French left: no answer in national unity

Submitted by Matthew on 20 November, 2015 - 12:00

By Ensemble, a revolutionary socialist group within the Front de Gauche

Today is a time for mourning. The murderous terrorist attacks which took place on Friday 13 November have had numerous victims. They are a terrible tragedy. Our compassion and solidarity go to all who have been affected, to the victims’ families and everyone close to them.

These terrorist attacks follow those of last January in Paris against Charlie Hebdo and the Hypercacher supermarket, and those against the Bardo Museum and in Sousse in Tunisia. They are an echo of the tragedies which have struck the Middle East, in the Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Palestine and elsewhere.

The terrorist groups behind them are inspired and organised by the Islamic State, an organisation driven by a totalitarian ideology which cloaks itself in religion in order to trigger a war between different peoples. These fanatical political groups have found a fertile terrain in Iraq and Syria, with the bloody war waged against his own people by Bashar Al Assad, and the terrible consequences of the US intervention in Iraq. They find an audience amongst desperate people who are then pressed into service and caught in a deadly sectarian logic.

We face a challenge. The answers will not be found in any so-called “national unity”‘, nor in a race to remove civil liberties. Measures are needed to guarantee the safety of the population, but we oppose a state of emergency which prevents meetings, rallies and demonstrations, and allows individual freedoms to be eroded. More than ever, we must resist blaming any section of the population for actions over which they have no control, and oppose all racist and islamophobic reactions, as well as conspiracy theories and anti-semitic ideas which these attacks are intended to encourage.

We call for support for the peoples of Syria, Iraq, the Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, and Kurdistan in their struggle for their freedoms and democratic rights. Fear must not prevail over civic mobilisation. We call for a united and popular movement for solidarity, a welcome for migrants and refugees, social justice and democracy.


Attacks of a piece with barbarity in Syria

This statement on the Paris atrocities was made by Nathalie Arthaud of the French revolutionary socialist group Lutte Ouvrière

To massacre people in a theatre, in bars, in restaurants, around a sports stadium; those who carried several attacks yesterday [13 November] in Paris and Saint-Denis wanted to kill as many as possible, indiscriminately.

These attacks are despicable. We express our sympathy and our solidarity with the victims and their relatives. Whatever the ideas claimed by those who perpetrated these attacks, they are the enemies of workers everywhere.

If it is confirmed that they were Islamists, their violence is of a piece with the barbarity of the Syrian and Iraqi jihadists, who seek, through terror, to bleed entire populations, to reduce women to slavery, and to liquidate all those who do not think like them. The horror of the attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis strengthens those whom their perpetrators claim to be fighting. They reinforce the French state, which is declaring a state of emergency and increasing police measures. They strengthen the far right, its hate speech vis-à-vis Muslims and immigrants, and its demand for a stronger state.

We fully share the feelings of the populace, especially the relatives of all the victims of these attacks. But we have no solidarity with the French state and its political leaders. They have a large share of responsibility for the wars that are bloodying the Middle East today, wars of which Paris last night suffered a bloody reverberation. Therefore Lutte Ouvrière will not add its voice to the chorus of national unity. We have nothing in common with the Hollandes, the Sarkozys, and the Le Pens. Our solidarity goes to the victims and their relatives. We will continue our fight for a world free of obscurantism, of injustice, and of imperialist domination in all its versions.

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