GAUCHE ANTICAPITALISTE: A party of the anticapitalist left - member of the Left Front (24/06/2013)
Gauche Anticapitaliste (GA) is a French political organisation founded in November 2011 as a tendency within the New Anticapitalist Party, representing up to 40% of the membership. GA defines itself as anticapitalist, feminist, anti-racist and eco-socialist.
Within the NPA, the tendency fought for the unity of radical left movements, and considered that the formation of the Left Front, made up initially of the French Communist Party, the Left Party and a small split from the NPA, Gauche Unitaire, had created the basis for a realignment of forces to the left of the Socialist Party.
Between the end of 2011 and the middle of 2012, many supporters of the pro-unity current within the NPA left the party or dropped out of activity. In the presidential election of May 2012, some supporters of GA campaigned for the Left Front's Jean-Luc Mélenchon, while others campaigned without much enthusiasm for the NPA's Philippe Poutou. (Mélenchon obtained a little over 11% of the vote in the first round, Poutou 1.15%.)
In July 2012, the motion proposed by GA to a national conference of the NPA obtained 22% of the votes. At around this time it became clear that the biggest party in the Left Front, the Communist Party, would not join the newly-elected Socialist government. GA then decided to leave the NPA to join the Left Front.
Over 550 subs-paying members were recorded at GA's first national meeting as an indpendent party. They are overwhelmingly ex-militants of the NPA and in many cases also of the NPA's predecessor, the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR). A few individuals have joint membership of the NPA and GA.
In areas where the Left Front is an open, campaigning organisation, GA members often play a leading role; in others, where it exists mainly as a convenient front for elections and is dominated by the CP (with or without the presence of the Left Party), we work towards transforming it into an interventionist organisation with a mass base. Our members work to broaden the Left Front and develop its activity in the labour and social movements, involving activists who are not members of any of the constituent organisations.
The Left Front is currently made up of nine separate parties, with membership varying from tens of thousands (CP) or thousands (the Left Party) to a few dozen (Convergence et Alternatives, République et Socialisme). In June 2013, a conference was held to lay the basis of a new group within the Left Front, bringing together the GA, the FASE (ex-Communist and others), Gauche Unitaire and Convergences et Alternatives (ex-NPA) and Les Alternatifs, a red-green party going back to the PSU of the 1960s. GA had previously declined an offer to merge with Jean-Luc Mélenchon's Left Party.
GA currently has a handful number of local councillors, including two members of the Limousin Regional Council, originally elected on a joint Communist Party-Left Party-NPA ticket.
For the elections for city and town councils in 2014, the GA argues for independent Left Front slates, i.e. independent of François Hollande's Socialist Party. It believes that the local election campaign should be fought on a platform of no cuts and a clear opposition to Hollande's austerity measures. This position is shared by a majority of parties within the Left Front, though some exceptions would be made in smaller towns. The Communist Party has postponed a decision until later this year.
GA is not affiliated to an international tendency, although some of its members are individual supporters of the Trotskyist 4th International. It takes part in international solidarity campaigns, and in 2013 sent members to the Tunis Social Forum and the Athens Alternative Summit. It has helped popularise the resistance to austerity in Greece, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere and has had contacts with Syriza in Greece and the Left Block in Portugal. It is open to discussion with all genuine, non-sectarian anticapitalist parties and movements.
GA is committed to the international BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions) campaign i
n solidarity with Palestine. It actively campaigns against racism, fascism and homphobia and in the women's and LGBT movements.
GA publishes press releases and articles on its national website http://www.gauche-anticapitaliste.org. It does not publish a newspaper or review.