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Announcement :: International
France: Government launches assault on immigrants
by By Antoine Lerougetel and Pierre Mabut
29 Apr 2006
A demonstration called by a broad alliance of anti-racist organisations has been called in Paris today, assembling at the Place de la République at 2 p.m.
The French government has launched a major racist offensive against immigrants. Despite the tenacity and extent of the protest movement against the First Job Contract (CPE—giving employers the right to fire young workers at will), which continued throughout February, March and much of April and witnessed days of action bringing up to 3 million university and high school students and workers onto the streets, the government is continuing its programme of reactionary legislation with the Immigration Bill. This bill, which will greatly increase the social and job insecurity of immigrants, is to be put before parliament May 2, without any disruption in its parliamentary schedule.
The Immigration Bill, proposed by Sarkozy, sets out to further criminalise immigrants by favouring what he calls “selective immigration” as opposed to the current “endured immigration.” The automatic granting of residence rights to immigrants who have lived in France for 10 years will be suppressed.
The right of family members to join their families legally residing in France will be drastically curtailed. Families will have to prove that they can adequately provide for their loved ones, who will have to pass a test of being suitable for “republican integration into French society,” a formula open to arbitrary interpretation by state bureaucrats. French people marrying non-EU nationals will no longer confer the right of residence on their spouses, who will have to return to their country of origin to obtain a long-stay visa having proved the validity of the marriage to the satisfaction of the French authorities. This costly requirement will often also be dangerous due to the political situation in many countries.
One-year temporary work permits will be cancelled if the employer sacks the worker. Three-year residence permits, entitled “Skills and Talents,” will be granted only to people “likely to participate in the development of the French economy or France’s influence in the world.”
This initiative, fully in line with EU “Fortress Europe” immigration policies, which account every year for the deaths of thousands of migrants attempting to reach Europe by clandestine routes, particularly from Africa, will make a great number of people illegal and render them liable to contribute to Sarkozy’s target of 25,000 expulsions from France per year.
As with the campaign and law against the wearing of the Muslim veil by girls in state schools, and the preposterous claims by government ministers that a significant element of the urban revolt in the autumn was comprised of the children of polygamous African families, racism is being stoked up by the government as a diversion from the social decay that has accumulated in France over the last 30 years and as a cover for deepening attacks on workers’ and social rights.
In a speech before 2000 new members of the UMP on April 22, Sarkozy launched an open appeal to far-right voters. He gave the following warning to immigrants: “If there are those who don’t feel comfortable being in France, then they shouldn’t be uncomfortable about leaving a country they don’t like.... You can’t ask a country to change its laws, its habits, customs simply because they don’t please a tiny minority. We have had more than enough of feeling obliged to excuse ourselves for being French.”
He was not only targeting supporters of the National Front (FN) of Jean-Marie Le Pen and Phillipe de Villiers’ xenophobic Mouvement pour la France (MPF—Movement for France), but also disorientated voters on the left, victims of decades of unemployment and social decay under successive governments of the left and right, especially in the previous strongholds of the French Communist Party and Socialist Party in industrialised regions of France. “I want to address also the ordinary left voters, those who believed in the Communist Party,” he continued, “a certain number of men and women on the left can say that with us, that is going to change.”
Philippe de Villiers is making his pitch for the presidential election by encouraging the climate of fear and hatred of Islam. In a book released this week entitled The Mosques of Roissy, the aim is to stigmatise all Muslims as terrorists. Le Monde quoted him as saying on radio last Sunday, “Islam is not compatible with the Republic. The Islamic presence is not marginal but real, profound and dangerous.”
The leader of the Socialist Party, François Hollande, reacted to this racist filth with his own form of patriotism, saying, “The right does not have the monopoly of love for France.” Indeed, the Socialist Party web site contains no detailed critique of Sarkozy’s law. The brief comments it posts stress that the Socialist Party is more capable of controlling immigration than the present government. It proposes “new legislation on immigration, coherent, effective and respectful of the interests of our country and of those of the immigrants’ country of origin.”
Successive left governments since 1981, supported by the Communist Party, have practiced immigration control and the hounding of illegal immigrants. Any criticisms of the current Immigration Bill now being made by the left parties cannot mask their complicity in maintaining the government in power and enabling Sarkozy to renew his racist offensive, designed to divide the working class in preparation for deepening attacks in order to further the competitiveness of French and European big business on the global arena.
Less than a month ago, the government of de Villepin and Sarkozy was besieged by a mass movement of university and high school students and workers, which had the potential to bring it down. The fact that it now feels strong enough to continue its right-wing agenda is entirely the responsibility of the leaders of the left parties and the trade unions.
While the National Student Coordination, made up of elected representatives of the universities and high schools in struggle, called on workers and the trade unions to organise a general strike and to bring down the government, the trade unions and student organisations united in the Intersyndicale insisted on limiting the movement to the single issue of the withdrawal of the CPE. In fact, the CPE was only one element of a programme of attacks on job protection, social rights and anti-immigrant legislation.
The same position was adopted by 11 parties of the left—including the Socialist Party (SP), the Communist Party (CP), the Greens, and the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR)—organized in the Riposte Collective. They made no call for the resignation of the government, thus enabling it to continue its right-wing agenda. An LCR document sums up the opportunist attitude of the entire ‘left’ towards the Gaullist regime: “The National Committee [of the LCR] considered that the perspective of a dissolution of the National Assembly and new elections did not correspond, today, to the present phase of the movement.”
In May-June 1968, the Communist Party and the Socialist Party and their supporters in the trade union bureaucracies opposed the development of the mass movement of students and workers into a political offensive to drive the government of De Gaulle out of office and to replace it by a workers’ government. De Gaulle was able to retake the initiative and the French working class had 13 more years of right-wing governments.
Again today, the French government, thanks to the Intersyndicale and the Riposte Collective, has been able to cling to office after being temporarily pushed back by the mass movement. President Chirac and Prime Minister Villepin, according the latest IFOP poll of April 22, have popularity ratings of 29 and 24 percent respectively, dropping 10 and 13 points since the official withdrawal of the CPE on April 10.
However, by accepting the government’s offer to replace the CPE with cheap labour schemes and cash incentives for employers, and by accepting Nicolas Sarkozy’s invitation to participate in talks with the government and the bosses, the unions have passed the initiative to the most right-wing forces in the government, led by Sarkozy.
Sarkozy is the front-runner for the UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) in next year’s presidential election and is setting out his agenda based on racism and the destruction of all social gains by the working class. The man who is now orchestrating dialogue with the “social partners,” namely the unions and employers, is setting out to divide workers on the basis of racism.
The defence of immigrants and social and democratic rights urgently poses the task of a new revolutionary leadership based on an international socialist programme. The World Socialist Web Site is the central instrument for the building of such a new leadership. The WSWS is the Internet publication of the International Committee the Fourth International, which for decades has defended Marxism and the heritage of the Trotskyist movement.
The WSWS supports the right of workers to live and work and study in any country they choose, with full and equal legal rights. This is part of the struggle against the global attack on workers’ rights and living standards in the epoch of capitalist globalisation. It requires the development of an international mass movement of the working class based on a socialist perspective that must unite workers of all nationalities, races and religions.
We oppose imperialist war and call for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The major financial, industrial and commercial enterprises must be placed under democratic and public ownership and organized on an international and rational basis to eliminate poverty and provide secure employment and decent living standards for all.
The working class of Europe must unite against the capitalist policies of the European Union on the basis of its own program: the Socialist United States of Europe.
We invite all young people and workers to read the WSWS and join in the building of sections of the International Committee in France and throughout Europe.
This work is in the public domain
A Brief Military History of France
(No verified email address)
29 Apr 2006
- Gallic Wars
- Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by of all things, an Italian. [Or at ths time in history, a Roman -ed.]
- Hundred Years War
- Mostly lost, saved at last by female schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of French Warfare; "France's armies are victorious only when not led by a Frenchman." Sainted.
- Italian Wars
- Lost. France becomes the first and only country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians.
- Wars of Religion
- France goes 0-5-4 against the Huguenots
- Thirty Years War
- France is technically not a participant, but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the basis that eventually the other participants started ignoring her.
- War of Revolution
- Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing red flowerpots as chapeaux.
- The Dutch War
- War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War
- Lost, but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded Frogophiles the world over to label the period as the height of French military power.
- War of the Spanish Succession
- Lost. The War also gave the French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have loved every since.
- American Revolution
- In a move that will become quite familiar to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English colonists saw far more action. This is later known as "de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French Warfare; "France only wins when America does most of the fighting."
- French Revolution
- Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent was also French.
- The Napoleonic Wars
- Lost. Temporary victories (remember the First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no match for a British footwear designer.
- The Franco-Prussian War
- Lost. Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.
- World War I
- Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by the United States [Entering the war late -ed.]. Thousands of French women find out what it's like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her "Fraulein." Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.
- World War II
- Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.
- War in Indochina
- Lost. French forces plead sickness; take to bed with the Dien Bien Flu
- Algerian Rebellion
- Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces the First Rule of Muslim Warfare; "We can always beat the French." This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians, Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.
- War on Terrorism
- France, keeping in mind its recent history, surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe. Attempts to surrender to Vietnamese ambassador fail after he takes refuge in a McDonald's.
The question for any country silly enough to count on the French should not be "Can we count on the French?", but rather "How long until France collapses?"
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. All you do is leave behind a lot of noisy baggage."
Or, better still, the quote from last week's Wall Street Journal: "They're there when they need you."
With only an hour and a half of research, Jonathan Duczkowski provided the following losses:
Norse invasions, 841-911.
After having their way with the French for 70 years, the Norse are bribed by a French King named Charles the Simple (really!) who gave them Normandy in return for peace. Normans proceed to become just about the only positive military bonus in France's [favour] for next 500 years.
France attempts to take advantage of Mexico's weakness following its thorough thrashing by the U.S. 20 years earlier ("Halls of Montezuma"). Not surprisingly, the only unit to distinguish itself is the French Foreign Legion (consisting of, by definition, non-Frenchmen). Booted out of the country a little over a year after arrival.
Panama jungles 1881-1890.
No one but nature to fight, France still loses; canal is eventually built by the U.S. 1904-1914.
Should be noted that the Grand Armee was largely (~%50) composed of non-Frenchmen after 1804 or so. Mainly disgruntled minorities and anti-monarchists. Not surprisingly, these performed better than the French on many occasions.
French defeated by rebellion after sacrificing 4,000 Poles to yellow fever. Shows another rule of French warfare; when in doubt, send an ally.
British were far more charming then French, ended up victors. Therefore the British are well known for their tea, and the French for their whine (er, wine...). Ensures 200 years of bad teeth in England.
Barbary Wars, middle ages-1830.
Pirates in North Africa continually harass European shipping in Meditteranean. France's solution: pay them to leave us alone. America's solution: kick their asses ("the Shores of Tripoli"). [America's] first overseas victories, won 1801-1815.
1798-1801, Quasi-War with U.S.
French privateers (semi-legal pirates) attack U.S. shipping. U.S. fights France at sea for 3 years; French eventually cave; sets precedent for next 200 years of Franco-American relations.
Moors in Spain, late 700s-early 800s.
Even with Charlemagne leading them against an enemy living in a hostile land, French are unable to make much progress. Hide behind Pyrennes until the modern day.
French-on-French losses (probably should be counted as victories too, just to be fair):
1208: Albigenses Crusade, French massacared by French.
When asked how to differentiate a heretic from the faithful, response was "Kill them all. God will know His own." Lesson: French are badasses when fighting unarmed men, women and children.
St. Bartholomew Day Massacre, August 24, 1572.
Once again, French-on-French slaughter.
Philip Augustus of France throws hissy-fit, leaves Crusade for Richard the Lion Heart to finish.
St. Louis of France leads Crusade to Egypt. Resoundingly crushed.
St. Louis back in action, this time in Tunis. See Seventh Crusade.
Also should be noted that France attempted to hide behind the Maginot line, sticking their head in the sand and pretending that the Germans would enter France that way. By doing so, the Germans would have been breaking with their traditional route of invading France, entering through Belgium (Napoleonic Wars, Franco-Prussian War, World War I, etc.). French ignored this though, and put all their effort into these defenses.
Seven year War 1756-1763
Lost: after getting hammered by Frederick the Great of Prussia (yep, the Germans again) at Rossbach, the French were held off for the remainder of the War by Frederick of Brunswick and a hodge-podge army including some Brits. War also saw France kicked out of Canada (Wolfe at Quebec) and India (Clive at Plassey).
The French consider the departure of the French from Algeria in 1962-63, after 130 years on colonialism, as a French victory and especially consider C. de Gaulle as a hero for 'leading' said victory over the unwilling French public who were very much against the departure. This ended their colonialism. About 2 million ungrateful Algerians lost their lives in this shoddy affair.
(No verified email address)
29 Apr 2006
Boy you sure are a sucker for fake rightwing propaganda aren't you?
Battle of Bouvines - July 27, 1214
Philip Augustus of France defeats Germany's Otto IV and Count Ferrand of Flanders.
Battle of Orleans - October 12, 1428-May 8, 1429
Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc), Gilles de Rais and Jean d'Orleans of France defeat the Earl of Shrewsbury, the Earl of Salisbury and the Duke of Suffolk.
Battle of Patay - June 18, 1429
La Hire and Poton de Xaintrailles of France defeat Sir John Fastolf of England.
Battle of Formigny - April 15, 1450
Comte de Clermont and Comte de Richemont of France defeat Thomas Kyriell of England.
Battle of Castillon - July 17, 1453
Charles VII of France defeats John Talbot of England.
Battle of the Chesapeake - September 5, 1781
France, coming the aid of America's George Washington, defeats the British in a strategic victory.
Battle of Valmy - September 20, 1792
France defeats the invading armies of Prussia and Austria.
Battle of the Vosges - July 13, 1794
France defeats a coalition of Prussian, Austrian and Saxon troops.
Battle of the Bridge of Arcole - November 17, 1796
Napolean Bonaparte I of France leads victorious over the Austrians.
Battle of Hohenlinden - December 3, 1800
A decisive French victory by General Moreau over the Austrian Empire led by Archduke John.
Battle of Austerlitz - December 2, 1805
Napoleon I of France is decidedly victorious over Russia and the Austrian Empire.
Battle of Jena-Auerstedt - October 14, 1806
Napoleon I of France is victorious over Frederick William III of Prussia.
Battle of Pultusk - December 26, 1806
Marshal Lannes of France leads against General Bennigsen of Russia in this inconclusive engagement.
Battle of Eylau - February 7-8, 1807
The battle results are inconclusive as Napoleon of France combating the powers of Russia and Prussia led by Bennigsen.
Battle of Friedland - June 14, 1807
Napoleon Bonaparte is victorious against General Bennigsen's Russians.
Battle of Tudela - November 23, 1808
Jean Lannes of France is victorious over Francisco Castanos of Spain.
Battle of Ucles - January 13, 1809
General Victor of France is victorious over General Venegas of Spain.
Battle of Corunna - January 16, 1809
Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult is unable to prevent the British evacuation of British troops from Spain led by englishman John Moore.
Battle of Ciudad-Real - March 27, 1809
A French victory for General Sebastiani against Spain under direction from General Cartojal.
Battle of Wagram - July 5-6, 1809
A decisive victory for Napoleon Bonaparte over Austria's Archduke Charles.
Battle of Smolensk - August 17, 1812
Napoleon Bonaparte of France is victorious agaist Russia led by Prince Bagration.
Battle of Borodino - September 7, 1812
Napoleon Bonaparte of the First French Empire is victorious against Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov of the Russian Empire.
Battle of Maloyaroslavets - October 24, 1812
General Delzons of France claims a victory over the Russians led by Marshal Kutuzov. Russians claim a strategic victory. Napoleon's stepson Eugene de Beauharnais is involved in the battle.
Battle of Lutzen - May 2, 1813
Napoleon I of France is victorious against Germany's Gebhard von Blucher, Peter Wittgenstein and Gerhard von Scharnhorst
Battle of Vauchamps - February 14, 1814
Napoleon and his band of 18,000 Frenchmen defeat 30,000 Prussian troops in the final battle of the Six Days Campaign.
Battle of Navarino - October 20, 1827
A coalition force of French, British, Irish, Italian, Belgium, United States, Dutch and Russian forces defeat the Ottoman Empire and Egypt in this large-scale sea battle.
Invasion of Algeria - 1830
French forces invade and conquer the North African country of Algeria.
Battle of Balaclava - October 25, 1854
A coalition of French, British and Turkish troops defeat Russia during this Crimean War engagement.
Battle of Gravelotte - August 18, 1870
The battle results in a draw as Francois Achille Bazaine of France secures a tactical victory and Helmuth von Moltke of Prussia secures a strategic victory.
Togoland - August 26, 1914
A Franco-British force successfully invades the German West African protectorate of Togoland.
First Battle of the Marne - September 5-10, 1914
A Franco-British force led by Joseph Joffre and John French defeat Germany led by Helmuth von Moltke and Karl von Bulow.
First Battle of the Aisne - September 12-15, 1914
French and British troop actions end in a draw with the Germans.
Battle of Ypres - October 19-November 22, 1914
French and British forces gain a victory against Germany.
Battle of Vimy Ridge - April 9-12, 1917
Though not fought by French forces, the combined Canadian and British forces gain the advantage against the Germans on French soil.
Battle of Belleau Wood - June 1-26, 1918
France, Britain and the United States led by John J. Pershing and James Harbord are victorious over the German Empire and Crown Prince Wilhelm.
Battle of Chateau-Thierry - July 18, 1918
The combined French and American force (largely American) succeeds in taking the Germans by surprise.
Battle of Amiens - August 8-11, 1918
French, British, Canadian and Australian forces are victorious over Germany.
Re: France: Government launches assault on immigrants
by Pepe Le Peau
(No verified email address)
01 May 2006
France has fallen down the dirt hole since Algeria.
The Arabs wanted French out of North Africa. Fine. That didn't mean French out of France. But the Moslems are taking over a Western nation, with a culture that the Arabs reject. All of "jobs". The French should never have let a single Arab in. They are like cancer. French culture is dead. Art in France sterile. The problem is that France will be a Muslim launch pad for terrorism against the rest of the world. The French have left themselves with expulsion as the only practical remedy. But European natons lack the fortitude to preserve their culture. French culture does not exist.