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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Trente ans après, un nouvel appel "contre le racisme et pour l’égalité des droits"

by National Collective "Equal Rights - Justice For All"

Thirty Years Later, A New Call "Against Racism and For Equal Rights"

Translated Friday 18 October 2013, by Isabelle Métral

On December 3rd, 1983, 100,000 demonstrators gathered in Paris, the end of a long march that had started in Marseille on the 15th of October. This march for equal rights and against racism, at the initiative of a group of marchers from the Lyon suburbs, marked the emergence of a new generation, that of the immigrants’ sons and daughters. It was organized following racist murders, episodes of police violence, and an electoral campaign notorious for its xenophobic and all-security frenzy, with the right allying itself with the National Front, as was the case in Dreux. In its own way it was a sequel to the previous decade’s struggles of immigrant workers for equal rights. The “invisible” were asserting themselves as an integral and active part of French society.

Our march did not end on December 3rd, 1983. We have never since ceased marching and struggling. Even if we have won victories or made a few breakthroughs, the immigrants’ situation and that of their descendants (many of them French citizens) have been continually worsening. The inhabitants of today’s popular neighborhoods are confronted with greater difficulties than their predecessors in 1983. Thirty years later, how frustrating it is to find that police violence and racist acts have not a bit abated and still go unpunished.

Worse still, racism is now institutionalized through laws, nauseating discourses and practices at the highest level, and compounding the notorious prejudices against Arabs, negro-phobia and islamophobia have gained ground. François Mitterrand, who was then President of the Republic, promised that extra-community foreigners would be given the right to vote: the promise was never kept. Today, after a decade of rightist government that has been notable for its populist excesses and demagogy - from the debate on “national identity” to the “positive effects of colonization” – the new government follows in the footsteps of all its predecessors: it restricts the right to asylum, enhances discrimination in all sectors of life, the relegation of popular neighbor-hoods and of their inhabitants, the vital threats against grass-root associations, racialist police checks that target Arabs and Negroes, a two-tier justice system, the hunting of undocumented foreigners and Roma, the multiplication of evictions… And meanwhile, Chibanis, our fathers and grandfathers, are forced to live in cramped conditions and deprived of their rights. [1]

Thirty years have gone by since the extraordinary hope raised by the 1983 March. Our determination is intact. We will not give in an inch. The message of the March for Equal Rights and Against Racism, even if it is not taught as it should in our classrooms, is as urgent as ever and we want it to be heard distinctly. That is why right now, everywhere, between October 15th and December 3rd, 2013, we propose that all those who make this call their own meet in general assemblies and take initiatives locally, regionally, nationally. We shall not be content with shouting our anger against injustice and inequality. We shall propose the motto of equal rights to all French citizens, in order to put an end to the Republic of contempt.

Right now, we call for two meetings: one on the 15th of October, the anniversary of the day when the March started in Marseille in 1983, and another on the 18th and 19th of October in Vaux-en-Velin, as a reminder that the Lyon suburb was the cradle of the movement. For two weeks, from November 25 to December 8, and all over the country, we shall organize events in favor of equal rights and justice for all. Let’s make the third of December a day of meetings and demonstrations . Let’s stage a national demonstration in Paris, on Saturday, December 7! Let’s us all march against racism and for equal rights! We are coming!

Agence Im’média, AIDDA, Association Femmes plurielles, Association les familles en lutte contre l’insécurité et les décès en détention» (Aflidd), Association L’Yeux Ouverts, Association «mémoire pour jawad», Association Remem’Beur, Association de Solidarité et d’Information pour l’Accès aux Droits (ASIAD), Attac France, Au nom de la mémoire, Cedetim, Collectif 3 C, Collectif Fathy Koumba, Collectif Féministes Pour l’Egalité, Collectif Les mots sont importants, Cie Espace Temps, Coordination des Intermittents et des Précaires (CIP), Copaf (Collectif pour l’avenir des foyers), Droit au Logement (DAL), Fédération des Associations de Solidarité avec les Travailleurs-es- Immigré-e-s (FASTI), Femmes en lutte 93, Fondation Frantz Fanon, Forum Social des Quartiers populaires (FSQP), Front Uni des Immigrations et des Quartiers Populaires (FUIQP)), L’Appel et la Pioche, L’Echo des cités, L’Etoile Nord Africaine Anticapitaliste (ENAAC), Ligue des Droits de l’homme (LDH), Mamans Toutes Egales (MTE), MRAP, Réseau Mémoires-Histoires en Île de France, Réseaux Interventions, Réflexion Quartiers Populaires (RIRQP), Sortir du colonialisme, Trajectoires, Union Nationale des Sans Papiers (UNSP), Union Syndicale Solidaires, (SUD) Vies Volées, Assemblée Citoyenne des Originaires de Turquie,(ACORT), AFAPREDESA (Association des Familles des Prisonniers et Disparus Sahraouis), Association des Marocains en France(AMF), Association des Travailleurs Maghrébins de France (ATMF), Association des Tunisiens en France(ATF), CIFORDOM, Conseil Représentatif des Associations Noires de France (CRAN), Fédération des Associations Kurdes en France ( FEYKA), Fédération des Tunisiens pour une Citoyenneté des deux Rives (FTCR), Association Démocratique des Tunisiens en France (ADTF), IJAN, La Maison du Tamil Eelam, Mouvement Citoyen des Tunisiens en France (MCTF), République et Diversité, Union Juive Française pour la Paix(UJFP), Union des Travailleurs Immigrés Tunisiens (UTIT), , La voix des Rroms.
Ïle de France : Association les Orange (Nanterre), Agence de Promotion des Cultures et du Voyage (APCV - Saint - Denis), Collectif étudiant-e-s étranger-ère-s de l’université de Paris 8 (CEEP8), Association de la Nouvelle Génération Immigrée (ANGI -Aubervilliers), Ensemble Vivre Travailler Coopérer (93), Association de solidarité Essonne avec les familles Roms et Roumaines, DIEL (Droits Ici et Là-bas), CSP75 coordination 75 des Sans-Papiers
Rhônes – Alpes : Valeurs des Quartiers - Agora (Vaulx en Velin, Association elghorba Lyon, collectif "Capagauche 07 » (Ardèche) Valence, Positive ( Drôme) , "Femmes en Luth, citoyennes à part entière" Valence (Drôme) PACA : Agissez, rêvez - Agir pour la justice, contre le racisme, l’exclusion et la violence (AJCRV Avignon), Librairie associative Transit – Marseille,
Nord pas de Calais : Algériens Nord Pour le Changement et la Démocratie (ANDC), Association des Mineurs Marocains du Nord-Pas-de-Calais (AMMN), Collectif Manouchian, Collectif Afrique, Association Tribu (Roubaix), Comité des Sans Papiers 59, Association Ch’faid, Association Etouchane, Association des Tunisiens du Nord de la France (ATNF) , Association Place Publique (associations membres du FUIQP) ARDLFM (Association pour la reconnaissance des droits et libertés aux femmes musulmanes 59), Rencontre et Dialogue Roubaix,
Collectif coup pour coup 31, Association régionale de lutte contre les discriminations et l’égalité des droits en Alsace (ALDA- Mulhouse),
Comité pour les respect des libertés et des droits de l’homme en Tunisie (CRLDHT), Association Citoyenne pour la Démocratie Participative (ACDP Tunis), Association Tunisienne de Soutien Aux Minorités, l’Association Tunisienne du Défense Des demandeurs d’Emploi-Kasserine

Political organizations that support the Call :

Fédération pour une Alternative sociale et écologique (FASE-), Gauche Anticapitaliste (GA), GA54-FASE, Les Alternatifs, Gauche Unitaire, Parti Communiste français (PCF), Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV), Emergence, Force citoyenne populaire (FCP), Front Populaire de Tunisie (section France), NPA.

[1Chibanis is the name for old workers from the Maghreb who cannot live their old age with their families in their native places short of giving up their rights to their meager pensions. They must spend at least eight months a year in France, more often than not in poor tenements.

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