The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

The Extreme Right and Excuses for Violence in France

Nov 23, 2015

The attacks in Paris have become the pretext for those who express their racism without restraint. It helps them to renew violent attacks, unfortunately not new, against symbols of immigration or against the Muslim religion, and sometimes against individuals.

Since November 13, some mosques, houses of prayer, even halal butcher shops, have been defaced with crosses or swastikas, in three different cities. Racist slogans were written on the town hall in Evreux. In another town, the glass windows of a kebob restaurant were broken. Rifle shots were fired near the mosque in the city of Brest. A man of Turkish origin was shot at in Cambrai.

Even worse, this fringe of the extreme right organized meetings, like in Reims, where a dozen of its members held up a banner with violently nationalist slogans outside a meeting called to honor the victims of the Paris attacks. In the town of Pontivy, at a nationalist demonstration known in advance to the authorities, 200 people came together on November 14 shouting, “Kill them all, we don’t want them here,” and beating up a passing North African man.

In recent years, dozens of National Front demonstrations have tried to pit workers against each other on the basis of their ethnic origin or religion.

This fringe, which goes beyond the electoral campaigning of the National Front, is very small numerically. But they are more and more active at demonstrations, taking advantage of reactionary ideas and a climate of distrust against migrants of today and yesterday. So, for example, on November 4 in Angers, 20 or so of these extreme right activists tried to break up a public meeting of the NPA (an anti-capitalist party), shouting “France for the French.”

Such people are directly inspired by the Nazis of the 1930s. They use racist prejudice to recruit more people, hoping to be able to use their strength against all those who displease them – and that means, finally, worker militants and workers in struggle.