No to the state of emergency!

Submitted by Anon on 19 November, 2005 - 1:49

Statement signed by the Ligue Communiste RĂ©volutionnaire and a number of left and left-leaning organisations. 8 November

Faced with a revolt born of accumulated inequalities and discriminations in the suburbs and deprived areas, the government has just taken another step, one of extreme seriousness, in the ratcheting up of the security situation. Even in May 1968, when the situation was far more dramatic, no state of emergency was used by the public authorities. The proclamation of a state of emergency as their answer to a revolt with deep and well known causes can only be understood as repression.

Besides the disastrous symbolic message given by this reference to the Algerian war, it is not just a question of “curfew”, which itself already carries evokes a war situation. In fact, the government has knowingly lied. The law of 3 April 1955 authorises the moving on of “anyone who seeks to resist, in any manner, the actions of the authorities”, house arrests for “any person… whose activities threaten security and public order”, the closure of “meeting places of any sort” and the banning of “meetings likely to cause or sustain disorder”. The government has even envisaged house searches at night. It can, moreover, "take any measures to control the press and publications of all types", and give competence to military jurisdictions to act in competition with civil judges.

Stopping the violence and restoring solidarity in the suburbs is necessary. Does that imply putting them under emergency legislation inherited from the colonial era? We know how the familiar cycle linking provocations and repression works, and where it can lead. The suburbs do not need a state of emergency: they desperately need justice, respect and equality.

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