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John Passant

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July 2014



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

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Me on Razor Sharp this morning
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Anti-fascist delegates meet in Paris to plan counter-offensive against Le Pen

Anti fascist delegates met in Paris recently to plan a counter-offensive against Le Pen, writes John Mullen, an activist from Ensemble (Front de gauche)

About 90 activists from 20 towns met in Paris on the last weekend in June at a delegate meeting called by the Coordination Against the Far Right (CONEX) an initiative started by radical trade unionists.

Fifteen existing local antifascist groups were represented, as well as different trade unions and anti-racist campaigning organizations.

The meeting discussed the difficulties involved in antifascist activity in the recent period, which has seen the far right make big gains at elections, but also seen them organizing large demonstrations against gay marriage.

But we also heard of a number of successful local initiatives, such as a high school which went on strike when nazi graffiti was found in the building, the wide mobilization of high schools against the deportation of a Roma teenager, or a successful counter-demonstration against National Front leaders Le Pen’s visit to Gap.

The Coordination is small but ambitious, and the focus of discussions was two fold.

Firstly how can we rebuild a broad antifascist movement which is dynamic and visible and able to communicate with young people. Some groups have been able to organize a presence at music festivals, and to produce webvideos against the FN. Trade unionists have produced clear pamphlets setting out arguments against the Front national, and a quarterly bulletin reporting on the activities of the 15 town councils across France now run by fascists.

The second focus was plans to organize to counter the national conference of the Front national, in Lyon at the end of November 2014. The meeting ended with a call sent out to trade union and campaigning organizations across the country, aiming at organizing in Lyon on the same week-end as Le Pen’s conference both a demonstration and other activities such as concerts and teach-ins.

The two main challenges ahead are, firstly, to convince more left activists of the importance of a specific campaign against the FN and the fascists. Many are saying that fascism comes from capitalism, so fighting for an anti-capitalist alternative is enough.

Secondly, inside the antifascist movement we will have to make sure that wide appeal is genuinely aimed at: some antifascists say they would like to keep anyone close to the governing Socialist Party out of the campaign, which would be a serious mistake.

John Mullen, an activist from Ensemble (Front de gauche), Montreuil June 2014



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