French socialists: Gov’t officials use sympathy over killing of Samuel Paty to support anti-Islamic legislation

Protest over Paty’s killing. Sign reads: “I am a teacher.”


On Oct. 16, French high-school teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by an 18-year-old Chechen refugee, after the victim had discussed caricatures of the prophet Mohammad with his class. On Oct. 18, top French government officials joined a rally in Paris in memory of the teacher and in favor of “free speech.” The following statement in advance of that event was released by the Anticapitalism & Révolution tendency of the French New Anti-Capitalist Party.

After Samuel Paty’s beheading, dirty opportunism is already on the move! Samuel Paty has been the victim of a vile act and we want to express our pain and anger here. Those who commit or claim this assassination in the name of fundamentalism are reactionary bands, enemies to be fought.

But pain and anger do not make us forget who pushes our world towards barbarism. Capitalists and the governments at their service cause wars, violence, misery, social and ecological disasters. They are bringing the world to catastrophe. This is why we want to overturn this system!

[President Emmanuel] Macron calls on us to block with him against “obscurantism” and “Islamism.” He shamelessly relies on the immense emotion around this assassination to support his bill on separatism and its Islamophobic propaganda.

[Minister of Education Jean-Michel] Blanquer, for his part, found himself singing again about freedom of expression, while this week he continued with a disciplinary committee for four teachers of Melle who had just dared to express their opinion against his reform of the baccalaureate. This government has no scruples against relying on this assassination to reinforce divisions and accelerate its anti-social offensive against all.

What hypocrisy! Jean-Michel Blanquer, along with other members of the government and the right wing, have decided to invite themselves to the Samuel Paty tribute rally on Sunday, Oct. 18. We will not share our emotions with those who every day despise public education service and the teachers, paying them wages of misery and sabotaging their working conditions.

We will not defend freedom of expression alongside those who vilify it on a daily basis. We will not protest on Sunday with those who everyday of the week have only one obsession: delete our jobs, destroy our rights and freedoms.

Their fake pretenders and their lies are unworthy! No sacred union with those who make us pay for their crises!

We don’t belong in the same camp: we mourn our dead while they count their profits. So, we will not protest Sunday, Oct. 18, Place de la République in Paris in the presence of Blanquer, Schiappa, and Valls. We invite all unions and teachers to meet in general meetings, even during this time of school holiday, to organize tributes and reactions to Samuel Paty’s assassination.…

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