The following article was first published as the editorial of workplace bulletins distributed by members of L’Etincelle (The Spark) faction in France.

May 8, 2017

Emmanuel Macron (66.1%) won the second round of the presidential election against Marine Le Pen (33.9%). But a lot of people refused to participate in this non-choice, and chose to show they rejected both candidates. Now we have to prepare for the fights of the coming social third round.

Election and rejection

While Emmanuel Macron claims a major victory in terms of percentages, the election was remarkable for the 12 millions abstentions (that’s a record 25.4% of registered voters) and over 4 millions of blank and invalid ballots (11.5% of voters, another record). These numbers were particularly large in working class neighbourhoods, showing a strong rejection of both the xenophobe millionaire and the “business” candidate.

Still, the National Front (FN) managed to get over 10 million votes. The best ever score for the far right, which is worrisome for the working class. The seeds of the FN were planted through all the anti-worker attacks led by Sarkozy, Hollande, etc in the last few years. Marine Le Pen only had to wait for people to be fed up in order to get their votes. She did not get elected, but the rise of the ideas she spreads, and her will to divide the exploited and oppressed, will continue to do some damage. And Macron’s anti-worker policy will be her best ally.

The bosses love everything about Macron!

Despite the high number of people who refused to choose between the lesser of two evils, despite those who dragged their feet to vote against Le Pen, Macron pretends the election represents a support for his programme, which is all about attacking the working class. But his “support” only comes from the bigwigs he gathered, such as Laurence Parisot and Pierre Gattaz, the former and current heads of the bosses’ union.

In keeping with the Macron Law and the Work law, passed under Hollande, Macron wants to “move fast” and start his anti-worker attacks as soon as this summer by legislating through ordinances. This would result in the further weakening of the Labour code in favour of the bosses, and the spread of company “agreements” aiming at breaking industry-wide agreements and by fragmenting the workers against the bosses.

Macron also plans to save €60 billion. Certainly not by taking the money from his banker and tax evader friends. Rather, he proposes to cut 120,000 public service jobs and decrease local community budgets. At the same time, he announces tax breaks for the rich. In short, Macron’s programme is about destroying public services, attacking workers’ rights and disciplining the unemployed. The same old anti-worker policies we have seen too many times.

Let’s fight back on our ground, that of class struggle

With Macron, a “new page” would be turned, according to him.

Fine! So workers can also turn to a new page of class struggle against attacking government and bosses. Anger and mistrust were expressed in the ballot box; combativeness in the streets and workplaces would be something else entirely.

Starting now, workers, unemployed, temps and students, we need to organise at our living and working places, to build a balance of power that will allow us to fight back the coming attacks. More than through biased elections, it is through the daily fights that we’ll be able to really be involved in politics, to stop the FN’s nauseating ideas and fight for our liberation.