John Mullen is an anti-capitalist activist in the Paris region and a supporter of the group France Insoumise. His political website is randombolshevik.org.
The Left Berlin recently interviewed John Mullen, a revolutionary socialist living in the Paris region for more than 30 years, about the political situation in France as the countdown continues to the next presidential election. It has been updated and edited for Red Flag.
President Emmanuel Macron has let at least 112,000 people die of COVID-19 in France, and there are still around a thousand COVID patients in intensive care today. At every point, the interests of profit have been his priority. We’ve seen half-hearted lockdowns, called too late and lifted too soon, with much too little financial help for workers to make sure they could respect the rules, alongside criminally low investment in vaccination programmes, which started late and advanced slowly. Most of the deaths could have been avoided.
Some opinion polls suggest that French fascist leader Marine Le Pen has a chance of winning the country’s presidential election next year. How powerful and dangerous is she, and what are the weaknesses anti-fascists should exploit? John Mullen writes from France.
Samuel Paty, a 47-year-old teacher, was brutally murdered outside his Paris school on 16 October after showing caricatures of the prophet Mohammed to his pupils. In the days since, the French government and other Islamophobic organisations have exploited the event to launch a wave of political attacks against Muslims and Muslim organisations. The Left Berlin, a progressive journalism project, spoke to Paris activist John Mullen about the situation.
The second round of the French local elections, at the end of June, was bad news for president Emmanuel Macron, whose candidates did very poorly. In response, Macron switched prime ministers, replacing high-profile operator Edouard Philippe with an unknown right winger, Jean Castex, whose previous experience consisted mostly of being mayor of a town with 6,000 inhabitants. “I’m not looking for the limelight”, confirmed Castex on the day of his appointment.
Islamophobia is hitting the headlines again in France, as over 20,000 marched joyfully against it in Paris in November, singing and chanting, backed by major trade unions and radical left parties. Are we finally seeing a real shift in the dreadful politics of the French left on Islamophobia?