STATEMENT of IWL(FI)
Written by IWL-FI – International Secretariat
Saturday, 14 November 2015 22:08
France has lived one of its most dramatic nights in years. Terror took hold, as a series of suicide attacks, shooting rampage and mass hostages-taking were carried out at eight different locations in Paris, according to a partial recount. The death toll is at least 127 people and over 200 were injured, many of them in serious condition.
Most of them died riddled in the Bataclan concert hall, crowded with people watching a musical concert. There were other attacks, with bombs and automatic weapons, in nearby restaurants and even in the vicinity of the country’s main sports, the Stade de France, while a friendly soccer game was being played between France and Germany national teams. Eight attackers were killed when they triggered off explosions with their own belts loaded with explosives.
We are facing of the largest terrorist attacks in a European capital in decades. This is only comparable to the Madrid subway attack made on March 11, 2004, when an attack attributed to Al Qaeda killed 191 people and nearly 2,000 were wounded.
The French President, François Hollande, quickly responded with phrases like “promise a merciless response”; “France will be ruthless.” In this regard, his first steps were the imposition of a nationwide state of emergency, the first since WWII, and the announcement of a severe border control. He also ordered the immediate mobilization of more than 1,500 troops in the streets, adding to 7,000 who use to patrol Paris permanently since the attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in January this year.
After the morning, Hollande made further public statements from the Elysee and said he had “no doubt” that the responsible for the attacks was Islamic State: “It is an act of war committed by Daesh” – using an Arab acronym for Islamic State – “against France.”
President Obama said, from the White House, that “this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”
Faced with these facts, we declare that:
- We completely condemn the assaults that claimed the lives of innocent people in Paris. We express our solidarity with the wounded and the families of the deceased victims. We feel sorry for the pain of the Parisian people.
- The Islamic state has claimed responsibility for the attacks. This should not surprise anyone since it is a “party-army” which advocates an ultra-reactionary theocratic program and uses fascist methods to terrify and enslave whole populations in Syria and Iraq.
Such actions of individual terrorism could seem to be “anti-imperialist” by the fact of having been carried out in the capital of a major European country. But this is not so. We are facing a clearly reactionary action, to be used against the European working class and immigrant workers. In fact, they are attempts against ordinary people, many of them workers. That is, not only they are not directed against the capitalists to “weaken” the imperialist states but, conversely, they make them “stronger,” at least for a time, as they offer arguments for the imperialist governments to begin a repressive and reactionary campaign against ethnic and religious minorities, or against the labor movement and the left in general. In this case, the offensive will surely hit Arabs, Muslims, immigrants and tens of thousands of refugees arriving – or trying to – from the Middle East. The bourgeois media try to associate once again “Islamism” with the Islamic State, but such a comparison is completely false and absurd.
- At the same time, the repudiation of Islamic State and its methods should not prevent us from condemning the enormous and disgusting hypocrisy of Hollande, of the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama, Merkel, etc., who try to capitalize on an alleged defense of “humanity”, “democracy” and “universal values” against “terrorist barbarism” while they promote terrible land invasions (such as Iraq and Afghanistan) which caused hundreds of thousands of deaths in the Middle East and currently lead bombings in Syria and Iraq. The European governments and the US, although invoking the fight of “civilization” against “barbarism”, are primarily responsible for the savage state terrorism in the Middle East. The prints of their imperial claws date from the centuries of colonialism – France colonized Algeria, for example, through the imposition and maintenance of bloody dictatorships – to the current time, like the support to Bashar al-Assad in Syria, or the genocide of entire populations through military interventions, not to mention their complicity with the historical ethnic cleansing in Palestine. Therefore, it is necessary to reject the heinous methods of the Islamic State, but without forgetting for a second that the biggest terrorists in human history are the imperialist powers.
- The cynicism of these “gentlemen” has no limits. The main stream press has already begun to speak of the “September 11 French” and many raise openly the promotion of a “total war against terrorism” in the style of George W. Bush. In this regard, we oppose all repressive measures announced by Hollande: state of emergency and militarization. Certainly, this will be used against immigrants who barely make a living in France and other European countries.
The “closure of borders” is clearly associated with the policy of halting the entry of refugees at a time when we witness the greater immigration wave in Europe since the end of World War II. To apply all these reactionary measures, Hollande and other European governments will seek support in the inevitable strengthening of racist and xenophobic feelings due to such attacks. The far-right representatives, as Le Pen and others, will certainly take advantage of this atmosphere to try to blame and pursue refugees fleeing the war in Syria and the Middle East. Hollande and the European imperialism call for an alleged “national and international unity against terror,” but we should warn that this is nothing more than a smokescreen to attack democratic rights of European peoples and pursue immigrants and refugees.
- The world Left, especially the European, and all the labor, social and human rights organizations must reject in the streets all the French government repressive and discriminatory measures that are in much better conditions to be applied due to IS’ terrorist methods.
All our solidarity with the victims and their families!
Down with the repressive Hollande’s measures, facilitated by the terrorist attack of the Islamic State!
Stop any type of xenophobia or “Islamophobia!”
Immediate asylum and unrestricted access to all refugees arriving in France and Europe!
IWL-FI International Secretariat
São Paulo, November 14, 2015