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Call for Amnesty for the November rebels

Monday 12 December 2005

Following three weeks of unrest in November, the rebels or suspected rebels of the suburbs have been convicted in a climate of overreaction by politicians and the media. Many courtroom observers, lawyers and journalists have noted the severity of the sentences (3 months hard time for mooning!) and the slim evidence against "those responsible." Young people who have always lived in France are now threatened with deportation. The inevitable shortcomings of a process of mass arrests and trials have been further exacerbated.

On top of the uneasiness caused by the overheating of the Punishment Machine, there is a paradoxical result: the destruction of cars and buildings makes life even more difficult in lower-class areas. All the same, if the French Government has now decided to reinstate at least a part of the subsidies it had withheld from the suburbs, it's because by the warnings set off by this uprising.

Whatever we may hear from fear-mongering politicians, the November uprisings were an expression of social anger without premeditation or hidden leadership. Whatever hostility was provoked by these expressions of anger, its legitimacy has been implicitly recognized by a society obsessed with «uneasiness in the suburbs. » Repression is a confession of weakness by a clueless political class that relies on jail sentences and the turning back of social gains (with imposed vocational training at age 14 and the persecution of immigrants) to solve the most burning aspects of the social question.

We believe that a sign of solidarity must be sent to the projects in order to break the circle of stigmatisation aggravated by the reactivation of a colonial-era law and its curfew.

Without delay, we call on amnesty for all those convicted in the November Uprising.