Festival 2020. A craft for weaving bonds of humanity

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Keep at a distance from each other, but strengthen the bonds of brotherhood, solidarity and, mouth covered, confront ideas, think aloud about the world to make happen, instead of a capitalism that sows disaster everywhere . Let’s face it: it was a real challenge. The bet was met, in an emergency and under unprecedented constraints, this weekend, with an edition of the Fête de l’Humanité in an unusual format.

Among the many venues where the event took place, La Bellevilloise, in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, hosted high-level debates, broadcast live and monitored remotely by more than 100,000 people. The former workers’ cooperative housed upstairs the Agora de l’Humanité, where have succeeded critical intellectuals and leaders of corvée, political leaders, elected officials and trade unionists, environmental activists, anti-racists or feminists, to say what the struggles in course and the global crisis make emerge new; to outline alternatives made imperative by the nightmare of the pandemic, by climate change, by the great economic depression which threatens.

The time has resounded sharp voices: we had to hear that of Malika Belarbi, nursing assistant in nursing home who said with poignant words his “Feeling of abandonment”. That of economist Nasser Mansouri-Giuliani, emaciated by the Covid-19 ordeal but still opinionated, who pleads for “The development of public services” and for one “Material recognition, not just moral, of the indispensable workers, whose wages must be increased”. That again of Yasmina Kettal, nurse at Delafontaine hospital, in Saint-Denis, guided by the requirement to “To treat people with dignity”, in a department where excess mortality climbed 130% in April.

The pleasure, the joy of being in the fight

The time confronts us with the essential: with representatives of the left forces, in front of a full house, the debates were courteous, less heated than usual: against Macron, his world and his narrow recovery plan, which the large share of capital income to the detriment of fair remuneration for labor, it is a question of standing up. Léa Balage El Mariky, from EELV, does not see any path towards ecological transition. Fabien Roussel, for the PCF, no restoration of the “Economic sovereignty”. The insubordinate French MP Adrien Quatennens sees it above all as an opportunity to “Still catapult billions to the employers without compensation”. And to quote the Mulliez family: a fortune of 26 billion euros, and 1,500 layoffs at Auchan. Even Olivier Faure, of the Socialist Party, agrees: “We have to change the model, the system. “

Below, publishers and independent bookstores marked out the aisles of another forum: carte blanche to authors and always the same common thread, that of another world which has become, in the strict sense, a vital necessity. One of them likes to quote the Greek poet Yannis Ritsos, resistant to the dictatorship, who considered poetry to be an alloy of prosaic and utopia. Perfect definition of politics, when it refuses to resign itself to the existing disorder. Behind the masks, it is difficult to distinguish the faces; we remember, with a twinge of heart, the hugs. But the pleasure, the joy of being in the struggle, in the shared reflection wins.

Fifteen kilometers away, on the banks of the Seine, in the heart of a wasteland surrounded by wild grasses, the Kilowatt in Vitry takes on the air of Village du monde. At the stand of the support committee for the rebels of the Rif, we see Saïd, a young human rights activist who passed through the jails of the King of Morocco, now a refugee in France, without papers. A banner demands that in Colombia end the assassinations of social leaders, the number of which has increased tenfold with the pandemic. Lebanese activists promote solidarity with the insurgents and the victims of Beirut.

On stage, young talents follow one another, put in words, in music, a broken world. In the open air, we dance, we sing, we smile with our eyes, we tell each other about the strange lives tinkered with in recent months, during the time of the coronavirus. At the other end of Paris, under the Grande Halle de la Villette, the volunteers of Secours populaire continue their painstaking work: patiently repairing what is breaking down poverty, which has extended its shadow so much lately. Throughout the weekend, their large clearance sale attracted nearly 4,000 visitors. Julien, 29, joined the association two months ago, by ” Want to help others “, in these dark times. “With this health crisis, people are panicking. Taking care of each other is a way out of this fear ”, he slips. Keep the physical distance but tighten the links, open breaches everywhere, eyes riveted on the future of healing, freedom, equality.

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