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17 November 2015

LTF Statement on the Criminal Attacks in Paris

The following is a translation of a statement issued by our comrades of the Ligue Trotskyste de France on November 14.

We strongly condemn the criminal killing of some 120 people last night. Everything indicates that Islamic fundamentalists carried out the attacks in support of the Islamic State and particularly in response to French airstrikes, which have been extended in recent weeks to Syria. More than ever we demand the immediate withdrawal of French and U.S. troops from the entire Near East in particular, as well as from Mali and elsewhere in the world.

The perpetrators of these acts, in indiscriminately targeting just anyone, fundamentally share the same mentality as the imperialists in identifying the working masses with their capitalist exploiters and oppressors. Yet, regardless of the barbarism of the terrorists who coldbloodedly murdered dozens of innocent civilians in the streets of Paris and in a concert hall, the fact remains that the biggest terrorists in the world are the imperialists themselves, including the French imperialists.

It is their unspeakable crimes in the Near East that have provoked—and continue daily to heighten—the bloody chaos in Syria and Iraq, and which push youth into the arms of the Islamic reactionaries. Thus, any blow against the imperialist armies and their proxies in the Near East, even by such repugnant forces as the Islamic State, would serve the interests of the international working class. Marxists do not give the slightest political support to these reactionaries, whose horrible crimes we condemn, including those of last night.

That French youth raised in this country—over a thousand of whom have already gone to Syria to wage jihad—succumb to such a backward ideology indicates above all the level of desperation of a whole layer of young people from working-class families, many of them originally from the former French colonies in Africa. This is a reactionary consequence of chronic unemployment, as well as racist discrimination at school, at work, in the allocation of housing and across all aspects of life—a consequence of the racist demonization of Muslims. It is also the result of the endless betrayals by the reformist leaderships of the working class who have for so long been an obstacle to a revolutionary perspective.

We protest in advance the use of these crimes by [President François] Hollande's capitalist government to justify increasingly repressive measures against Muslims and dark-skinned people as well as to strengthen sweeping surveillance measures against the entire population. These police-state measures, as we have long insisted, are ultimately aimed at the working class, the only class with the historic interest and social power to lead all the oppressed in a struggle to overthrow the capitalist system that each day descends further into barbarism. We say: Down with the state of emergency! Down with Vigipirate and Sentinelle! French troops out of the Near East and Africa!