LRP/COFI Statement Concerning the Second Round of the French Elections

Issued on May Day, 2002

We have called upon the parties of the left in France who claim the mantle of Trotskyism to challenge the leadership of the trade unions and all other working class organizations and anti-racist fighters to organize a mass boycott campaign, or a spoiled ballot campaign, for the Second Round in the Presidential elections on May 5. Between the two bourgeois candidates, Chirac and Le Pen, the working class has no choice.

Any attempt on the part of leftists to engage in support to Chirac to stop Le Pen is an open betrayal of the class struggle. Any attempt to be politically soft toward those who urge a vote for Chirac to stop Le Pen is likewise a capitulation. And, simply registering a negative attitude toward both candidates while failing to make every effort to educate and mobilize mass demonstrations against the monstrous alternatives is to fail to warn workers that they are being asked to choose between two forms of suicide.

Masses in France are already demonstrating their justifiable hatred for the racist anti-immigrant and anti-working class politics of the despicable fascist Le Pen. Now, in France, the immediate enemy is the mainstream of the imperialist bourgeoisie. Currently, it is represented by Chirac. The bourgeoisie does not yet have to turn to its last resort, fascism. Any attempt to to take a timid attitude to Chirac will encourage even bolder racist, anti-immigrant, anti-working class attacks on their part. In short, such a vote will embolden the capitalist class to take further steps on the road which must lead to fascism, genocide and war. It is time to bring this message into the demonstrations and to make every effort to turn them into mobilizations for a boycott of, or spoiled ballots for, the elections.

Lenin and Trotsky stressed the need for authentic communists to go deeper and deeper into the ranks of the proletariat to find the most stalwart fighters. The immigrant workers in France now constitute a significant section of the French working class. Above all, revolutionaries have the duty to reach these militants with the message of internationalist solidarity and genuine communism. Undoubtedly such comrades provide a strong presence in the immediate struggle. And without a doubt, they will be a significant section of the coming revolutionary vanguard.

It is capitalism which generates unemployment, poverty and racism. No reforms can stop that. It is time for those who claim the banner of Bolshevism to act like Bolsheviks and help mobilize the fighting spirit of the united international and interracial working class.