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Newsletter (in English)

Archive for the Category 'France'

A balance sheet of the congress of the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) of France

The first congress of the New Anticapitalist Party of France (NPA), held last weekend in Montreuil just outside Paris, ended in a dismal failure. None of the platforms presented was able to win a majority. The outgoing leadership – including the spokesman Olivier Besancenot and historical leaders such as Alain Krivine – barely got 41.8% of the votes for their orientation document. It was not even possible to produce a joint declaration by the congress due to strong disagreements between the main platforms: Platform 3 (PF3) or the ‘unitary platform’, which is in favour of an agreement with the reformists at any cost, that is with the Parti de Gauche (Left Party) of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, former minister in Lionel Jospin’s social democratic government, and the French Communist Party (PCF); Platform 2 (PF2), called the ‘identity platform’ by the bourgeois press, which wants a candidacy of Olivier Besancenot for the 2012 presidential elections and proposes to return to ‘the NPA of its origins’ and to orient towards the workplaces; Platform 1 (PF1), which vacillates between PF3 and PF2 on the electoral issue and defines itself as ‘anticapitalist’ and ‘unitary’. As a result of this lack of definition, seven members of the outgoing leadership decided to join the Parti de Gauche. This occurs in the context of a loss of adherents, who went from about 9,000 at the founding congress two years ago to about 3,550 who voted in the electoral assemblies prior to this congress [1]. »»»»

Interview with Vincent Duse and Danièle Cobet

In the National Congress of the NPA last weekend, Platform 4, in which the militants of the FT-CI in France participate, got 3.7% of the delegates’ votes, and from now on, will have 6 members in the national leadership (CPN) of this party. We interviewed two of them: Vincent Duse, a worker and union activist of the CGT at the Peugeot Mulhouse factory, and Danièle Cobet, a student and worker with an precarious job situation, a militant of the FT-CI. »»»»

Manuel Georget and Vicent Duse speak in an interview about Platform 4 for the congress of the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA)

Manuel Georget and Vincent Duse are two of the most important workers’ representatives of Platform 4. Georget is general secretary of the CGT EGP Dreux and trade union delegate of the Philips Dreux TV manufacturing plant. The factory has recently been closed down after years of battle against layoffs and relocation, which ended with a short experience of production under workers’ control last January. Georget was a member of the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR), the forerunner of the NPA, for nearly 30 years. He headed the NPA slate in the Eure-et-Loir department in the last regional elections and is a member of the Collective for a Revolutionary Tendency (CTR) coordinating body. Duse is a worker at the Peugeot factory in Mulhouse, where more than 10,000 workers are employed, and for 10 years was the general secretary of the CGT in the factory. He is a member of the National Political Committee of the NPA and of the CTR coordinating body. »»»»


The trade union leaderships let the pension reform pass despite the enormous resistance of the workers and youth

For nearly two months, the French workers, together with a militant movement of secondary school students, led a massive social mobilization against the pension reform of President Nicolas Sarkozy. Eight days of mass strikes and mobilizations which brought millions of demonstrators out onto the streets; renewable strikes (for an indefinite period) in strategic sectors such as the refineries and the ports, as well as (although to a lesser extent because of the law about minimum services) the strike of the train workers; countless blockades of businesses or public places and oil depositories carried out by workers and solidarity activists; and the irruption of the secondary students and a small vanguard at the universities – all this shocked the French autumn. »»»»

The current struggle of the French workers and youth represents an obvious leap compared to the previous cycle of the class struggle that began in 1995. It is announcing a higher level of class struggle, more open, more radicalized and more classical, that is, with greater centrality of the working class and with a protagonist role of students workers and in the factories. It is a new cycle of the class struggle in response to the world crisis underway with repercussions in France and internationally. The economic depression leaves the bourgeoisie with only one possible course of action: attacking the social conquests that still remain from the so-called welfare state and worsening the living conditions of the masses, including groups that in their time benefited from the crumbs of the neo-liberal offensive, such as some people from the middle class. »»»»

Tendencies towards radicalization threatened by the treacherous leaderships of the trade unions

Following three days of protests against the pension reform since the end of the summer (September 7 and 23, and October 2), the government was betting on an ebbing of the demonstrations, especially considering that the Senate hurriedly voted on the main articles of the law, enabling Sarkozy to send a clear message to the public: “everything has been decided, there’s no need to demonstrate, the law has been passed.” Nonetheless, the day of strikes and demonstrations on October 12 in France was historic. »»»»

On the New Anticapitalist Party in France
At the beginning of February, a new party was founded in St. Dénis, a suburb of Paris, whose aim it is to unite the French Left and to initiate a new era of class struggles in France: the „Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste“, the New Anticapitalist Party. As of yet, it is not clear what role the NPA will play in France in the future because its political basis is as broad as its name suggests. »»»»