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Declaration of the National Conference of the NPA on the presidential election

Wednesday 6 July 2011

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The NPA (New Anti-Capitalist Party, France) held a National Conference on the 25th and 26th June to decide on its stance in the 2012 presidential elections. It adopted the following statement.

In Greece, in Spain and in the whole of the Arab world, millions of demonstrators are opposing the policies of the ruling classes and the states whose aim is to make the workers and the peoples of the region pay for the crisis. In France, the employers, Sarkozy and his government are engaged in violent and reactionary attacks against workers, women, young people and immigrants. Since it was founded, he NPA has consistently advocated the broadest unity in opposition to these attacks, and has initiated and taken part in all the unitary frameworks which make it possible to act effectively in this sense.

On the occasion of the upcoming elections, presidential and legislative, we want to continue these daily battles while making heard the voice of the exploited and oppressed, the working class, immigrants, women, youth, all the victims of the austerity imposed by a state that is subjected to the banks and the employers, and which uses racism and xenophobia to divide us. Starting from the positions discussed and adopted by our party since its foundation, we will defend a programme of breaking with capitalism, for a different distribution of wealth, so that wage-earners and the whole of the population do not pay for the crisis. It is a programme for struggles, for their generalization. It is the only way forward, faced with the social, political and ecological crisis which cannot be solved in the framework of a simple change of government, in a context of respect for state institutions and private property. A programme which could only be implemented by a workers’ government, because only control and direct intervention by workers can overthrow the system and change the world.

In this context, the National Conference of the NPA presents the candidature of Philippe Poutou for the presidential election. He is a member of the NPA, a trade unionist who has for years been organizing the fight against the closure of his enterprise, against one of the world’s leading car companies. He is an anti-capitalist, feminist, ecologist, anti-racist and internationalist candidate. [1]

In these campaigns, the NPA will make a voice heard which unambiguously condemns austerity policies, whether they are carried out by the Right or, as in Greece and Spain, by the Left. This voice will be completely independent of the Socialist Party and its allies. The NPA demands the cancellation of the debt, the expropriation of the banks, their socialization in a single public financial service under the control of the mobilised working class and the population and the defence and the improvement of the public services that are now being attacked under the pretext of the debt.

It wants to make a voice heard which, basing itself on their mobilizations, defends the interests of the workers against lay-offs, for a ban on sackings, for sharing out the work available and for pay rises (an increase of 300 euros a month, net, no wages below 1600 euros net, indexation of wages on prices) and for an end to intolerable working conditions.

A voice which, a few months after the catastrophe of Fukushima, demands an end to nuclear power and the expropriation of EDF, GDF-Suez, Areva, Total… and the creation of a public service making it possible to have energy planning.

A voice for equal rights, for the regularization of all undocumented workers, against all racist laws and discourses, in particular the stigmatization of Rroms and Muslims. A voice which fights the National Front, a party that hides its support for all the capitalist attacks behind a pseudo-social discourse.

A voice which denounces and firmly combats the oppression of women and fights against all the forms of discrimination and violence that they undergo in both the public and private spheres. A voice which fights against the discriminations that lesbians, gays, Bi, transsexual and intersexual people experience.

A voice which refuses the unlimited power of the employers and the banks, which fights for real democracy, as the indignados at Puerta del Sol in Madrid, the Greek demonstrators of Syntagma Square and the revolutionaries of the Arab world demand. A voice which expresses its solidarity with all the struggles of the oppressed, starting with the struggle of the Palestinian people.

A voice to build another Europe, founded not on competition but on solidarity. A Europe of the workers and the peoples. A voice which is opposed to the military and economic interventions of French imperialism.

In the forthcoming electoral campaigns, we will make heard an emergency programme; we will defend a policy that is as faithful to the interests of the workers as the Right and the UMP, currently in government, are to the interests of the rich.

We have before us a difficult battle and we are faced with many obstacles. To start with, we must succeed, all together, in overcoming the barrier of 500 sponsorships of elected officials which the anti-democratic law imposes on us. Differences have been expressed during the preparation of the National Conference and in the conference itself. Our party must now unite around the fundamental demands which we share.

Our campaign will involve a collective leadership and campaign spokespersons, including our two national spokespersons and Olivier Besancenot. It will be based on the whole of the party. We call on all those who so wish to take their place in our collective combat.

Nanterre, June 26, 2011.


[1For more details on Philippe Poutou see an article from the regional French paper Sud-Ouest here.