Socialist Worker

French left organises against the Nazi Marine Le Pen in presidential election

It’s right to emphasise the danger of Le Pen—and to oppose ex-banker Macron too, says Dave Sewell

Issue No. 2552

Defaced posters for Marine Le Pen in France say, Le Pen - vote vulgar

Defaced posters for Marine Le Pen in France say, 'Le Pen - vote vulgar' (Pic: radiowood/Flickr)


Fascist Marine Le Pen and ex-banker Emmanuel Macron are set to go head to head in the second round of France’s presidential elections on Sunday.

Macron, with the solid support of the establishment, is on course to win.

But coming second would only be a limited defeat for Le Pen, who is set to gain well over ten million votes.

Each one helps her project of building up a fascist organisation.

It underlines the need for active unity on the streets and workplaces against the fascists, and a broader battle against racism.

Polls suggest a high number of abstentions and spoiled ballots, as many people are uninspired by both candidates.

The political mainstream has accused left wing voters of risking a Le Pen win by not calling for a Macron vote. Yet people who were expected to vote for Le Pen are also saying they’ll abstain.

The proportion of those who voted for Tory candidate Francois Fillon in the first round who expect to vote Le Pen fell from 38 percent to 29 percent last week.

Le Pen has appealed to working class anger while seeking to detoxify her image. This hasn’t always worked.

So last week she took a break from being leader of her fascist party the Front National (FN)—a symbolic gesture, since the FN still ran her campaign.

Roots

But instead of hiding her Nazi roots it brought them to the surface.

The man appointed to stand in for her, Jean-Francois Jahlk, had to stand down almost immediately after his past denying the Holocaust and celebrating the puppet Nazi regime in France came to light.

Le Pen won positive press coverage through a stunt appearance at a factory facing closure in Amiens. But elsewhere she has been booed or denied entry.

Students at the Buffon sixth form college in Paris struck on Tuesday of last week.

They rallied outside its gates chanting slogans including, “Fuck you Le Pen, no to racism” and, “Neither country nor boss, neither Le Pen nor Macron”.

Other protests took place during the week, culminating in a turnout of 250,000 on May Day protests across France on Monday.

The French Communist Party has called for a vote for Macron, perhaps with an eye on alliances in next month’s parliamentary elections.

But the slogan of the biggest union federation, CGT, is, “Not one vote for Le Pen”.

Radical leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon, who won almost a fifth of the first round vote, took a similar position, as did the New Anticapitalist Party.

The left is right to emphasise the distinct danger of the fascists—and to prepare to fight Macron rather than calling for a vote for him.

Millions of French workers rightly recognise Macron as their enemy. Rallying behind him would only divide and undermine the resistance against Le Pen.

 


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