This is a translation of an article originally published in French in Révolution Permanente.
The provisional death toll is high: at least 118 people were randomly killed while dozens of others were critically wounded. Ten months after the attacks against Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket in Vincennes, terrorists – Islamists, according to the press – chose to savagely and asymmetrically replicate the imperialist barbarism that has descended upon Syria and Iraq for over a year and a half – in the name of liberty and human rights in the struggle against Daesh. Last night, France discovered what Beirut underwent on November 12 and what the people of war-torn Syria, Iraq, and Yemen live out every day.
A little before 9:30 pm, a deadly synchronized terror reigned in the streets of Paris. Machine guns were used against restaurant patrons, hostages were taken at Bataclan (among the most popular Parisian concert venues), and grenades were launched near the main sports stadium, where the French and German soccer teams were facing off, with French President François Hollande in attendance. Among the victims, only everyday people were killed at random. Emotions are high in the capital in light of this deadly attack. We firmly condemn these vile attacks and declare our solidarity with the victims and their loved ones.
For the French government, which has found support in almost all the political parties, the crisis is complete – despite Hollande and his ministers’ response and utilization of exceptional measures allowed by the declared state of emergency. Just before midnight, in a brief address, the President announced that the army was ready to intervene in collaboration with special police forces.
A state of emergency involving the entire country was declared for the first time since the end of the Algerian War; this time, not restricted to the Parisian region, as was the case during the 2005 suburban revolt. This gives police chiefs and their teams special prerogatives to suspend circulation, close down certain establishments, and, especially in and around the capital, to raid homes without a warrant. The country’s borders have also been closed.
By profiting from these traumatic events in order to reinforce the executive’s prerogatives and revive a bonapartist turning, Hollande is preparing a very reactionary tidal wave. Politically speaking, he knows that Sarkozy and the Le Pen family will be on his heels, both hoping to also profit from the situation on the eve of the regional elections, even if certain parties have already announced the suspension of their campaigns. Abroad, we can expect, with the noise of army boots in the background, an intensification of imperialist military operations against “Islamic terrorism”. Indeed, this is what stands out in Barack Obama’s first declaration.
As he did after the January attacks, Hollande has called for unity and asks us to “trust security forces.” Not only are these insecurity forces incapable of preventing this kind of attack, but they also exert their own “terrorism” against the working class, lower classes, and refugees. Furthermore, France’s imperialist operations abroad (two per year on average since Hollande’s election in 2012) pave the way for Islamic terrorism, which is the enemy of the people’s liberation from the imperialist and Zionist yoke, and is ultimately the distorted reflection of warmongering Western barbarism.
Only by being firmly opposed to this bonapartist, racist, and reactionary turn will we be able to resist all forms of terrorism – even the most institutional kind. We must reject the rising wave of racism and islamophobia, and all amalgams against refugees who are accused by media outlets of importing terrorism into Europe. This means that the organizations of our class, the labor movement and youth, this time must completely refuse the “post-Charlie blackmail.” The very precondition for any possible resistance is our refusal to stand with the government and its allies, all war-mongers, and those responsible for the misery, unemployment, xenophobia and exploitation throughout the world.
Translated by Ivan Matewan