Recently, there have been rebellions in France over the police murder of Nahel Merzouk, a teenager of African descent. Nahel was shot and killed at point blank range during a traffic stop in a Paris suburb. This murder, which was caught on video, was an unprovoked, cold-blooded, execution. This and similar events in France are only a microcosm of the crisis of the capitalist/imperialist system in its last stage, i.e. neo-colonialism.
France has a history of murder and genocide against immigrants from Africa and other parts of the world. The massive immigration is a direct result of desperation caused by robbery and rape of nations under centuries of French colonialism. This has forced people to make the painful and dangerous decision to flee the oppression and seek economic stability in France. Even French president Macron had to concede that France’s colonialism was a “crime against humanity,” while failing to acknowledge that the colonial theft continues to this day. France refuses to acknowledge that the immigrants from former colonized countries are treated with violence and racist disdain when they reach France; valued only as cheap labor in France’ industries and cannon fodder in France’ military.
But oppression breeds resistance, and France ongoing brutality, of which the murder of young Nahel is just the latest example, has catalyzed massive street demonstrations in cities across the country. In 2021, an Egyptian migrant was killed by French police at the border after the vehicle he was in crashed through the border control fence and the officer who killed the migrant said, “I was in fear for my life” in an attempt to justify the murder. In 2022, at least 13 people in cases of “non-compliance” were killed and the French have yet to release the victim’s racial identities. “Young men who appear to be black or Arab are 20 times more likely to be stopped by police”, according to a 2017 study by La Defenseur des Droits, an independent human rights organization in France.
The French government’s murder of people in Africa and around the world serves as part of the global military/industrial complex of the “Anti-People’s Class.” And when France is not directly murdering Africans, their African puppets do the dirty work. This is evidenced by the neo-colonial governments that are controlled by France in Africa. These neo-colonial governments constantly oppress African people and allow French multinational corporations to mine uranium, cobalt, gold and other precious minerals for dirt cheap prices. These minerals are sent to France to enrich the French and international finance capitalists, while masses of African people are thrust into poverty, reaping no economic benefit from the extraction of their raw materials. Former French colonies in Africa are coerced into storing their currency reserves in French banks, and required to pay France to print currencies called Communauté Financière Africaine franc, or CFA francs, (which more accurately could be called Colonies of France in Africa francs). There are 14 nation states in Africa that use the CFA franc, granting France unprecedented manipulation and control of their economies.
We know that France historically has been part of the united front of the European ruling class that has colonized Africa and much of the world. After England, it has colonized more territory around the world and in Africa than any other country.
France has a long and sordid history of colonial racism and violence against people racialized as “non-white”, stretching from Haiti, Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean to Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean, North and West Africa as well as Vietnam, among many other populations. France has ruthlessly oppressed Algerian people in particular – including those who are French citizens – Crystal Fleming (Article)
In further resistance to Neo-colonialism, the last stage of Imperialism, Africans in Africa have been calling for the French military to get out of the nation states of Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry and other places. Africans have been calling for the exit of other imperialist institutions like MONUSCO in the Congo (which gives the UN the right to interfere militarily in the Congo, thus negating the Congo’s sovereignty), IMF and World Bank, NATO, and AFRICOM. There is an outright rebellion against all western institutions of Imperialism and a welcoming of Russia and China and their economic aid and military assistance to come to the aid of Africans.
The youth in France are aware of the colonial past. They are aware of the fascist nature of the French government and its police forces, especially against foreign nationals. The people are in the streets because they are determined to resist repression, and the displaced, colonized peoples, the workers in France, and the youth are all fighting back.
This crisis in France is a reflection of the crises that are taking place all over the world under the capitalist/imperialist system. Inflation, food insecurity, pension cuts, etc. have contributed to this rebellion. We know that if France was to have a revolutionary change in the power structure it would require the masses of French working class, foreign nationals and Africans and other formerly colonized people around the world to have a coordinated struggle to bring down one of the major states of capitalism/ imperialism. France is dominated by the U.S. and the giant military/industrial complex. This complex will not hesitate to mobilize military forces to crack down on the population in France. If France is threatened seriously, the U.S. and other members of their military alliance nations will intervene.
This is all the more reason why we must organize the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party/All-African People’s Revolutionary Army (A-APRA) and the All-African Committee for Political Coordination (A-ACPC). And build international solidarity among the “People’s Class”
Kwame Nkrumah, (the first President of Ghana) taught us, “Neo-Colonialism is the last stage of Imperialism and perhaps its most dangerous stage.” But throughout this present uprising and beyond, the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party stands with the youth in France who have bravely taken to the streets to confront the ongoing state-sponsored violent police brutality which often results in murder of African people. We support the workers in France who have taken to the streets in their cry for justice against repressive French pension reforms. We stand with the people in Haiti, Africa, and everywhere who stand on the front lines, fighting to regain their freedom and sovereignty from French neo-colonialism. We stand with the nations worldwide who are struggling to dislodge France’ imperialist knees from the necks of their peoples.