Yes to an anti-racist, anti-imperialist “unity”

January 13, 2015

In this statement issued ahead of last Sunday's "unity" demonstration in Paris, the French anti-racist organization Parti des Indigénes de la République issued this statement in defiance of the right-wing campaign blaming them and other organizations of the French left for the killings at the Charlie Hebdo offices on February 7 and those that followed.

SPEAKING ABOUT the carnage at Charlie Hebdo on BFM/RMC, Jeannette Bougrab, the former Secretary of State under President Nicolas Sarkozy, said: "I think that there is a responsibility." In particular, she spoke about "some leftist movements" and the "Y'a Bon Awards," adding: "The Indigenous People of the Republic are guilty...they accused Charlie Hebdo several times of Islamophobia."

Ms. Bougrab even asked that the state take stronger measures--"the legislative measures," she said, "are not sufficient," given what she considers a "declared war." She reiterated the charges in the Grand Journal de Canal and on January 9. One wonders if it isn't Caroline Fourest whispering to Ms. Boughrab, as she has just proclaimed that "those who denounce Islamophobia have armed the assassins."

This violent charge against the PIR and against the "Y'a Bon Awards" is clearly intended to eliminate the few political spaces left that speak to immigration, as we know that the latter will defy the injunction to display "national unity" and will continue to fight against Islamophobia, with much of the anti-racist forces--a struggle that is beginning to bear fruit both nationally and internationally.

Supporters of the Parti des Indigènes de la République protest Islamophobia (Parti des Indigènes de la République)

In that regard, Christophe Ramaux's stupid and hateful amalgam in the pages of Le Monde is extremely transparent. In a pitiful way, he declared: "How is it that leaders of Attac, of NPA, journalists from Politis and others--all having organized, with the Indigenous People of the Republic and Mediapart, a Day Against Islamophobia on December 13, 2014--have been able to feed this infamy? How is it that some television show hosts working for the Économistes atterrés have rejected Charb's collaboration, on the pretext that he was Islamophobic?"

As was the case when Ivan Rioufol "demanded," on the airwaves of RTL, that Rokhaya Diallo "disengage" publicly from reporting on the attack because she is Muslim, we are permanently subjected to this racist injunction to prove the objectivity of our position. Yet like most Muslim organizations, we have condemned in the strongest terms the deadly shootout against Charlie Hebdo, in the same way that we mourn the five new victims of this blind folly.

The statements of Ms. Bougrab are not improvised and meet the expectations of those who, far from having pondered the tragedy of Charlie Hebdo, far from seeking political solutions, are the very ones that set the stage in which it unfolded. Deep inside, they are well aware of this truth: It is they who, by their excesses and their encouragement of Islamophobia, have fueled this unhealthy climate for many years--while, conversely, we kept warning against fatal outcomes of this sort.

In pointing a finger in our direction, they hope to keep people looking away from their responsibility or their passive complicity. In other words, they are hitting us early, so they will not have to account for the consequences of a policy in which they are deeply involved.

Thus, we affirm that the fight against Islamophobia and state racism should not suffer from this event, but on the contrary should be strengthened by it.

Is it necessary to recall that across the country, dozens of mosques have been desecrated every year? Is it necessary to recall that dozens of Muslims, and especially Muslim women, are simply guilty of being themselves, are victimized day after day, not only in their property, but also in their flesh? They are insulted, threatened, physically assaulted and even killed, as was the case with the young Maroua in Germany, and also in France when, in Argenteuil two years ago, a young pregnant Muslim woman was hit by skinheads and lost her child.

Is it necessary to recall that throughout Europe, neo-Nazi groups mobilize massively against Muslims and that they now represent a political threat associated to a sinister historical moment? Finally, we must remember that Muslims and many places of worship were targets of crime in response to the attack against Charlie Hebdo.

As far as we are concerned, the fight against state racism, imperialism and Zionism remains our priority. Neither Bougrab nor Fourest nor Le Pen nor Sarkozy nor Hollande--who have now found an opportunity to buy themselves a conscience by participating in a new "sacred union" of the West--will succeed in making us deviate from this path.

In Europe, we have to face the fallout of imperialist advances in the world and, in particular, of racism and social relegation in the Middle East. It is imperative that we disengage from the depoliticizing and moralizing solutions that ignore the social and political conditions creating and continually feeding violence. This is an opportunity to put on trial a system that only knows how to produce horror.

We have the honor of being in line with Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, René Vautier, Angela Davis, Abdelkrim El Khattabi, Lalla Fatma N'Soumer, who always took responsibility when the wind was blowing against them. We are in line with those who do not give way when facing threats or bleating humanism. The new popes of "national unity" are trying to wipe out the possibility of a political solution and to continue the "declared war" they pretend to denounce.

As far as we are concerned, we will not participate in the "unity" demonstration on Sunday, January 11, because we do not answer any summons and do not walk behind agents of the colonial counter-revolution, the instigators of social and political disorder, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko (friend of neo-Nazis in his country), Benjamin Netanyahu, the criminal and representative of the Zionist State, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Our minds are lucid enough to recognize the mirage of an emotional "all together" and the political retreat this will generate (which threatens our resistance and the whole political field), while our heart is big enough to take part in the widest possible front with all the forces that will be uncompromising with the murderers, but will continue the struggle against racism and imperialism, and for justice: the forces that will never submit to the agenda of states that aim to dominate the planet. Let's generate political options, let's create collective hope!

Parti des Indigénes de la République
Paris, January 10, 2015

First published in English at the PIR website. Translated from French by Geneviève Rail.

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