|Dr Moustafa Traore|
I have been back from France for a week now, and it is time for me to reflect and write about what is going on, on the other side of the Channel. Seven days in the French capital was enough for me to take the temperature of the different social movements that paralyse the country at the moment.
Overloaded bins with rubbish spilled on the pavements, including all the bad smells that are involved, have become quite common these days in many parts of the French capital. To some extent, Paris looks like a third world country when compared to some cities in the UK. But what surprises me is that, living in the UK, I hear very little about all this.
These last few months, France has witnessed episodes of social unrest that have been commented on in the foreign press very little; as if some kind of censorship from the French authorities has decided not to inform the rest of the world as to what is actually happening in the Hexagon. Less than six months after the aforesaid Jihadist shooting spree that caused the death of hundreds of people in the French capital, and fostered the solidarity and a love movement for the police, it clearly seems as though France has today entered a new chapter of her own history.
The unity and solidarity of last November have given way to tensions, and ideological as well as physical oppositions, between the French government and more than three fourth of the French population. The new bill aimed at changing the French labour code is largely rejected by the French population; especially amongst the youth who have been suffering unprecedented levels of high unemployment for more than a decade now. The use of 49/3 -which according to the French constitution is the article that enables the government to pass a Law without it being introduced into Parliament- is without question the spark which has outraged a vast majority of the French population. This very method applied by the government on such a serious decision was clearly felt as a form of dictatorship.
Just as the horror of the Second World War had the merit to be the opportunity for other peoples to experience the horror inflicted upon Black people for more than 400 years, it is possible to say that police brutality towards the protestors against the Labour Code today, somehow, teaches the more well-off social classes, about the techniques used by their police to protect the interests of the privileged.
On the internet, footage of the police’s attitude towards the demonstrators has indeed shocked the country. The same violence that was once used against ethnic minorities in the French inner cities, now put into execution in order to contain hipster demonstrators has gone viral on the internet, provoking the outrage, desperation and revolt of millions of French citizens.
|Brother Moustafa in discussion with Public Enemy's Chuck D|
And now to finish this article with a bit of humour, I will ask the following question, which -you must understand- is not a suggestion, nor a call: What if Russia, China, and those who are known as being part of the “Global South Countries” recognised Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala as the new leader of the Hexagon?
By Dr Moustafa TRAORE