Unity is required to beat the Fascists

The rise of Le Pen is not inevitable. We can stop them with radical action by the whole of the Left


Socialists in France should call for strikes and occupations after the fascist victory in the 9th June European election. But we should also welcome the decision by the four main left-wing parties – including the Labour-type Socialist Party – not to split the left vote in the 30th June general election. 

On the far right, discussions are taking place between Marine Le Pen’s fascist National Rally (RN) and the smaller Reconquest party of her niece Marion Maréchal. Now a leading MP of the traditional right-wing Les Républicains has called for an electoral alliance with the RN. 

We need the biggest possible block of MPs to give a voice to left voters and anti-racists. 

Many workers and people in hard-hit small towns in rural areas voted for Le Pen’s National Rally. But in some working-class and multiracial suburbs Mélenchon’s France Insoumise (LFI) movement did extremely well. Their MPs have a high profile in opposing Israeli genocide and a young Palestinian woman has been elected as an LFI Euro MP. 

Trade union leaders and progressive movements such as Attac and the Ligue des Droits de l’Homme played a crucial rôle in forcing parliamentary leaders to agree in time for Macron’s snap election, as did pressure from voters and party activists. 

Other groups have been invited to join the “New Popular Front”, in a reference to the 1930s electoral pact between Socialists and Communists. After introducing some reforms, the Popular Front government ultimately failed. But it showed the potential of mass action from below and unity between the Socialist and Communist rank-and-file, especially in the struggle against fascism. 

Right-wing Socialists have condemned the agreement, preferring to support Macron’s party against the fascist Rassemblement National, while some sectarian groups counter the call for a left vote with the abstract slogan of a general strike (they are a small minority). 

We need local meetings to organise the campaign, mass canvassing and leafletting, and rallies against the fascists in every town and city. Pro-Palestine and antiracist activists should get involved to make sure their voice is heard.