We must not remain silent or passive in the face of this situation.
Statement from International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggle
The revolt is rising and spreading since the murder of young Nahel by a police officer in Nanterre. A part of the youth identifies with and stands in solidarity, refusing to wait for the situation to repeat itself. The situation is not the result of an isolated act or a simple accident. It is the outcome of successive governments denying structural racism and the system of police violence. It is the result of decades of repressive policies, inherited from colonial practices in managing populations, which are reflected in the management of disadvantaged neighborhoods. It is the result of social and territorial inequalities, the destruction of public services, the prevalence of substandard housing, and the dismantling of community fabric, which affect millions of workers on a daily basis.
Overall, symbols of the State are being targeted with damages or destruction. It is always regrettable to see schools damaged, but it should not be used as a smokescreen to avoid addressing the root causes of the revolt. Large chain stores have also been targeted. While opportunistic acts may exist, we cannot help but be struck by the images of shopping carts filled with essential products, shedding harsh light on the social crisis related to wages and inflation.
These killings must be stopped, and political, social, and concrete measures need to be implemented, starting with a reform of the 2017 law on the conditions for police use of weapons and going beyond the entire police institution. The racist system must be dismantled, and public services and social justice must be developed and strengthened. This is the only way to alleviate tension: by bringing about profound change.
Unfortunately, the government seems to want to lock itself into a repressive approach, and the pressure to implement a state of emergency is increasing by the hour. We are deeply concerned about the massive arrests, violence, and repression that thousands of young people will likely face without respect for their rights. We have just learned that a person was shot and killed in Guyana, without knowing the details yet.
We must not remain silent or passive in the face of this situation. We must try, at all levels, to initiate broad united frameworks to have an impact on the situation. Without justice, there will be no peace.
Published by International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggle on June 29, 2023