Report from Paris
We have received the following report on the recent riots in France as seen by a migrant worker there.
At the end of October there was a heavy riot in the suburbs of Paris as a result of a police identity card control. Three African immigrants, one from the west coast and the other two from North Africa were controlled by police around Seine Saint Denis in one of suburbs of Paris. There was a disagreement between the immigrants and the police on duty. So, the three immigrants raced for safety but, unfortunately, two ran into a high tension compound and were electrocuted. Another one ran in a different direction and alerted his friends to what happened. Before they could trace the two boys and call the fire service to rescue them, it was too late.
These suburbs have been neglected, segregated for people of the same ethnic and religious background, for the past thirty years. Some of those living there who acquired good skills in one trade or the other were denied a job opportunity because of their colour, location of their residence or Islamic names. An English adage says that an idle man is the devil’s workshop. Since these immigrants were denied social and economic integration into French society, they devised what means of livelihood they could in order to keep the body and soul together. For many years French society has regarded them as outcasts and vagabonds who have no value just because of their colour and fate.
When this incident happened the Interior Minister of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, a hardliner and the son of an Hungarian immigrant, supported the action of the police and said that they were on a drive to control criminals and drugs in those suburbs instead of showing compassion and regret over the
death of the two African immigrants. After his television broadcast, these immigrants, comprising black Africans and the North Africans, plus their sympathetic friends from Asia, Latinos, West Indies and other Europeans, joined hands in the riots.
On the second day of the riots, the Interior Minister bragged that he would beef up the police to one thousand to control the situation. And that night about eight hundred cars were burnt excluding houses. The riots started from Seine Saint Denis around Paris and spread all over France. These cities are
Bordeaux, Nantes, Toulouse, Tours, Belfort, Essonne, Roubaix, Strasbourg, Lyon, Vaucluse, Besancon, Aulnay, Marseille, Amiens, and many more cities in France.
The cost of the damage in the three weeks of riots in France amounted to 200 million, just because of racism, xenophobia, and segregation that was imposed on immigrants by capitalism. And this is the country that propagated a disguised colonisation to third world countries under the pretence of a policy of association and assimilation. And today their fake paradigm programme is exposed to the world for us to know the danger in capitalism.
On 11 November, BBC radio reported that the European Union Justice Commissioner, Franco
Frattini, told France to integrate its ethnic minorities in other to avoid further such occurrences. On 13
November, the same EU gave 50 million to France to rebuild their country. They had forgotten to pass
the message across to other EU member states that prevention is better than cure.
To my greatest surprise, on the streets of Paris and other cities that I visited in France many French people confessed in front of the television cameras that they had never seen riots like this in their life. And these were just riots with petrol bombs and stones thrown by few boys! And I asked myself, what if they had seen the genocides from Biafra to Rwanda that imperialism caused, because of its egocentric intent, at the expense of poor Africans in particular and the third world countries at large.What is happening in France today should be a lesson to nations like Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
As a socialist propagandist, I hate vandalism, I believe in peaceful social and political dialogue. But, when people take the law into their hands, that means that they have been oppressed beyond bounds and they are prone to explode. And their explosion can result to rioting, rebellion, terrorism and
sometimes total anarchy.
At this juncture, EU should use its tongue to count its teeth and know that the Fortress Europe has brought severe damage to France and that many more riots are on the way to other EU member
states that have refused to open up their immigration policy that encourages marginalised ‘illegal’ immigrants. Immigration policy in the West is based on corrupt western politicians conniving with the third world politicians; as a result, immigrants continue to cross borders and seas no matter what the risk ahead.
Sarkozy is a man who believes that he can become the President of France in 2007 by fighting immigration. Capitalism has blindfolded the world that our level of forgetting things is quite enormous. If not, how can some political riff-raff like Nicolas Sarkozy of France and the Belgium Interior Minister Patrick Dawael be propagating what their forefathers could not achieve ears ago? These two sycophants are looking for cheap popularity in their political party because they live in the land of
the blind that have eyes but cannot see. They will bring woes to the entire population of these two nations.
Lastly, I am advocating that the only solution that will enable people of different race to live in peace is socialism. And capitalism should be eradicated without further delay to enable us to enjoy the beautiful things of the world without fear.
Dele C. Iloanya, Paris