FRANCE: The anger of the working-class suburbs is legitimate – say over 30 civic, political and social groups

— Originally published in French on BondyBlog, on 24 April 2020

In recent days, the serious accident in Villeneuve-la-Garenne has caused a series of tensions between young people and the police in several working-class neighbourhoods. Some 30 groups, including the [trade union] CGT, the Adama Committee, the [political party] NPA and [the group of trade unions] Solidaires, are calling for this anger to be seen for what it is.

During the night of 19 to 20 April, several working-class neighbourhoods experienced nights of revolt.

The night before, a man almost lost his leg in Villeneuve-la-Garenne after a violent police attempt to arrest him, and that is what sparked the unrest.

People living in working-class neighbourhoods are on the front line of the health crisis: they are among those who work in the “essential sectors”, those who help our society not to collapse today.

Yet social inequalities, already glaring, are reinforced by the management of the coronavirus and will explode with the economic and social crisis to come. This is already reflected, among other things, in the particularly high excess mortality in Seine-Saint-Denis since the beginning of the epidemic.

Racist discrimination, which is already unbearable, is reinforced by police impunity and violence and humiliation are increasing in working-class neighbourhoods. In addition, there is the discriminatory curfew imposed on the inhabitants of these neighbourhoods by the city of Nice. These blatant injustices are documented, and no one can ignore them.

So we say it very clearly: we refuse to dismiss the protests of the people in working-class neighbourhoods and the serious and unacceptable violence carried out by the police.

We are not turning the blame around and we say it just as clearly: these protests are the expression of legitimate anger because police violence does not stop.

Inequalities and discrimination must be vigorously confronted and abolished: together with the populations of the working class neighbourhoods, we will take part in this just struggle for equality, justice and dignity.

April 23, 2020

First signatories:

  • ACORT, Assemblée citoyenne des originaires de Turquie
  • ATTAC, Association pour la taxation des transactions financières et l’action citoyenne
  • ATMF, Association des travailleurs maghrébins de France
  • Brigades de solidarité populaire Île-de-France
  • CCIF, Collectif contre l’islamophobie en France
  • Cedetim, Centre d’études et d’initiatives de solidarité internationale
  • CGT, Confédération générale du Travail
  • CGT de la Cité nationale de l’Histoire de l’immigration
  • Collectif de la Cabucelle, Marseille
  • Collectif du 5 novembre – Noailles en colère, Marseille
  • Collectif du 10 novembre contre l’islamophobie
  • Comité Adama
  • CNT-SO, Confédération nationale du Travail-Solidarité ouvrière
  • CRLDHT,Comité pour le respect des libertés et des droits de l’homme en Tunisie
  • Ensemble!
  • FASTI, Fédération des Associations de solidarité avec toutes et tous les immigré·es
  • Fédération SUD éducation
  • Fédération SUD PTT
  • Fédération SUD-Rail
  • Féministes révolutionnaires
  • Femmes égalité
  • Femmes plurielles
  • FO Sauvegarde de l’enfance 93
  • FTCR, Fédération des Tunisiens pour une citoyenneté des deux rives
  • FUIQP, Front uni des immigrations et des quartiers populaires
  • JJR, Juives et juifs révolutionnaires
  • Marche des solidarités
  • Mémoires en marche, Marseille
  • Mouvement La révolution est en marche
  • Mwasi, Collectif Afroféministe
  • NPA, Nouveau parti anticapitaliste
  • Le Paria
  • PCOF, Parti communiste des ouvriers de France
  • PEPS, Pour une écologie populaire et sociale
  • SNPES-PJJ FSU, Syndicat national des personnels de l’éducation et du social PJJ de la FSU
  • SQPM, Syndicat des quartiers populaires de Marseille
  • UCL, Union communiste libertaire
  • Union locale villeneuvoise, Villeneuve-Saint-Georges
  • UJFP, Union juive française pour la paix
  • Union syndicale Solidaires
  • UTAC, Union des Tunisiens pour l’action citoyenne