Police raid on Mélenchon: The state attacks the Unsubmissive France party
17 October 2018
Yesterday’s police raids on Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s home and the headquarters of his Unsubmissive France (LFI) party in Paris are a major attack on democratic rights. It is a political operation launched on false pretences against an organization that received the votes of 20 percent of French voters in the 2017 presidential elections. If the first target is Mélenchon, fundamentally its target is rising opposition in the working class to President Emmanuel Macron’s government.
Around 100 police, according to LFI estimates, woke up Mélenchon and searched his apartment and those of his aides, and collected all the data on the computers in the headquarters of LFI and of the Left Party (PG), an allied political party founded by Mélenchon in 2009.
Mélenchon filmed a video of his apartment occupied by police and calling on his supporters to protest outside LFI headquarters as it was raided. “I look funny because since 7 a.m. I have been the target of a police raid at my home, at the headquarters of the PG and of LFI. … My entire place is filled with people: please go and tell everyone this is a political act, an act of political aggression.”
Prosecutors reportedly cited two cases to justify the raid: last year’s allegations that Mélenchon paid LFI staff improperly using funds provided for aides to LFI Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), and allegations of corruption in LFI’s campaign finances.
These dubious accusations do not justify the police raid launched on LFI. The first came last year from neo-fascist MEP Sophie Montel, who explained after making it that it was simply “me sticking my tongue out” as revenge for state allegations of…