After 7 May: French left prepares for battle against Macron

Submitted by martin on 8 May, 2017 - 4:47 Author: ALPS/ NPA/ LO

43% of those who voted for Macron in the second round of the French presidential election on 7 May 2017 said they did so only, or mainly, to stop Marine Le Pen of the Front National. Only 16% of his voters said they backed him because of his program.

The newsletter Arguments pour la Lutte Sociale headlined, on 5 May: "Beat Le Pen Sunday [7 May], beat Macron in June [legislative elections, 11th and 18th, impose unity of action and democratic debate".

If the political representatives of labour in the first round - Jean-Luc Mélenchon in particular, and Benoit Hamon too - had made an appeal on the evening of 23 April for people to turn out in mass on 1 May and to defeat Le Pen in the presidential elections, so as then to defeat Macron in the legislative elections, that would not only have guaranteed a severe political defeat for Le Pen and her party on 7 May... but established that there was no mandate given to Mr. Macron. It would have said no to the new labour law and to the liquidation of the socialised wage within Health Insurance and Unemployment Insurance, the two flagship measures Macron wants to push as soon as possible, and by decree.

We must impose social struggle in common and democratic debate. Immediate goal: beat Le Pen and Macron!

In the legislative elections, unity for workers' and democratic candidates against Macron, against Le Pen, for the defence of existing labour law.

By imposing unity of action and free debate, we will build the conditions for a counter-offensive and for social victory.

The Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste, NPA, wrote on 7 May:

Marine Le Pen, candidate of the National Front, will not be elected. We are glad of that. For us, the FN will never just be a party like the others. Behind its demagogic social demands, its programme remains the destruction of democratic rights, the putting into question of all the rights of the trade union and social movements...

As the heir to Hollandism, Macron the banker is fully implicated in the politics of his predecessor. As a minister he inspired socially regressive laws, like the one which bore his name or the labour law which was met with massive opposition on the streets last year. Beyond that, Macron intends to deepen the neo-liberal counter-revolution..

So we must get ready to wage new battles, uniting to prepare resistance against Macron who wants to govern by decree, imposing his anti-social programme like a steam-roller. A period of struggle is before us, and we have to organise all-encompassing mobilisations which can tip the balance of forces, constructing a unified front to defend our social and democratic rights.

Lutte Ouvrière declared on 7 May:

Emmanuel Macron has won the presidential election by a big margin. The increased number of abstentions and blank votes, however, shows that an important part of the electorate, notably in working-class areas, refused the choice between the far-right millionaire and the stooge of the bankers...

If the workers want to oppose all the measures taken against their interests, they must defend themselves using the only weapons at their disposal: strikes, demonstrations, collective struggles, just as they did against Hollande and against Sarkozy...

The far-right would not have amassed so many votes if a part of the working class - disgusted by the politics of the parties which claim to represent them - had not chosen to express their anger by voting for Le Pen.

It's a lethal trap. That vote seals the abandonment by a growing number of workers of all the values of the labour movement: abandonment of the solidarity between workers against the bourgeoisie that exploits them, abandonment of the internationalism in favour of chauvinism; abandonment of the red flag in favour of the French tricolour.

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