Archive for the ‘Ultra Left’ Category
French Radio stations (France-Inter and Europe 1) were full of this story this morning.
The lone gunman arrested on Wednesday night for carrying out two shootings and a carjacking in Paris had “recently returned from England”, it was reported on Thursday.
In a coup de theatre, police caught the gunman on Wednesday night in an underground carpark and named him as Abdelhakim Dekhar – convicted in 1998 for giving a gun to a leftist couple that went on a “Bonnie-and-Clyde”-style killing spree four years previously.
Investigators suggest Abdelhakim Dekhar went to live in Britain after serving a prison sentence in relation to a high-profile French murder case of the 1990s.
Police found “confused” notes on Mr Dekhar containing rants about the situation in Libya and Syria that “might be an attempt to explain his acts”, although they said it was far too early to say whether there was any “political motivation” behind the violence.
Mr Dekhar – known to have moved in leftist circles – also slammed the French media and capitalism in general as a “fascist plot”, according to the Paris prosecutor.
The suspect was previously sentenced to four years in jail for buying a gun used in the 1994 attacks by Florence Rey, a 19-year old political science student, and her lover Audry Maupin, who murdered 3 policemen and a taxi driver in a case that gripped France.
Mr Maupin died in the chase, while Miss Rey, a fresh-faced student from a middle-class family, was a figure of fascination, as she showed no emotion during her trial in which she maintained a stony silence.
She had claimed that Mr Dekhar, 46, was the “third man” in their killing spree.
More in Libération.
Details on the Rey-Maupin (‘Natural Born Killers’) case on Wikipedia (French).
English Wikipedia says,
“Florence Rey (born August 25, 1975) and her boyfriend Audry Maupin (born October 4, 1972) were involved in a shoot-out in central Paris on October 4, 1994 following a high speed car chase. The incident caused the deaths of five people; three policemen, a taxi driver, and Maupin.”
“Florence Rey was a 19 year old student studying philosophy at the Science-Po and Audry Maupin was a 22 year old drop-out from the faculty of medicine at Nanterre. At the time of the incident they were living together in a squat in an abandoned bourgeoise house in Nanterre. The pair were already under observation by the Renseignements Généraux, the French secret police, prior to the incident due to their involvement with an underground political group. When the police searched their squat after the killings they found revolutionary and anarchist literature, such as The Society Of The Spectacle by Guy Debord. They found the couple’s writings, which echoed surrealism, radicalism and situationism.”
Abdelhakim Dekhar was the “third man” in this affair.
The Nouvel Observateur reports that Dekhar claims that his actions had something to with a “fascist plot”.
Le tireur présumé avait écrit une autre lettre “non datée”, remise par l’homme qui l’hébergeait, dans laquelle il dénonçait “un complot fasciste” et accusait “les médias de participer à la manipulation des masses”. Il s’en prenait également au ”capitalisme” et à “la gestion des banlieues”, qui s’apparentait, selon lui, à “une entreprise de déshumanisation sur des populations dont le grand capitalisme ne veut pas”.
The presumed gunman had written a ‘undated’ letter, left in the hands of the man who lodged him, in which he denounced a “fascist plot”, and accused “the media of participation in the manipulation of the masses”. He also attacked “capitalism”, “the management of the suburban housing estates”, which is part, in his eyes, of an “enterprise which dehumanises the population of which big capital has no need.”
Rue 89 adds there is a second letter,
in which Abdelhakim Dekhar evokes Islam, the situation in Syria and condemns a ” conspiracy that aims to bring back fascism. “
The letter ends by quoting a passage from “Song of the Partisans ”
Le Monde reports that will undergo a psychiatric examination.
Many people might not recall the right-wing columnist, David Aaronovitch, but here he is in full fettle,
They were the most sexy left group on campus – smoking dope, dropping acid, bonking and partying.
WHEN I was first at college, the most romantic and sexy left group on campus was Tariq Ali’s International Marxist Group. They smoked dope, they dropped acid, they bonked, they argued, they partied. When they got militant the blokes all put on denim jackets, tartan scarves and black gloves, and occupied things. And the IMG women were cool, too, divided between free-loving Alexandra Kollontais and Earth Mothers.
Echoes of this past were ringing in my ears when I read the accounts this week of the attempts by Liz Davies, the ousted Labour candidate for Leeds, to get elected to the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party this autumn. She is part of a slate – the “centre-left” slate, no less – which is canvassing for the votes of ordinary Labour Party members, even as I write. She’s had a very good press for, after all, what is she doing, other than trying to debate, in a party that now stifles debate? Poor Liz.
And Poor Liz campaigns more in sorrow than in anger. This is part of her election statement: “During the general election campaign, tens of thousands of Party members worked long hours… because they believed a Labour government would build a fairer, more compassionate and more collective society,” she says. But what happened? “Tragically, the New Labour Government has implemented or proposed measures which will have exactly the opposite effect.” So what can we do, Liz? “This year’s NEC elections are a critical and historic opportunity for party members to express their disappointment with the Government and their alarm over its apparent future direction.”
Liz’s slate is a heterodox one, bringing together various groups. But Liz’s bit of it, Labour Left Briefing, may be slightly less amazed by the failure of Tony Blair to be their kind of guy than is the ordinary disappointed activist in the Clapham smoke-filled room. Because, in fact, they never thought that the PM would usher in “a fairer, more compassionate, more collective society”.
More here. At the time Labour Briefing’s ‘Inner circle’ (about 12 people) had two former members of the IMG. Leonora Lloyd and me. Oh and by the way we won 2 out of the six seats on the Labour Party National Executive.
The re-elect Labour on a Socialist Platform Parliamentary cretins have long abandoned the Red Flag of Revolution for the White Flag of Reformism and have almost destroyed our movement.
Prepare for November 5th 2013 Day of Direct Action for a Bonfire of all Con- Dem Government Vanities.
From Peoples Assembly to People’s War is our call the days of Reformism and Revisionism are over.
“Build an Anti-Capitalist Alternative.”
PS: this does not appear to be a conscious spoof.
Hat-tip to the Father of the Faris.
Building Unite the Resistance to Expose the Left Misleaders.
The SWP has responded….
Charlie Kimber and Alex Callinicos.
The article begins, “For almost a year the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) has been seized by deep division. It has not stopped us acting as a revolutionary organisation. We have had successes and recruited hundreds of new members. The trade union conferences saw some of the biggest party fringe meetings ever and near-record sales of Socialist Worker.”
I continue for the many (very many) who have stopped at this point and skip to the next paragraph.
“But none of that is to underestimate the shock we have suffered or the damage inflicted, as hundreds of members resigned from the SWP.”
For those interested in a serious in-depth discussion on the “specific issues that sparked this process” read (while you can) the just published Alex Callinicos, Charlie Kimber and the investigation of rape. (Hat-Tip AC).
The present piece will concentrate on what lies behind what the Author of the article summarises as,
The strategy behind Callinicos and Kimber’s piece is to blame everyone but themselves for the crisis in the SWP: Michael Rosen, Lindsey German, John Rees, George Galloway, John McDonell, Jeremy Corbyn and many others get criticised by name for their failures of revolutionary nerve.
Amongst the gems we have this, ” Respect was too small and too narrow. The International Socialist Network is at fault. They note the “disgraceful attacks that Seymour and his ilk were making on the rest of the party.” Their former comrades German and Rees, “Counterfire has become little more than decorative coverage for the efforts by Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, to rebuild the Labour left.”
The SWP’s present analysis will no doubt please Len McClusky, and Counterfire, leading forces in the People’s Assembly,
a rank and file to the left of the union leaders does still exist, although not as an organised movement. It was reflected in the 36 percent of the vote won by Jerry Hicks in the Unite general secretary election against Len McCluskey, one of the most left wing leaders. It was seen in the votes at the trade union conferences this year where a substantial minority of a third or more wanted to go much further than the union leaders proposed. It made itself felt in the warm reception at the local and national People’s Assemblies for criticism of the trade union and Labour leaders’ lack of action.
This is the primary layer that Unite the Resistance seeks to pull together and organise into more solid networks of solidarity and political understanding.
In other words the SWP, through its front organisation, Unite the Resistance, intends to use the People’s Assembly’s meetings as pools from which to build their own organisation.
Expect “criticisms” (we are only too familiar with how they are delivered) of “trade unions” and Labour” leaders at every People’s Assembly event.
But then, naturally, “Ultra-left sectarians never have any problem about denouncing trade union bureaucrats such as McCluskey. But, by counterposing abstract programmes to living movements, they ensure there is no interaction between them and activists influenced by reformism but open to the arguments of revolutionaries.”
Is the SWP’s way?
A successful party must seek to chart a clear way forward, and to develop alternatives to capitalist explanations of the world, but crucially it must also raise the level of confidence and struggle by the working class. Ultimately a revolutionary party is about providing the leadership that can enable the working class to conquer state power-in its own country and internationally.
We will be interested to see what “living movement” can be resurrected from the SWP, ready to “conquer state power”.
And how their front organisation’s actions will raise anybody’s ”confidence” apart from their own.