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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Huit jours pour réussir la Fête

by Patrick Le Hyaric, director of l’Humanité

Eight Days Remain, to make the Fête de l’Humanité a Success

Translated Thursday 5 October 2006, by Claudia Incardona-Sanderlin

Translator’s note: La Fête de l’Humanité was a great success with more than half a million visitors in three days. The following article, dated 7 September, is a bit "passé", but still interesting!

In eight days, «la Fête de l’ Humanité» Festival will open its doors. It is now that hundreds of young people and families are making plans to participate in this festival, a cultural and political event, unique in France.

It will be fundamental to take advantage of the coming days and to audaciously publicize the Festival’s content, its meaning, and its exceptional cultural program; and to let hundreds of families and young people know how for 15 euros it will be possible to have access to great concerts: from Diam’s, Raphaël, Têtes Raides, the children’s choir of the Maîtrise de Radio France, Bénabar, The Subways, and more. The Festival will again this year be a unique place, one of vibrant fraternity, in contrast to those forms of separation and hatred fostered by reactionary forces.

In a context in which the right-wing governing authority utilizes more than ever the power of money, the people need to see this large gathering succeed. it will be the place where one can express his/her resentment. The higher the number of participants, the better will be the chances of a response from the right wing related to:

- the cessation of layoff and relocation plans
- the increase in the number of small and medium salaries;
- the defense and improvement of public services, starting with preventing the privatization of «Gaz de France».

Confronted with the intense ideological battle leading to the acceptance of policies currently practiced and a new leap toward the ultra-liberalism, under the name of « sarzokyst rupture », the people of the Left have a pressing need to debate and to confront their opinions and proposals. in order truly to change their lives.

Throughout the lengthening debates that have been taking place within the country in the last months, the Festival will represent a federative space for political forces and individuals who will attempt to overpower the right wing in the next seven months and create the conditions for the achievement of an audacious left wing, determined in facing “the wall of money" and in placing real power in the hands of citizens.

Because of the awareness of the rejection brought about by the system, the ultra-reactionary right wing is trying ideologically to integrate the aspirations of the working-class, in order to better mislead them. We can see such strategy through wage incentives, public school area distribution, or debates related to shareholding wage-earners. This is also the proposal carried out by « l’université d’été de MEDEF» (the annual congress organized by the Movement of the French Enterprises): “reconcile the irreconcilable”. In other words, to let people believe that it is possible to reconcile the search of financial revenues and capitalist exploitation in general with an improved lifestyle.

From this point of view, l’Humanité Festival will be the anti-Sarkozy, anti-MEDEF Festival. It will discuss the ideas of the fight for human emancipation against the the ideas of investors and corporations’ board of directors. La Fête de l’Humanité will focus on discussions related to the left-wing situation and the means of transformation. It will be an time of intense reflection aimed at undoing the trap set for the people: That the only choice offered by the poll-based media-political alliance is between the American right wing and the « Blairist » left wing, which, when all is said and done, will not change the people’s lives.

The Festival will commemorate the sixty years of the popular Front, precisely because the progress it made resulted from the combination of political daring, popular union, and a strong social movement.

The multitude of forums taking place throughout the Festival will cover the fundamental debates between the development of capitalism and the rupture from such system. However, to be able to change things, there has to be a general willingness to attack the law of money.

Salaries, employment security, education and schools, public services, culture, sport, democracy, and all that makes up people’s lives will be at the heart of the Festival.

Unlike the political theatrics of so many "summer universities" spreading political rumors, l’Humanité Festival will first and foremost focus on its participants as main role-players, creators of ideas, developers of a new approach to open up the road toward a «majority» gathering, which is indispensable for a change. Contrary to some alarming practices, according to which several politicians monopolize the front pages of the glossy magazines, the Festival will emphasize the role of the people in action, their militant role.

The Festival will represent a gathering of international solidarity, supporting peace and disarming of troops, for the achievement of a lasting «co-evolution» within our planet. Saturday afternoon will be a day committed to the demand of a rightful and lasting peace within the “Near” and Middle-East. A forum will discuss Latin-Americans experiences related to their attempt to escape economic liberalism.

The success of the Festival is of political concern for anybody who wishes for a strong counter-attack to the right-wing, and their possible defeat, and who long for a new governing authority and a political, societal change.

It will be in the next few hours that there will be the development of relations, discussions, initiatives that will render possible the success of a Festival that does not disappoint all those people seeking a change on the Left.

This week’s Humanité Dimanche will offer the Festival’s program with useful information related to the event. This will enable the hastening of the political debate and the counter-attack. At the same time, the widespread sale of certificates for admission to the Festival represents an additional asset for l’Humanité’s necessary costs.

To make the Festival’s succeed, is to prepare a new future.

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