Obituary

Pierre Granet has left us

Saturday 9 May 2020

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Pierre Granet was born on 6 Septembre 1949 in Marseilles and died on 2 May 2020 in Toulouse. He became politically active as a high-school student in Cannes from 1963, notably in soldiarity with the Algerian revolution . He rapidly joined the JCR and the PCI, then French section of the Fourth International, and remained an active militant until the end of his life, as member of the LCR then the NPA. This tribute was written by his comrades from Toulouse.

Our comrade Pierre Granet died on 2 May 2020 at his home. The sadness and the emptiness that his departure creates for us are immense. Pierre knew many people and was appreciated by everyone, far beyond the ranks of his party, the NPA. We want to pay tribute to him in recognition of the commitment that he maintained for a lifetime, but also to express the tenderness we have for him.

Pierre, alias Vimont, often spoke to us about his youth and about May 68. An activist while at high school in 1967 in Paris, he was at the origin of the foundation of the JCR in Marseille where he led the high school movement in 1968. Active in the High School Action Committees (CAL), he and his comrades occupied the Adolphe Thiers high school for several weeks and renamed it " Commune de Paris " for the duration of the movement. Subsequently, Pierre led the student movement at the University of Aix until the mid-1970s. During his military service, like other activists from his political current, he set up a soldiers’ committee.

Working as an educator with young people in difficulty, he was very active in the teachers’ union SNPES-FSU and then in the CGT union of book correctors where he was active until his retirement, in difficult conditions due to the isolation of working at home. He was always convinced of the need to strengthen the implantation of the LCR and then the NPA in the workplaces and spent a lot of time helping comrades from the outside, as he did at Airbus in the last years of his life.

Pierre was also president of the FCPE 31 (parents’ association) when his children were still in school. He took part in the theoretical development of the NPA on education, for a school that would be emancipatory and freed from inequalities.

A relentless internationalist fighter, he campaigned methodically for solidarity with the struggles of peoples around the world, with the awareness that the fight against capitalism only made sense if it spread across borders and nationalities.

From his youth, like the rest of his generation, he was involved in solidarity with Vietnam. In the autumn of 1980, he committed himself to Solidarnosc with the conviction that the democratic revolution could overthrow the Stalinist dictatorship without restoring capitalism.

He was a longtime activist in the struggle for the rights of the Palestinian people and every year he went to Lannemezan to demand the release of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah.

In 2011, he campaigned actively in solidarity with the Arab Spring, in particular alongside the Tunisian workers of Latelec. He visited Kurdistan several times and knew how to establish political and personal ties with the Kurdish community in Toulouse. For our Kurdish comrades, his disappearance is a source of great sadness. To his great despair, he never managed to speak Kurdish (beyond a few words).

He learned Catalan in two weeks in order to follow the events in Catalonia two years ago and so that he could translate the minutes of the Catalan parliament into French. He campaigned in solidarity with the Greek people after the 2008 crisis.

Following his long-standing commitment to the LCR, he devoted a great deal of energy to building the NPA. We remember, among a thousand other things, the campaigns of 2012 and 2017 where, by the dozen, he convinced mayors to sponsor Philippe Poitou.

In the last period, he was in all the demonstrations of the Yellow Vests with the contingent of the NPA, under the unicorn. He was present at all the activities of the NPA, in particular in the framework of the movement on pensions and the last electoral campaign. Under confinement, he even converted to digital tools to continue participating in online committees and general meetings. He sent us a last selfie in solidarity with young people who had been repressed for having a banner “Macronvirus : when will it end ?”, a play on words of which he was definitely the author, even before it appeared on the front page of Charlie Hebdo. He would have liked the NPA in Toulouse to call a street demonstration on 1 May feeling the dangers of confinement for our democratic freedoms.

It is impossible to summarize in a short text the entire militant trajectory of our comrade.

His political culture, the precision of his memory, the mastery of the debates that have traversed our current for decades make his death an immense loss. A piece of the history of the Marxist and revolutionary workers’ movement goes with him. He was a rare intellectual, who also produced texts and analyses that would benefit from being more widely known.

We also think of his companion and his two daughters and send them our solidarity. He lost his son a few years ago, and that affected him a lot. His immediate reaction had been to denounce capitalism. He held it responsible for his death by failing to provide the necessary means to the essential services of medical research. Still true today...

Always attentive to others, upright and fair in his human and political relationships, he spent a lot of time debating - sometimes stubbornly but always with respect -, convincing, educating our young and old comrades. We can safely say that his enthusiasm was intact after an extraordinarily rich life as a political activist. Pierre, we will not forget you. You leave behind you a precious and living legacy for the anti-capitalists that we are. You also leave behind you the memory of your kindness and the example of warm and fraternal comrade, beyond the differences that can traverse the workers movement. Your fight, our fight, continues. Until victory!

Toulouse 3 May 2020

Two videos
Pierre Granet : "Mai 68, tout changer"

Hommage à Pierre Granet

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