On Wednesday 5 June, a young student militant in Paris, Clément Méric, was shopping with his friends. They had an exchange with some individuals who were members of far right organisations who later on confronted Clément and his friends. They severely beat Clément, using a knuckle duster. He was knocked unconscious, and after being hospitalised, was pronounced brain dead.
This is a tragedy, and heartbreaking. Our condolences go to Clément’s family and his friends.
Clément was 19 years old, studying political science at university. He was known for being calm and thoughtful. He was interested in politics, he was dedicating his life to building a better world.
In this country you have the EDL and BNP growing, spreading disgusting Islamophobia, and you have the rise of the racist UKIP. The three main parties are intent on scaremongering about migrants while there is a decline in the living standards of the majority.
Fascism is a violent movement, which aims to take power, and is dedicated to civil war against our organisations: students and workers, the left and oppressed groups. We should not hesitate to use force in response to their force. And we cannot rely on the existing state, which serves the same interests as fascism, to do it for us. We need self-organised direct action that physically confronts these groups, which stops their activities and their work.
Physical force is not enough. We need to respond to fascism by fighting the social causes feeding it – the crisis, unemployment, destruction of services — and the system breeding it — capitalism. Only by uniting against our real enemy – the bosses, and the cuts-happy politicians who represent them — can we cut the roots of racism.
I have been very touched by what happened in Paris. And it got me thinking is that we must do as Clément was.
The best way to destroy fascism is to dedicate yourself to fighting the system which creates it, and for a society providing for human need in which all forms of oppression and exploitation can be abolished.
L’homme est mort
A man is dead, who had no other weapon
Than his arms that were open to life
A man is dead who had no other road
Than that of those who hate guns
A man is dead, who is struggling on
Against death against forgetting
Because all that he wanted
We want it too
We want it today
We want happiness to be the light
That shines in our eyes that shines in our hearts
And justice on the earth
There are words that give life
And these words are innocent
The word warmth the word trust
Love justice and the word freedom
The word child and the word kindness
And certain names of flowers and certain names of fruits
The word brother and the word comrade
And certain names of countries of villages
And certain names of women and friends
Let us add the name Clément Meric
Clément Meric is dead for that which gives us life
Let us call him friend his chest is shot through
But thanks to him we know ourselves better
Let us call him friend his hope is alive