The Fight against Police Violence Can Only Be Waged on Anti-Capitalist Bases!

(«Proletarian»; Nr. 20; Autumn-Winter 2023)

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Nahel’s murder sparked a revolt by young people in proletarian neighborhoods across France after a video exposed the lies of the police, and even in smaller towns. This murder is just the latest crime in an endless list (1); it is part of a general practice of bullying, repression and oppression by the bourgeois «order forces», especially against proletarian youth, and especially if they are of foreign origin: police racism no longer needs to be proven. The French imperialist bourgeoisie, which plunders the wealth of the countries under its domination, has always applied state racism to create divisions within the working class, which it has fed through ideological campaigns and numerous anti-immigration laws. The aim is to designate a scapegoat for the social problems of the proletariat and yet increase the pressure on the working class in order to weaken its ability to resist. In reality, all proletarians are subject to intimidation by the bourgeois state and all are potential targets of repression once they oppose government initiatives and capitalist interests, as various recent struggle movements have shown: The Yellow Vests movement, the fight against pension reforms, Sainte-Soline (where the authorities mobilized thousands of police to crack down on opponents of the construction of a dam wanted by big farmers, injuring nearly 200 people, one of whom ended up in a coma), strike pickets attacked by the police, or more recently the repression of riots. If repression has intensified under the present government, it has been practiced by all previous governments, right or left; a law facilitating the use of weapons at road checks was passed by the socialist Hollander Val’s government (under the pretext of fighting terrorism!). Without going too far back in time, for decades police crimes have regularly been in the news and their perpetrators have most often been acquitted by the courts.


Police violence and repression are characteristic of capitalist regime. They will disappear with it!


Police violence is not a «blunder», a «regrettable exception», but a necessary and intended consequence of the role of the police in this society, whatever the political coloring of the government: it is the defense of the bourgeois order and the capitalist system, above all against the proletariat and all the oppressed. The struggle against police violence can therefore only be waged from an anti-capitalist and proletarian perspective. To wage it in the name of democracy and to politely ask the bourgeois government to «listen» to the demands and take «concrete steps» to reform the police is utter nonsense. Worse still, it disarms the proletarians, young and old, by making them believe that certain concessions could be gained in this way, instead of wresting them through open struggle. The fear of unleashing proletarian anger will always be a far more powerful brake against the sorties of the lackeys of the bourgeoisie than peaceful appeals to the government!

The only non-illusory way to put an end to police violence and all bourgeois crimes is the resumption of organized revolutionary class struggle against capitalism. The first immediate steps are support for the victims of repression and solidarity with all proletarians under threat; these are necessary to close the ranks of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie and its state. The next steps are the classist reorganization of the proletariat itself and the reconstitution of its revolutionary party, which will lead the struggle until the overthrow of murderous capitalism! 



(1) Nahel is the seventeen-year-old boy who was murdered in cold blood by a policeman in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris, on June 27. A specialized website has found that in less than four years there have been more than 5,000 cases of more or less serious police violence in France – a figure that is lower than the reality. See violente


July, 15th 2023



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