FRANCE & EU ELECTIONS | Snap Election: Workers & Youth Unite Against the Right

The European elections were like a referendum against Macron. His party did not reach 15% of the vote, with 48.5% abstaining! The workers and youth who did vote severely sanctioned his policies of continuous attacks on living and working conditions to defend the profits of the capitalists. Layoffs are multiplying, wages are not keeping up with price increases, public services are being damaged… These policies lead to chaos in society and this is what has been massively rejected.

It is the far-right National Rally (RN) that has won again, coming first by some distance. Some of the anger of workers and youth was captured in the RN vote. This reflects the malaise that exists, and a reflection of the ongoing tensions and division that Macron is fostering. The vote for the far-right has been reinforced by racist propaganda from the government and the media. The massive vote for the RN will not call into question the substance of Macron’s anti-working class and anti-youth policies. The RN president, Jordan Bardella, and Marine Le Pen, the RN parliamentary leader and key public figure, are harmless to the interests of the ruling class that Macron defends. They are however enemies of workers and youth and are a danger to their rights. In reality, they are in favour of even more attacks, racist divisions and authoritarianism.

On the other hand, a clear vote to say “No!” to Macron and the RN was expressed in  the 2.5 million votes for the Manon Aubry list of France Insoumise (LFI). This is million votes more than in 2019. More than 30% of young people voted for this list. The LFI list, with its campaign against budget cuts, against war and racism, came first in Lille, Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Grenoble and elsewhere. Thanks to the mobilisation in working class neighborhoods and large cities, it is hot on the heels of the RN, especially where it is structured and established.


Why did Macron dissolve the Assembly?

Macron is continuing his strategy of confrontation by invoking article 49.3 of the French constitution to bypass parliament. In the wake of the European election results he dissolved the National Assembly, triggering legislative elections in three weeks. This is unheard of! Weakened, Macron is looking for a revival of legitimacy to continue his social counter-revolution (ransacking of public services, destruction of unemployment insurance, the Labor Law 2 and the continuation of colonial domination in New Caledonia / Kanaky). It is also an expression of the major political crisis impacting all capitalist government parties, confirmed in the fragmentation of the votes for Macron’s Renaissance party between the right and the centre. The lists headed by François-Xavier Bellamy (The Republicans – LR) and Raphaël Glucksmann (Socialist Party – PS) both took votes from Macron. This coup de force, of calling snap-elections, allows Macron to shift the divide: it is either with Macron or with the RN. He is encouraging the idea of the “republican arc”, with all the benevolence of the PS in Glucksmann-Hollande sauce. These emergency elections are also a way to try to isolate France Insoumise and more broadly to cut short the building of a combative opposition on the left.


Mobilise against the RN and Macron’s policies!

A combative atmosphere has been rising since the announcement of the dissolution of the National Assembly, in the streets, against the RN and against Macron’s policies. This atmosphere has its roots earlier, in the protests against the massacre in Gaza. This is essentially what the good result of the Manon Aubry LFI list reflects. A majority of the young people who voted, but also a a section of workers, trade unionists, and those who suffer from racism mobilised for a clear vote to break with all these anti-social policies, in the service of the capitalists, racists and war-mongers. A combative opposition to the policies of the capitalists, against Macron and the RN, must emerge from this. The challenge is for the millions of workers and young people who want to stop them and who refuse the rotten society offered by capitalism, need to organise and discuss the program and the struggle necessary to fight Macron and the RN, including what sort of society we want to build in capitalism’s place.

The numerous demonstrations since the results and Macron’s dissolution of the National Assembly shows the combative potential and politicisation that is developing at the moment. Since 9 June,  thousands of people have joined La France Insoumise spontaneously, clicking via its website to organise by joining an “action group”. This is very positive and shows the potential for a real mass party of workers and youth, standing against capitalism and for a socialist society, free of war, exploitation, and all discrimination, especially racism and sexism.

Over the weekend of 15 and 16 June, demonstrations will take place, called by trade unions and left-wing parties, including France Insoumise, to say “No!” to the RN but also no to Macron and his policies. We call for these protests to be escalated and for organising everywhere.

In the unions, we call for a day of strike action to be launched quickly against RN and Macron, who are the enemies of the workers.

Workers and youth, let’s unite for our demands; against the RN, Macron! Against racism and capitalism!

Our camp, that of the workers, the youth, the majority of the population, needs to unite against the attacks of the government, against racism, against war and capitalism.

Just after the announcement of the dissolution, LFI called for several central demands to be organised. A return to retirement at 60, a freeze on the prices of energy and basic necessities, an increase in the minimum wage and indexation of wages to inflation, the rejection of austerity budgets, the cancellation of the unemployment insurance reform and the odious immigration law introduced by the coalition of Macronists, the right and the far-right; fight against racism; rejection of the war in Ukraine and an end to the ongoing genocide in Gaza.

On this basis, it would be possible to build a solid opposition to Macron and the RN and to build the mass protests necessary to defeat Macron and make the RN retreat… by unmasking which side they are really on: that of the ultra-rich, such as the Macronists, the right and Hollande’s PS.

We defend the unity of all those, young people and workers, who refuse the RN and Macron. To be strong, let’s rally around workers’ demands such as an increase in the minimum wage, the total nationalisation of energy in order to stop the rise in prices… These are the first steps that a government in the service of workers and youth should take. But an electoral victory on these bases will not be enough to guarantee these demands. Hence the need to protest and organise. Such a common front on a clear basis would strengthen our camp.

Unity, the popular front, the union of the left… All these debates that are on the table must serve to strengthen our camp by allowing the widest possible political action and organisation of workers and youth on a combative basis. An alliance on the left which would result in a revival of a liberal policy à la Hollande would, on the contrary, serve the interests of the capitalists.

In the legislative elections of 30 June and 7 July, in the protests, in the coming weeks, we propose to you to discuss and act with us. To put an end to the threat of the RN and pro-capitalist policies, it is against their system that we must fight. Gauche Révolutionaire fights for a socialist society – the only one capable of ending exploitation, racism and wars.

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June 2024