Monday, April 23, 2012

France: 'Left Front' Contests Elections

Published Apr 20, 2012 7:29 PM
A “Left Front” candidate in the upcoming elections in France has provided a way for voters to express an anti-racist and pro-99% position at the polls. Perhaps even more important, some election rallies for the candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, have turned at least partially into anti-racist demonstrations. A rally on March 18 in Paris to coincide with the anniversary of the 1871 Paris Commune drew more than 100,000 people — to everyone’s surprise. This strong outpouring, shown here, served as a response to the pro-fascist candidacy of the National Front, which campaigns against all foreigners in France and especially Muslims and Africans.

The candidates most likely to make it past the first round on April 22 are the current president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the candidate of the “Socialist” Party, Francois Hollande. Sarkozy is a vicious rightist who employs racism and xenophobia almost as much as the National Front. Hollande, though nominally socialist, has a program much like the Democratic Party in the U.S., that is, he is essentially pro-capitalist and supports all of France’s imperialist intentions.

While it is almost impossible for the Left Front to make it to the second round, it is possible for it to win more than 10 percent and a moral victory against the racist National Front and to provide a pole for popular mobilization against racism and austerity. —John Catalinotto

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