At just nearly 8pm this past Sunday night, the tens of thousands of Parisians gathered outdoors at Republique let out a cry of pure astonished joy – and relief. Republique has historically been France’s gathering point for Republican political activity – from protesting against the bourgeois elite in the 18th century to anarchist organizing in the 19th century to the most recent waves of demonstrations against institutional racism in France and President Macron’s latest policy to roll back the age for pensioners. The iconic statue was covered with young Parisians of all colors and backgrounds who had climbed it, waving Palestinian flags and antifascist signs, and proudly displayed banners that read “France is made up of migrations” and “Love will triumph”.

The New Popular Left (NFP), a hastily cobbled together leftist alliance, had just won 188 seats in Parliament in a stunning surprise victory, dashing millions of people’s fear that the far right National Rally (RN) would take the majority, after polling at more than 30% last month. This was the upset that nobody had realized could happen, but also an incredible contrast to the far right polling that had taken place in the first round of elections. Simply put, everyone from the French communists to the business friendly centrists (read: neoliberals) put aside their differences in the span of a week to consolidate candidacies and delivered a crushing blow to the extreme right.

While the leftist alliance of four political parties may have been a practical solution to swaying centrists and center-left voters, they do have a concrete economic plan and certain messages that are resonating with people. Through this, we can glean together concrete strategies, narrative, and tactics that may be inspiring for growing people power for a progressive, inclusive, and just future for people and the planet around the world. 

The detailed NFP economic manifesto was launched last month with great detail, and credibly addresses how to finance a strategy of inclusive investment and its vision for cutting emissions and investing in people. The NFP is campaigning based on a substantial increase in the minimum wage, wages indexed to prices and free school lunches. Most importantly the NFP wants to prioritize investment in the future by increasing public spending on infrastructure, health, education and research. Their main strategy for how to finance their vision is through taxation on the ultra-wealthy, and they are pushing a narrative that tax can be a tool for a just and fair society, as well as a healthy planet. 

Giovanna Alvarez Negretti, Global Executive Director of OPEN (Online Progressive Engagement Network) asked their member organization in France, le mouvement, to share some of their key learnings from this most recent political mobilization. Their lessons are extremely valuable, with an emphasis on building unity in the Left, but also pushing values-driven campaigning and organizing. Le mouvement also shared that while they collaborated with electoral organizations who have specific experience in elections-based campaigning, an overall loss of trust in political parties meant that incredible civil society mobilization and mobilizing key individuals and organizations were extremely important. Several MPs and and former ministers have stated that they have never seen such a high level of civil society engagement in France and indeed, this recent election was France’s most challenging one in at least a century. 

What the New Popular Front has achieved in such a short amount of time is remarkable, and they will certainly have political challenges ahead, not even having fully secured majority representation in Parliament yet and having extremely divergent thinking within its four political parties. But what they have tried to do is what many progressive organizations and leftist political parties have failed to achieve: inspire hope, unite the left, and propose concrete plans and policies that address the real economic concerns of ordinary people.

Their message is one of a multiracial democracy that stands firmly against fascists and together with migrants. Their vision is of an economy that works for the people, while at the same time preserving the planet. And they have managed to sway the center. That is the leftist alliance and vision that we can all work towards – campaigners, teachers, students, politicians, public sector workers, shopkeepers, and more. Build a bold Left movement that offers an alternative of inclusion and hope. That is how you defeat the far right, and this is our key challenge right now in the 21st century. 

–  Ani Hao, on behalf of MobLab Collective 

Campaigning, Organizational Culture, and Strategy

MobLab Collective Member News:

As a relatively new Collective, having transitioned during the pandemic to our current flat and horizontal structure, we would like to give a more personal touch to the Collective and share more of what different MobLab Collective Members are working on, passionate about, and championing.

  • MobLab member Jon Cornejo is part of Charity So White, a UK based collective highlighting institutional racism within the UK charity sector. They most recently published this piece on the continuing silence of the charity sector on the genocide in Palestine and its connection to organizational racism. Their survey has shown that nearly 50% of surveyed charities have remained silent on the ongoing genocide, while 81.4% of UK charity staff have been disappointed in how their organizations have responded to this humanitarian crisis, while a significant percentage of staff have been personally affected by the genocide, and POC staff have felt unsafe pushing for action. This piece makes clear the parallels between organizations that have made commitments to anti-racism and their hypocritical lack of response to the genocide in Palestine. “I’ve been working on [this research] for such a long time and I’m glad it’s out there. It was really tough to write because of how emotional I would get whilst writing it, and how angry I would get reading people’s responses to the survey. Please do share far and wide!”, said Jon. 
  • The Sunrise Project is welcoming MobLab member Jandira Queiroz to their permanent staff. “I’m glad to join a team that is dedicated to find creative and innovative ways to phase out fossil fuels and contribute to tackling the climate crisis”, Jandira said. “It is a great opportunity to build people-centered strategies and share all the learnings I got from MobLab Collective colleagues and partners during the last few years”. We wish Jandira and The Sunrise Project all the luck and big impact in this journey!

  • The most recent ChangeMakers Podcast is a talk with MobLab member Rathana Chea, the founder and CEO of the Multicultural Leadership Initiative, about how he has come to be working on making the climate movement in Australia more diverse. In this conversation Rathana Chea shares how he has learnt how to value the power of difference and connection across his time in making social change, sharing insights from social movements while he was in school, to community organizing, to working with Greenpeace International and now working to create the Multicultural Leadership Initiative as part of the Australian climate movement. This conversation cuts through the platitudes that often dominate “diversity talk”, responding to the language of awkward politeness with a practice of kindness and clarity about how to create space where people of color can lead and thrive because they are driving movements that speak to their own needs and interests. [ChangeMakers Podcast]


  • The Pulitzer Center, the Financial Times and One World Media are giving grants to filmmakers focusing on climate and labor. To apply you’ll need to be from the global south and working in the global south. Application deadline is September 1, 2024. [One World Media] 

  • AWID has been running their Where Is The Money for Feminist Activists research project and subsequent campaign for many years now, highlighting the inequity of funding for feminist-led organizations, particularly across the Global South. You can contribute to their newest survey by sharing your data and experiences if you are a feminist-led group, collective, or organization, by July 31st. [AWID]

  • Young people aged 16-25 based in Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Spain and the UK, you can apply to join a creative bootcamp 3-6 September 2024 and support People Vs. Big Tech in their impact strategy for an upcoming documentary about making social media safer. You must apply by 17 July. [People Vs. Big Tech] 

  • Applications open for the September 2024 Feminist Leadership trainings. We Are Feminist Leaders offers a part-time, 12-week online leadership program for emerging leaders that aims to increase your knowledge of and ability to lead using feminist principles. [We Are Feminist Leaders] 

  • Tax “is a powerful tool for creating a fair and just society”. It is however largely sidelined as a niche and technical topic. Black Sands Communications’ new research on tax based on a multi-country study of attitudes offers key insights on how to talk about tax to increase public support. Whatever the issue you are working on (climate or increasing support for survivors of gender-based violence), it is almost impossible now to avoid questions and push back from opponents who do not believe that it is viable or sustainable. Sign up for the webinar to help think through how to talk about tax reforms as a way to unlock those resources and shift the narrative.  [Black Sands Communications]

  • Spring Strategies is holding two virtual capacity-building opportunities later this year for anyone working towards systems change around the world. Financial Innovation and Resilience (FIRE): September 17-18-19, 2024 and Reimagining Collaboration: October 22-23-24, 2024. Reimagining Collaboration is all about how we work together, whether within movements or across organizations. The program focuses on deepening our abilities to work creatively, intentionally, and whole-heartedly with the complexity of groups. Financial Innovation and Resilience (FIRE) is our internationally acclaimed program focused on strategic and creative ways to build financial strength at a time when the funding landscape is changing rapidly. In each program, participants will form meaningful connections with other participants, learn new tools and practices from experienced trainers, and apply what they’re learning to challenges and opportunities in their own context. Spring Strategies works to make our programs as accessible as they can so if cost is an issue, people can get in touch by sending them an email. [Spring Strategies] 


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