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Home page > 1. IV Online magazine > IV508 - May 2017 > Defeat Le Pen, fight Macron, and rebuild a vibrant Left
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France

Defeat Le Pen, fight Macron, and rebuild a vibrant Left

Wednesday 3 May 2017

This is the (official) short version of the resolution adopted by the Ensemble NC on April 30, 2017; see here for the full text in French.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s result in the first round of the presidential election, 19.6% of the votes, ranking fourth, is a remarkable breakthrough. This success has roots in the strong discontent against Hollande and Valls’s [2] policies, in the social movements against the Labour Bill (’loi travail’) last year, in the Nuit Debout movement, and in the environmental and democratic movement that developed over the last years.

For the first time, a left-wing candidate opposing the Socialist Party (PS) government’s policies and challenging that party’s hegemony, has been seen as a credible contender for power, and not just as a way to pressure the PS from the left.

There has been calls, including through the Appel des cent, Front commun, and other public expressions, for the alternative left to come together on a platform breaking with neoliberalism. Jean-Luc Mélenchon appeared, particularly in the last phase of the campaign, as the candidate representing that desire.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s campaign, with France insoumise (Insubordinate France), has been a tool allowing tens of thousands to get involved. The momentum harnessed by that multifaceted campaign (public meetings, social media, Internet, caravan, etc.) is an asset for the future.

The possibility that Marine Le Pen wins the election shouldn’t be underestimated. It would be a disaster for the country. When the far-right comes to power, it destroys democracy, social rights, and the equality of all. We cannot let what is happening in the US with Trump, in Hungary with Orban, or with other far right leaders in Europe, happen in our country. As soon as they came to power, they started cracking down on immigrants and smashed social rights. Let’s develop popular mobilisations against the dangers facing us. Ensemble calls for mobilisation, in the streets on May Day, by voting and defeating Le Pen on May 7, and against Macron immediately after.

The campaign around Jean-Luc Mélenchon must get stronger, but also broader. Bringing together a new left, a vibrant left, is the only way to defeat the National Front (FN), as well as the reactionary politics that have been fueled by the mainstream left’s treasons, with Macron now as a successor. They need to be defeated immediately, and for a long time.

The upcoming legislative elections are an essential battle to sustain the hope that emerged during the presidential election, and to tackle the challenges we face. Macron will seek to constitute a parliamentary majority including MPs from the traditional right and from the the Socialist Party right, in order to further the disastrous politics of the Hollande government. It is absolutely necessary that the forces that have supported Jean-Luc Mélenchon find an agreement to stand together in the consituencies. That goal must be achieved. Beyond that, Ensemble ! stands for common candidacies of the forces of the Left (France insoumise, Parti de gauche, French Communist Party, Ensemble, NPA, the Greens, dissident Green and PS activists, grassroots activists...) on a platform that breaks with social-liberalism, for a majority opposing Macron’s policies, and for a front against the far-right and the rights. We seek to implement this orientation nationally, as well as locally with due consideration for the diversity of local situations.

Macron will implement his neoliberal agenda from day one: liberalisation of the labour market, undermining of the pension system... including via emergency procedures. The mobilisation of all political and social forces against those projects will be essential. It is through the social and democratic struggles that the neoliberal consensus must be defeated, and the anti-social attacks fought against. Ensemble ! will help the emergence of broad fronts allowing the widest participation possible.

The question of rebuilding a real left, a class-based left, is now posed. The forces for a broad popular movement are here. They need to come together, building on the momentum of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s campaign, and on the desires for unity of the alternative left. This is a crucial task and we must address it now. Ensemble ! has stated that our project was to participate in and help build a political force breaking with neoliberal and productivist policies, along with their ’liberal-lite’ counterparts, and holding a project of emancipation. In the frenzy of initiatives and meetings that will take place in the coming years, Ensemble will seek to facilitate the rapprochements and convergences, to turn into reality the renewal of a democratic, social, environmental left, that has popular participation at its heart.

30 April 2017

Footnotes

[1] Ensemble! was formed by the fusion of several groups within the Front de gauche, including the Gauche Anticapitaliste and others originating within the NPA and in which there are members of the Fourth International.

[2] François Hollande has been President of the Republic since 2012, Manuel Valls was Prime Minister from April 2014 to December 2016; both are from the Socialist Party.

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