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Left ‘No’ forces must continue fight

Friday 3 June 2005, by Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire

Now, we are going to continue...

1) So the «No» has just carried the day. This is a movement that has deep roots, it is the victory of all those who have for many years been suffering the ill effects of the liberal policies that have been systematically applied for more than 20 years. This is a defeat for those who dream of a liberal society, freed from the impediments that are represented by the resistance of the working class and the people of this country, but who have never, throughout this campaign, openly admitted their project.

The social and democratic ‘No’, which was the driving force of this victory, appeals to the whole of Europe, to the peoples of the East as well as the West, who are suffering the full effects of the demolition of their social rights. It represents a formidable encouragement for the many forces who also think that another Europe is possible, on condition that we undo this liberal and capitalist Europe.

It is up to us who have just refused this Constitution to propose European initiatives to trace the outlines of another Europe.

A Europe that will harmonise upwards social and democratic rights. A Europe that would establish social convergence criteria, implement a European minimum wage, establish a common capital tax, create real European public services.

A Europe that would extend to all women the right of abortion and accord equal rights to all foreign residents.

A Europe of peace, cooperation and solidarity with the South, which would turn its back on NATO and the remilitarisation that is promised by the treaty. This Europe can only come from a democratic constituent process, that is one that the peoples take into their own hands.

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2) Chirac and Raffarin, who apply the liberal policies that are set in stone by the treaty, have once again been severely condemned. Those who promised us chaos are more than ever illegitimate. They must resign. The Parliament, which would have ratified this Constitution by a majority of nearly 90 per cent, does not represent the real country. That makes it all the more necessary to introduce full proportional representation. This Assembly must be dissolved, new elections must be called.

The employers, fully mobilized for a project which is fundamentally theirs, have just suffered a setback. It’s up to us to take advantage of this weakening of the Right and of the employers, without waiting till 2007, and take social revenge. We must impose a different sharing out of wealth and of work, save and extend public services, defend and broaden social protection.

From this point of view, the recent struggles of the workers of IBM and Total show the road we have to follow, the road of a generalisation of struggles. On the left, the leaderships of the SP and the Greens wanted, by allying with the Right, to get such a Constitution approved. They have also been severely condemned, as have, generally speaking, all the forces that assume the responsibility for their participation in government and their liberal policies. Decidedly, there are two Lefts in this country.

A Neoliberal Left, which accepts the constraints of a capitalism that is more and more savage and brutal and which goes along with liberal counter-reforms. This is the Left that provoked the disaster of April 21st, 2002, that doesn’t combat the Right’s projects, that has, when it comes down to it, the same economic and social project as the Right. But there exists another Left, another camp, which have emerged in the course of this campaign.

3) The social and democratic “No” was the event of this campaign. It provoked the real debate that is taking place throughout the country: for or against liberalism, do we accept or reject the brutality of the bosses’ offensive. Thousands of debates, hundreds of meetings, a thousand collectives came along to interfere with the workings of the pretty machine that had been built to obtain the ratification, without any complications, of the liberal and anti-democratic fraud that this Constitution represents. Bringing together all those who for many years have been fighting, have been resisting, the “No” carries the hope of another world, of another Europe, of another politics. That “No” is the future.

It is borne by the struggles of youth and workers, it comes from the combats of the movements for another globalisation. It enabled the coming together of militants of the LCR, of the PCRF, of ecologists and Socialists for an anti-liberal “No”, as well as the junction between these political militants and trade unionists and militants of different associations.

The commitment of many trade unionists, of the Fondation Copernic and of ATTAC, was decisive for the success of the campaign. This coming together of forces must continue. That is why it is important to hold a national conference of the 1,000 collectives for the “No”, to decide how to continue. With the aim of organising action against the Right and the bosses. It must propose an alternative to neoliberal capitalism, in Europe as well as in France, in order to give new hope to those, more and more numerous, who are not resigned to accepting the iron laws of this capitalist society.

The political forces that are part of the anti-neoliberal framework of the Appeal of the 200 must also, that is our proposal, meet together rapidly, to encourage and develop such perspectives.

On the European level, a European Social Forum should enable us, in a fairly short space of time, to trace the outlines of another Europe, social, in solidarity and democratic.

- Statement of the Political Bureau published in Rouge, weekly paper of the LCR, June 2nd 2005.