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(en) France, UCL AL #342 - Politics, Bans on demonstrations: solidarity for Palestine in the sights of the State (ca, de, fr, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Mon, 27 Nov 2023 09:08:02 +0200


The political and military reaction of the Israeli state following the appalling attack of October 7 perpetrated by Hamas also sparked a wave of mobilization in favor of the Palestinian people, deprived of the right to live on Palestinian territory since over 70 years old. In France, according to "jurisprudence" established under Hollande, the expression of support for the Palestinian cause is criminalized and demonstrations quite simply prohibited. ---- The attack of October 7 coordinated by Hamas caused fear, the massacre of more than a thousand civilians revolts us and we deplore them. Let us say it very clearly, Hamas is a nationalist and religious movement about which we have no illusions as to its lack of desire to liberate and emancipate the working classes and even more so Palestinian women and gender minorities. But the Hamas attack, as well as the support or support it arouses among Palestinians, cannot be explained without the colonial and separatist nature of the State of Israel since its origin, and the catastrophic results of the policies pursued by Netanyahu since his accession to the post of Prime Minister in 2009.

The reaction of the State of Israel, in the hands of a far-right coalition composed of ultra-Orthodox clerics and Jewish supremacists, Operation "Iron Swords", has striven to overcome in horror attacks by Palestinian armed groups. At the time of writing, more than 9,500 civilian deaths have been reported in the Gaza Strip alone. The enclave is completely cut off from the World, no external aid was provided for several days and it now only arrives in dribs and drabs after the consent of the oppressor. Access to electricity, gas and water is cut. Yoav Gallant, the Israeli Minister of Defense, justifies and accepts this inhuman blockage: "We are fighting animals and we act accordingly". The United Nations, as well as the European Union, consider that the "complete siege" of the Gaza Strip is prohibited by international humanitarian law and oppose it... in vain. On October 13, the Israeli government even ordered more than a million Palestinians to move from the north to the south of Gaza in 24 hours.

The repressive relentlessness of the French state.
MARTIN NODA / HANS LUCAS
Demonstrations prohibited, demonstrators arrested
As public opinion is often not in tune with leaders quick to display unfailing support for Israel, like Biden or Macron, all over the world, rallies and demonstrations in support of the Palestinians have taken place. organized. But in France these are immediately banned. Darmanin, in a telegram addressed to all prefects on October 12, called for a systematic ban on all "pro-Palestinian demonstrations, because they are likely to generate disturbances to public order." The penalization of participants in these demonstrations was also required since the note specified "the organization of these prohibited demonstrations must give rise to arrests".

The Minister of the Interior, formerly close to the anti-Semitic Action Française, the oldest far-right organization in France, the same one who finds Marine Le Pen - whose party was founded by former SS and militiamen -, too soft on the migration issue, dares to defend "French people of Jewish faith". In a crass mix-up, he even orders the prefects that: "Foreign perpetrators[of possible offenses]must systematically have their residence permits withdrawn and their expulsion implemented without delay." His services recognized on the same day that if an increase in anti-Semitic acts had indeed existed since October 7, "no serious incident" was then to be deplored. Darmanin not hesitating here to play the arsonist firefighter, reactivating the migrant association and by implication being of Muslim faith = anti-Semitic. In a hallucinatory delirium, Darmanin makes Total Recall no longer a fiction but a political program and anticipates possible anti-Semitic acts committed by probably foreign people (necessarily foreigners) even before they have been committed... the problem being that these racist delusions have the force of law.

The criminalization of support for the Palestinian cause is something of a tradition here. Already under Hollande, the Valls government banned in July 2014 a demonstration in support of the Palestinians in Gaza bombed by the Israeli army. The cause, clashes which took place the previous week between supporters of the Palestinian cause and the LDJ (Jewish Defense League), a far-right neo-Zionist organization, French branch of the Jewish Defense League involved in numerous acts of violence, even going as far as murders and attacks. Again in 2021, a pro-Palestinian demonstration was banned in Paris. Clashes with the police and numerous arrests followed again.

If it is true that some, a minority, seize the just Palestinian cause to pour out their anti-Semitic hatred, that others, through an essentializing amalgam, confuse the Israeli State, Israelis and people of the Jewish faith, the support to the Palestinian people is a just cause that we must continue to support unfailingly, without however refraining from being critical of it if necessary. UCL is part of this libertarian tradition which does not compromise with anti-Semitism wherever it comes from. The UCL is similarly part of this libertarian tradition of absolute support for the Palestinian cause. One is absolutely not exclusive of the other as some would have us believe.

Attempted rally in support of the Palestinian people on October 14 in Paris.
MARTIN NODA / HANS LUCAS
Today, as in 2014 and 2021, the majority of demonstrators intend to exercise their legitimate right to express their solidarity in the face of the fate suffered by the Palestinian people for almost 80 years now. The right of everyone to live on the land of their ancestors cannot be denied to anyone. It is this support that we are once again seeking to silence with the bans on demonstrations. The criminalization of solidarity is simply abject, it is a further sign of the fascistization of the state apparatus.

Darmanin: still one step ahead of the far right
One example among many others of this fascistic and racist tendency which is taking hold slowly, but surely, at all levels of power: the banning order of the Prefecture of Savoie concerning the "Rally in support of Palestine and call for peace" submitted by the France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) Chambéry association. In addition to the imperatives linked to the "particularly acute terrorist threat" and other considerations, each as abusive as the other (including "anti-Zionist" remarks uttered apparently automatically assimilated to anti-Semitic remarks), mention is made of an exceptionally serious risk, the presence during a previous banned demonstration of: "numerous members from the Muslim community and individuals linked to the extreme left and ultra-left". Thus the presence of people "from the Muslim community" at a demonstration or gathering would be a legitimate reason for a ban!

With a right like that, there is no need for an extreme right.
Faced with the repression of expressions of solidarity, the UCL fully supports the NPA targeted by an investigation for "apology of terrorism" for a press release published on October 7. Let us say it clearly, because the NPA is a partner that we regularly encounter in struggles, we absolutely do not associate ourselves with what was written in this press release. However, making the NPA an organization that would need to be dissolved, for advocating terrorism, is simply absurd. This threat is part of a political desire to silence movements questioning the policy pursued by the French state here and internationally. The ban on the expression of dissent also extended to Mariam Abou Daqqa, activist of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), currently in France for several conferences, placed under house arrest on October 16 while awaiting release. possible expulsion.

Libertarian communist activists and beyond must mobilize today to put an end to this state of exception which does not speak its name and demand an end to the prosecution of the NPA for "apology of terrorism", free movement of Palestinian activist Mariam Abou Daqqa, the cessation of prosecutions, as well as the cancellation of sentences and fines already imposed, for people who have demonstrated their support for the Palestinian cause. Libertarian communist activists must also raise their voice during these demonstrations and rallies for an end to the bombings, the end of apartheid, colonialism, and respect for the rights of the Palestinian people.

David (UCL Savoies)

https://www.unioncommunistelibertaire.org/?Interdictions-de-manifester-la-solidarite-pour-la-Palestine-dans-le-viseur-de-l
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