National Sections of the L5I:

France

France: Sarkozy win "means war!"

In the second round of the French Election the Gaullist Nicoloas Sarkozy defeated Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal. Marc Lassale, of the League for the Fifth International in Paris, looks to the future, arguing that great class battle lie ahead. Far from mourning the defeat of “its candidate” workers and youth must prepare to defend themselves against the neoliberal onslaught and build a new workers party to lead the struggle. Read more...

Elections: Organise a third round of anticapitalist resistance!

In historically high numbers (84%), the French voted last Sunday in the first round of the presidential elections. As expected, Nicolas Sarkozy and Segolene Royal, candidates of the major parties, obtained a large score and went on to the second round, while the vote for the radical left is split between no less than 5 candidates! Read more...

Presidential elections in France: critical support for Olivier Besancenot

The presidential elections are now well underway in France. The neoliberal candidates of the liberals, socialists and Gaulists are well ahead in the polls. The candidate of the French far left grouping the League Communist Revolutionaire (LCR) Olivier Besancenot has however won the 500 mayoral signatures he needs to make it on to the ballot paper. Amongst the European Left there is a great deal of discourse as to whether LCR standing him has been ‘sectarian’ as four other candidates to the left of social democracy will also contest the elections. In this extended article on the elections and the Besancenot candidacy Dave Stockton argues that it is the timidity the LCR has shown in the great social struggles of the last decade that has led to them failing to organize the working class vanguard into a revolutionary party. In the coming elections militants should campaign for the Besancenot vote, as the candidate that is most identified with the social struggles, however, in doing so they must also fight for a principled, revolutionary strategy that may point the way out of the current impasse Read more...

Presidential elections in France: the ‘Unitary Left’ shatters

The campaign for the French presidential elections, due on 22 April and 6 May, is now in full swing. The two front-runners: Nicolas Sarkozy for the right wing UMP party and Ségolène Royal for the Socialist Party (PS) have already launched their campaigns. Sarkozy is in the lead. These elections come on the heels of intense class struggles over the last two years – the successful campaign against European Constitution, the uprising by youth in the banlieues (the neglected outer suburbs of French cities) and the mass youth struggle against the CPE in 2006. Read more...

France: the Socialist Party’s dreadful choice - Blairism or right-wing social democracy

2007 will be a turning point in French politics. After five years marked by heavy attacks from various right wing prime ministers, met by fierce resistance from the workers and the youth, the second presidential term of Jacques Chirac will come to an end. Probably in no other country of Western Europe has the working class been so effective in slowing down the neo-liberal attacks against public services, welfare and workers rights. Read more...

France in Crisis

Equipped with a democratic leadership, relying on mass mobilisations in virtually all the universities and in hundreds of schools, and using radical methods of struggle, the anti-CPE movement showed us what kind of movement we need. By its victory, it changed the balance of forces and shook the government of Dominique de Villepin to its foundations.
In the year ahead, we must take advantage of this victory to hit them even harder. But how? And on what basis should we organise? How can we ensure that preparations for the presidential elections in 2007 do not derail the class struggle in the workplaces and on the streets, as they have done so often in the past? How can we prevent the leaders of the Socialist Party and the Communist Party demobilising struggles in order to win office and then, once again, implementing neoliberal policies that serve the bosses and demoralise the workers? How, in short, do we find the strategy and the leadership that can break this vicious circle?
This article will attempt to answer these essential questions.
First, we analyse the class struggles in France since 2002, especially those of 2005-06, and draw the lessons from our defeats and our victories. Read more...

The situation after April- with an all out general strike everything is possible!

According to the Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT) over 3.1 million people demonstrated in France on April 4th in the fifth of a series of joint days of action by youth and workers which have thrown France into the biggest political crisis in over a decade. In Paris 700,000 joined the march, 250,000 in Marseille, 120,000 in Bordeaux, 90,000 in Toulouse, and 75,000 in Nantes. “On n’est pas fatigués !”-We’re not tired! chanted the young demonstrators. Read more...

For an immediate indefinite general strike! Down with the CPE! Down with the government!

Last Tuesday, the anti-CPE movement rocked the government with a massive show of strength all over the country. Now we must build on this. Now we can smash not only the CPE but the CNE that prepared the way for it. Now we can throw out privatisation and cuts. Now we can put an end to the whole neo-liberal offensive and the bosses’ Lisbon Agenda. Read more...

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