France: For an anti-fascist uprising

From the Soulèvements de la terre, in France …

1 – The neo-fascist danger is real

All over Europe and the world, neo-fascist parties are seizing power. Everywhere in society their xenophobic and authoritarian ideas are spreading. However, there is no question of trivialising what happens to us. There is no question of normalizing a party founded by the SS and supporters of French Algeria.

The RN [Rassemblement National/National Rally] is a neo-fascist party. It fantasises over the purity of a nation closed in on itself. A “white and Catholic” nation that excludes and discriminates. It promotes a war of civilization. It exalts virility, toxic masculinity and brute strength. It perpetuates the most rancid colonial racism. It stigmatises scapegoats and designates internal enemies: yesterday the “Judeo-Bolsheviks”, today the “Islamo-gauchists”. It contends that class, gender and racial inequalities are “natural”.

The RN is part of the historical continuity of the fascisms of the 20th century. Unlike Italy and Germany in the 1930s, neo-fascism is not a mass movement with armed militias taking over the streets. At least not yet. On the other hand, it has embedded itself deep within the repressive state apparatus. It deeply affects the ranks of the police and the army.

In less than 20 years, it has imposed its ideas on the cultural and media landscape, from Bolloré‘s TV to armies of trolls on social networks. It gradually established itself as the leading electoral force in the country. Today, it is at the gates of power.

2 – The neo-fascists’ takeover is the logical extension of the neo-liberal and authoritarian policies of previous governments

For years, right and left have been preparing the ground for it. Sarkozy boasted of wanting to “cleanse the suburban peripheries” and “get rid of the scum.” He created a ministry of national identity and increased security laws. Hollande declared a state of emergency. He showered the youth with grenades to forcefully pass his labor law. He wanted to introduce the “forfeiture of nationality” into the constitution.

Macron abolished land rights in Mayotte. He banned the wearing of the abaya at school. He passed a separatism law and a law on immigration which take up the proposals of the RN. He has dissolved more associations and organisations than any other government. He blindly supports the Israeli extreme right and the genocide it perpetuates in the land of Palestine. In the suburbs, in Sainte-Soline or Kanaky, he deploys a radicalised police force who exerts limitless violence; a police force authorized to mutilate en masse; a police force to which he issued a license to kill.

For 20 years, the left and right of government have aligned themselves with the ideas of the RN. They trivialise it and normalise it. They apply part of its policy without it even governing. They organise the reign of the state of exception, reinforce systemic racism and identify the same internal enemies as it does. The savagery of neo-liberal capitalism and fascisation reinforce each other. The far-center rides for the far-right. For a long time, the former used the latter as its electoral scarecrow, to win elections despite its anti-social policies. Now it is preparing to give way to it. By decreeing the dissolution of the National Assembly, Macron offers it a free path. The far-right could well return to power for the first time since the Vichy regime.

Let us be clear, if successive governments have carefully prepared the ground for it, a possible neo-fascist takeover would still be a tipping point; a dazzling acceleration of ecological, social and colonial devastation; an authoritarian electro-shock to maintain capitalist domination at all costs.

It is difficult to imagine the salvo of measures that would be adopted firstly against exiles and people from immigrant backgrounds, Muslims and working-class neighborhoods, LGBT people and the precarious, social workers and solidarity associations.

It is difficult to imagine the brutal offensive that would be launched against social and ecological struggles. Historically, fascism has always sought to crush all those who oppose the regime, by all means. It is impossible to imagine the actions of a freewheeling police force with Jordan Bardella as prime minister.

3 – These elections are crucial but the ballots will not be enough to stop the rise of fascism

Let us remember the popular front of 1936. It was born in the street of an anti-fascist demonstration. Its flagship measures – such as the introduction of paid leave – are the result of a long general strike with factory occupations that began the day after ita victory in the elections. The announcement by the New Popular Front (NFP) of a moratorium on mega-basins and highways in its program for the first 15 days is the result of the balance of power that our struggles have been able to impose over the last 3 years.

The terrain and tempo of the Soulèvements de la terre/Earth Uprisings are those of struggle, self-organisation of movements and popular direct action. Whether the government is neo-facist, Macronist or left-wing, we will continue to fight against land grabbing by agro-industry and the concrete-isation of the world. Whatever the outcome, our struggles and our actions must take a step forward in the face of the joint threats of ecological devastation and fascisation.

We are currently experiencing a historic moment. It is not enough to block the National Rally through the ballot box, we must physically block its path. It must not take power, neither in three weeks, nor in three years!
This is why we call on the local committees of the Soulèvements de la terre and of militant collectives to which we are linked:
Before the elections

  • to strengthen demonstrations against the far-right throughout France
  • to join the demonstration in tribute to Nahel on June 29
  • to take part in assemblies and popular gatherings or to initiate them
  • to increase anti-fascist initiatives in the countryside so as not to let the extreme right gain more ground in the rural world …
    After the elections

If the RN is in power, we will immediately have to ensure that it cannot implement its program. Here are first proposals for joint actions and areas of convergence. We invite them to be discussed within local committees and assemblies by June 30:

  • To envisage now the targeted blockading and seizure of roundabouts everywhere in France from July 8. To set up physical barriers to the exercise of power and spaces for self-organization in the streets if the electoral barrier was not sufficient.
  • To prevent, in the event of the election of the RN, that the Olympic Games ensure, under the eyes of the whole world, the consecration of a fascist government.
  • To massively converge at the water village against the mega-basins from July 16 to 21, the first big post-election summer mobilisation and gathering place to organize resistance. | Telegram channel of the mobilisation:
    Before and after the elections
  • To build a campaign of actions against the Bolloré group, a major player in neo-colonial extractivist logistics whose profits serve to strengthen neo-fascist cultural hegemony through its media empire. This group, which works tirelessly to bring the far right to power, has multiple sites across the country.
    The situation is serious

The time has come to build a network of resistance, to weave a network of popular counter-powers.

The time has come to forge new alliances and deploy new strategies through connections with collectives, unions and organisations.

This involves a fierce struggle on the ground and a cultural battle.

This means taking the necessary measures now in the face of repression by spreading security and solidarity practices.

This requires being able to lay the foundations for a response in the event of a neo-fascist shift.

In the coming weeks, we will support initiatives to build a front of struggle that brings together employees, students, farmers, residents of working-class neighborhoods, the countryside and cities determined to unite to disarm fascism.

Les soulèvements de la terre/Earth uprisings, June 14, 2024

From Freedom News (13/06/2024) …

Protests sweep France against far right threat

Alarm at fascist mobilisation for Macron’s snap elections after EU Parliament surge

Protests against the far right have been sweeping across France from Paris to Montpellier, following the far right’s successes in the EU elections, and President Emmanuel Macron’s ill-fated reaction: a snap Parliamentary election. For two consecutive nights, hundreds of thousands took to the streets.

The protests reflect growing concern that Macron has provided the far right with a political opening, similar to centre-right enablers in the Netherlands and now the European Parliament. The far right party Rassemblement National (RN)—a new name for the Front National—won the French European Parliament vote with 31.5%. Macron then dissolved the general assembly, stating he had confidence in “the capacity of the French people to make the best decisions for themselves and future generations”. The first round of these elections is currently scheduled for the 30th of June, second being on the 7th of July.

Paris saw over ten thousand demonstrators burn barricades and holding the streets beyond midnight, facing tear gas and stun grenades.In Bordeaux, demonstrators gathered at the Place de la Victoire, protesting with graffiti and trash fires while police fired tear gas. Here too, many continued to hold the streets. The night also saw attacks on far-right bars, banks, and brand outlets. In Angers, the bar “Le Bazar” known as a neo-nazi headquarters was attacked.

Demonstrators in Bordeaux. Photo: La Grappe

Nantes saw around 4,000 demonstrators (according to official counts) who marched towards the police station, where they set barricades ablaze. Similar confrontation took place in Lyon, Toulouse, Rennes. Strasbourg, Caen, Montpellier, Nancy, and other cities. In Dijon, high school students walked out at 10:30 am on June 11 and called on students across the country to join them.

Further anti-fascist assemblies planned during this week, with the organisers of a rally in Paris stating that “Macron the arsonist” had “rolled out the red carpet for the fascists” while warning that “our salvation will not come from the ballot box”.

Alisa-Ece Tohumcu

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