Peter Myers Digest: French Left follow Saul Alinsky’s model for ethnic war

(1) US Globalist/Trotskyoid Left (notably Jewish) promoted Race War in France
(2) US State Department-Trained French Activist Rokhaya Diallo Poured Fuel on the Fire
(3) Wikileak from US Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin on ‘Minority Engagement Strategy’ in France
(4) French Left follow Saul Alinsky’s model for ethnic war
(5) Charles Rivkin – Jewish, from Eastern Europe (Ashkenazi)

(1) US Globalist/Trotskyoid Left (notably Jewish) promoted Race War in France

The US Government Is Responsible For France’s Anti-White Race Riots

The US Government Is Responsible For France’s Anti-White Race Riots

By National Justice Party -July 6, 20231

Joseph Jordan

In the last week, the banlieues surrounding France’s major cities have erupted in flames and anarchy, with at least one confirmed death, hundreds of injuries and approaching a billion Euros worth of damage. Vicious street battles continue to rage on across the country, pitting immigrant descendants of blacks and Algerians against police and native Gallo-Romans citizens. Much of the violence has taken place around luxury consumer good stores that the supposedly politically aggrieved minorities have been looting at an alarming rate. Law enforcement is on the defensive, with their national union publicly decrying their inability to control the “savagery.”

The claimed catalyst for this European episode of American style anti-white racial chaos was the death of a 17-year-old Maghrebi criminal named Nahel Merzouk, who was shot by the police after attempting to escape in his car during an arrest. Despite not being legally old enough to operate an automobile, Merzouk was driving around in a Mercedes Benz sports car and was shot attempting to get away as officers struggled to arrest him. Under a 2017 law, French police are instructed to shoot reckless drivers that seek to escape arrest, but the white police officer in question, Floriant M., is nevertheless facing manslaughter charges in order to placate the mob, business elites and professional race activists.

If the situation is reminiscent of the 2020 race riots that gripped the United States following the death of George Floyd, that is not a coincidence.

French media initially sided with the police in this story. Their tune changed after a short out of context clip of the incident was pounced upon by local agents of Washington, US State Department trained Rokhaya Diallo, who have taken to friendly British and American media to flout France’s strict incitement laws and openly condone the criminal violence while defaming the white French without any counter-argument.

These riots are a product of deliberate malice brought to fruition by more than a decade of covert and overt influence operations seeking to transform France’s black and brown criminal population into a permanent Jewish-American imperial foothold.

One of the earliest records of this intelligence operation is a series of classified US embassy cables from 2010 publicized by Wikileaks. In these memos, the Hollywood Jewish mogul Charles Rivkin, then appointed ambassador to France by the Obama administration, outlines a seven-point plan for mobilizing blacks and Maghrebis in France as a political cudgel against their hosts.

In the nefarious memo, Rivkin laments that French institutions are “overwhelmingly white” and draws up a plan to build State Department backed parallel media outlets, NGOs and educational entities to undermine and replace the established order. In pursuit of the goal of de-Europeanizing France, the Jewish ambassador calls for mobilizing US influence to “intensify our work with French museums and educators to reform the history curriculum taught in French schools,” using “new media” to indoctrinate non-white youth in France, and “support, train and engage media and political activists who share our values.” The cable summarizes the agenda by instructing Washington’s agents to “build on the expansive Public Diplomacy programs already in place at post, and develop creative, additional means to influence the youth of France, employing new media, corporate partnerships, nationwide competitions, targeted outreach events, especially invited U.S. guests” to “identify” and “influence future French leaders.”

Rivkin would eventually utilize his contacts in Hollywood to recruit American celebrities like Samuel L. Jackson to accompany him to French ghettos to help him recruit potential operatives.

Several anti-white activists and institutions dedicated to inciting non-white people against the police and the French society that they chose to live in have since emerged from this conspiracy. Figures such as the aforementioned Diallo — who is now arguably the most prominent French activist on the planet thanks to the platform granted to her by US media — and the Jew Tara Dickman of the “Collective Against Racial Profiling” (an anti-police group) were brought to America by the US embassy and affiliated Atlanticist NGOs to be trained in Bolshevistic agitation techniques in cities such as Chicago.

Following this outreach, Dickman noted that she applied American strategies back in France to lead an avalanche of “racial profiling” lawsuits against police in hopes of hamstringing their ability to enforce the law against African and Algerian criminals — effectively willing a previously non-existent issue into existence. As a result, cops in France have been neutered in respects to non-white crime under immense coordinated legal, media and global political pressure. The once relatively safe European nation is now consumed by ethnic and interracial violence, as seen in shocking videos of toddlers and their grandmothers being brutalized in the street by blacks and stories of 12-year-old white girls being abducted and tortured to death by Algerians. As of the time of this writing, France is more dangerous than Mexico.

Some French politicians, such as parliament member Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, have openly condemned America’s visible and covert hand behind the rise of “white guilt” narratives, anti-white violence, and corrosive well-funded agitation in the country. Even Emmanuel Macron, the platonic form of a neo-liberal, has condemned Judeo-American “wokeisme’s” role in destabilizing the nation and inflaming racial conflict.

Though consciousness of what is happening is high among the French, little is being done to counter influence from its NATO “ally,” which aggressively spies on its political leaderswith no diplomatic consequences. Several influential French figures and leaders such as former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, who is Jewish, are alumni of Washington’s influence and asset recruitment operations, including the State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Program. France’s elites are highly compromised by the United States, which has prevented meaningful solidarity from forming against Washington’s meddling.

With Macron apparently attempting to convince Europe to follow a more independent foreign policy path away from the United States, Washington may see forcing more rootless “Americanized” non-whites into positions of power over France via the threat of State Department backed race riots and accelerated affirmative action programs as the permanent solution to an indigenous Gaullist streak. The at times anti-American idea of a sovereign France animates both the native left and right, but Jews perceivethis consensus as a potential threat to the globalist-Atlanticist effort seeking to prevent Europe from emerging as an independent power in a multipolar world.

The neverending nightmare the Jewish rulers of America subject us to at home is for export, as current Secretary of State Antony Blinken co-wrote with his fellow Jew accomplice Robert Kagan in 2019. Blinken makes clear that any nation in the economic and military sphere of influence of Washington will have its native culture and people targeted for attack, and those who resist must be crushed. If those people happen to be white, the policy will take on a particular cruel and ferocious form.

(2) US State Department-Trained French Activist Rokhaya Diallo Poured Fuel on the Fire

US State Department-Trained French Activist/Arsonist Pouring Fuel on the Fire
Rokhaya Diallo is just doing what she was trained to do

2 JUL 2023

Sometimes things slot in so easily and perfectly that you can’t be blamed for thinking of Tetris. Yesterday was one of those days.

In response to the segment on the current round of riots in France in yesterday’s SCR, user Dusty made the following comment:

Dusty underestimated the perfidy of the USA in this case, which is understandable, as we cannot know everything that they are up to. There’s simply too much meddling going on.

I took the opportunity to reply to Dusty, by going back to SCR #112 which had a segment on the spread of “Le Wokisme” in France. From SCR #112:

Although it has made inroads into French politics, it is nowhere near the level of success that it has achieved in the USA and Canada.

As the last panel, “Media and Universities: In Need of Reform and Reassessment?,” got under way, Diallo took the opportunity to argue the opposite position. Onstage with her were a political scientist and two philosophy professors, one of whom was the moderator, Perrine Simon-Nahum. Diallo is a well-known and polarizing figure in France, a telegenic proponent of identity politics with a large social-media following. She draws parallels between the French and American criminal-justice systems (one of her documentaries is called From Paris to Ferguson), making the case that institutional racism afflicts her nation just as it does the U.S., most notably in discriminatory stop-and-frisk policing. Her views would hardly be considered extreme in America, but here she is seen in some quarters as a genuinely subversive agent.

Diallo IS a subversive agent, and can be considered an American one thanks to what Chatterton Williams shares with us later on in the article:

In 2010, the U.S. State Department invited French politicians and activists to a leadership program to help them strengthen the voice and representation of ethnic groups that have been excluded from government. Rokhaya Diallo attended, which many of her critics still use as evidence that she is a trained proselytizer of American social-justice propaganda. (In 2017, under pressure from both the left and the right, Macron’s government asked for her removal—as Diallo put it to me, it “canceled” her—from a government advisory council, seemingly on the grounds that race- and religious-based political organizing contradicts key principles of French republicanism and secularism, or laïcité.)

But in a classified memo published on WikiLeaks, former U.S. Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin laid out the pragmatic, self-interested rationale for the program, part of what was called a “Minority Engagement Strategy”:

French institutions have not proven themselves flexible enough to adjust to an increasingly heterodox demography. We believe that if France, over the long run, does not successfully increase opportunity and provide genuine political representation for its minority populations, France could become a weaker, more divided country, perhaps more crisis-prone and inward-looking, and consequently a less capable ally.

What do you call a person who goes to a foreign country to receive training from them in how to exacerbate divisions back at home? Anyway….

Here is the key bit one more time:

In 2010, the U.S. State Department invited French politicians and activists to a leadership program to help them strengthen the voice and representation of ethnic groups that have been excluded from government. Rokhaya Diallo attended, which many of her critics still use as evidence that she is a trained proselytizer of American social-justice propaganda.

Her wiki bio has her down as an “….author, film-maker, and activist for racial, gender and religious equality.”. The New York Times described her as “one of France’s most prominent anti-racism activists”.

She has all the right opinions, and it’s interesting to note how they align perfectly with liberal and leftist views emanating from the USA. She is one of the key proponents of the Americanization of French politics, culture, and society. The US State Department trained her well, and she is rewarded for doing their bidding.

Per habit, I went over to the UK Guardian to see what they had on offer regarding the riots in France, and lo and behold this pops up on my screen:

It’s pretty coincidental that a UK publication would turn to a US State Department-trained arsonist for a sober take on what is happening in France.

A sample:

Nahel’s death is another chapter in a long and traumatic story. Whatever our age, many of us French who are descended from postcolonial immigration carry within us this fear combined with rage, the result of decades of accumulated injustice. This year, we commemorate the 40th anniversary of a seminal event. In 1983, Toumi Djaïdja, a 19-year-old from a Lyon banlieue, became the victim of police violence that left him in a coma for two weeks. This was the genesis of the March for Equality and Against Racism, the first antiracist demonstration on a national scale, in which 100,000 people took part.

For 40 years this movement has not stopped calling out the violence we see targeted at working-class neighbourhoods and more broadly black people and people of north African origin. The crimes of the police are at the root of many of the uprisings in France’s most impoverished urban areas, and it is these crimes that must be condemned first. After years of marches, petitions, open letters and public requests, a disaffected youth finds no other way to be heard than by rioting. It is difficult to avoid asking if, without so many uprisings in cities across France, Nahel’s death would have garnered the attention it has. And as Martin Luther King rightly said: “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

Of course the American agent will quote MLK. That’s part of the process of Americanization. MLK is completely alien to France and its history, but that won’t stop people like her from trying to reframe it anyway. To them,we are all Americans………one way or another.

Nor do her efforts have anything to do with justice or “combatting racism”. Her role is to berate and shame France and French people to facilitate the transformation of the country to little more than a de facto US state, one with a funny language and good bagels, wine, and cheese.

Where in the West has “anti-racism” succeeded? Rather than succeed in its stated goals, all its done is hyper-racialize politics and society, erode rights, and create a lot of jobs for an academic class who are otherwise wholly unproductive. They will insist that racism is constantly “on the rise”, which is very self-serving, of course.

The French are right: Diallo is a foreign-trained subversive. The tragedy is that her subversion is the result of an intentional program courtesy of an ally, the USA.

(3) Wikileak from US Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin on ‘Minority Engagement Strategy’ in France

Date:2010 January 19, 09:24 (Tuesday) Canonical ID:10PARIS58_a
Original Classification:CONFIDENTIAL,NOFORN Current Classification:CONFIDENTIAL,NOFORN
Handling Restrictions– Not Assigned —
Character Count:15894
Executive Order:– Not Assigned — Locator:TEXT ONLINE
TAGS:FR – France | KIRF – International Religious Freedom | KISL – Islamic Issues | PGOV – Political Affairs–Government; Internal Governmental Affairs | PREL – Political Affairs–External Political Relations Concepts:– Not Assigned —
Enclosure:– Not Assigned — Type:TE – Telegram (cable)
Office Origin:– N/A or Blank —
Office Action:– N/A or Blank — Archive Status:– Not Assigned —
From:France Paris Markings:– Not Assigned —
To:Group Destinations European Political Collective | Secretary of State

B. PARIS 1714

Classified By: Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin, Reasons 1.4(b),(d).

1. (C/NF) SUMMARY: In keeping with France’s unique history
and circumstances, Embassy Paris has created a Minority
Engagement Strategy that encompasses, among other groups, the
French Muslim population and responds to the goals outlined
in reftel A. Our aim is to engage the French population at
all levels in order to amplify France’s efforts to realize
its own egalitarian ideals, thereby advancing U.S. national
interests. While France is justifiably proud of its leading
role in conceiving democratic ideals and championing human
rights and the rule of law, French institutions have not
proven themselves flexible enough to adjust to an
increasingly heterodox demography. We believe that if
France, over the long run, does not successfully increase
opportunity and provide genuine political representation for
its minority populations, France could become a weaker, more
divided country, perhaps more crisis-prone and
inward-looking, and consequently a less capable ally. To
support French efforts to provide equal opportunity for
minority populations, we will engage in positive discourse;
set a strong example; implement an aggressive youth outreach
strategy; encourage moderate voices; propagate best
practices; and deepen our understanding of the underlying
causes of inequality in France. We will also integrate the
efforts of various Embassy sections, target influential
leaders among our primary audiences, and evaluate both
tangible and intangible indicators of the success of our
strategy. END SUMMARY.

——————————————— —–
——————————————— —–

2. (C/NF) France has long championed human rights and the
rule of law, both at home and abroad, and justifiably
perceives itself as a historic leader among democratic
nations. This history and self-perception will serve us well
as we implement the strategy outlined here, in which we press
France toward a fuller application of the democratic values
it espouses. This strategy is necessary because French
institutions have not proven themselves flexible enough to
adjust to the country’s increasingly heterodox demography.
Very few minorities hold leadership positions in France’s
public institutions. As President Sarkozy’s own Diversity
Czar Yazid Sabeg told Ambassador Rivkin in December, the
National Assembly “serves as a mirror of the crisis of
representation in France” (reftel B). The National Assembly,
among its 577 deputies, has a single black member from
metropolitan France (excluding its island territories), but
does not have any elected representatives of Muslim or Arab
extraction, though this minority group alone represents
approximately 10 percent of the population. The Senate has
two Muslim Senators (out of 343), but no black
representatives and only a few Senators hail from other
ethnic or religious minorities. Sabeg also noted that none
of France’s approximately 180 Ambassadors is black, and only
one is of North African descent. Despite Sarkozy’s
appointment of leaders such as Rachida Dati, Fidela Amara and
Rama Yade, minorities continue to confront a very thick glass
ceiling in France’s public institutions. The French media
remains overwhelmingly white, with only modest increases in
minority representation on camera for major news broadcasts.
Among French elite educational institutions, we are only
aware that Sciences Po has taken serious steps to integrate.
While slightly better represented in private organizations,
minorities in France lead very few corporations and
foundations. Thus the reality of French public life defies
the nation’s egalitarian ideals. In-group, elitist politics
still characterize French public institutions, while extreme
right, xenophobic policies hold appeal for a small (but
occasionally influential) minority. Post will continue to
explore other underlying causes of the social, political and
economic barriers impeding the advancement of minorities in
France (see Tactic 6, below).

3. (C/NF) France suffers consequences when its leading
institutions fail to reflect the composition of its
population. We believe France has not benefited fully from
the energy, drive, and ideas of its minorities. Despite some
French claims to serve as a model of assimilation and
meritocracy, undeniable inequities tarnish France’s global
image and diminish its influence abroad. In our view, a
sustained failure to increase opportunity and provide genuine
political representation for its minority populations could
render France a weaker, more divided country. The
geopolitical consequences of France’s weakness and division
will adversely affect U.S. interests, as we need strong
partners in the heart of Europe to help us promote democratic

PARIS 00000058 002 OF 004

values. Moreover, social exclusion has domestic consequences
for France, including the alienation of some segments of the
population, which can in turn adversely affect our own
efforts to fight global networks of violent extremists. A
thriving, inclusive French polity will help advance our
interests in expanding democracy and increasing stability


4. (C/NF) The overarching goal of our minority outreach
strategy is to engage the French population at all levels in
order to help France to realize its own egalitarian ideals.
Our strategy has three broad target audiences in mind: (1)
the majority, especially the elites; (2) minorities, with a
focus on their leaders; (3) and the general population.
Employing the seven tactics described below, we aim (1) to
increase awareness among France’s elites of the benefits of
expanding opportunity and the costs of maintaining the status
quo; (2) to improve the skills and grow the confidence of
minority leaders who seek to increase their influence; (3)
and to communicate to the general population in France that
we particularly admire the diversity and dynamism of its
population, while emphasizing the advantages of profiting
from those qualities by expanding opportunities for all.


5. (C/NF) First, we will focus our discourse on the issue of
equal opportunity. When we give public addresses about the
community of democracies, we will emphasize, among the
qualities of democracy, the right to be different, protection
of minority rights, the value of equal opportunity, and the
importance of genuine political representation. In private
meetings, we will deliberately direct questions about equal
opportunity in France to high-level, non-minority French
leaders. Rather than retreating from discussions involving
two sacred cows in France — the concepts of “secularism” and
“communitarianism” — we will engage French leaders directly
about the role that their terminology and intellectual
frameworks could play in creating (or diminishing) equality
of opportunity in France. We will endeavor to convey the
costs to France of the under-representation of minorities,
highlighting the benefits we have accumulated, over time, by
working hard to chip away at the various impediments faced by
American minorities. We will, of course, continue to adopt a
humble attitude regarding our own situation in the U.S., but
nevertheless will stress the innumerable benefits accruing
from a proactive approach to broad social inclusion,
complementing our French partners on any positive steps they
take. In addition, we will continue and intensify our work
with French museums and educators to reform the history
curriculum taught in French schools, so that it takes into
account the role and perspectives of minorities in French


6. (C/NF) Second, we will employ the tool of example. We
will continue and expand our efforts to bring minority
leaders from the U.S. to France, working with these American
leaders to convey an honest sense of their experience to
French minority and non-minority leaders alike. When we send
French leaders to America, we will include, as often as
possible, a component of their trip that focuses on equal
opportunity. In the Embassy, we will continue to invite a
broad spectrum of French society to our events, and avoid, as
appropriate, hosting white-only events, or minority-only
events. We will be inclusive, working in this way to break
down barriers, facilitate communication, and expand networks.
By bringing together groups who would not otherwise interact
together, the Embassy will continue to use its cachet to
create networking opportunities that cut through traditional
cultural and social barriers in France.


7. (C/NF) Third, we will continue and expand our youth
outreach efforts in order to communicate about our shared
values with young French audiences of all socio-cultural
backgrounds. Leading the charge on this effort, the
Ambassador’s inter-agency Youth Outreach Initiative aims to
engender a positive dynamic among French youth that leads to
greater support for U.S. objectives and values. Some

PARIS 00000058 003 OF 004

elements of our Youth Outreach Initiative have particular
importance for minorities, including:

— Drawing heavily on new media, we aim first to build trust
and gain understanding among French youth from diverse

— While reinforcing mutual trust and understanding, we seek
to help France’s next generation improve their capacity to
lead in their communities, while also conveying the
importance of transcending the bounds of their own
communities in order to make a broader, national impact.

— To achieve these aims, we will build on the expansive
Public Diplomacy programs already in place at post, and
develop creative, additional means to influence the youth of
France, employing new media, corporate partnerships,
nationwide competitions, targeted outreach events, especially
invited U.S. guests.

— We will also develop new tools to identify, learn from,
and influence future French leaders.

— As we expand training and exchange opportunities for the
youth of France, we will continue to make absolutely certain
that the exchanges we support are inclusive.

— We will build on existing youth networks in France, and
create new ones in cyberspace, connecting France’s future
leaders to each other in a forum whose values we help to
shape — values of inclusion, mutual respect, and open


8. (C/NF) Fourth, we will encourage moderate voices of
tolerance to express themselves with courage and conviction.
Building on our work with two prominent websites geared
toward young French-speaking Muslims — < and
< — we will support, train, and engage media
and political activists who share our values. As we continue
to meet with moderate leaders of minority groups, we will
also expand our efforts to facilitate grass roots inter-faith
exchanges. We will share in France, with faith communities
and with the Ministry of the Interior, the most effective
techniques for teaching tolerance currently employed in
American mosques, synagogues, churches, and other religious
institutions. We will engage directly with the Ministry of
Interior to compare U.S. and French approaches to supporting
minority leaders who seek moderation and mutual
understanding, while also comparing our responses to those
who seek to sow hatred and discord.


9. (C/NF) Fifth, we will continue our project of sharing
best practices with young leaders in all fields, including
young political leaders of all moderate parties so that they
have the toolkits and mentoring to move ahead. We will
create or support training and exchange programs that teach
the enduring value of broad inclusion to schools, civil
society groups, bloggers, political advisors, and local
politicians. Through outreach programs, Embassy officers
from all sections will interact and communicate to these same
groups our best practices in creating equal opportunities for
all Americans. We will also provide tools for teaching
tolerance to the network of over 1,000 American university
students who teach English in French schools every year.

——————————————— —-
——————————————— —-

10. (C/NF) Sixth, through focused contact work, reporting
and analysis, we will deepen the USG understanding of the
underlying causes of inequality and discrimination in France.
We will break new ground by examining how the very structure
of some French institutions may limit minority representation
in elected office and the high ranks of the civil service.
Examining significant developments in depth, such as the
debate on national identity (reftel B), we plan to track
trends and, ideally, predict change in the status of
minorities in France, estimating how this change will impact
U.S. interests. As our awareness expands and deepens, we
will adjust, accordingly, the minority outreach strategy
described here.

——————————————— ——–

PARIS 00000058 004 OF 004

——————————————— ——–

11. (C/NF) Finally, a Minority Working Group will integrate
the discourse, actions, and analysis of relevant sections and
agencies in the Embassy. This group, working in tandem with
the Youth Outreach Initiative, will identify and target
influential leaders and groups among our primary audiences.
It will also evaluate our impact over the course of the year,
by examining both tangible and intangible indicators of
success. Tangible changes include a measurable increase in
the number of minorities leading and participating in public
and private organizations, including elite educational
institutions; growth in the number of constructive efforts by
minority leaders to organize political support both within
and beyond their own minority communities; new, proactive
policies to enhance social inclusion adopted by non-minority
political leaders; expansion of inter-communal and
inter-faith exchanges at the local level; decrease in popular
support for xenophobic political parties and platforms.
While we could never claim credit for these positive
developments, we will focus our efforts in carrying out
activities, described above, that prod, urge and stimulate
movement in the right direction. In addition, we will track
intangible measures of success — a growing sense of
belonging, for example, among young French minorities, and a
burgeoning hope that they, too, can represent their country
at home, and abroad, even one day at the pinnacle of French
public life, as president of the Republic.

(4) French Left follow Saul Alinsky’s model for ethnic war

What’s the matter with the banlieues? Exploring the importation of the
American community organizing tradition by French social movements

Julien Talpin

With the eclipse of the once-powerful Communist and Socialist Parties in France, and these parties’
traditional roots in the country’s white working class, the residents of long-neglected blue-collar
and immigrant suburbs (banlieues) have had little political voice. In recent years, some have turned
to the American tradition of community organizing as a way to build power independently. In this
first of two articles, Julien Talpin explains the different ways in which activists from the banlieues
have imported this tradition, and foreshadows the risks of French activism with an American

In recent years, French social movements have been increasingly influenced by the American
community organizing tradition and especially by the work of Saul Alinsky. Some neighborhood
organizations have even tried to replicate the Alinsky model in its pure form, before moving
towards an organizing model inspired by ACORN,1
the once-powerful organization of communitybased activist groups. How can a country with such a different political culture from the US be
directly influenced by its social-movement tradition? And why would France, the birthplace of
May ’68, of a century-long, union-organizing socialist tradition, and one of the most developed
welfare-state systems in the world, need American community organizing?

The depoliticization of the French banlieues

Historically, the French Communist Party (PCF), embedded in factories and poor neighborhoods
around Paris (la banlieue rouge, or “red suburbs”) and other major cities, played an important role
in the politicization, organization, and representation of the working class. Its decline since the fall
of the Berlin Wall and in the face of deindustrialization, its internal lack of democracy, and its
failure to adjust to the demographic shifts and post-colonial face of the French working class
(Mischi 2015; Masclet 2003), has left working-class neighborhoods politically fragmented. While
the French banlieues are not political deserts (Hajjat 2008), the long-run rise of electoral abstention
and the decline of union and party membership are unquestionable (Braconnier and Dormagen

These political and structural transformations were never clearer than in November 2005, during
the three weeks of riots or “rebellion” that affected the banlieues. While most social scientists agree
that the riots cannot be understood as a form of irrational violence by mobs as many pundits argued
(Lapeyronnie 2006; Bacqué et al. 2015), they nevertheless revealed the inability of the French left
to represent the sense of injustice experienced by poor neighborhood residents. Many progressive
political parties actually condemned the riots as self-destructive and irresponsible behavior
(Cortesero and Marlière 2015). The three weeks of civil unrest resulted primarily in increased
spending directed at these neighborhoods, aimed at urban renewal and the dispersal of “at-risk
populations” in the name of “social mix.” In terms of organizing, some initiatives arose where the
riots had started—such as the association AC Le Feu in Clichy-sous-Bois—and some tried to launch
a Social Forum of Working-Class Neighborhoods (Forum Social des Quartiers Populaires in
French), but these efforts were short-lived. A few years later, in an acclaimed report on the state of
participation in France’s poor neighborhoods, Mohamed Mechmache (of AC Le Feu) and the
sociologist Marie-Hélène Bacqué pointed to the failures of the state in fostering civic engagement in
the banlieues (Bacqué and Mechmache 2013). They criticize in particular the bricks-and-mortar
approach that prevailed after the riots, whereby most resources went to rebuilding housing projects
while local associations saw their funding cut. Bacqué and Mechmache called for a Copernican
Revolution of public action in the banlieues, to foster the inclusion of residents’ voices in the
improvement of their lives and neighborhoods. Under the banner of the American tradition of
“empowerment” (translated as pouvoir d’agir in French), they argue for a bottom-up approach to
public participation, contrasting with the top-down tradition that has limited residents’ engagement
in public policies for the last 30 years (Carrel 2013). The focus on empowerment is influenced by
Bacqué’s own scientific trajectory, as she has studied community-based organizations in Boston and
Montreal (Bacqué 2005; Bacqué and Biewener 2013).

An answer in Alinsky?

This call for the empowerment of banlieue residents took place in a broader context of interest
among neighborhood activists, social workers and academics in the American tradition of
community organizing. At that time, the work of Saul Alinsky appeared to speak to the problem of
disempowerment and apathy of poor neighborhood residents. As the Pouvoir d’Agir collective put it
in its manifesto2
(in French, translated here), “France has to explore a path it has never dared to
explore, that of empowerment [in English]: offering residents of these neighborhoods access to
political capacity so that they can become the definers of their own needs and the coproducers of
the solutions to be provided.”

Although Alinsky had been translated into French in the 1970s, a new translation—with a more
appealing title3—was published in 2011. An international conference also took place in 2012 in the
Lyon banlieues, bringing together American specialists in community organizing, French academics
studying civic engagement, and many social workers and activists4.

The conference was attended by
about 450 people, an unusually large crowd for an academic event. The notion of empowerment
also gained traction in Socialist Party circles, with two reports, one edited by the think tank
Terra Nova focusing on pouvoir d’agir (Donzelot, Djaziri and Wyvekens 2012), the other by the
Jean Jaurès Foundation, emphasizing the first experiences in the banlieues directly inspired by the
American organizing tradition (Arslan and Didi 2013). Academics have also played a role in the
spread of community organizing in France. Aside from Marie-Hélène Bacqué, younger scholars
have studied experiments in the UK, Canada and the US and disseminated them through
nonacademic publications and conferences in activist circles (Balazard 2015; Balazard et al. 2016;
Talpin 2016a, 2016b). This intellectual frenzy helped make a 70-year-old civic practice rooted in
Chicago’s ghetto seem like an innovation. While Barack Obama’s election in 2008 also raised the
profile of community organizing, its spread to France might not have happened without the
construction of loose international networks of community organizers, and financial and technical
support from American brokers—even the American embassy. This, in turn, has raised questions
about the politics of organizing in the French context.

2 Open letter titled Valoriser la capacité citoyenne des quartiers populaires (“Making use of citizen capabilities in
working-class neighborhoods”), Pouvoir d’Agir collective, June 2010. Available in the original French at the
following URL: <>

3 Alinsky, Saul. 2011. Être radical. Manuel pragmatique pour radicaux réalistes, Brussels: Aden.

4 Conference titled “Le community organizing : développer le pouvoir des citoyens”, March 14–16, 2012, ENTPE
(École Nationale des Travaux Publics d’État – National School of State Public Works), Vaulx-en-Velin.
L’Alliance Citoyenne

The first line of diffusion of community organizing in France passes via a collective of activists
from Grenoble, who founded ECHO5
(later renamed L’Alliance Citoyenne, or Citizen Alliance) in
2010. Inspired by Alinsky’s writings and by a doctoral student working on London Citizens, the
main European branch of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF, created by Alinsky in the 1950s),
they first of all spent a week in London to train in the method. Although from different
backgrounds, the five founding members of ECHO shared a common disillusionment with social
work, state-led public participation, and anti-globalization movements, as well as a conviction that
community organizing could bring a new dynamic to mobilization efforts in French neighborhoods.

Following Alinsky’s tradition to the letter, they initially spent months pounding the streets of
Grenoble in order to meet local leaders and conduct hundreds of one-on-one interviews, before
organizing their first assembly. ECHO closely followed the Alinsky model of broad-based
organizing, uniting religious institutions, immigrant groups and student collectives. With the
explicit aim of organizing “communities”, ECHO embodied a departure from the French
Republican political culture, in which the recognition of collective racial or religious identities is
seen as problematic. They were also inspired by the strategic and pragmatic orientation of
community organizing, following the steps of the campaign cycle as Alinsky prescribed them:
research meetings, power analysis, expression of a claim, negotiation or conflict with the target, and
evaluation. Their first campaigns combined direct action and humor, and ended up being very
successful: the first managed to improve janitors’ contracts while the second got immigrant students
easier access to the local university.

These victories, obtained through the mobilization of grassroots leaders, contributed to the
reputation of the Grenoble experience. Today L’Alliance Citoyenne claims 400 dues-paying
members and 5,000 contacts in total, a significant number after a few years of existence. In order to

5 ECHO: Espace des Communautés et des Habitants Organisés (Space for Organized Communities and Residents).
remain independent from public institutions, they initially rejected any form of public funding—the
dominant support system for nonprofits in France—getting only modest grants from private
foundations. The Grenoble experience has since resulted in the creation of similar organizations, in
Aubervilliers (in the inner suburbs of Paris) and in the western city of Rennes.
Studio Praxis and Graines de France
A second path of community organizing is linked to the transatlantic networks of several activist
groups from Paris banlieues. The role of the American embassy in France is crucial here.
In February 2010, a two-week field trip to Chicago was organized by the American embassy in
France, directly focusing on community organizing. A dozen young leaders—mostly in their
twenties and thirties, and mostly from ethnic minorities—were trained in community organizing
methods by different groups and experts. The trip left a deep imprint on the participants. For
instance, Nassurdine Haidari, a Socialist elected official from Marseille, says it has changed him:
“For me there is a before and an after. Everything I saw as potential inside of me took shape when I
went to the United States. I started to see how to build a struggle. The problem is that you may have
political goals, but you don’t know what the best way to go is. In Chicago, I learned to structure an
efficient organization.”6

Although he didn’t start a community organization as such afterwards, he
has played an important role in organizing Marseille’s civil society and pushing for more direct
state intervention to fight racial discrimination. Tara Dickman, the head of the French chapter of the
nonprofit Humanity in Action, also went to Chicago. She offers this testimony: “We received such
deep training! You have to live it to understand! Everything fell into place in my mind; I understood
how we could make change happen in France. […] The question is how to make a difference. What
I got from community organizing over there, by doing door-to-door canvassing, by learning the
methodology, etc., is that our generation, which is a minority, which does not have the same tools,
the same history of the previous generations, can impose its issues on the political agenda”
(Célinain 2012). On her return from the US, Dickman launched community organizing training
sessions. In 2011, with Ladji Real, she created a public-relations consultancy, Studio Praxis,
especially aimed at young leaders from the banlieues. Studio Praxis has been the main actor behind
the Stop le Contrôle au Faciès campaign, which, since 2012, has fought against racial profiling by
the police. This campaign combines public opinion work—through outreach towards minorities
who share their racial-profiling stories—and a lawsuit against the French state. The focus on
storytelling and the emphasis on indigenous leadership development are direct imports from the US,
as is the distinction between organizers (who remain in the shadows of the campaign) and leaders
(who are at center stage). Others who also took part in the Chicago trip, such as Réda Didi and
Leyla Arslan, founded Graine de France, a nonprofit that trains and informs community organizers.

Interview with Nassurdine Haidari by Leia Santacroce, Marseille, August 7, 2013 (Santacroce 2013, p. 57). See also
Steven Erlanger’s portrayal of him in the New York Times: “A Presidential Race Leaves French Muslims Feeling
Like Outsiders”, April 4, 2012, URL: <>

Two trajectories
While affiliates of L’Alliance Citoyenne on the one hand and Studio Praxis and Graines de
France on the other share a common interest in community organizing methods, they also differ in
important aspects. First, while the Alliances Citoyennes aims to build long-term neighborhoodbased organizations—in accordance with the Alinsky tradition—groups such as Studio Praxis and
Graines de France focus on launching specific campaigns and on diffusing new tools and methods
through training. Moreover, Alliances Citoyennes organizers are mostly from middle-class
backgrounds; they have college degrees in social sciences and a long activist trajectory on the left.
By contrast, the Studio Praxis-affiliated Stop le Contrôle au Faciès collective was founded by
activists who, although upwardly mobile, come from the banlieues and hail from minority and
working-class backgrounds. The question of racial discrimination is much more central for them
than for the leaders of the Alliances Citoyennes. The two groups also have different relationships
with electoral politics. The former is more directly influenced by Alinsky and therefore more
cautious about bringing in any form of electoral support. By contrast, among Stop le Contrôle au
Faciès activists, getting into local positions of power is considered an important tactic for activists
looking for symbolic recognition. Accordingly, several leaders trained in community organizing
methods were candidates in the 2014 municipal elections in the Paris banlieues and several of them
were elected.
Neither trajectory of community organizing is politically uncontested, however. Both have raised
objections on both the left and the right, and both are suspected of being either inappropriate
imports from the United States or, more insidiously, manifestations of American imperialism. A
companion article, to be published during the week of June 26, will explore this issue further.


Arslan, Leyla and Didi, Reda (eds.). 2013. Organisez-vous ! Construire la participation politique
dans les quartiers populaires, Paris: Fondation Jean-Jaurès.
Bacqué, Marie-Hélène. 2005. “Associations ‘communautaires’ et gestion de la pauvreté. Les
Community Development Corporations à Boston”, Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales,
vol. 5, no. 160, pp. 46–65.
Bacqué, Marie-Hélène and Mechmache, Mohamed. 2013. Pour une réforme radicale de la
politique de la ville. Ça ne se fera plus sans nous. Citoyenneté et pouvoir d’agir dans les
quartiers populaires, report to the French minister of state for urban affairs (ministre délégué
chargé de la ville).
Bacqué, Marie-Hélène and Biewener, Carole. 2013. L’Empowerment, une pratique
émancipatrice ?, Paris: La Découverte.
Bacqué, Marie-Hélène; Epstein, Renaud; Ouardi, Samira; Simon, Patrick; and Zappi, Sylvia (eds.).
2015. Mouvements, vol. 2015/3, no. 83, “Ma cité a craqué. Dix ans après les révoltes urbaines de
2005”, Paris: La Découverte.
Balazard, Hélène. 2015. Agir en démocratie, Ivry-sur-Seine: Éditions de l’Atelier.
Balazard, Hélène; Carrel, Marion; Cottin-Marx, Simon; Jouffe, Yves; and Talpin, Julien (eds.).
2016. Mouvements, vol. 2016/1, no. 85, “Ma cité s’organise. Community organizing et
engagements dans les quartiers populaires”, Paris: La Découverte.
Braconnier, Céline and Dormagen, Jean-Yves. 2007. La Démocratie de l’abstention. Aux origines
de la démobilisation électorale en milieux populaires, Paris: Gallimard.
Carrel, Marion. 2013. Faire participer les habitants ? Citoyenneté et pouvoir d’agir dans les
quartiers populaires, Lyon: ENS Éditions.
Célinain, Charly. 2012. “Humanity in action : la nouveauté du community organizing”, Journal
officiel des banlieues [online], 6 December. Retrieved 21 June 2017,
URL: <>
Cortesero, Régis and Marlière, Éric. 2015. “L’émeute est-elle une forme d’expression politique ?
Dix ans de sociologie des émeutes de 2005”, Agora débats/jeunesses, vol. 2015 [2], no. 70,
pp. 57–77.
Donzelot, Jacques; Djaziri, Yacine; and Wyvekens, Anne. 2012. Banlieues et quartiers populaires.
Remettre les gens en mouvement, 2012 project, contribution no. 27, Paris: Terra Nova.
Hajjat, Abdellali. 2008. “Révolte des quartiers populaires, crise du militantisme et
postcolonalisme”, in A. Boubeker and A. Hajjat (eds.), Histoire politique des immigrations
(post)coloniales. France, 1920–2008, Paris: Éditions Amsterdam.
Lapeyronnie, Didier. 2006. “Révolte primitive dans les banlieues françaises. Essai sur les émeutes
de l’automne 2005”, Déviance et Société, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 431–438.
Masclet, Olivier. 2003. La Gauche et les Cités. Enquête sur un rendez-vous manqué, Paris:
La Dispute.
Mischi, Julian. 2015. Le Communisme désarmé. Le PCF et les classes populaires depuis les années
1970, Marseille: Agone.
Santacroce, Leia. 2013. Marseille USA : la nouvelle diplomatie américaine, master’s thesis in
international relations, Université Paris 1 Panthéon–Sorbonne.
Talpin, Julien. 2016a. Community Organizing. De l’émeute à l’alliance des classes populaires aux
États-Unis, Paris: Raisons d’Agir.
Talpin, Julien. 2016b. “Une répression à bas bruit. Comment les élus étouffent les mobilisations
dans les quartiers populaires”, Métropolitiques, 22 February,
URL: <>

Julien Talpin is a permanent CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research) research
fellow in political science at the University of Lille and co-editor of the journal Participations. His
research deals with civic engagement, urban social movements and racial segregation in France and
the US. He has recently published Community organizing. De l’émeute à l’alliance des classes
populaires aux États-Unis (Paris, Raisons d’Agir, 2016); and “Political Campaigns and Civic
Culture: Comparing Canvassing and Party Structures in the French and American 2012 Presidential
Campaigns” in the journal French Politics, Culture and Society (2016).

To cite this article:

Julien Talpin, “What’s the matter with the banlieues? Exploring the importation of the American
community organizing tradition by French social movements”, Metropolitics, 22 June 2017.
URL: <>

(5) Charles Rivkin – Jewish, from Eastern Europe (Ashkenazi)

Charles Rivkin

Charles Hammerman Rivkin (born April 6, 1962) is an American media executive and former United States diplomat who is chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Motion Picture Association (MPA).[1]

Rivkin served as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State from 2014 to 2017. Confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 12, 2014, Rivkin assumed office the following day, and was sworn in publicly by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on April 15, 2014.[2] Rivkin’s confirmation marked the first time a U.S. ambassador and former CEO ever led the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. State Department.

Prior to his appointment, Rivkin served for more than four years as the United States Ambassador to France and Monaco where he led America’s first and one of its largest diplomatic missions, which has six constituent posts throughout France and represents over 50 U.S. government agencies and sections. In this capacity, Rivkin also served as the U.S. Permanent Observer to the Council of Europe.

Early life and education
Of Eastern European Jewish heritage,[3] Rivkin is one of four children of Enid Hammerman and William R. Rivkin, who was the United States Ambassador to Luxembourg under President John F. Kennedy and United States Ambassador to Senegal and Gambia under President Lyndon B. Johnson.[4][5] His mother’s grandfather founded J K Industries, a large children’s clothing manufacturer, greatly expanded by Rivkin’s grandfather. In 1967, Rivkin’s father died when he was just 5 years old. His widowed mother remarried Chicago obstetrician Dr. John S. Long in 1971.[5][6][7]

This page was last edited on 18 June 2023, at 05:40 (UTC).