de position -
Class struggle against the immigration law and all attacks against workers!
The immigration law adopted after the parliamentary debates is, in the end, a much more repressive version than the original proposal of Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and its tougher Senate version, so much so that the far right National Rally (RN) voted for it, boasting of an “ideological victory”, while Eric Ciotti, president of Les Républicains (LR), spoke of a “historic victory for the right”.
As is well known, this law provoked criticism and opposition from various circles, including bourgeois supporters of the government and leaders of bourgeois institutions: for example, university rectors in the name of France's “scientific, cultural and influence diplomacy” (1). According to Mélenchon (leader of leftist France Unbowed, FI), this law “disfigures the image of France” – as if it were not the image of an imperialist country that has committed countless crimes, is still involved in the massacres in Gaza carried out by the Israeli state and maintains military and security cooperation with it.
In reality, apart from the political machinations that led to its final wording, this law is part of a series of attacks, anti-social and anti-working class, that the government has been carrying out in succession, from attacks on the unemployed to attacks on pensions: although this law is directed against foreign proletarians and their families, in reality it targets the entire working class. According to employers, by 2050 the French economy will “need (…) 3.9 million foreign workers” (2). It is precisely with the prospect of this mass exploitation of immigrant proletarians that the authorities are forced to increase and tighten repressive measures in order to “control” this immigration, which means leaving a large number of these immigrant proletarians without rights and social protection and under the constant threat of deportation, at the mercy of their bosses, in a de facto “state of emergency”.
It follows that the struggle against this law and all anti-immigration measures is not a democratic or humanitarian position, but a class position: to leave a section of the proletariat at the mercy of the bosses and the bourgeois state is to weaken the entire proletarian class in its struggle against capitalism. While the capitalists and their government are constantly trying to divide it according to categories, status, age, sex, etc., and nationality, it is the vital interest of the proletarians to achieve their unity beyond all these divisions, so that they will be able to take up a real class struggle.
But it is not possible to embark on such a struggle by relying on those who have been responsible for the defeats in previous struggles. The call for demonstrations on 21 January demonstrates this once again: it presents itself as a petition by artists and various personalities, including people from the right, and has no other aim than to politely ask President Macron not to sign his law! It is not a call to struggle, but a call for an innocuous Sunday march under the banner of “our republican pact, inherited from the Conseil National de la Résistance” (the Conseil National de la Résistance was the centre of the nationalist French resistance movement against German occupation translator's note), in other words, under the banner of class collaboration in defence of French capitalism (3)! The largest trade union confederation, the CFDT, calls for “opposition to the trampling of the values of the Republic” (4), while the second largest, the CGT, is outraged by “the questioning of our republican principles” (5); the CGT is undoubtedly calling for the regularisation of striking undocumented immigrant workers (the so-called “sans-papiers”), but to appreciate the real significance of this support, it should be known that during the 14 January mobilisation campaign it demanded that the undocumented workers' collectives renounce their demand for the regularisation of all undocumented immigrant workers and their plans to organise strikes during the Olympic Games (6)! You cannot truly defend workers if you defend the values and principles of the bourgeois republic: for these parties and unions, inextricably linked to class collaboration and social peace, defending the values and principles of the class struggle against capitalism and the bourgeois state is out of the question!
However, in order to counter the constant bourgeois attacks, we need to resort precisely to the values and principles of the class struggle against capitalism and the bourgeois state by fighting and organising independently of the influence of the collaborationist organisations.
No to immigration law and all anti-worker laws! No to repression and discrimination! No to deportations and repatriations! Equal rights for all workers, French or foreign! Regularisation of all undocumented workers
No to immigration control!
For proletarian anti-capitalist class struggle in unity with the proletarians of the world!
(1) France Université press release, December 17, 2023.
(2) Statement by the President of the MEDEF (employers' union) on Radio Classique, 19 Dec. 23.
(3) Recall that the PCF (French Communist Party) was not totally opposed to the first draft law, but only wanted to discuss it.
(4) Press release of 20/12/2023.
(5) Leaflet of 11.1.23.
(6) The call for demonstrations on 14 January, signed by dozens of accompanying organisations, the Trotskyist New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA), France Unbowed (LFI), the SUD unions, etc., did not contain these demands, but the CGT preferred to join the mobilisation on 21 January. The committees of undocumented immigrant workers in the Paris area refused to join it because “none of our historical demands were taken into account; nowhere was there any mention of the current struggles and strikes”. See press release of 20 January: https://twitter.com/gilets_noirs/status/1748828698885669103
18 Jan 2024 (updated 20 Jan 2024 - additional note 6)
Il comunista - le prolétaire - el proletario - proletarian - programme communiste - el programa comunista - Communist Program