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France

Statement by Olivier Besancenot

LCR presidential candidate

Thursday 16 May 2002, by Olivier Besancenot

Tonight there has been a political earthquake in this country. It is a victory for the worst enemies of the wage earners and of youth. The Front National is a current that represents a direct continuity with Vichy, fascism and the Nazi crimes of World War II. Tonight I share the sadness of millions of people in the face of this advance of the far right, in particular the millions of immigrants who live in our country.

This is the result of the campaign waged by Chirac and the right - and accepted by Jospin - on the question of `insecurity’. It is also the result of the policies of the governing ’plural left’ which has dramatically cut itself off from the popular classes.

At the same time, these elections indicate a change in the relationship of forces on the left, with more than 10% for the far left: Lutte Ouvriere and the LCR. I would like to thank the 4.3% of electors who voted for my candidacy, the candidacy of somebody who shares their concerns and their hopes. The multiplicity of candidates on the left is not responsible for the rise of the far right; it is rather the policies followed by successive governments for some years that are responsible.

Now we have to re-establish hope on the left. First by relying on the forces of renewal which have expressed themselves, in the candidatures of LO and the LCR - organisations which have special responsibilities in this new situation.

Hope lies also in the youth who are massively resisting capitalist globalisation and fascism. I ask all the electors of the left, Socialists, Communists, ecologists, but also the community and trade union activists, to organise a popular resistance to the rise of the far right, all together against fascism and the employers.

April 21, 2002