Support Our Comrades Saïd Bouamama and Saïdou (Z.E.P.)!
by Young Communists, Lille Section
On 20 January 2015, our comrades Saïdou, of the band Z.E.P. (Zone d’Expression Populaire), and Saïd Bouamama, a sociologist and militant communist based in Lille, are summoned to appear before the Court of First Instance of Paris, charged with “public insult” and “incitement to discrimination, hate, or violence” upon a complaint by the AGRIF (General Alliance Against Racism and for the Respect of French and Christian Identity), a far right group nostalgic for French colonialism.
The reason for the complaint is Saïd’s book Fuck France and a Z.E.P. song also titled “Fuck France,” whose refrain hammers home: “Fuck France and its colonialist past, its paternalist smells, stenches, and reflexes / Fuck France and its imperialist history, its capitalist walls, fortresses, and delusions” (see the video below).
We totally support our unjustly condemned comrades and share the message of this song, which reminds the audience that France, to be sure, is “the country of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen,” but the declaration remains just that, a declaration, given police brutality, racism, imperialism, etc. . . . which kill and oppress, now as then, thousands of people in our country.
That is why we, young communists of Lille, demand an end to the prosecution of Saïdou and Saïd Bouamama, as well as the immediate dissolution of AGRIF, a racist and reactionary organization.
To support our comrades: Come to the Court of First Instance of Paris on 20 January 2015, at 13:30!
Support Saïdou and Saïd Bouamama
by Alternative Libertaire
On 20 January 2015, Saïdou of the band Z.E.P. and Saïd Bouamama, a sociologist and activist, are summoned to appear before the Court of First Instance of Paris, charged with “public insult” and “incitement to discrimination, hate, or violence” upon a complain by a far right organization.
Saïdou, the singer of the group Zone d’Expression Populaire (Z.E.P.), and Saïd Bouamama, a sociologist and activist, are taken to court by the General Alliance Against Racism and for the Respect of French and Christian Identity (AGRIF) for “public insult” and “incitement to discrimination, hate, or violence” following the release of their book and album Fuck France: Duty of Insolence.
We cannot but totally endorse the lyrics of the song in question:
Fuck France and its colonialist past
Its paternalist smells, stenches, and reflexes
Fuck France and its imperialist history
Its capitalist walls, fortresses, and delusions
The complaint was lodged in October at the same time as the polemic launched by Jean-François Copé’s book about “anti-white racism.” This concept, which till then had been used only by the far right, makes it possible to accuse the victims of state racism of committing the same evils that torment them. The concept is not new: Frantz Fanon described it as a weapon against the demands of the colonized.
This judicial attack illustrates the injunctions to silence imposed upon the children of immigrants. The question is posed by Saïd Bouamama: “Why doesn’t Mohammed have the right to insult the flag though Michel does?” In representing the act of insulting France as “anti-white racism,” the fascists of the AGRIF want to essentially assert that being French equals being white!
A fightback is underway: a petition was quickly posted online with the goal of collecting 100,000 signatures before February, and a national support campaign — Duty of Anti-Racist Insolence, of which Alternative Libertaire is a signatory — has been launched.
We must combat the injunction to silence, or what Abdelmalek Sayad, a sociologist of immigration, calls an injunction to “behave,” forced on immigrants. That’s Saïdou and Bouamama’s aim, and their trial illustrates well the fate reserved for the men and women who refuse to obey this injunction to “behave.”
Thank you, France! Well, there are no thanks for discrimination, police brutality, misery, social insecurity, colonial crimes past and present. This trial criminalizes a call for equality.
Alternative Libertaire demands the abandonment of the judicial prosecution of these two comrades, supports the Duty of Anti-Racist Insolence campaign, and calls for involvement in the campaign. Let’s defy the injunctions to shut up imposed upon the dominated and exploited! May their words express themselves in all their radicality!
The original statements in French may be read at jclille.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/soutien-a-nos-camarades-said-bouamama-et-saidou-zep/ (3 January 2015) and www.alternativelibertaire.org/?Soutien-a-Saidou-et-Said-Bouamama (5 January 2015). Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] gmail.com).