Legitimate anger following the death of Nahel

Press Release of Lutte ouvrière
June 29, 2023

Nahel, a young man of 17 was executed by a policeman in Nanterre (Paris region). The legitimate anger it provoked set off a wave of riots among the youth of working-class communities. Today, our political leaders called for there to be no violence and have asked us to trust in the justice system. But what justice is there?

The police shoot youngsters to kill and it’s nothing new! Racial profiling, racism, job discrimination etc. aren’t new either! And neither is the deterioration in education, housing and public transport in working-class neighborhoods.

And what justice is there for workers who live in those areas? They’re the backbone of the economy, they work really hard but are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet, even to feed their families properly.

The government is preaching non-violence? But it used violence to oblige us to work two years longer. It used violence to try and silence protesters. It’s using violence in hunting down undocumented immigrants.

So, yes, violence oozes out of every pore in a society that is rotten with injustice. It comes first and foremost from exploitation, low wages and the contempt that bosses, the rich and public authorities have for the working class

In this money-dominated society, workers and their children are simply there to serve the rich. They must take up no room and must do the bidding of the bourgeoisie and its system of exploitation. Their life holds little worth for those in power, or for the police and the law.

The police and the law only exist to protect an unjust social order that condemns us to more and more inequality, barbarity, violence and even war. And a few changes in the law won’t change the situation.

It isn’t hard to understand the current revolt of some of the youths in working-class neighborhoods.

But any revolt will wear itself out for nothing if it doesn’t turn into something other than burning setting garbage cans, residents’ cars and public buildings on fire. Because the first victims are, as always, the poor. The wind of revolt has to stir up something more than self-destruction. It must stir up the workers – the working class made up essentially of women and men, the young and the not-so-young, whatever their origins – to make a political commitment to change society.

What’s missing today is a revolutionary political party that can offer a constructive outcome and further the struggle against those who govern society and are the real fire-starters.

The workers have the power to challenge the social order. They produce everything, they contribute to running all the administrative machinery and the public services we need in our daily life. They know what the problems are for most people because theirs are the same. They can get society out of the infernal trap if they are aware that it’s up to them to run society and if they arm themselves with revolutionary politics.

For all these reasons Lutte ouvrière is calling people to participate in the rallies organized to protest against the murder of Nahel.

Nathalie Arthaud, spokesperson for Lutte ouvrière