In its article 'Number 159' the Riposte Laique website makes its political stance clear, outlining all that is positive that has been won by the French Left and needs defending (any errors in translation are entirely my fault):
For us, the spirit of the Left is embodied in its social achievements. We know that it was through the struggles of our forebears that we won the possibility of organising in the labour market, to form trade unions, obtained the right to strike, wrested the 40-hour week and paid holidays in 1936, not forgetting Social Security after the war, 5-week holidays and retirement at the age of 60 after the victory of Mitterand.
We know that these achievements have never issued from the Right, and still more so from the extreme Right, often complicit with the employers against the working class.
For us, the spirit of the Left inheres in the values of solidarity, humanism, egalitarianism, feminism and the social sphere, and we absolutely do not renounce these ideas.
But for us, the Left is also the Republic, and the defence of the Nation. Our conception of the Nation is absolutely not ethnic; it is founded upon the basis of acceptance of a contract. The rules are clear: one accepts the rules of the receiving country, then one becomes a citizen, has equal rights and duties. This is called assimilation.Whether you agree or disagree with everything in the above statement, it is clear that the position of Riposte Laique (RL) is one of a very robust defence of distinctly French and secular positions; it is the voice of the unapologetically patriotic Left. Its sentiments are noble, and whilst I admire its organisational efforts to confront and check Islamisation, I do think that its implicit position on (mass) immigration is somewhat naive. Whilst I do believe that it is perfectly possible for relatively small numbers of immigrants to be successfully assimmilated into a receiving society, I am not of the opinion that this is possible or indeed desirable on a mass scale or with people from a radically different cultural background. Having said this, the RL article makes it clear that it is not in favour of ‘unrestrained immigration’, so I may be doing its writers a disservice and would welcome a clarification.
RL has been attacked by the conventional French multiculturalist Left and political Establishment which have tried to brand it ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobic’. RL’s retort to such smears seethes with a justifiable indignation, referring to this ‘Left’ as “gôche” rather than “gauche” which one can only guess is an understandably pejorative description. RL states:
This ‘Left’ dares to put the Republic at the centre of its projects: it defends street thugs (racailles) against honest people, delinquents against the police, unrestrained immigration against integration, Europe against the Nation, communalism against the Republic one and indivisible, Islam against secularism, the veil against the rights of women, globalism against popular and national sovereignty! It has not been the Left for a long time.It is this sense of disgust with the multiculturalist Left that provides the impetus for RL to work with a variety of groups, campaigns and bloggers from right across the political spectrum, all united by their opposition to Islamisation. It will be interesting to see whether the recent unrest in Grenoble prompts a larger turnout for these demonstrations than was the case in Paris in June. RL deserves to be congratulated, and I shall eagerly await news of what I hope to be successful demonstrations across France on 4 September. Vive la France !