Olivier Besancenot, 32 years old and spokesman of the LCR (Ligue Communiste Revolutionnair). He was born April 18, 1975 in Levallois-Perret, a suburb of Paris.
His father was a teacher and scholar of psychology.
He studied history at the University of Paris X in Nanterre and since 1997 has been a Postal Worker in the Paris region. He is one of three spokespersons for the LCR which is a the French part of the international Trotskyite group, United Secretariat of the Fourth International. He defines himself as a revolutionary and an "altermondialiste" and cites Rosa Luxembourg and Che Guevara more often than Trotsky.
Hiis involvement in Left wing politics began at the age of 14 when he joined the Revolutionary Communist Youth in 1988. When he was studying history, he formed a trade union at the Shopi Supermarket chain where he worked. In 1991, he joined the LCR and since 1997, a member of the Sud-PTT Trade Union. In 1999 and 2000 he took a break from his postal job to work as a parliamentary aide to Alan Krivine in the European Parliament. In 2000 and 2001 he participated in the World Social Forum in Porto Allegro.
He first gained national attention when he ran for president in 2002. At 28, he was the youngest man ever to run for the office. He ran on an openly socialist revolutionary platform and was able to earn 1.3 million votes, almost 5 % of the total vote! Among the youth, under 25 he had almost 14% which beat both Jospin and LePen.
Since the beginning of his campaign he has used the slogan, "Nos vies valent plus que leurs profits!" (Our lives are worth more than their profits!) and has campaigned for a further redistribution of wealth, an increase in the minimum wage, prohibition of layoffs from profitable companies and a taxation of the profits from capitalist speculation.
He has written 2 books, both best sellers, Tous est a nous, in 2002
and Revolution(100 mots pour changer le monde)
He is an energetic campaigner, a brilliant debater with facts to back up his arguments at the tips of his fingers. He has been deadly when paired with far right representatives in discussions on Television, devastating them with his command of facts and statistics. He has another weapon, a truly friendly charm. He recently polled as one of the best liked public figures in France. He certainly has the talent and ability to explain revolutionary Trotskyite doctrine in way that would sound reasonable to your mother. I personally like Olivier a lot as a candidate. I think he is another voice who injects needed emphasis on workers issues and makes the other candidates focus on these concerns. I think he will do better than 2002. There is the possibility that he could draw voters away from the Socialists. He has stated a number of times recently that he is more tthan pleasantly surprised by the positions Segolene Royal has taken lately. On the other hand, I don't picture him living in Elysee Palace if he were president, I think he would stiil want to be delivering the mail....