New Anticapitalist Party: Wikis

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New Anticapitalist Party
Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste
Leader Collective leadership
(Central Committee)
Main spokesman:
Olivier Besancenot
Founded February 8, 2009
Headquarters 2, rue Richard-Lenoir 93100 Montreuil
Ideology Anti-capitalism
Democratic socialism
Eco-socialism
Alter-globalization
European affiliation European Anticapitalist Left
Official colours Red
Seats in the National Assembly
Seats in the Senate
Seats in the European Parliament
Website
http://www.npa2009.org/
Politics of France
Political parties
Elections
Constitution of France
Parliament; Government; President

The New Anticapitalist Party (French: Nouveau parti anticapitaliste, NPA) 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" (Parti anticapitaliste révolutionnaire) with 53% of the vote.[1]

The party (9,200 members) is intended to unify the fractured movements of the French radical Left, and attract new activists drawing on the relative combined strength of far-left parties in presidential elections in 2002, where they achieved 10.44% of the vote, and 2007 (7.07%).

The party is closely associated with Olivier Besancenot, the main spokesman of the former strongest far left party, the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR).

Contents

Founding conference

At the founding conference (6 to 8 February 2009), 630 delegates voted on a series of documents, which had gone through a long process of amendment and re-amendment in local and regional assemblies.

  • The first document "Founding principles" gave the party's analysis of the impasse of capitalism and the necessary for mass mobilization, and, in the long term, overthrow of existing institutions.
  • The second document was the provisional rulebook, which will remain in effect until the next conference.
  • The third document was the Perspectives document, which attempted to set out priorities for the year ahead, and key demands to be pushed for in the immediate future.
  • Finally, a document on the European elections expressed the attitude of the party towards the June European elections.

Structure

Besancenot has stated that it will have no single leader, and will instead be run collectively, and represented by spokespersons.

The basic structure of the party will be the local committee, which will organize local activities. Nationally a coordinating committee will organize general policy.

Before the foundation of the party, the 450 "committees for a new party" were already involved in political activity, giving out leaflets and joining local campaigns, in particular against public service cuts and in protest against the Israeli bombings of Gaza.

Ideals

The party's stated aim is to "build a new socialist, democratic perspective for the twenty-first century".[2]

Olivier Besancenot has said that the party will be "the left that fights, anticapitalist, internationalist, antiracist, ecologist, feminist, opposing all forms of discrimination".[3] The LCR's distinctive identification with Trotskyism will not be continued by the NPA.[4]

The conference (6 to 8 February) will adopt three documents, after amendment - a statement of "Founding principles", a provisional rule book, and a "perspectives" document for the year ahead. Drafts of these documents have been widely circulated and discussed within the party.

The latest draft of the founding principles calls for "social revolution", but without a precise link to any particular theory of social revolution. Unlike in previous LCR documents, although feminism is very present, patriarchy theory is not mentioned. Such issues as the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan, a rise in the minimum wage, and public services are accepted by all members of the NPA.

Alliances

Debate continues within the NPA about what sort of alliances with other groups are acceptable. The majority of militants emphasize the dangers of allying with forces which are likely to end up in joint local or national governments with the Socialist Party (PS). A minority believes there is work to be done in wide alliances with antiliberal parties of the left, such as the new Party of the Left (PG). In January 2009, the NPA signed a joint declaration with several other parties of the left, calling for the building of the January 29 national strike. A minority (16%) claimed that such unity in the strike movements means sufficient basis can be found for joint slates at the European elections, while the majority made a sharp distinction between alliances for social movements and electoral alliances. The party received 4.98% of the vote in the European election.

Discussions were held in the course of 2009 with other parties to the left of the PS, concerning the possibility of joint slates for the regional elections in 2010.

Sources

References

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