The government is under pressure. It fears an extension of the fights against its attacks, after the strikes in railways, Paris public transports, hospitals and elsewhere, not to mention the still active Yellow Jackets. So it finds scapegoats and uses the old distraction recipe: anti-immigrant talk. Macron insults the working class by pretending to believe that immigration is its main worry. On the contrary, polls show that the people’s main concerns are healthcare, unemployment and the standard of living. But, focusing on this dirty electoral demagogy, the government decided to apply Le Pen’s programme, and announced 20 measures to “take back control of our migratory policy.”
Racism from above
In Bayonne, an ex-candidate from Le Pen’s party opened fire in front of a mosque. As the Interior minister Castaner refuses to call this act an assault, he opens the way for future violence. Just like when he sends the police to dismantle migrant camps, as in Paris last Thursday.
So, Edouard Philippe announced the 20 measures to “take back control of our migratory policy.” A public relations operation that would make Marine Le Pen proud, and includes tough attacks against migrants, made the scapegoats: building three new detention centres to expel more migrants, limiting migrants’ access to healthcare, and triaging them according to the bosses’ needs.
The government will also make access to healthcare more difficult for asylum seekers, who will have to wait for three months before getting access to the minimum health cover. As for undocumented people who are refused asylum, access to State medical aid (which enabled them to receive some care) will be reduced and monitored. The government talks about fraud and savings, but these are insignificant compared to all the services the migrants have the rights to but do not receive. And migrants are certainly not responsible for hospitals being at saturation: that is due to lack of money and personnel.
Another government announcement: setting up immigration “quotas” by profession. Immigrants will be selected by the bosses, for the bosses, to better overexploit their workforce. Macron is simply adapting what Sarkozy had already setup in 2008. And he uses the opportunity to suggest that immigrants are competitors on the job market. As if they were responsible for unemployment, job insecurity, and low wages forced through by the bosses and the government! Immigrants are workers. Borders might be physical or administrative, but they only benefit those who want to divide us and make us weaker.
In the eyes of repressive forces, we are all immigrants
The repressive measures do not just target migrants: the unemployed are harassed, demonstrating firemen exposed to tear gas, Yellow Jackets are hit by police violence and lawsuits…
The news media revealed that Yellow Jackets have been heavily targeted by legal procedures: 10,000 were held in custody and 3,000 have been convicted (including 1,000 who got jail time!) On the other side, despite hundreds of reported and documented cases of police brutality (hands ripped off, eyes gouged out…), only two police officers are being prosecuted by a compliant justice system. This way the government lets the police have free rein repressing the coming social movements.
Yesterday against the Yellow Jackets, today against migrants, and yesterday against everyone? This could well result in backlash.
So we shall be all together, in the strikes and in the streets, starting with December 5th. Those who sow the cruel winds shall reap the social whirwind. And not just in Chile, Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Hong Kong, or Haiti.