ALIVE WITH FIRE: Death to Cars and the Politics of Defeat!
by Marcel Dilessi Wednesday November 09, 2005 at 01:39 AM
We are near to the final battles – those on the streets and those in our minds. The situation reminds one of Weimar Germany or Spain in 1937, with brave idealists fighting against the whole world or its apathy and indifference. The right, center, Left, far left, moderate Imans – and anarchists? – & the rest of the rich who control the world outside France have no respect / advice for millions of French youth - fighting since no one else does…
"France is wounded. It does not recognize itself in these devastated streets and neighborhoods,” – The obviously cinder blinded Villepin, Prime Minister of France, as he enacted Emergency Powers.
Demands of French Youth
Paris Uprising 2005 - C'est l'economie, stupide
Now that we have the power and the world stage we demand –
A doubling of the economic and social aid promised by the government;
AMNESTY for all those arrested in the disturbances in last 2 weeks;
USA must join the ICC and give up its security council veto;
EU must withdraw from WTO and develop closer ties with Arab countries;
EU must formally state that the USA must withdraw from Iraq and all military bases in the region;
redirect economy and budgets away from war and weapons production and BUILD INSTEAD a Europe and a region open to all and pursuing social equity and social harmony as equals.
*( First posted in English at: http://mostlywater.org/node/3542)
Everyone – the poor of the world – agree to all of these demands and more!
We also have agreement that there must be a new form of governance in the regions of poverty. We call for a continent wide discussion on novel forms of democratic participation. At this time we can only say that local councils should be formed through elections with the people deciding whether to have a participatory structure or to organize on the basis of the ‘millet’ system where the community (millet) would enjoy the right to organize its social, cultural and educational life in accordance with its religious beliefs
For Liberty or Chaos - le capitalisme est fini
ALIVE WITH FIRE:
Death to Cars and the Politics of Defeat!
By Marcel Dilessi
From Clichy-sous-Bois to the Gallows Where the Last Bureaucrat Will Be Hung by the Guts of the Last Capitalist
The poor and marginalized people of France are doing what all of us should be doing – rioting. Since politics is constrained and perverted into the nothingness of styling the free market gods – We Should All Say Non! – NO! – And we should organize – like the youth gangs surrounding Paris, Toulouse, Lyon, Marseille, La Paz and Bogota have.
Youth from all over Europe should rise up and travel to those regions or locales that are most militant and need help (money, bodies, expertise). Where are the French antiglobalization protesters who should be standing in the streets – as Chavez and some of the Venezuelan army did when they had their Caracazoa – the first of the Anti-globalization and anti-neoliberal protests back in 1989.Twelve hundred poor Venezuelans were assassinated because not enough police or army units disobeyed orders or helped the protesters – and the world sat on its mouths!
Revolution is revolution and it usually aids the poor, the marginalized and the anarchists. Youth rebellion (France), liberal or communist revolution, even Islamic revolution, all are against control or the status quo, they disrupt, they challenge they inspire they make people think. Is the left or the anarchists opposed to thinking that is not a mirror image of their own thoughts, beliefs and biases? Revolutions are almost always against the rich and challenge their system. In the case of France in 2005 the youth are attacking the symbols of privilege and wealth – Cars and the source of the institutional terror that they live in: Government Buildings.
Of course in a war many things get burned or bombed – some that deserved it some that didn't and some in between. It is interesting how this is an attack at the whole concept of capitalism and liberal enlightenment. The best example of capitalism’s friendly face and success in a large country is France and the French welfare and immigration systems. Less than half as many children in France live in poverty as in the UK. France does much better and kinder than most of Europe - while the US still lurks in the Dark Ages in comparison.
Yet even the best that Europe can accomplish – in terms of the environment, foreign aid, welfare, equality or immigration/post-colonialism is an utter and a terrible failure. You would think that this clarion call would make US liberals stop – for a moment at least – since the whole aim of their project will be a failure even if it occurs through a miracle! (the only way it could). But of course why would the left debate about this if they have nothing else to offer and their cushy jobs are dependent on raising more money from the gullible masses.
The saddest reality of this uprising in France is that lives will be lost and effort expended practically for nothing because the Left, the far left, the anti-globalization people and even Chavez and the anarchists have no plan – or they have been weak and slow to get their ideas out.
Why The Left was slow to respond to the French Uprising.
France is burning. The People are rising up in an insurgency against racism, the police, the state, capitalism, etc. The response from the political left has been mediocre at best. The events in Clichy-Sous-Bois are not controlled, inspired or organized by The Left, therefore The Left has little to gain from them. There are no consensus based meetings to decide what needs to be done, what committees should to be set up, what demands should be made, and who should become spokespersons. There is no need for any of these things.
Everyone taking part in the riots knows what they want. Go to any ghetto of the world and ask the people what they want, and the answers will be the same as those of Clichy-Sous-Bois. There is no need to beg the government to fix things (AKA making demands.) Only a profound moron would not realize what has led to the rioting. There is no need for statements, proclamations or letters of solidarity. The best form of solidarity possible is being shown in Marseille, Saint Etienne, Toulouse and the 300 other towns to which the rioting has spread. When it spreads throughout Europe and the world – that will be enough!
The rioters have no need of The Left. The thing left-wing politicians care about is the same thing that right-wing politicians care about; power. While individuals within Left organizations may mean well, the organizations soon take a mind of their own. Like a corporation, whose only goal is to make profit, the only goal of these political organizations is to gain power. The claim being that power is needed to change the world. But all too soon, changing the world becomes secondary to building power.
As the days went by, and the riots spread, The Left was finally forced to say something about the riots. The only problem is The Left has no influence, let alone power over the rioters of France. If anything the power of The Left is just as much threatened by these riots as the power of The Right. These riots are showing that the people do not need bureaucratic political organizations to revolt. It is then no surprise that the Communist Party is doing it’s best to stifle events it cannot control, just like it did with the events of May 1968.
“Lacking a political analysis (…) some young people are reduced to committing unacceptable attacks against the peace, the safety and the property of people who work for a living.” (said the left wing of the “CP” – the PRCF.) Leave it to the Communists to claim these riots are an attack on the working class.
The anarchist organizations are not as ridiculous as the CP, but they seem to be more concerned with moving the rioters into an area of struggle which the anarchist organizations would be able to influence. The CNT-FTE demands “more justice. In practical terms, this means secure jobs, decent wages, humane working-hours for the parents, adequate housing, an end to counter-productive police repression, necessary and adequate social services, and a truly libratory school system.” France is in a state of insurgent activity and the CNT-FTE tells people they should beg for reforms and bread-crumbs from the government?
Begging the government for reforms is something the CNT-FTE can influence and control. They can help create committees, have meetings, send representatives to meet with government officials, and other forms of bureaucracy that make their political organization a little more influential and a little more powerful, while boring to death everyone involved. They hope that “once the pressure lessens, this rebellion should organize itself, give itself a structure.”
One can see the inner struggle facing these organizations. How can they balance out their need for power with their claims of fighting for “The People”? And what if “The People” do not need these organizations?
Every day acts of insurgency are taking places throughout the world, and rarely do these acts have anything to do with bureaucratic political organizations. In these actions against capitalism, authority and oppression people are taking power over their own lives.
While the organizationalists of the world are sitting in their boring meetings trying to decide how best to enlarge their bureaucracies, everyday rebellions are happening throughout the world. The insurgency in France has been going on too long and has spread to an area too large to be ignored. The question that The Left is now asking itself is how it can take control of these events away from the rioters and use it to enlarge itself? The answer is it can’t.
(Contributions from: http://sketchythoughts.blogspot.com/ )
We are near to the final battles – those on the streets and those in our minds. The situation reminds one of Weimar Germany or Spain in 1937, with brave idealists fighting against the whole world or its apathy and indifference. The right, the center, the Left, the far left, the moderate Imans – and the anarchists? – and the rest of the rich who control the world outside of France have no respect and no advice for the millions of French youth who are fighting since no one else does…
So... the youth just fight – they know how to do that. They are tired of begging – they just want simple dignity and something to work for... like the indigenous of the Andes who ask:
"Can we stop being slaves and just be poor?"
The situation in the streets of France today is much as the USA in the 1960s. The moderate activists and careerist politicians ignored the people and the world for as long as they could: “ while the Black bourgeoisie 'couldn't understand' the meaning of Malcolm X's loss, Black poor and working class people certainly could. He was one of *us*, they reasoned, and his loss was our loss. Malcolm's sharp, biting, and uncompromising criticism of White America, and the hypocrisy of its political leaders when it came to Black folks wasn't lost on Rev. King.
According to theological scholar James H. Cone, Martin, in private, couldn't help but identify with much of Malcolm's insights:
Among close associates and friends King did not hesitate to concede the truth of Malcolm's analysis of the black condition. He reportedly said to a friend: "I just saw Malcolm on television. I can't deny it. When he starts talking about all that's been done to us, I get a twinge of hate, of identification with him." [From: James H. Cone, *Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare* (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis, 1991), p. 256].
It has been 40 years since a ruckus erupted in the Audubon, and gunmen slew Malcolm X in front of his family and followers. He still continues to speak to new generations, who find in him, the resistance of distant ancestors, the anger and resentment of a people who know, in their hearts, that they were not dealt with fairly, and the necessity of self-defense against a system that is in perpetual war with Black America.
His life inspired a generation of young men and women to form and expand the Black Panther Party, the Republic of New Africa, the All-African Peoples Revolutionary Party, and myriad other groups. He brought countless white youth out of the cages of white liberalism and into movements for social justice and liberation. In a recent, somewhat amazing example, that of John Walker Lindh, who joined the Taliban in Afghanistan, his trek into the Third World began in the pages of *The Autobiography of Malcolm X*.
It has been generations, yet his voice continues to echo anew…
And the same crimes committed by the middle class moderates against Malcolm X were committed against the Black panthers and Tupac Shakur.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin acknowledges that France has failed to live up to its egalitarian ideals. "We must be lucid: The Republic is at a moment of truth," he told parliament. "The effectiveness of our integration model is in question… [the riots are] a warning and an appeal."
Communist Party leader Marie-George Buffet warned that the decree could enflame rioters. "It could be taken anew as a sort of challenge to carry out more violence," she said.
For a reasonable comment by anarchists, see:
“hand out thousands of pamphlets on anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist theory to rioters, destitute workers, and other people who have been excluded from prosperity. A shared vision of a transformed France could unite muslims, christians, and atheists; blacks, Arabs, and those of ethnically French origin in favor or revolt.”
And some sensible statements at:
PARIS - In the 12th night of rioting in France, police sources reported 330 arrests and 1,173 burned cars as well as numerous buildings set on fire, all slightly lower than figures from the weekend peak.
In the 12 days of rioting, more than 6,000 cars have been torched, some 1,550 people have been taken into custody and held for at least 24 hours and nearly 300 cities and towns have been touched by the unrest, police said.
In eastern France, bands of youths hurled Molotov cocktails at cars, buses, schools, a church and a library, while in Strasbourg a German television crew was attacked, and two Italian journalists suffered the same fate in Clichy near Paris.
Rioters burned about 40 cars late Monday in the greater Lyon area, as 12 people were taken into custody in sporadic violence in France's second-largest city, police said.
In the southern city of Toulouse, bus drivers walked off their jobs Tuesday after a bus was commandeered by youths late Monday and set on fire.
In the same city, more than 30 cars were torched, and hooded rioters hurled Molotov cocktails and rocks at riot police, who responded with teargas.
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Oppression - Resistance - Destruction - Rebuilding Community For Real
by Marcel Dilessi Wednesday November 09, 2005 at 01:39 AM
A report I snatched off Italy IMC, where an eyewitness speaks of youths chanting "Sarkozy fasciste! Sarkozy fasciste! Sarkozy fasciste!..".
*Sarhozy is the french interior minister who has called the ghetto dwellers "scum". A campaign of antaganisation which started in July of this year between security forces (CRS) and residents (mainly young north africans)
Over 200 people involved with rocks, molotovs and baseball bats hospitalised upwards of 30 cops. Two cops were shot with live ammunition. Over 390 people arrested.
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The Falso Ideals of Capitalism and French Ego Should BURN!
by Marcel Dilessi Wednesday November 09, 2005 at 01:39 AM
"If French society accepts these tinderboxes in its society, it cannot be surprised when they explode," said Claude Dilain, the Socialist mayor of the Clichy-sous-Bois suburb.
Eric, a 22-year-old in Clichy-sous-Bois who was born in France to Moroccan parents, said police target those with dark skin. He said he has been unable to find full-time work for two years and that the riots were a demonstration of suburban solidarity.
"People are joining together to say we've had enough," he said. He refused to give his surname because talking to reporters was poorly regarded in his neighborhood.
"We live in ghettos," he added. "Everyone lives in fear."
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