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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Nous avons porté l’essentiel du combat contre le FN

by Jean-Luc Mélenchon

From the Place de Stalingrad

Translated Tuesday 24 April 2012, by Henry Crapo and reviewed by Isabelle Métral

Election eve statement by the candidate of the Front de gauche.

Translation from the sound track of the video by DailyMotion. and from the blog of Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

You are so many here! My friends, the first estimates we have been given, insofar as they are reliable, permit us to draw some lessons. The first lesson forced upon us is that our people are fully determined to turn the page of those "Sarkozy years".

The total vote, on the right, all components of the right wing included, is less than it was in 2007. But the far right is at a high level. So we were correct to concentrate our campaign on the analysis and radical criticism of the proposals of the far right. We had good reason to do that, and if we had not done so, perhaps the results this evening would have been even more alarming. They are alarming!

So it is the moment for me to say that we felt ourselves alone at certain moments in this battle. One candidate imitated me, the other ignored me. And we carried on our backs the essential of that combat. Shame on those who preferred to fire shots at us, rather than to help us! Remember forever the names of those who refused this combat, who preferred to relay, against us, the lying and anti-communist arguments of the far right.

At this hour, it is the score of the Front de gauche that holds in its hand the key to the final results. Thus it is all of you, and not me, for sure, who will decide the outcome, because, in truth, we have been the only new political force, the one such force that has managed to break through and was born in this election. It is we, henceforth, who have the keys to the final result.

I call on you, in clear conscience, fully to assume that responsibility, not bothering yourselves with all the commentaries, impressions, those petty games of divination. I invite no one to abandon themselves to these diversions. And I say again very clearly, at this hour, in clear conscience, there is nothing to negotiate! Our engagement needs no authorization, no coaxing, to unfurl itself in all its force.

I call on you to mobilize around the rendezvous that are offered to you. On the first of May, May Day, behind the unions and the working class in combat, our camp, our political family, the world of work and of labor’s demands. I call on you to join together on the sixth of May, to beat Sarkozy.

I ask you not to drag your feet. I ask you to campaign as if it were to help me, myself, to win the presidential election.

Ask for nothing in exchange, just an act of your own conscience. Why?

The battle that we wage is not a personal battle, not even a battle in a single country, it’s a question of turning the table, in order to reverse the tendency that, in Europe, keeps all the peoples under the same yoke of the Sarkozy-Merkel axis. We must break the yoke in France.

This is what we will do. And because we are going to do it, then, it will be crystal clear, indisputably, that it is we who make the decisions, henceforth, on the Left, and in the country.

Let’s raise ourselves up to the level of the power that was given to us by our assembly. Let us continue, calmly to march along our path. Because, I say it to you that, ineluctably, we are going the way of History, and History is coming our way. Ineluctably, the solutions we have defended, in essence, that of sharing the wealth, and of changing the regime, will be forced on the agenda by the shocks we can see coming.

No matter who will be elected president of the republic, the powers of finance are already determined to attack the French people. And so, no matter who is in the saddle, will have no other choice but to surrender, or to resist. And when the word is "resist!", there is no other force but ours.

(Cries of "Resistance!, Resistance!" from the assembly.)

Keep your hearts warm with the satisfaction of a job well done. Never forget the images of the force of your gathering. Never again allow ourselves to be scattered and dispersed!

In one stride, we have advanced into the pack at the front of the race [1]. With the next, we will achieve the definitive conquest of power, through the ballot boxes, and democracy.

Long live the Republic, long live the working class, long live France!

[1Into the peleton de tête, as in bicycle racing.

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