March 2012, Week 5


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The French Elections - Recent Articles from l'Humanite

* In Lille the Left Front "has broken its banks"
* Mélenchon in third position, ahead of Le Pen and Bayrou
* Jean-Luc Mélenchon's Statement on the Murders in Montauban
and Toulouse


In Lille the Left Front "has broken its banks"

[ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: A Lille, le Front de gauche a fait
"sortir la rivière de son lit"]

Translated by Kristina Wischenkamper and reviewed by Bill

l'Humanite in English
March 29, 2012


	After the retaking of the Bastille on 18 March by a
	mass of 120,000 people, the Left Front struck
	another blow on Tuesday evening. Some 23,000 people
	attended presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon's
	meeting in Lille . 15,000 inside the packed-out
	Grand Palace, and 8,000 outside.

"The river has broken its banks and no matter what happens,
the flood isn't going to recede any time soon," announced
the Left Front candidate to a sea of red flags chanting
"Resistance! Resistance!"

"Getting the NF out of the limelight"

"The battle that excites me now is getting the National
Front out of the limelight. If I'm in front of Marine le
Pen, ours will be the first country in Europe to push back
the far right," Mélenchon told the press in the cortège. He
went on to welcome having "derailed the DE-demonization" of
the National Front, and pointed to the failure of NF's
attempt to appropriate the dramas of Montauban and Toulouse
for its own political purposes.

An excerpt from the press conference: Or click here

"We have been the most valiant defenders of fellowship.
France has won a huge victory: the serial killer achieved
nothing, and neither did the jackals of the National Front."
"It's we who are dangerous," joked Jean-Luc Mélenchon,
alluding to the words of Francois Hollande, who had not
wished to appear "dangerous" during his trip to London.
Before the crowd in Lille, he "solemnly" requested the
Socialist candidate "to end his air of saying 'since I'm
ahead in the polls, I'll do what I want.' "

"don't start messing with us!"

Mélenchon regretted, for example, that the PS had still not
responded to his call to discuss those constituencies where
the Left is at risk of being eliminated in the first round
of voting for the legislative elections should there be
multiple candidates from the Left.

Furthermore he called Jérome Cahuzac a liar, the Socialist
president of the National Assembly's Finance Committee who
had spoken of an "agreement" between the PS and the PG to
give Mélenchon's friends "a few constituencies where they
might hope to gain votes". "don't mess with us, be polite
with us. Show some respect to the Left Front; we're not for
sale," said Mélenchon to huge applause.

"We are a force to be reckoned with. Just imagine the number
of our deputies that will be elected!".


Mélenchon in third position, ahead of Le Pen and Bayrou

[ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Mélenchon à la troisième place,
devant Le Pen et Bayrou]

by Sébastien Crépel
Translated by Harry Cross and reviewed by Bill Scoble

l'Humanite in English
March 28, 2012


	A poll that immediately made headlines, carried out
	by BVA between Wednesday evening and Thursday
	morning, credited candidate to the French presidency
	Jean-Luc Mélenchon with 14% of voting intentions,
	thus overtaking the FN and the Modem. Hollande (PS)
	retains first position for both the first and the
	second rounds of the election.

It was the number one story of the day: according to the BVA
poll carried out for RTL and regional daily press - made
public the morning of the 23rd of March - the candidate of
the Left Front, Jean-Luc Mélenchon came in third position
behind François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, ahead of
Marine Le Pen and François Bayrou, who up until that point
had occupied third and fourth place. He received 14% of
voting intentions - once again, a level not previously
obtained - ahead of 13% for the candidate of the FN and 12%
for that of Modem.

At first glance, three aspects of this report immediately
grab the attention. The first is that the fear tactics used
by Marine Le Pen to steal votes from the two leading
candidates, in an attempt to resurrect the spectre of the
April 21st election in 2002, has not worked. The performance
of the Left Front in this poll thus constitutes a dramatic
transformation in the political landscape, since no
candidate so far has successfully stolen from Jean-Luc
Mélenchon his title of outsider, creating a veritable
shockwave in the campaign.

Scenarios reimagined

The second aspect is that the front-runner position is still
maintained by François Hollande, with 29.5% of voting
intentions, ahead of Nicolas Sarkozy at 28%. This gives the
lie to theories claiming the progress of the candidacy of
Jean-Luc Mélenchon could only happen at the expense of the
socialists, leading to a "crossing of curves" between the
candidates of the PS and UMP. Not only has nothing of the
sort occurred, but this poll predicts what every other has,
without exception, for the second round of voting: a
definitive victory by François Hollande over the outgoing
president (54% against 46%).

The last aspect, and certainly not the least, though it
should still be considered with great caution, is the date
of the release of this poll, carried out by BVA between
Wednesday evening and Thursday morning - that is to say,
once the identity of the Toulouse gunman was known. This
detail is not without importance, knowing the shockwave that
this drama created, and its political exploitation within 48
hours by the political right and far-right. The effects will
doubtless continue, since in France "the judgement and the
consequences of this drama have now become part of the
debate around the presidential campaign, and the political
debate as a whole", as stated Pierre Laurent (PCF) on the
web-based video site, Public Sénat, on Wednesday. The
encouraging tendency of the continued rise of the Left
Front, which is accelerating following immense popular
success at the Bastille, demands to be reaffirmed in the
long run.


Jean-Luc Mélenchon's Statement on the Murders in Montauban
and Toulouse

by Jean-Luc Melendchon

[ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Les tuéries à Toulouse et

Translated by Bill Scoble and reviewed by Henry Crapo

l'Humanite in English
March 28, 2012


[From the town of Gennevilliers, department of the Hauts-de-
Seine, on Wednesday, 21 March, Jean-Luc Mélenchon made a
statement on the murders committed earlier in the week in
Toulouse and Montauban. We provide a translation of his
remarks, transcribed from a video made at that site.]

Regarding the murders that took place in Toulouse and
Montauban... we were all united, whatever our age, man or
woman, young or old, whatever our religion - all united in
pain. We all felt that such an act put the perpetrator
outside the realms of humanity. Whatever the words that came
out of his mouth, we heard only one thing: criminal,
criminal, criminal.

We don't want to hear anything; his words don't count, he
has no name. Everything he says... we don't listen to a
single word. We see only an assassin who murders children,
which is against the most elemental of human feelings. It's
all we see; we see someone who murders in a cowardly way
people with no defense. That's why he attacks: he's a
coward, he wouldn't have the courage to fight; he's a coward
who shoots people who can't defend themselves, and
afterwards he shoots children.

We were united in saying that we don't care about religion,
we don't care about skin color; we are brothers and sisters
in humanity. (Applause)

That's the first thing. As we have been in the past, so must
we be again. That's our work. I know that there are people
here who work in (benevolent) associations, people of good
heart, who come here to be together, who are always ready to
devote themselves to others, right? (Cries of: oui, oui)
Well, now we've got to be united again. It's not often that
this happens, right? The rest of the time, as is well known,
there is a political right and a political left, those who
win, those who lose. But now, at this moment, the first
thing is that we be united in our decision not to listen to
this criminal - whatever he says, or if he says nothing -
it's the same thing. There will not be any disharmony
between us; we are not going to start wars that we don't
want to see here. What he says - or nothing - it's all the
same. If we have something to say, we'll take care of it
ourselves. And when that odious murderer who killed people
in Norway, in his madness, claimed that he did it because he
was white and blah blah blah and all that, no one among us
said. "Oh yes, it's a problem, but there are others who
think like him." No. We said: he's crazy, a murderer, a
criminal who killed ninety people in cold blood - young
people who carried within themselves all of life's future.

Well, here it's the same thing - the act of resistance that
we have to adopt - that we do not accept for a minute, for a
second, for a quarter of a second - that anyone, in the name
of a crazed individual, speak evil of the second religion of
France. It's not my religion. But that's what we have to pay
great attention to now. That's why I tell you that you have
to remain united, that you have to place under your
protection, every one of you, those who would be the most
threatened. And to everyone I say: "don't lower your gaze;
whatever somebody may say, don't divert your eyes. We are on
the side of the victims; we are not on the side of the
executioners. We are in the camp of the victims; we suffer
with those who suffer. Those are our children who have been
murdered, big and little.

These words are the ones that count now. If you let the
poison spread, afterwards you will have a hard time
controlling it. There are a few hours, a few days during
which one has to resist. This time, it's not social
resistance, nor political resistance; it's the resistance of
feelings of the heart, of the human fraternity. That's the
first thing.

The second thing is to applaud the national police who
succeeded in catching and isolating and identifying the
criminal. And a warm, fraternal greeting to those police
wounded in the operation.

Let everyone reflect on this; now you see why we need a
national police force of the people, that it be the police
of the state, why one needs a state and not simply a
marketplace, because it was that that allowed this to

At the same time, we'll reflect on the fact that we prefer -
by O! how much - we want only a national police force - not
private security forces. We are in favor of public service
in all instances, and especially in the realm of public
security. This, too, is a question that arises in this



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