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Fete de l’Humanite recharges the French left

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Picture: Chang Martin/NnoMan via Fete de l’Humanite/Spetember 15, 2023 – From Day 1 of the Humanite Fest. The 88th edition of the Fête de l’Humanité recorded the participation of around 430,000 people from September 15 to 17, 2023.

By Peoples Dispatch

Four Hundred and Thirty Thousand (430,000) people participated in the 88th edition of the Fête de l’Humanité, organised by the French communist newspaper l’Humanité. The festival took place at Base 217, in the department of Essonne from September 15 to 17.

During the three-day festival there were more than a dozen talks and discussions on various topics, as well as more than 35 musical performances, five exhibitions including a tribute to Pablo Picasso, screenings of films and documentaries, theatre performances, and a book fair.

Picture: The Phillips Collection/Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York – Pablo Picasso’s “The Blue Room,” 1901. The three-day festival included talks, discusiions, more than 35 musical performances and five exhibitions including a tribute to Pablo Picasso,

The debates and talks featured politicians from a range of political parties as well as trade unionists and social movement activists, who discussed pension reforms in France, inflation, state repression, working-class politics, the right to health, artificial intelligence, press freedom, food sovereignty, and more.

According to Fabien Gay, the director of l’Humanite, the festival was punctuated by strong moments of solidarity with the people, activists, trade unionists, and victims of repression, and in favour of peace.

Fête de l’Humanite was founded in 1930 by Marcel Cachin, the editor of the newspaper L’Humanité at the time, to raise funds for the newspaper. The festival has now become one of the most popular annual events in France, providing a space for all those involved in the struggle for a new social, political, and economic system.

This year’s festival was organised in the backdrop of a 10-month-long protracted struggle by French trade unions and leftists against an anti-worker pension reform. Other key issues for the working class in France are the cost of living crisis, police brutality against minorities and immigrant communities in France, and French neo-colonialist manoeuvres in West Africa. Additionally, many trade unionists in France are currently facing persecution for their involvement in protests against the pension reforms.

On September 18, Fabien Gay noted in l’Humanite that in this time marked with intensified manoeuvres to confiscate democracy, Fête de l’Humanité was a “real democratic breath of fresh air on which to base our determined approach to the new school year, with the aim of overturning the established order and finding the way to a different society”.

This article was first published on Peoples Dispatch