Tens of thousands against neo-Fascism in France

Alternative alternative at sbcglobal.net
Mon Apr 22 23:28:29 MDT 2002


Demonstrations against neo-fascism in France
By Frontlines (simultaneous translation)

More than 10,000 people demonstrated in Paris Sunday, against the electoral results that gave neo-fascist candidate Le Pen enough votes to compete in the second round for the Presidency. Groups of demonstrators clashed with the police at the Concorde Park and in front of the National Assembly.

"First, second, third generation, we are all the sons of immigrants!", "F as in fascist, N as in Nazi, A(bas) ...down with the National Front."  "Left, right, united against Le Pen!" "Paris starts! Rebellion, now!" were the slogans of the demonstrators.

Other demonstrations, numbering in the hundreds or in some cases, several thousands took place at Lille, Montpellier, Grenoble, Strasbourg, Clermont-Ferrand and other cities and towns across the country.

The demonstrations, mostly spontaneous, were also supported by left wing organizations.

Le Pen, the leader of the National Front (NF) obtained 17% of the vote in the first round for the Presidency, coming second after Jacques Chirac, right wing Gaullist that obtained only 19% of the vote.  The Socialist Party's candidate and head of the present government, retired from politics last night after his party received only 16% of the vote.

The left wing parties actually increased their votes with Lutte Ouvriere, the Revolutionary Communist League and the Communist Party reaching 14%.  But their fragmentation and the collapse of the vote for both the Gaullist and the Socialist Parties created the crisis.

Other phenomena complicating the outcome of the elections were the higher than ever abstention and blank or spoiled votes: 30%

French voters were shocked.  In the first survey for the second round, conducted last night, Le Pen was the favorite of only ....17% of the voters and Chirac had 83% of the intention of vote for the second round.

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