The target of this protest is to get rid of Macron global security law whose article 24 makes it a crime to film the police for journalists and citizens alike. There have been many acts of police brutality since Macron was elected president especially in the poor neighborhoods and in the gilet jaune (Yellow Jacket) social movement. Many people get beaten up by the racist police just because they are black or Arab.STAN MILLER
An Interview with STAN MILLER
Hey STAN, How are you doing? I decided to interview you on behalf of LANKA SOCILISTS FORUM and LEFT VOICE about the latest situation in France. So how do you feel?
I am happy because Saturday’s protest – nicknamed “the march of liberties” – was a success – 500 000 people in the streets all over France according to the organizers.
Could you explain about the demonstration which was launched 28th November 2020 in Paris?
The target of this protest is to get rid of Macron global security law whose article 24 makes it a crime to film the police for journalists and citizens alike. There have been many acts of police brutality since Macron was elected president especially in the poor neighborhoods and in the gilet jaune (Yellow Jacket) social movement. Many people get beaten up by the racist police just because they are black or Arab. There is one police murder by month. In the gilets jaunes movement 5 people lost limbs and 30 people lost an eye due to Grenades and non lethal weapons. What gave the protest so much energy is that there was a video released Wednesday of a black music producer being severely beaten up and called negger by the cops that was filmed by CCTV and the neighbors. With the new law we could not have broadcasted these videos.
Why did the president want to propose THE GLOBAL SECURITY ACT right now?
President macron was elected in 2017 not because people liked him but because they did not want his racist authoritarian far right opponent marine le pen to win. He was supposed to be a candidate of the center – protect civil liberties at least – but in reality behaves like any classical right wing politician – trying to recuperate marine le pen electorate by pursuing reactionary policies and being the lackey of the bosses. Since the beginning of the lockdown in March 700 000 people have lost their jobs. There are 10 million poor people in France. And the government is giving away money and tax breaks to big companies that lay off people. The lockdown has slowed things up. The pension reform is freezed. The government was forced to introduce hazard pay for hospital workers and some big companies introduced hazard pay as well. But this summer when lockdown was over macron went back on his promise. Only a percentage of hospital workers will have hazard pay. In big companies only a fraction will have hazard pay as well. There are big mobilisations in hospitals far all to have hazard pay. There is also a movement against layoffs in factories and offices.
We are in 2nd wave of Covid 19 pandemic. So let me know how will be the economic crisis & the working-class reactions?
The gross domestic product of France will lose 11%. There is a massive offensive by the bosses and the government all over Europe to make working people pay for the crisis. The issue of lay off and unemployment is becoming more crucial. The trade union leadership is trying to convince the bosses to be nice and that it is better to exploit French workers than polish or Chinese workers. The trade unions encourage chauvinism among the workers. What we need is not to convince the bosses it is better to exploit us but to organize a national movement against layoffs with a big protest in Paris of all the companies where they have layoffs. Self organization of the working class at the base like strike committees is essential. We are trying to coordinate all these plant by plant struggle into one big struggle against the bosses and the government to forbid layoffs and to divide the work among everybody with no loss of pay.
What should be the vital role of Revolutionary organizations for working class and people?
The European far left is small and divided and has little influence on the situation
There have been different strategies implemented. The large party strategy is one of them. Small revolutionary groups joined big reformist organization like Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain but when these organizations took power by election they implemented austerity policies. Another way is the unity of different revolutionary groups at least in elections. If we all fight separately we are dead. The NPA in France is an attempt to bring different revolutionary currents together. It managed to have a voice independent of reformists for ten years. We ran good anti-capitalist electoral campaign and a fraction of the youth and the working class has a good opinion of us like radical people who do not compromise with the system.
Interviewed by – Samantha Rajapaksa
(Activist of CGT- Education Sector)