Editorial of Convergences Revolutionnaires published by the Etincelle fraction of the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA) in France – November 29, 2020
Their “global security” is fueling our revolt!
Since mid-November, demonstrations have been surging throughout France against the so-called “global security” bill and its Article 24, which seeks to penalize the dissemination of images of law enforcement officers in the exercise of their duties. On Saturday, November 28th, there was a tidal wave in most cities: marches of trade unions, associations and political groups, but also and above all many young people and not so young people taking to the streets out of indignation, due to their conscience and their fear of being subjected to an increasingly authoritarian system. These several hundred thousand people in the streets have spread unrest, even within the ranks of the pro-president-Macron majority, and there is no doubt that a political crisis is opening up for Macron and his government.
Too much was too much
First of all, this bill dares to propose that, in practice, neither journalists nor any other person can film or show police violence, based on the pretext that this would be “malicious”! And right on the tail of this come the hideous images of cops beating up young migrants and their supporters in a migrant camp in Place de la République in Paris – kicking and bludgeoning young Afghans who have nothing left but their tents with which to survive. Finally, we’ve seen the images of a Black music producer being attacked by the cops in his studio, with the use of tear gas. Thanks to a surveillance camera at the studio door there were images! These show police officers continuing to beat him even though he was on the floor. And they even continued to punch him outside of his home – where fortunately a neighbor was filming. These cops even called for police reinforcements, lying about the reality of the facts.
This violence that is on top of the violence that many of us know, and that we sometimes experience ourselves, a violence that, just recently, 14- and 15-year-old high school students suffered while they were simply fighting for minimal health measures in their school system.
Yes, shame on them! They’d better back off!
Today President Macron, Prime Minister Castex, Minister of the Interior Darmanin and all their bootlicker deputies don’t know how to get out of this mess. Macron says he is ashamed! Castex is trying to invent some trick, a commission of experts that would reframe the famous Article 24 of the “security” bill… Even some pro-Macron deputies quibbled about it. It should be noted that, in the Assembly, it was above all with the full force of the voices of the right and the extreme right that the Global Security Bill was approved. But the popular mobilization, which is far from over, can and must force all of them to back down, to repackage their project and many other things, perhaps. The demonstrators demand the withdrawal of this one article in the bill, but why not the withdrawal of the whole bill, and the resignation of Darmanin, of the prefect of Paris Lallement, and, while we’re at it, why not the withdrawal of a whole series of policies that are unbearable for the working classes?
Let us impose our right to democratic freedoms
This bill comes in the context of an intensification of repression in recent years. Those who govern us are wielding weapons – especially in the area of policing – in anticipation of the increased sacrifices they would like to impose on us, particularly to make us pay for their inability to manage the health crisis without economic damage. They are preparing to crack down in the event that, tomorrow, the poor and the exploited raise their heads as they did around the world.
It is therefore not only a question of defending our freedoms, but also and above all of snatching up better ones and going further by posing the problem of real freedoms in a society where money is king and provides those who have money with means that are inaccessible to the majority. The stakes in this arm-wrestling match go far beyond one simple bill.