Socialist Worker

Fight against fascist Front National begins with protests across France

by Sylvestre Jaffard in Paris
Published Thu 29 May 2014
Issue No. 2405

 

Around 10,000 people, mainly youth, have marched against the Front National (FN) in France today, Thursday.

The demonstrations were called at short notice by a wide spectrum of youth organisations attached to parties of the left, from the MJS (the youth wing of the ruling Socialist Party) to the Front de Gauche and the NPA, as well as student unions and anti-fascist groups.

In Paris there were over 4,000 people marching, 1,500 in Toulouse, 1,000 in Lyon, 500 in Nantes, Bordeaux and Marseille.

The protests were vibrant, with slogans against Marine Le Pen and against racism. Old favourites such as, “First, second or third generation – We are all the children of migrants” and “Le Pen, you are done for, the youth is in the street” rang out.

This shows the disgust felt by many at Sunday's election result, which saw the FN take 25 percent of the vote and top the poll.

Many were reminded of April 2002, when the Nazi Jean-Marie Le Pen (Marine’s father) got enough votes to go through to the second round of the presidential elections. Then mass demonstrations erupted throughout France, culminating with over a million people marching in Paris on May day.

The spirit of today’s demos also reminds people of the student protests against the government’s expulsion of foreign students last autumn.

Even though the FN managed to attract record votes last Sunday, most people in France reject it and all it stands for.

Today shows the potential for building a broad and powerful movement against fascism. Another demonstration is planned for Saturday 7 June. It will commemorate the death of anti-fascist activist Clément Méric who was killed last year by a Nazi thug.

A conference to coordinate local campaigns against the far right will take place in the capital at the end of June.


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Thu 29 May 2014, 17:37 BST
Issue No. 2405
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