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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 March 2020

French local elections: CWI candidate elected

Décidons Petit-Quevilly candidates in Rouen, including elected councillor Leïla Messaoudi (third from left), photo by Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI France)

Décidons Petit-Quevilly candidates in Rouen, including elected councillor Leïla Messaoudi (third from left), photo by Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI France)   (Click to enlarge)

Shortened statement from Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI France)

On 15 March, Leïla Messaoudi of Gauche Révolutionnaire (GR, the Socialist Party's sister organisation in France) was elected to the local council of Petit-Quevilly in the city of Rouen, where she has lived for 14 years and worked for 23 years. Leila was elected with 338 votes (8.4% of the votes cast, on a low 32% turnout).

Controversially, the first round of local elections was held on the Sunday immediately following president Macron and the French government's decree severely restricting the movements of the public, and closures of shops, businesses and public amenities.

Unsurprisingly, the overall turnout was historically low but this did not stop Macron's party being hammered in the polls. The second round scheduled for 22 March has been postponed until 21 June.

The electoral list 'Décidons (Let's decide) Petit-Quevilly', supported by France Insoumise ("France unbowed" - the party led by former left presidential candidate and current deputy in the National Assembly Jean-Luc Mélenchon) gathered 35 people and was created thanks to a campaign led by members of the local group of France Insoumise - that GR has been helping build for three years.

The list was created with trade unionists, workers and community activists, who supported and joined a campaign genuinely at the service of the rights of workers and ordinary people.

The campaign opposes, on a local scale, the consequences of President Macron's anti-working class policies.

But it is also opposes those of the pro-capitalist (misnamed) 'Parti Socialiste' (Socialist Party, PS) majority which runs the Rouen area, and has been pushing similar policies for 30 years.

Closure of public services like some public hospital services, abandoned and substandard social housing, destruction of green space for the profits of capitalist multinationals in the building industry... all these have had a great impact on the daily lives of the workers.

The health scandal - and the scandalous policies of the government and local elected officials after the fire at the Lubrizol chemical plant in Rouen last September - was one of the topics of the campaign.

Nationalisation under the control of the population and workers in dangerous factories was one of the demands of the list.

The list carried out a dynamic door-to-door campaign, participated in the latest day of strikes against the government's pensions attacks, and did a whole weekend of protests and actions on 7 and 8 March.

In the previous elections in 2014, the workers and the population had no other choice than a PS vote against the far-right National Front (FN).

This time, thanks to our presence, the FN remained second but did not campaign and lost 10%, going from six to four seats.

This allowed the PS-Communist Party-Green list to be elected with a majority in the first round.

But now, a militant collective has been born in the city, ready to organise local struggles for the right to decent housing, for the cleaning-up of polluted areas, and for the reinstatement of public services that have been closed down or privatised in recent years.

Around "Décidons Petit-Quevilly", local resistance and solidarity are being organised in the face of all austerity policies, whether they come from Macron, or the PS majority.

It also gives impetus to all those who understand the need for a mass political force against the capitalists, against the parties that serve them and against Macron.

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The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 18 March 2020:


Workplace news and analysis

Stop Press: postal workers deliver massive strike vote and offer to become additional 'emergency service'

East London bin workers strike to get back unpaid holiday pay

Determined St Mungo's homelessness workers strike for three days


International socialist news and analysis

French local elections: CWI candidate elected

New pamphlet: constituent assemblies and the revolutionary programme


Socialist history

South Africa: 60 years marking the Sharpeville Massacre


Coronavirus

Coronavirus: workers must not pay the price!

Capitalist crisis and corona: Johnson's budget for the bosses

Coronavirus - a workers charter 2020

Coronavirus: socialist planning, not capitalist chaos!

Coronavirus housing emergency - suspend rent and mortgage payments, seize empty homes

PCS union demands better deal for benefits claimants

Councils must break austerity rules

Action needed to protect shop workers and access to essential goods

Coronavirus hospital worker: amazing response from staff - but worst still to come

'Health not profit' strike wave sweeps Italy

United States: private healthcare exposed as Trump throws money at markets

Workers at Lewisham coronavirus hospital walk out after not being paid

Coronavirus - waste processing employers putting us at risk

Bexley bin workers strike over lack of hand sanitiser

Going viral: socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

Under the microscope: socialist coronavirus news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Help us fund the Socialist

Stop gentrification of Lea Bridge

Tory student plot defeated at Cardiff uni

Nottingham uni occupation ends

Socialist Students speaking tour

Selling the Socialist


Readers' opinion

TV: Noughts and Crosses


 

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