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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #299 - Against the islamophobic offensive - Redo anti-racism a popular struggle (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 6 Nov 2019 07:55:57 +0200

For more than a decade, racist themes have emerged in the media space. Liberal governments on the far right, in France and in Europe, all more or less openly subscribe to the conspiracy theories of creeping Islamization and the "great replacement". ---- While the social climate remains tense, and the anti-social reforms announced are certainly not going to calm the anger of the workers, Macron attempted, on September 16, to light a counter-fire by removing the "joker" chestnuts policies: immigration. He told his party's deputies that they had to "face this issue," not to be "a bourgeois party," because "the bourgeois have no problem with that: they do not cross it. . The popular classes live with it.". This demagogic rhetoric of contempt of the popular classes, necessarily racist, goes hand in hand with a real hardening of the policy: increasingly repressive laws, refusal of reception of migrants, institutional violence - especially in administrative detention center - pushing to the multiplication of suicides, etc.

Demagogic rhetoric and class contempt
This change of identity of Macron coincided in the media time with the first "Convention of the Right", organized by Marion Maréchal Le Pen. This new ideological tool, of "alternative to progressivism", aiming at crossing the meager gap between "republican right" and "national right", gathered, on September 28th, more than 1500 people. At the rostrum, the most reactionary discourses, based on the theories dear to identity and other neo-fascists, have been followed: "the great replacement" and the need to defend the supremacy of the white man.

Zemmour, the "essayist" reactive and racist, has distinguished himself by haranguing the crowd with hateful words barely half-word to the ratonnade. Unpublished by the virulence of the speeches held, this convention was also by its media coverage, since broadcast live by LCI (owned by Martin Bouygues) at a prime time. This is a new step in the acceptance of the far right and its promotion by some of the dominant media, and behind them by their owners. Despite the violence of his remarks, Zemmour will now be present daily on Cnews, property of Bolloré.

Racist theories gain ground
The establishment of far-right governments is spreading everywhere, with xenophobia and the whole gamut of racist rhetoric everywhere. The latest example is the creation by the European Commission of a post dedicated to "migration and the protection of the European way of life", which bears witness to the growing alliance between economic liberalism and identity ideology. In our neighborhoods and in our lives, these racist discourses are translated into action. In addition to the ongoing violence of the authorities against minority groups and undocumented migrants, racists, be they local elected officials or grassroots activists of the far right, are mounting attacks.

The shameless humiliation of a veiled woman on October 11 in the Regional Council of Burgundy-Franche Comté, initiated by a member of the National Assembly, provoked a surge of media hatred against Muslims and Muslim women, especially from from the government (with the Minister of Education in the lead). This event once again serves as the expression of discriminatory measures, namely the prohibition of veiled women leaving school, rather than equality. In France, the attack on a mosque in Bayonne by a former FN candidate on October 28 echoes the killing of Halle (Germany) on October 9. Each event of this type reflects the increasingly alarming advance of the cultural hegemony of the extreme right in the elites.

Faced with these discourses and acts, the anti-racist struggles remain dynamic. Throughout the country, thousands of people are involved in concrete solidarity with refugees, migrants and undocumented migrants. The struggles for regularization and expulsion have also resumed their vigor, with the appearance of "black vests" and the outbreak of new strikes. At the same time, the committees against police violence are reinforcing and, since the yellow vests demonstrations, the report of violent domination of the police forces towards the racialized youth of the working-class neighborhoods has finally been recognized and gives rise to a new solidarity, especially around the "Committee for Adama". For the first time, on 19 October, a demonstration against Islamophobia in Paris brought together several thousand people.

Building the common front
Yet, if these struggles are more and more visible, they remain divided, and still too often struggle to gather beyond the militant circles. It can not be denied that there are brakes on the unification of struggles in an autonomous anti-racist movement. The right and far-right deviation from the principle of secularism - historically defended by the left and extreme left - paralyzing on these issues a whole section of the social movement during the last decade, widening divisions and oppositions, It's not for nothing.

Today, as UCL has written in its Manifesto, Islamophobia must be recognized as the other forms of racism, as it constitutes the pivot of identity rhetoric. Moreover, while participation in anti-racist demonstrations is commonplace, much of the daily life of these struggles takes place in the neighborhoods, neighborhoods too often neglected by traditional militancy. It is urgent that the revolutionary organizations reinvest the ground of the concrete struggles and position themselves in effective support to them. Finally, beyond the defense against racist actions, it is high time to reaffirm strong positions within the anti-racist camp and their coherent articulation around a radical change in society: freedom of movement, freedom of installation,

Antifascist Committee of the UCL, 1 stNovember 2019

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