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No to the state of emergency in France

category france / belgium / luxemburg | community struggles | press release author Thursday November 10, 2005 17:28author by Alternative Libertaire - AL Report this post to the editors

Statement by Alternative Libertaire on the introduction of the state of emergency

No to the state of emergency!
No to colonial war!

Alternative Libertaire strongly denounces the French government's decision to apply the April 3, 1955 law introducing a state of emergency in order to "restore law and order" in working-class areas.

The text in question allows a simple administrative decision to introduce a curfew, daytime and night-time searches, military tribunals, bans on gatherings, the closure of cinemas, theatres, bars and meeting halls, but also control over print and broadcast press.

The state of emergency should last for 12 days until 20th November 2005 but can be called off at any time.

This law was applied in Algeria between 1955 and 1962 and again in 1984-85 in New Caledonia in order to quell the rebellion for independence.

The state of emergency says all there is to be said about the way the French State thinks it can solve the social distress, unemployment, discrimination and humiliation whose victims are those living in the working-class districts.

The working-class suburbs are now to all intents and purposes subject to colonial government.

The explosion of violence all over the country has revealed (as if it were necessary to be revealed) the intolerable oppression which is the consequence of thirty years of social regression and eight years of security clampdowns (1).

Already the French State has confessed to of its inability to master the situation, while announcing the recall of police and gendarme reservists. It will now also be able to call on the army, as the extreme right has demanded, and launch into an escalation of repression: but what it will not do is arrive at a solution to a revolt, whose causes are so deep and which requires only a new spark in order to explode once more.

The inhabitants of the working-class areas affected by the violence have demonstrated extraordinary calmness and great dignity in refusing to treat the rioters as "rabble", as the State would like them to do.

We believe that we are at one with these people, and with the rioters, when we demand, now more than ever:

  • an end to the state of emergency
  • abrogation of the freedom-killing Chevènement-Sarkozy Laws
  • social justice: the right to employment for all and equal public services for all
  • the whole truth on the circumstances of the deaths of Ziad Benna and Bouna Traoré.

Federal Secretariat of Alternative Libertaire
8th November 2005

Translation by FdCA - International Relations Office

(1) See the AL statement of 6th November 2005: "A Week of Rebellion Against Social Injustice"

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