We are NOT Charlie Hebdo!
Neither do we condone the bombings and murder of journalists at their headquarters, however much we are repulsed by their racist, chauvinist and hateful Islamophobic caricatures of oppressed people. Neither do we condone the subsequent murders at the Paris Kosher supermarket.
Yes, we are for free speech, freedom of expression and democratic rights for all, including the Muslim and antiwar activists who were banned by the French government from street protests in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza, or the Muslim women who are banned from wearing the veil. We are for freedom of expression and the right to exist of Muslim Americans, 700,000 of whom have been investigated or interrogated in the U.S. for being Muslim, or the 1.5 million Latino immigrants in the U.S. who are imprisoned, detained and deported, or the entire world’s people who are victims of the all-pervasive high-tech surveillance of everyone’s personal means of communication by the U.S., France and all other so-called democratic nations.
We will NOT join the Paris parades orchestrated by imperialist French President Francois Holland and the heads of state of the world’s “great powers;” nor will we applaud their call for the worldwide “Anti-terrorist Conference” that President Holland has set for Paris. We are saddened at the participation of French working people in these state-sponsored mobilizations, whose objectives are to further war in the Middle East and Africa and to restrict democracy for Muslim communities in France and around the world. Those who participate believing that they can advance freedom of expression, peace and solidarity are being used for opposite ends.
The war proclaimed by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls as “… a war against terrorism. Against jihadism. Against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom and solidarity” is, in fact, a war to reestablish and strengthen French economic hegemony in her former colonies. As Americans we heard this language from President George Bush when he declared his own “war on terror,” shredded the U.S. Constitution, imprisoned the innocent en masse and went to war in Iraq based on the now-exposed false flag lie that the Hussein government possessed “weapons of mass destruction.”
We don’t march with “leaders” – including the government of the United States and the Barack Obama administration – who oversee and direct mass murder and torture. Need we mention the recent U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Report revealing the extent of U.S.-sponsored torture?
The heads of state of the world’s past and present colonial conquerors today murder with impunity on every continent. President Obama is the headmaster of terrorist wars, with six to his credit since his 2008 election. Need we mention the U.S. drone terror bombings and overt wars in Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia and Iraq? Every public poll demonstrates massive majority opposition. Yet the wars continue and expand everywhere.
France’s largest party, the neo-fascist National Front of Marine Le Pen, revels in the government-promoted hate-mongering, thinking its time has come. In the past few days some 50 Muslim mosques in France have been hit by bullets and explosives and/or tagged with racist graffiti. In Corsica, a severed pig’s head was mounted on a Muslim prayer hall. In Sweden a Muslim mosque was firebombed. Racist mobilizations in Germany denounce the “Islamization of Europe.”
As in the U.S., where Latinos flee Latin America to escape poverty and persecution stemming from the policies of U.S.-backed corrupt and murderous regimes, Muslim immigrants flee their homelands that have been ravaged by the wars and exploitation of foreign powers.
We hear no imperialist voices denouncing French troops in Mali. No corporate media voices recalling France’s Vietnam in Algeria a decade earlier, where one million were slaughtered until that nation’s war for independence was won. Imperialism’s memory is short, as with the four million Vietnamese murdered in that ten-year U.S. colonial war. As social justice and antiwar activists our memory is long. We are not deceived by yet another imperialist campaign to justify the perpetration of new horrors on the world’s people.
Neither do we support the renewed calls for stepped up repressive measures, including billions more for police and military repression and new laws further restricting civil liberties and democratic rights.
As U.S. social and political activists, we are witness to the horror of institutionalized racism, where Ferguson-type police murder is the norm for most every city – where mass incarceration of the oppressed ranks first in the world – where repeated police murder of unarmed Blacks goes unpunished. We march for the victims in Ferguson and in every city, not for their murderers.
We note the racist parallels between France and the U.S. The great majority who are locked in U.S. prisons are Black and Latino. In France up to 60 percent of the prison population are Muslims.
France, England, the U.S. and their associates have no standing among human beings who seek justice, peace, civil and democratic rights and an end to imperialist wars across the globe. We stand without equivocation with the millions who mobilize against them.
We refused to hail their slaughter, as with their “humanitarian war” against Libya that was perversely promoted by their kept media. Tens of thousands of Libyans were murdered while the corporate “free press” remained silent. The imperialist air and naval forces that pulverized Libya were employed with impunity, while on the ground imperialism’s paid jihadists were called into service to “liberate” Tripoli on the bombed ruins of that nation. They remain today, grotesquely fighting each other over Libya’s oil and for scraps of “aid” from the various imperialist-backed oil corporations who are the real “victors.”
Today’s modern-day crusaders continue to join in the catastrophic destruction of Iraq. Twenty-four years of saturation bombings, mass murder, starvation sanctions and U.S.-installed dictators were and continue to be employed in the name of a war against non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.” One and a half million Iraqis have been slaughtered by imperialist weapons. The slaughter continues – a classic colonial-era oil war for control of the very fossil fuel resource whose continued use spells doom for humankind. And yesterday’s U.S. allies in this venture are today’s “enemies” – at least for now!
The United States, with French support, has brought about the death and immiseration of hundreds of thousands of Syrians through its backing, covert and otherwise, of “moderate” and fundamentalist combatants, the latter mustered with the aid of the allied Gulf States. The current U.S. bombing of Syrian sites continues the slaughter of civilians.
We heard no cry of outrage from the imperialist nations when Mubarak’s military heirs in Egypt, financed, to the tune of $1.1 billion annually, slaughtered tens of thousands of Muslims in a U.S.-backed coup that overthrew the elected Mohamed Morsi government. The 30-year Mubarak dictatorship was always a U.S. favorite, as are his successors today – democratic elections notwithstanding!
We heard no cry of outrage last year when racist, Zionist Israel once again slaughtered over 2000 Palestinians in Gaza. Indeed, the U.S. and its imperialist allies remain Israeli’s chief supporters, granting it the largest “aid” package of any nation to maintain its world-repudiated historic occupation.
We stand in solidarity with all victims of imperialist oppression and exploitation everywhere on earth – for free speech, the right to assembly, democratic rights and the right to be free from intervention and occupation.
Never with their oppressors!
Never with their oil wars!
Never with their police state measures!
Never with their ceaseless racist “wars on terror!”
Never with their endless drone wars, privatized army wars, overt and covert wars, mass detention and torture wars, embargo, blockade and sanction wars!
End all imperialist wars, occupations, and interventions!
Self-determination for the world’s oppressed people and nations!
U.S. and all imperialist powers Out Now!
Save the Date – UNAC National Conference, May 8 – 10, 2015
Republished from United National Anti-War Coalition