whose names arouse the imagination: Le Patriote, La Marseillaise. Hence perhaps the fact that the red-and-brown folks of the PRCF were distributing carefree, without Nuit Debout lifting a finger despite its insistance that it excludes conspiracy theorists, fascists, and so on. L’Humanité had a stall too (so yeah, no political parties, but parties’ newspapers are fine). Stalls of Psy Debout (anything as long as it’s “debout”), an anti-speciesist stall, perhaps the least worst of the bunch. A less-than-incredible stall against Françafrique. A pro-bourgeois ecologist stall. L’Envolée. Oh, and the publisher Libertalia, along with a bunch of ‘stars’ of the milieu, with nearly an entire marquee to themselves. The only ones missing were the anti-semites and racialists of the PIR.

Oh, well. On to the commissions, from the oxymoronic “secure IT”, to the “action” commission (aha), the “citizen Jury” commission and its “recruiting office”, and wait for it…… the “Separation of MEDEF and State” commission. I must admit that citizenists are good at reinventing themselves. At one point I could have sworn I was at a situationnist fairground. Then, above all, on the 15th of May, a debate with Nuit Debouts from around the world: Brussels, Berlin, Brasil, Spain who were celebrating the anniversary of the 15M, etc etc; and whose message was always the same: “let’s unite the citizenry’s struggles against neoliberalism”.

In short, quite an unbearable moment. A leaflet, trying to pass itself off as revolutionary, was scolding those revolutionaries who dared to criticise Nuit Debout, which they claim aspires to break free from the pitfalls of representative democracy… Well, that’s hardly what I witnessed there. Middle class rebellion is a counter-revolutionary tool, and we can’t expect anything from this movement. Not a thing. I came, I saw, I ran away.

Citizens of the world, punish yourselves.

Ernest Coeurdeuaine


This is no insurrection: Why appending “and its world” adds nothing to the ongoing movement


I don’t intend to demean or turn my nose up at what is happening (or not happening) in the current mobilisation “against the labour law”. Sometimes, words are used precisely for that. Ultimately, it’s true that talking and writing are very limited uses of bodily and mental capacities. There are others which are just as important: arms that move, legs that run, hearts that beat. The former are all too easily removed from the latter, and run the risk of drifting into a separate world. One runs that risk every time one opens one’s mouth or starts wiggling one’s fingers to write. Still…

While I rejoice, alongside many others, over a few fully lived moments during the movement, some people’s enthusiasm perplexes me. I hear it be said that “there are some interesting things at Place de la République”, because ultimately, it’s a place to meet people. I hear that “our numbers are growing”, because ever more people are joining the “autonomous” or “unaffiliated” marches. I hear that the unions are becoming “radicalised” because some of their members mask up during demonstrations. I also hear that we are “more combative” because swimming goggles and masks have become indispensable at demos, thanks to the cops’ generosity when it comes to dishing out tear gas. What’s more, ever more people hate the police, because of how nasty it proved it was. And, for some, it can all be boiled down to the notion that “everything’s going to blow up”, yelled by hooligans having traded the football field for the “social field”.

I do not refute any of these descriptive and optimistic observations. As for the description of the State, I don’t confound anyone. However, as far as the enthusiasts are concerned, I challenge their enthusiasm.

Because, just as with speech and writing, a lot of what is gained in form is also lost in content, and it would be a mistake to think that one can replace the other. Today, for instance, a large part of the discussion (still) revolves around the question of property destruction. And I’m not referring to Le Monde, Libération, Russia Today, Le Figaro and other all too famous ennemies. I’m referring to “activist” sources, often devoted to justifying so-called radical practices. Anything goes: the youth are smashing stuff and confronting the cops, because they’ve had enough, or because they’re just young, you don’t understand, or they weren’t like that before the police revealed its true colours, or they hate the miserable future being promised to them, or… One looks for short and economic phrases to justify the things people do for their own reasons, as if those reasons were made clear by the tactics themselves. Reasons which are often not short, nor necessarily economic. Their motives are complex, sometimes evasive. How can one, no matter one’s point of view, explain such actions in a manner so close to that of sociologists? The latter at least look for arbitrary correspondances which statistically suit them, whereas to those who desperately want to justify a method of struggle, everything is already clearly defined.

But why look for these curt justifications? To convince us that difficult times require proportionally difficult measures? Do we not end up back in the same tired old debate over “violence” and “non-violence”, albeit in a slightly updated vocabulary adapted to our era?

Let’s not tire ourselves. But since we’ve started with property destruction, let’s talk about it, but not to justify it. In the beginning of April this year, following a blockade which was part of the movement against the labour law, a few teenagers from the Léonard de Vinci high school in Levallois-Perret set fire to some bins. The fire damaged that awful cage. Nearly two months later, 47 high-schoolers are summoned to the Sûreté Territoriale, several are arrested. There are initiatives to support them, find lawyers, give them advice, support the accused, etc. which is obviously all important. But why did the high-schoolers do what they did in the first place?

Some explain it as the high-schoolers being very, very angry because the institutionalised stultification authorities didn’t give them permission to go demonstrate. But really, while I won’t question the “true” motives of the authors, hopefully unknown, of what billions of children everywhere dream to see come true, I will emit this very probable hypothesis: the act of setting fire to a school has more to do with the school than with the labour law. More precisely, it has something to do with school being a concrete manifestation of this authoritarian and mercantile world, which the children and teenagers have to suffer through daily. Some of them just took advantage of favourable conditions and expressed their disgust.

While the ongoing movement is often presented as not just “against the labour law”, but also against “the world that goes with it”, few aspects of the latter are mentioned. And this to the point that some even took it upon themselves to protect premises of the Emmaüs charity, which collaborates with the eviction machine and has already been attacked in and of itself, from its assailants, as was the case during the demonstration of May 26th. But even if some may ignore what Emmaüs really is, everyone knows what school is. It’s an institution possibly more essential to the “world of the labour law” than the accursed law itself.

And yet, those standing with the high-schoolers defend them only as accused parties, not as schoolchildren who hate school beyond any judiciary considerations of “guilt” or “innocence”. Sure, the technicalities are important. But if it’s to be as part of the movement against the labour law and its world that we stand with the high-schoolers, how is possible that the issue of school itself, an aspect of that world, isn’t raised, focus going instead to the debate over guilt?

Whence my languor. Despite these very (although sometimes less) beautiful acts, and despite the increasingly mask-wearing demonstrations, the movement’s “and the world that goes with it” seems to get blurrier and fainter. Because when one looks around —in the cafés, in the streets, in the public transports, at work—,  despite a few noteworthy exceptions, conversations revolve around the property destruction, the demos, the ‘nuit debout’, sometimes the “police brutality”… In short, technical issues, as if they were the be all and end all. Some are against, some are for, most couldn’t care less. Very few seem to grasp the very reason and essence of why we go take to the streets, alone or in groups, during the day or the night, demo or no demo, to a give a little coherence to our disgust of this mercantile and authoritarian society: the incompatibility of the life which is forced upon us with the one we wish to live, one which might be worth its name.

Never mind that people are sympathetic to the actions, even the most “radical” ones. Whether we are more numerous or not in the “autonomous” marches, or more masked up than ever, minority acts of revolt do not seek to convert. They seek to contribute to social tensions, in order to polarise this world on the one hand, and to make life less shit on the other. If we get “angry”, if we “lash out”, if we simply destroy, it isn’t because this law will prevent us from succeeding in this society; it’s because the slightest chance of succeeding runs up against everything which makes life worth living: beauty, passion, happiness, freedom —let’s not measure such things.

However, some breaches are opening in the broader context of this movement. There are some moments of fracture. They all existed before and will keep on existing. So let’s continue to seek them out and contribute to them. But let’s do so in such a way that when the movement dies down —as it certainly will do— these breaches don’t stop opening and cracks continue to show up where no one expects them to. If one day we manage to link them all together, perhaps we will at last have some real chance of subverting this insufferable society.


1st of June, 2016


We are their common enemy

26 May 2016

The repression which is cracking down on the social movement against the labour law, and indeed against all struggles, didn’t just appear from nowhere. It has long been ongoing in the ZAD (autonomous zones), and from the town centre of Rennes to the streets of Paris and the picket lines. This State violence has been deployed for years in working class neighbourhoods, and its use has now been generalized to the entire population. From the teams of BAC (plainclothes/undercover “anti-criminal brigades”) or Companie d’Intervention (riot police units) that are unleashed like rabid dogs on the marches, to the RAID (elite police unit) which was deployed to evict an occupied building, and what seems like a culprit fabrication by a servile Justice system; such occurrences have marked the daily life of our neighbourhoods for 30 years.


The security tourniquet used to strangle social protests in our neighbourhoods is now being used to criminalise the social movements. The figure of the rioter in a Lacoste tracksuit and baseball cap shown in the media is replaced by one in a black anorak. Governments always try to depict working class opposition as juvenile delinquents intent on looting. For the social movement, it’s the cliché of the petit-bourgeois class-traitor who “plays at revolution before taking over daddy’s company”. Reducing rioters and demonstrators to these symbolic caricatures enables the deployment of an exceptional police and judiciary arsenal, which reassures the “good French citizenry” only too happy to beat up the roguish proletarian or the rebellious petit-bourgeois. This media staging, with its two rioter typologies, presented every evening on the televised news, serves to patently and latently answer the hidden question: why are men and women in the suburbs or town centres confronting the police?

With these two symbolic figures, the petit-bourgeois and the delinquent, the answer is simple: the thug in sweatpants is just out to loot, the petit-bourgeois is just going through adolescence. It’s in their nature.

The second effect, and not the least, of this media staging is that it prevents any unity between these populations which live in separate areas but are fighting against a common enemy: the State.

Who, in the middle class or the petite-bourgeoisie, feels sympathy for the suburban looter? Who, in the suburbs, feels sympathy for the petit-bourgeois, whose revolt is presented as factitious?

These two symbolic figures serve to foment division and foil a union which might overcome the oligarchy which governs us.


It is nothing new, however, to see “petit-bourgeois” risking their freedom and health to stand up to the guard dogs of the state and the bourgeoisie. Here is what Marx and Engels wrote in the manifesto in 1848:

“Finally, in times when the class-struggle nears the decisive hour, the process of dissolution going on within the ruling class, in fact, within the whole range of old society, assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands. Just as, therefore, at an earlier period, a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie, so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movements as a whole.”

Not new, either, that during riots in the working class neighbourhoods, lumpen-proletarians take to the streets alongside the rioters. Huey Newton of the Black Panther Party explained that “more and more of the proletariat will become unemployable, become lumpen, until they have become the popular class, the revolutionary class”.

From the penal and police treatment to the fabrication of caricatures, the ongoing repression of social movements is a direct copy of the securitarian management of the suburbs.

The memory of struggles in proletarian neighbourhoods is there for us to recall. A history among others of popular uprisings perfectly illustrates these similarities. At Dammarie-lès-Lys, the police, judiciary and media techniques deployed to break a protest movement were in all respects identical to those used today. That was nearly fifteen years ago.

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At Dammarie, on the 21st of May 2002, Xavier Dem, overcome by dementia, shoots at two police officers with a pellet gun, lightly injuring one on the elbow. The second officer answers by killing Xavier with a bullet to the head. Two days later, Mohamed Berrichi dies during a motorbike chase by the police. Mohamed Berrichi was the brother of the President of the Bouge qui Bouge association, which was created following the assassination of Abedelkader Bouziane (16 years old) by a BAC officer in 1997. His death two days after that of Xavier Dem, combined with a national climate in which the far-right National Front succeed in entering the second round of the presidential elections, sends a shock wave throughout the neighbourhood.

On the 27th of May 2002, 800 people protest together against police brutality. For the first time in a suburban neighbourhood a demonstration was cordoned by an imposing group made up of by activists from the neighbourhood. It’s a peaceful show of strength without precedent in the popular neighbourhoods of France. The stand-off in front of the Dammarie police station remains a highlight in the annals of many activists. During the night, the demo’s banners in memory of Abdelkader, Xavier and Mohamed, are hung up on the Bas-Moulin highrise.

Looking for “responsible” people in the neighbourhood with which to talk to, the State authorities in Dammarie dispatch the rector of the Évry mosque and representatives of the Paris mosque to offer their condolences “and those of the Mayor and the Prefect” to the father of Mohamed Berrichi.

Supported by the MIB (immigration and suburbs movement association), Mohamed’s father replies that mourning is a family affair. The MIB points out that such a mobilisation was politically motivated, and points the finger at the hypocrisy of the State, which didn’t summon catholic authorities to visit Xavier Dem’s family. The State’s religious messengers are sent packing, back to their flocks.

Vexed, Khalil Merroun, rector of the Évry mosque, states that “the family is taken hostage by people who refuse dialogue”. One would think one was reading the prose of a union bureaucrat bidden to condemn the violence of demonstrators resolved not to let themselves be gassed and beaten up by the police. This is a typical tactic of the State, which tries to use intermediary religious or syndical bodies to sort the “good” citizens from the “bad”.

The mobilisation around Mohamed Berrichi’s death gives way to many pressure surges from the police, with the instrumentalisation of “contempt of cop” and judiciary repression instruments. This is a technique we witness today, for instance with the indictment under counter-terrorism motives (conspiracy, organised gang…) of young protesters who took over into the Rennes metro to organise a “free transport” operation.

Already, in 2002, supposed “anti-police hatred” is used to justify, and to sway public opinion in favour of, repression. In June 2002, the SPNT (national union of uniformed police officers) demands the suppression of banners which it deems are “calling for anti-police hatred”. The union calls for a demonstration on the 2nd of July 2002, in front of the Seine-et-Marne prefecture. It’s an avant-premiere, 14 years early, of the recent love-the-police demonstration at Place de la République.

At Dammarie, the elite RAID unit is deployed in the neighbourhood during a police search of the premises of the association Bouge qui Bouge, similarly to its recent use during the evacuation of the “people’s house” in Rennes…

In each of these struggles, one encounters the instruments and techniques of repression which are used today against the social movement. These last few years have seen the emergence of an increasingly violent arsenal, first destined and tested in popular neighbourhoods, and now used on everybody.

In addition to the physical, comes a judiciary repression. The Kamara brothers from Villiers-le-Bel were the first victims of this State vengeance, which can have people sentenced on the basis of “white notes” or anonymous tips. In Paris, after the burning of a police car, 4 people were brought in by police for “attempted homicide of a representative of public authority”, with the only evidence being the anonymous account of an infiltrated police officer. As with the Kamara brothers, the only evidence consists of elements constructed by the police or intelligence services. The generalization of these methods is yet another step towards a police state. With them, the police services can fabricate entire cases, as illustrated by the Quai de Valmy affair. A few hours after the fire, 4 known activists, singled out by the DGSI (general direction of interior security), were arrested. The investigators even admit that “their implication in the arson of the vehicle is not established”. As with the case of the Kamara brothers, an entire apparatus articulated around police services and governmental storytelling is used to justify these incarcerations.

These similarities between the repression of neighbourhood unrest and that of social movements create the conditions for such struggles to converge. Those who are fighting on the front lines in our neighbourhoods and those in our social movements faced with police brutality are fully aware of this. They realize that now isn’t the time to argue over who was doing what back in 2005, but instead to work on building bridges and battlegrounds common to all those who refuse to resign themselves to mere survival in this unequal and violent world.

Quartiers Libres





Anarchist Federation:

We publish the motion of the French Anarchist Federation, which is committed along with the rest of French anti-capitalist movements in the current strikes against the “Loi de Travail”. In our next newspaper issues we will publish new in-depth articles from this topic.

All of us: young people, students, wage-earners of the private and public sector, people in precarious financial situations, workers and unemployed people, pensioners, legal and illegal immigrants of any nationality, all of those who have been exploited and oppressed; violently affected by the effects of the devastating capitalist system. We are under another attack by the bourgeois and Capital.

The government, under the orders of employers and international treaties, is systematically destroying all of our social achievements.

The latest representation of these attacks can be seen through the “loi travail” (work law). Our leaders intend to impose this policy on everyone by leaning on their usual political and trade union accomplices.

The State displays their repressive police and military apparatus by wounding and mutilating people with their dangerous weapons, which have been experimented with beforehand in popular neighbourhoods in order to create new forms of military repression. Therefore, the state of emergency is currently increasing, along with the possibility of incarceration and prison sentences that are being imposed en masse towards the population.

Similarly the CPA (Statement Activity Staff) will enable the computer transposition of the nefarious «livret ouvrier» [booklet imposed by the French authorities during 1803 and 1890 to control workers], built on the basis of individualism and profit as opposed to collective human rights. This enforces our prediction that these policies will create widespread inequality of all our human rights.

Faced with these aggressions, our resistance is necessary and legitimate. Now that this feeling is reborn we must continue to build and reinforce it through general strikes and confrontations against the State and capital, solidarity and strike funds, occupation of workplaces, reappropriation of public spaces and by blocking the means of production, flow of goods and workers.

On the eve of possible general strikes across many sectors we express our complete and total solidarity, particularly in sectors like public transport, for their participation in the action and development of strikes for the expropriation and management of society.

Our fight is part of a social resistance on a European and international front towards the regressions that the capital imposes on us. Our unity of libertarian aspiration wants to achieve through these general strikes the abolition of salaries, employers, the State and its borders. We need a social libertarian revolution.

Written by the Congress of the Fédération anarchiste, 14- 16 may 2016, published in Italian anarchist newspaper Umanità Nova

Translated by Pietro Casati