The year 2015 was marked by an unleashing of war and terrorism. Dozens of armed conflicts spread death and destruction in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Millions of people have been killed wounded or forced into exile. On the borders of Europe, Ukraine has descended into a civil war that, according to the UN, has killed almost 10,000 people and injured more than 20,000. The list of countries affected by terrorism has continued to grow. The barbaric events in Paris could be repeated in London, Brussels or any other European city.

The French ruling class have cynically used the recent terrorist attacks as an excuse to clamp down on any dissent whatsoever across the country. The attacks by ISIS have been used opportunistically by president Francois Hollande, the most unpopular president since the 1950s. Increasing austerity and the deepening crisis has led to tensions reaching boiling point, as seen with the recent dispute at Air France, where bosses were chased out of their offices by workers facing redundancy. Although the declared aim of the State of Emergency is to combat terrorism, the French state has wasted no time in seizing the opportunity to attack those on the left.

In the recent days a number of Departmental Unions of the French General Confederation of Labour (CGT) and at least one Federation have come out clearly against the idea of national unity promoted by French president Hollande and by the French ruling class and have rejected the state of emergency which has been declared.

The attacks in Paris have aroused the revulsion and anger of millions of French workers and youth. Three days later, these feelings are still far from dying down. The fear of new attacks is palpable. It is fed by the obvious failure of the authorities to prevent Friday’s carnage, ten months after the attack on Charlie Hebdo. This weekend the streets of France’s major cities were all but deserted, bearing witness to this collective anxiety.

Last Friday, Paris was the scene of mass slaughter in which at least one hundred and twenty-nine people, mostly young kids enjoying themselves in cafes and a rock concert, were shot down in cold blood. The killers, shouting Allahu Akbar, discharged magazine after magazine, calmly reloading before killing more defenceless people as they lay helpless on the ground.

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