“Hollande ça suffit !” (Hollande this is enough) was one of the many slogans seen on banners at the demonstration against austerity in Paris last Saturday. Around 40,000 people marched from “République” to “Nation” against austerity and cuts policies put forward by the Socialist Party (PS) government. The protest was full of energy, chants and smiles.
Not only was it successful in mobilising large numbers, but was also a successful in uniting different groups. The march was first initiated by the NPA (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste) and the PG (Parti de Gauche), but in the end all the groups making up the Front de Gauche (PCF, PG, Ensemble) took part, as well as many union federations, activist associations like ATTAC and even some leaders of the left tendencies in the Green Party (Europe-Écologie Les Verts).
For a long time there hasn’t been this feeling of unity, and hope in a fightback. In particular, a new component of the Front de Gauche, Ensemble, emerged from the successful unification of the many far-left small groups coming from the NPA and the PCF. Although preparation for the demonstration had seen tensions between organisations, they were successfully overcome.
The challenge now will be to transform what has started with Saturday’s demonstration into a united fightback against the most right wing and racist “left” government ever seen in France so far.