Friday, March 02, 2007


The second in the series of profiles of the French Presidential Candidates, today we
look at Arlette Laguiller, or as she is known to most French voters, Arlette.
She was born on March 18, 1940 at Les Lilas, Seine-Saint-Denis. In 1968, she joined Lutte Ouvriere and led a strike against the Credit Lyonnaise that turned into a major strick by the workers in the banking industry in 1974.
Since 1973, she has been the spokes woman, best known leader and perrenial presidential candidate for the LO (Lutte Ouvriere) Party. She is a French Trotskyist and is commited to the cause of communist workers revolution.
She has run for president in every election since 1974 and this in 2007 will be her 6th and final run. During most of the races, she has been the only female candidate.
She has been a tireless worker, dedicated to workers rights and has accomplished a lot inspite of the fact that the once powerful French Communist Party is rapidly shrinking. The French Communist Parties are a Far left coalition which have been very instrumental in effecting social change and were the back bone of the Resistance against the German Occupation in WW2. One of the main reasons DeGaulle finally got the Americans to divert to Paris was to help dislodge the Communists from forming the first post war government .
She is a great speaker and a real humanist, greatly loved for her warmth which comes through in her personal appearances. She lives simply, being head of the party is not a well paying job, has no car. She is out on the streets doing her own postering and personally meeting and talking to people everyday. Never the less, she is able to influence the direction of social action and in the last election was able to still command 6% of the overall vote. In her own way, she is a legend, an inspiration and the bearer of a great tradition of Social humanism.


liberal_dem said...

She must be the Dennis Kucinich of France. You've got to love her tenacity and her belief system although communism is hardly in vogue at this time in history.

microdot said...

But, this is France where until the 70's the Communists Mayors of the small villages dominated the South.
Also the French Communist Party was always just that...French.
With the fall of the USSR and the discrediting of Stalin, the party suffered and is now fractured into a coalition. A lot of peasants who traditionally voted communists have swung to the far right.
A lot of the Trostskist Communists have found a very comfortable home in the Socialist Party. The Communists have been able to do a lot to advance a secular humanist agenda in France and are a part of the modern history and heritage.