Grassroots Political Militants

French cities burst back into flames after President Sarkozy’s election on a ‘clean the scum off the streets with a high-pressure hose’ ticket. It won’t be the last time, as long as the factors necessitating the mass revolt of November 2005 remain in place, in France and elsewhere. This text, based on Emilio Quadrelli’s interviews in the Paris banlieues during and after the 2005 events, overthrows the whole spectrum of slurs against the racialised, pathologised racaille. The myth of an all-boy riot is trashed by female combatant leaders, and leftist commonplaces incur special scorn, above all those about the inarticulate cry for help of the ‘socially excluded’.

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