It is rare to get actual proof of the fact that bosses finance communalist extremists. But we've got proof now. This is an important event.
Even when LALIT's Marxist analysis of society leads to the inevitable conclusion that elements of the bourgeoisie actually stroke the fires of racism when it is in their direct interests, many people persist in believing that these are just rather vague "allegations". They believe that what happens is that somehow people's "mentality" is or becomes "communalist" and then they quite spontaneously organize themselves to propagate poisonous communal propaganda. Not knowing who finances communalism and who pulls the strings makes it hard to understand and harder to combat.
Here is the rare proof of this financing by the bourgeoisie. It is to be found in a little article in a box under the innocuous title: "Mario Flore: "Nou aide tou dimoun ki dimane l'aide'", on page 11 of. L'Express, a respectable pro-capitalist big circulation morning broadsheet, of Thursday 20 March, as part of an interesting one-page dossier by Raj Jugernauth on "Lobbies Sectaires". We have no reason to believe that what is in this article is not the truth. We will from it quote in extenso:
Mario Flore, founder of Muvman Morisyen Kreol Afriken (MKKA) "also publishes a newspaper, VOICE OF KREOLS - which has come out for the past nine years or so. It closed down for a first time in March 2001. Then it came out in May on the Vanessa Lagesse murder, posing questions on the role of Thierry Lagesse in the affair [note: Thierry Lagesse is a major private sector player]. 'So Thierry Lagesse called me in to see him at his factory. Finally he agreed to finance my newspaper. For a number of months I went to pick up a cheque for Rs9,000 each week at Jean-Michel Giraud's place in Trianon' [another major private sector boss], says Mario Flore, who adds that he put an end to this financial arrangement because Thierry Lagesse exacted certain conditions in exchange. Thierry Lagesse, at present in the USA, denies these allegations, as does Jean-Michel Giraud. They confirm, however, having in fact financed Mario Flore's movement, but not the newspaper. He [Mario Flore] is at present doing everything he can to bring out his newspaper. He will soon be in Court for unpaid debts of Rs2,000,000 for rent owed for the La Voix Kreol premises in Roche Bois. Having a British Passport [the article earlier explains that he is the son of a Chagossian father], he plans to meet up with his wife and children who are already settled in Great Britain." [See original in French reproduced below]
So, the private sector bosses finance Mario Flore's communal and racist movement and or newspaper. It makes little difference which. The important point is that Rs9,000 a week for an organization that inter alia brings out a weekly newspaper moves from the coffers of these extremely influential private sector bosses into the hands of the producers of communalist ideology. The very "blan" (whites) that Mario Flore is always inciting people against, in fact, actually finance him.
We also note the element of implied blackmail, which is the enabler of the deal. Something like this may often be involved.
So, now we know for sure one way in which communalist groups are financed. Elements in the bourgeoisie finance them quite openly, with perfectly traceable cheques and by getting the said communalist to call at their offices weekly, presumably in front of anyone who is there to witness them. The bourgeoisie is pretty sure that the communalist group will not expose them. Mario Flore has called this bluff.
So we have proof that, in the Third Millennium, elements of the bourgeoisie still finance racist groups. When referring to the past, most people already generally accept that the bourgeoisie did finance various bands of racists. For example, the anti-independence so-called "race wars" of 1965 and 1968, are generally accepted today as having been financed by some of the sugar oligarchs at the time. Now, we have proof for the present.
When Krit Manohur of the Voice of Hindu claims that he is financed "by donations from members and other individuals" ["a partir des donations de ses adherents et d'autres personnes"], we can get some idea of the social class of "the other individuals". Especially as he claims that every week there are "400 people who come for aid" ["400 personnes qui viennent chercher de l'aide"]. He, too, by referring to the "other individuals" holds a threat of publishing their names in the future if he wants to, just as Flore has published two of his financial backers' names. Flore's exposure of one of his sources of finance, curiously, gives leads into how the VOH gets away with actions like ransacking Air Mauritius offices, or going into villages and beating people up.
In addition, we know that these various communal groups are helped by the State. Paul Berenger received VOH for hours on end when he was a Prime Minister too busy to receive any working class representatives. And now that VOH has become a more powerful group, Ramgoolam goes to its functions, thus giving it more power still. Similarly, a number of people elected into State office have accepted "medals" from Mario Flore and his movement, thus according him a status similar to that accorded to the President of the Republic!
So getting rid of communalism is not difficult once we understand its mechanisms. We do not have to resort to mysterious processes like supposedly "changing peoples' mentality". It is a political task. It depends, more than anything else, for its success on workers participating in organizing around a program which is independent of other classes and which promotes class unity in the working class, and opposes communal organization as being divisive of the working class. It also depends on working class organizations being, and being known to be, independent of the bourgeoisie, of the State and of organized religion. Communalist organizations are often dependent on one of these. In the final analysis, they are often dependent on all three.
It is also worth noting that Mario Flore whips up communal tensions for a few decades, and then, when things may get bad, he announces he is emigrating. His career has been varied. He began by opposing the MMM when it was a working class party, and defending very communalist and racist positions. He then became a leader of port workers in the late 1970's. He lost argument upon argument in meetings and this caused him to finally abandoned his communalist position. At this time he also became one of the heroes of the 1979 general strike. He, together with Gaetan Pillay and Claude "Lafarmasi", was sacked by the port bosses. Mario Flore was even a member of Lalit de Klas for a few months. But the MMM soon recuperated him, and within a few years, as the working class weakened, he became the outright communal leader that he still is today.
The exposure of Mario Flore's links with Thierry Lagesse and Jean-Michel Giraud comes only two weeks after Jean-Perre Lenoir, the extreme right-wing representative of the Mauritian bourgeoisie, in Hebdo (9 March) announced, "J'ai ete un moment aux cotes du pere Gregoire. Je pense qu'il mene un bon combat ..." [I was at one point alongside Father Gregoire. I think he is fighting a good fight ...] It is not clear what is meant by "aux cotes du" ["alongside"]. And Father Gregoire himself, after his big rally, announced that two role models for young people in the Creole community are private sector boss, Jean Suzanne, and even Lise Coindreau!
(1) ORIGINAL LONG QUOTATAION FROM L'EXPRESS (in French): "Mario Flore fait aussi publier un journal LA VOIX KREOL- depuis environ neuf ans. Le journal ferme une premiere fois en mars 2001. Un numero sort en mai et parle de l'assassinat de Vanessa Lagesse et s'interroge sur le role de Thierry Lagesse dans l'affaire. "Thierry Lagesse m'a alors convoque a son usine et il a finalement accepte de financer mon journal. Pendant plusieurs mois j'ai ete prendre un cheque de Rs9,000 par semaine chez Jean-Michel Giraud a Trianon", affirme Mario Flore qui dit avoir mis fin a cette subvention parceque Thierry Lagesse aurait exige certaines conditions. Thierry Lagesse, en ce moment aux Etats-Unis, nie ces allegations de meme que Jean-Michel Giraud. Ils affirment avoir effectivement finance le mouvement de Mario Flore, mais pas son journal. Il remue en ce moment ciel et terre pour faire paraitre ce journal. Il se retrouvera bientot en cour pour des dettes impayees de Rs 2 millions qui representent les loyers qu'il n'a pas payes pour le batiment que La Voix Kreol occcupait a Roche-Bois. Detenteur d'un passeport britannique, il envisage de rejoindre sa femme et ses enfants qui sont deja etablis en Grande-Bretagne."