A Petition Asking French Voters to Reject Sarkozy in the May 6th Presidential Election Receives Strong International Support
As members of the international anti-war movement - and more broadly, members of the vast majority of citizens of the world who recognize the disastrous consequences of the invasion of Iraq by the US and its allies - we wish to voice our opposition to French Presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, and to express our fervent hope that the French people will reject him in the May 6 election.
Unlike Sarkozy, we admired France’s opposition to the invasion in 2003. Sarkozy may have accused Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin of “arrogance” for his now-famous UN address on that occasion, but we appreciated Villepin's dissenting voice when faced with the lack of respect the US and the UK displayed for this international institution. Unlike Sarkozy, we believe that all nations must obey international law, including laws concerning human rights and immigration. We believe that those responsible for crimes against humanity, such as genocide and/or the systematic practice of torture, should be brought to justice; unlike Sarkozy, who has denied and/or minimized the crimes committed under both French colonialism and the Vichy regime on numerous occasions in order to gain votes from supporters of the right-wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen. Unlike Sarkozy, we believe that maintaining civil liberties and a free and independent press is vital to insuring that democratic nations live in peace with one another; we oppose his use of fear-mongering, propaganda and misinformation, the same tools that were used by the US and UK in order to drum up support for an illegal war.
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The world does not need another George Bush or Tony Blair. The defeat of Silvio Berlusconi was a victory for all of us, as well as for the Italian people. We hope that the French people will deliver another resounding “no!” to American imperialism and its supporters on May 6, and once again earn the admiration of the world.
[Since its inception, this open letter has received signatures from more than twenty countries and five continents. “The election of Sarkozy will be a bigger disaster outside of France than inside,” commented petition supporter Jean Bricmont, author of numerous books and articles on international relations (notably “The end of ‘The end of history’”, co-written with Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein). Other petition supporters specifically pointed out the dangers posed by Sarkozy’s “nationalism” and “intolerance”, as well as his mandate from the extreme-right. Many cited affinities with George W. Bush, and warned that if Sarkozy were elected, he would promote the same international agenda; “France must maintain its independent policy,” affirmed Rex Rumakiek of Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific.
Rather than seeking institutional support, individuals who consider themselves part of the global anti-war movement were given the option of declaring their organizational affiliation or remaining independent. While some chose the latter option, other supporters of the petition identified themselves as belong to peace and advocacy associations including: Action Wednesdays Against the War, New York; Amicale Marocaine des Handicapés; Aktionsbündnis für einen gerechten Frieden in Palästina, Germany; Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC); Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative, College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University; Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition; Brussels Tribunal; Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), UK; Collectif judéo-arabe et citoyen pour la paix, France; Focus on the Global South (FOCUS); GDO’ya Hayýr Platformu (Platform of ‘No to GMOs’ [Genetically Modified Organisms]), Turkey ; Greek Social Forum; International Jewish Solidarity Network; Küresel BAK -Turkey (Global Peace and Justice Coalition); Les Cultures Onlus – Lecco, Italy; Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD, Movement for National Democracy), Philippines; Movement for a Democratic Society; Movimento pela paz (Movement for peace), Portugal; New Cyprus Party (Yeni Kıbrıs Partisi); Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific (NFIP), Australia; Cagddas Gazeteciler Dernegi (ÇGD, Progressive Journalists Association), Turkey; Proyecto Guerrero Azteca Por la Paz; Right of Return Congress; Scottish Centre for Nonviolence; Stop the War Coalition of Sydney, Australia; Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); The Peace Party, UK; Wrekin Stop War, UK;
Members of unions such as SETCa in Belgium and GSOC/UAW in the US also supported the petition, as well as those affiliated with political parties such as the Green Party, LCR (Ligue communiste révolutionnaire) and PCF (Parti communiste français).]
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