Photo: La Izquierda Diario
This is a translation of an article originally published in French in Révolution Permanente.
In his proposals on internal security and foreign policy, Hollande did not hesitate to proclaim as his own the “solutions” announced by the center and extreme right, attempting to maintain a fragile national unity since Friday. It is as if in the meetings held on Sunday at the Eliseo palace, these leaders of the right wing parties could have dictated Hollande’s speech themselves.
Hollande announced that on Wednesday he will send a bill to parliament to “prolong the state of emergency for three months,” in order to “adapt the content to new technologies and evolving threats.” He stated that France should “intensify its operations in Syria” and will continue “with its actions in the course of the next few weeks.”
Also, the president demanded a meeting of the UN’s Security Council as soon as possible to adopt a resolution to make the fight against terrorism a united aim. Hollande did not rule out a coalition with Russia and the US to fight the Islamic State. He wants to eventually revise the Constitution to better “act in this war against terrorism” and restrict the freedom to have dual citizenship.
Hollande announced a substantial strengthening of the means at the disposal of the police and security forces. He also declared that “sanctions will be significantly increased” by announcing a review of the conditions under which the police may use firearms in self-defense. Consequently, 5000 police officers and gendarmes will be hired and trained between now and 2017. The Ministry of Justice will also be strengthened by creating 2500 positions, plus 1000 more in customs. These new troops will be financed by the Finance Act of 2016, since for the president, the “security issue takes precedence over economic stability.”
It’s not as if the proposed amendment to the Constitution, the announced measures intended to “normalize” the “state of emergency,” and the unprecedented restriction of freedoms will solve the issues of unemployment, social deprivation and the lack of opportunities in the suburban neighborhoods. The conditions in these neighborhoods lead to the indoctrination of gangs of youth by Daech (ISIS ) and other organizations — with fatal consequences like those we have seen. The alignment proposed by Hollande reinforces imperialist escalation in Africa and the Middle East and can only lead to further wars in which Hollande and Sarkozy’s right have involved us all.
At the conclusion of his speech, Hollande spun his own warlike metaphor in an imitation of George W. Bush, “the barbarians that have attacked France will never hurt the French soul.”
The authoritarian and militaristic direction proposed by Hollande is dangerous for the population and the organizations of the working world must stop it. One thing is certain: the new laws that parliamentarians are preparing to vote on will be as ineffective as the previous ones (adopted after the massacres of Charlie Hebdo and Hiper Cacher de Vincennes or that followed the murders of Mohamed Merah) to end terrorist threats. However, these measures will be used against immigrants, against our undocumented working class comrades, against all unions, activists, environmentalists, “far left” parties, and against all those who confront the authoritarian course of the government.