No to the racist campaign against immigrants!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
November 27, 2023

Any crime committed, any tragedy that occurs is being used by right-wing and far-right demagogues to fuel anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim prejudices, which are more and more present in our society.

When delinquents go and stab several youth at a village-hall dance party and kill Thomas, a 16-year old, they say the Arabs are to blame!1 When the number of Antisemitic acts rises, as has been the case lately, or a young fanatic murders a teacher, they say the Muslims are to blame!

The far-right constantly accuses immigrants, their children and grandchildren of hating France, liberty, equality, and fraternity!

This racist conflation is sickening. As if delinquency, theft, drugs, or terrorism were bred out of immigration or specific to a particular community!

There is so much violence in society. One of the most frequent forms of violence is carried out within the home. One woman is killed every three days. This type of violence devastates children and destroys families but it doesn’t fit into the far right’s racist and segregationist thought pattern so they couldn’t care less.

There is of course a minority of violent juvenile delinquents who have a part in making life a living hell for working-class people. A 16-year-old lookout can make more money on a drug-dealing spot than his father or mother who works as a caregiver, janitor or cook. It’s easy, unscrupulous money.

But that’s how the whole capitalist system works, with the lure of profit and a tiny minority of capitalists who get extremely rich at the expense of the exploited who are condemned to a life of misery and poverty.

So, yes, our society produces gangs of 15, 18, or 20-year-olds who live by their own rules i.e. through show of force, provocation and violence. Some who are just as enraged end up wanting to die as jihadist martyrs and become terrorists.

This sort of dehumanization is one of the worst evils of capitalist society and we must fight against it. In order to do so and to offer real prospects to young generations, we must call the mechanisms at the base of capitalist society into question i.e. exploitation, the power and domination of money as well as competition between workers.

On the opposite side, the defenders of the capitalist system uphold a “clash-of-civilizations” climate. This is exactly what the far right is doing, as are the right-wing politicians and government officials who imitate them. Extremist organizations that preach jihad are doing it too. And there are potential murderers on both sides.

As for the far right, the attempt at a punitive expedition in Romans-sur-Isère last weekend by a few dozen rookie Nazis against a working-class and immigrant neighborhood is an example of this. As are their numerous calls to commit racist attacks.

The same danger can be seen in other countries. In Ireland, a far-right riot targeted an immigrant neighborhood. In the Netherlands, the politician Geert Wilders, a self-proclaimed Islamophobe, came out in the lead in the legislative elections. In Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, and Poland, the far-right is in power. In Germany, it’s getting stronger.

This is the nauseating context in which the Asylum and Immigration Bill is about to be discussed in the National Assembly. Drafted by Interior Minister Darmanin, it is set to reduce the rights of foreign workers to medical assistance. It will make getting ID and immigration papers more difficult, even if they have been employed here for years in restaurants, on construction sites, as caregivers or as security officers. And even though their employers make money off them, even though those workers pay into social insurance, they will be denied child benefits and housing subsidies for five years.

This is an outright attack against immigrants and this law will reinforce xenophobia.

It is a serious threat for the working class which is composed of women and men of all origins and beliefs. It is not uncommon for there to be 5, 10, or 20 different nationalities in one company. Racist conflation, prejudice, suspicion and mutual distrust can only lead to division and paralysis in the face of attacks from the bosses.

Propaganda against immigrants serves to mask class domination. It conceals the big bosses’ responsibility in the catastrophic, barbaric evolution of society.

While, on a global scale, workers of different origins are mixing together more and more and the crisis and war are forcing more and more women and men into exile, the demagogues are seeking to pit us against each other. We can’t let them brainwash us. The only enemies of workers are their exploiters, the capitalists!

Nathalie Arthaud

1 This happened on 18-19 November, in a village called Crépol, near Romans-sur-Isère, in the Drôme département.