“I want things to move and the State must move, otherwise it will blow up, it will blow up! » On the Loire-Atlantique stand on Friday, just after the opening of the Fête de l'Humanité which has been held for two years in Essonne, not far from Brétigny-sur-Orge, Fabien Roussel came up like a cuckoo. The national secretary of the PCF is basing his political comeback on the social anger of the French. And he is pulling out all the stops, just to make himself heard in the concert of the left and the already very busy political news.
After his 2022 rant in favor of work and against “the welfare left”, this year he called on the French to “wake up state services, invade them even if necessary, going back to Emmanuel Macron. In l'Humanité of September 13, he called for “rallies” in front of prefectures, but also supermarkets, gas stations, etc.
Fabien Roussel did not let himself be dismantled by the taunts or protests on the left of the last 48 hours – until Jean-Luc Mélenchon who pointed out, ironically, a “violent initiative” considered “purely personal” because “discussed nowhere, not even at the PCF”.
Comment in response from Fabien Roussel, Friday during the day, shrimp in hand: “I found that Mélenchon was softening.” A disingenuous allusion to the age of the leader of the Insoumis and three-time presidential candidate, just 72 years old? Not impossible. In any case, the comments of his peers do not move him.
Present at the Party on Friday, the ecologist Marie Toussaint, MEP and head of the EELV list for Europeans, is silent in the face of this stubborn attitude. “He got a little carried away,” she slips cautiously, without really wanting to offend her Nupes partner.
Fabien Roussel already knows which prefecture he could go to. But he won't say it. Surprise. And then the deputy from the North does not want to insult the future. Tuesday, following the other party leaders who met Emmanuel Macron in Saint-Denis on August 30, he will be received by Elisabeth Borne in Matignon. “They may decide to move in the coming days on the prices of gasoline, on food and electricity and in that case,” he said, “we will not move!” Otherwise, the date of the popular insurrection has already been scheduled. It will be the weekend of September 30 and October 1.
According to Fabien Roussel too, the affair will be “peaceful” and “organized”. “As we know how to do,” he promises. “The anger of hunger must be heard and followed by action.” The meeting with Emmanuel Macron is for him “only communication”.
In their exercise which also seems to relate to political communication, the communists do not seem worried about the risks of being overwhelmed on the ground during possible future demonstrations. Communist deputy for culture to the PS mayor of Nantes, Aymeric Seassau comments: “We don’t really imagine that a crowd could want to put the prefect’s head on a pike!”
New head of the Young Communists following Léon Deffontaines - who became head of the PCF list for the Europeans - Toulouse resident Assan Lakehoul is categorical: “We absolutely must be as close as possible to the concerns of the French who are angry, young people in particular . In 2027, we will have to stand up to the RN. However, according to him, “for the moment, Jordan Bardella and Marine Le Pen are able to speak to a generation that the left has lost and which is oscillating between the RN or abstention.”
Fabien Roussel sees himself leaving for 2027 as in 2022. It doesn't matter how low the score is (2.28%). The joint candidacy of the left is “no”, he told Libération. “It’s a question of project for France.” If he found himself facing Marine Le Pen in the second round, he even imagines being able to take control. “Maybe right-wing voters would vote for me.” What they would not do “with a rebel”.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who spoke on Friday evening at the Fête de l'Humanité, insisted that he "will never unite on a discount program, which would not be a program of rupture with capitalism" . “We will never participate in primaries: they give priority to those who are the least divisive and blow up those who participate,” he added.
Friday in the aisles of the Festival, to the activists he meets as well as in the debates which will punctuate the three days, the deputy from the North says it and intends to make it known. With him, there is no question of “walking next to activists who shout ‘everyone hates the police’”, even if he denounces “violence and racism in the institution, but not in a systemic way”. He would therefore not be at the demonstration organized on September 23 by the Insoumis against police violence. And then with him again, “no decline”. And then “nuclear too”. For resale.
This is its specificity. Alone on this issue facing a majority of socialists, ecologists and rebels... “Nuclear power,” said Roussel, “I make it the central subject of the reconstruction of France, of our industry and of our fight in favor of climate". He will say it on Saturday in his big speech at the end of the morning. And repeat it on Sunday in a debate at the start of the afternoon with former Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. Because if both defend this energy, Roussel wants to “get out of the speculative energy market”.
However, according to him, “Edouard Philippe is ready to sacrifice the French energy advantage to preserve the Franco-German couple”. “To accept everything from the Germans in the name of our history and the pact,” assures Roussel, “is to take the risk of a leap backwards which opens the door to the extreme right.” The rise in the price of electricity is in fact, for him, “a real trigger for a major crisis”.