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Revolutionary Communist League (France)

Revolutionary Communist League (France)

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See Revolutionary Communist League (Belgium)
Revolutionary Communist League (Belgium)
The Revolutionary Communist League or Socialist Workers' Party is a Belgian Trotskyist political party...

 for the other Ligue communiste révolutionnaire.


The Revolutionary Communist League (Ligue communiste révolutionnaire) (LCR) was a French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 democratic revolutionary socialist political party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

. It was the French section of the Fourth International (Post-Reunification). It published the weekly newspaper Rouge and the journal Critique communiste. Established in 1974, it became the leading party of the far left in the 2000s. It officially abolished itself on February 5, 2009 to merge with smaller factions of the far left and form a New Anticapitalist Party
New Anticapitalist Party
The New Anticapitalist Party is a French political party founded in February 2009. Its name was originally intended to be temporary; a vote on the name being held at the founding congress on 6–8 February 2009, where NPA won over "Revolutionary Anticapitalist Party" with 53% of the vote.The party ...

.

History



It was founded in 1974, after its forerunner the Communist League (Ligue Communiste) was banned in 1973. The Communist League was itself founded in 1969 after the Revolutionary Communist Youth (Jeunesses Communistes Révolutionnaires), which was banned in 1968, had merged with Pierre Frank
Pierre Frank
Pierre Frank was a French Trotskyist leader. He served on the secretariat of the Fourth International from 1948 to 1979....

's Internationalist Communist Party
Internationalist Communist Party
The Internationalist Communist Party was a Trotskyist political party in France. It was the name taken by the French Section of the Fourth International from its foundation until a name change in the late 1960s....

. The group included members of other Trotskyist tendencies who were able to organise openly within its ranks to gain support for their views.

Its official spokespersons were Alain Krivine
Alain Krivine
Alain Krivine is a leader of the Trotskyist movement in France. He is a member of the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire , which is the French section of the reunified Fourth International. He was a member of the LCR's political bureau until March 2006, when he resigned from that committee...

, Roseline Vachetta
Roseline Vachetta
Roseline Vachetta is a French Trotskyist politician.She became a member of the Revolutionary Communist League and in 1999 was elected to the European Parliament. She lost her seat in 2004, but remains one of the LCR's three spokespersons.-References:...

, who are former members of the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

, and Olivier Besancenot
Olivier Besancenot
Olivier Besancenot is a French far left political figure and trade unionist, and the founding main spokesperson of the New Anticapitalist Party from 2009 to 2011....

 who was the party's candidate for the presidential elections in 2002 and 2007.

A major issue in the party's latter years was the possibility and conditions of electoral alliances with other left wing forces, such as the fellow Trotskyist party Lutte Ouvrière. In the past the two had at times run joint candidates (for example in the last regional and European elections), and at times ran separately (for example in the 2002 and 2007 presidential elections).

In a situation where massive campaigns against government policy have brought millions into the streets, but established political parties have lost a lot of credibility, the idea of unifying the radical Left in an electoral alliance was much discussed. There were for example talks for an alliance with the French Communist Party
French Communist Party
The French Communist Party is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism.Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement , and considerable influence in French...

, after both parties worked together on the victorious campaign of the 'No' in the 2005 French referendum on the Constitution of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. Relations between the two parties had been improving since Marie-George Buffet
Marie-George Buffet
Marie-George Buffet is a French politician. She was the head of the French Communist Party from 2001 to 2010. She joined the Party in 1969, and was the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports from June 4, 1997 to May 5, 2002. Ms...

 took over the leadership of the PCF.

LCR militants openly worked within left-wing groups such as ATTAC
Association pour la Taxation des Transactions pour l'Aide aux Citoyens
The Association pour la taxation des transactions financières et pour l'action citoyenne is an activist organization originally created for promoting the establishment of a tax on foreign exchange transactions.-Background:Originally a single-issue movement demanding the...

 and the Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques
Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques
The Solidaires or Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques is a French group of trade unions.-Political position:They tend to favor progressive or even radical views and work with the alter-globalization or anti-globalization movement....

 trade union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

s, although both are independent from political parties (and have members from other political backgrounds).

Dissolution


The Revolutionary Communist League was the leading force in the creation of the New Anticapitalist Party
New Anticapitalist Party
The New Anticapitalist Party is a French political party founded in February 2009. Its name was originally intended to be temporary; a vote on the name being held at the founding congress on 6–8 February 2009, where NPA won over "Revolutionary Anticapitalist Party" with 53% of the vote.The party ...

, launched in June 2008, which was intended to unify the parties and movements of the far left.

On February 5, 2009, 87,1% of party members voted to dissolve the Revolutionary Communist League, with 11.5% voting against. The dissolution was intended solely to enable the LCR to become the New Anticapitalist Party. Alain Krivine, who had been one of the party's founders, said: "We're not dissolving, as such. We'll continue the revolutionary struggle, with a tool that's much better suited for it than the LCR."

Presidential elections (2002 and 2007)


In France's 2002 presidential elections
French presidential election, 2002
The 2002 French presidential election consisted of a first round election on 21 April 2002, and a runoff election between the top two candidates on 5 May 2002. This presidential contest attracted a greater than usual amount of international attention because of Le Pen's unexpected appearance in...

, the LCR's candidate Olivier Besancenot
Olivier Besancenot
Olivier Besancenot is a French far left political figure and trade unionist, and the founding main spokesperson of the New Anticapitalist Party from 2009 to 2011....

 won 4.25% of the vote. Thus the far left (LCR, Lutte Ouvrière and Parti des travailleurs
Workers' Party (France)
The Workers' Party was a French socialist party. It was formed by the Trotskyist Internationalist Communist Party led by Pierre Boussel, better known under his pseudonym Pierre Lambert, together with a number of other socialists with whom they worked in the Force Ouvrière union...

) gained a total of more than 10%. The run-off election provided voters with only a choice between the right-wing Chirac and the far-right Le Pen. The Left in its vast majority voted for Chirac. The LCR did not call for abstention: the LCR campaigned to "minimize the vote to Le Pen". The LCR campaign was run under the slogan "Beat Le Pen on the streets and in the ballot box". A minority within the LCR were opposed to this slogan, believing that it amounted to a call to vote for Chirac.

For the 2007 French presidential election
French presidential election, 2007
The 2007 French presidential election, the ninth of the Fifth French Republic was held to elect the successor to Jacques Chirac as president of France for a five-year term.The winner, decided on 5 and 6 May 2007, was Nicolas Sarkozy...

, the LCR's candidate was again Olivier Besancenot
Olivier Besancenot
Olivier Besancenot is a French far left political figure and trade unionist, and the founding main spokesperson of the New Anticapitalist Party from 2009 to 2011....

, gaining around 4.1% at the first round. As he fell under the 5% barrier, the state did not cover the campaign's expenses above 800,000 Euros. However, as the party spent approximatively this sum, according to Pierre-François Grond, a member of the direction, it will not be financially affected by Besancenot's lower score.

See also


  • Alain Krivine
    Alain Krivine
    Alain Krivine is a leader of the Trotskyist movement in France. He is a member of the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire , which is the French section of the reunified Fourth International. He was a member of the LCR's political bureau until March 2006, when he resigned from that committee...

  • Daniel Bensaïd
    Daniel Bensaïd
    Daniel Bensaïd was a philosopher and a leader of the Trotskyist movement in France. He became a leading figure in the student revolt of 1968, while studying at the University of Paris X: Nanterre.- Life and career :...

  • Olivier Besancenot
    Olivier Besancenot
    Olivier Besancenot is a French far left political figure and trade unionist, and the founding main spokesperson of the New Anticapitalist Party from 2009 to 2011....

  • Michael Lowy
    Michael Löwy
    Michael Löwy is a French-Brazilian Marxist sociologist and philosopher. He is presently the emeritus research director in social sciences at the CNRS and lectures at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales...

  • Catherine Samary
    Catherine Samary
    Catherine Samary is a lecturer at the Dauphine University, Paris and previously a central leader of the reunified Fourth International. She is a co-founder of its largest section, the Revolutionary Communist League....

  • Politics of France
    Politics of France
    France is a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, in which the President of France is head of state and the Prime Minister of France is the head of government, and there is a pluriform, multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is...

  • Lutte Ouvrière
  • Workers' Party (France)
    Workers' Party (France)
    The Workers' Party was a French socialist party. It was formed by the Trotskyist Internationalist Communist Party led by Pierre Boussel, better known under his pseudonym Pierre Lambert, together with a number of other socialists with whom they worked in the Force Ouvrière union...


French articles

  • Jeunesses communistes révolutionnaires
  • Trotskisme en France