Socialist Worker

France


Disastrous day for Le Pen and the BNP

01 May 2004
THE BRITISH National Party's attempt to hold a fundraising event with the French Nazi leader Jean-Marie Le Pen spectacularly backfired last Sunday. A campaign organised by Unite Against Fascism trashed any hope the BNP had of favourable press coverage for their \"respectable\" black-tie dinner with Le Pen.

French Führer is not welcome here

24 April 2004
THE FRENCH Nazi leader Le Pen was due to come to Birmingham on Sunday. The leader of the National Front organisation announced on his website this week that he was planning an \"official visit\" in England on Sunday. He was likely to be speaking at an £80 a head fundraising dinner for the British National Party (BNP) in the West Midlands.

Don't duck the politics

03 April 2004
THE HEADLINE news in France's regional elections was that there was a big swing away from the ruling right to the parties of the "plural left"-the Socialists, Communists, and Greens. But, for the revolutionary left, the story was a different one.

What's at stake as France heads for elections

06 March 2004
'THESE ELECTIONS are assuming a national character. They are the first since the right wing UMP government won a landslide victory one and a half years ago. This came after the shock of the National Front's Le Pen getting into the run-off in the presidential election, and the huge protests that followed.

Headscarf ban protest: united to defend a woman's right to choose

24 January 2004
Over 1,000 protesters gathered outside the French embassy in London last Saturday. They were protesting against attempts by President Chirac and his right wing government to ban the headscarf worn by Muslim women, known as the hijab, from French schools.

Challenging arguments over headscarf issue

17 January 2004
MANY OF us here have watched with disgust how the French government has said it wants to ban Muslim women from wearing the headscarf in schools. However, we should not be complacent about Britain.

Defend women's right to choose

17 January 2004
ANGER IS growing over the French government's plans to ban the Muslim headscarf, known as the hijab, from schools.

Headscarf ban unveils racism

20 December 2003
THE FRENCH government is proposing to ban Islamic headscarves in schools. It is a racist measure, whatever spin is put on it.

The strikes that shook the French ruling class

15 November 2003
THOUSANDS OF activists from across Europe converged on Paris this week for the European Social Forum.

Anti-racism

08 November 2003
About 100 people attended a march round Bicester town centre on Saturday after the Bicester Refugee Support Group called a demonstration against racism and fascism. The demonstration was called after the National Front intimidated people not to shop at a French farmers market.

Far left's united stand in France could poll 31%

08 November 2003
ANTI-CAPITALIST forces moved to the centre stage of French politics last weekend. The country's two main far left organisations announced their united electoral challenge in important regional and European elections due next June-the same time as similar elections in Britain.

Can a headscarf be a symbol of oppression?

04 October 2003
THE TREAMENT of Muslim women who wear headscarves in France has erupted into a national debate, shot through with racism. The prime minister of France's right wing government, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, launched an attack on Muslim women last week declaring his opposition to the wearing of the head scarf in school.

'The ESF can strengthen the links between activists across any borders'

27 September 2003
OLIVIER BESANCENOT is the young postal worker who shocked the French establishment when he won 1.2 million votes standing as a revolutionary socialist in the presidential election in April last year. One in seven of the people under 25 who voted backed Olivier. He is a leading member of the socialist Revolutionary Communist League. He spoke to Socialist Worker about the build-up in France towards the European Social Forum.

Marching in London? Then head for Paris

27 September 2003
PEOPLE WILL be heading for the French capital in November to take part in the second European Social Forum (ESF). The first ESF was in the Italian city of Florence last November, when 60,000 people took part in three days of rallies, debates and forums. The Florence forum culminated in a million-strong demonstration against war. And it was out of meetings at Florence that activists from across Europe called for massive anti-war protests on 15 February this year.

The People's Friend: touching a chord with the people

20 September 2003
THE FRENCH Revolution between 1789 and 1794 was the first time in history that revolutionary newspapers played a decisive role in shaping the course of events. The revolution was the key battle in the birth of the modern capitalist world. It swept away the old feudal order of aristocrats and kings. In its place it forged a national state dominated by the middle class of merchants, doctors, lawyers.

Hawks at each other's throats

20 September 2003
"IRAQ: THE New War". That headline in the prestigious New York Review of Books captures the scale of the fighting that continues in Iraq. The word occupation does not adequately describe what is happening. There is a new phase in this war that we were assured was won when Western television stations took carefully choreographed shots of the fall of statues to Saddam Hussein five months ago. It is like the colonial wars conducted in the 1950s by the British army in Kenya, Malaysia, Aden and Cyprus, and by France in Algeria.

Interview with Donna Franceschild, writer of TV's The Key

13 September 2003
The Key is a major new drama about three generations of working class women in Glasgow. Their story reveals an inspiring history of political activism and working class militancy rarely seen on TV. Donna Franceschild wrote The Key. She spoke to Socialist Worker about why political drama is back in fashion.

Find the right culture in the Left Field

13 September 2003
I DON'T know about you, but I hate columnists who write about their holidays abroad. So I had better apologise in advance! This year I stayed in a tiny village just outside Marciac in the south west corner of France. Marciac, a village of 6,000 inhabitants, puts on the biggest jazz festival in Europe. Over two weeks some of the greatest names in jazz played there-Wayne Shorter, Oscar Peterson and Wynton Marsalis.

Politics will fizz in Paris

06 September 2003
"THE FAR Left Is In Fashion". That was the headline in the right wing French daily Le Parisien on Wednesday last week.

Letters

23 August 2003
Larzac success is a great sign for Paris The Larzac festival in France two weeks ago was the biggest anti-capitalist event France has seen. Over 250,000 people attended. Besides the usual activists lots of people came to the festival out of the vast social movements that have swept France in the last six months. Workers have struck against the Tory government's plans to attack pensions.

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