Far-right candidate files ‘New Popular Front’ trademark

Far-right candidate files ‘New Popular Front’ trademark
Far-right candidate files ‘New Popular Front’ trademark

On Wednesday, July 3, it was learned that Bertrand Potier had taken steps to register the name (New) Popular Front with the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI). He accuses some of its members of “anti-Semitism” and of attacking the memory of Léon Blum. This intention comes from an activist of a far-right party in Épernay (Marne).

The announcement caused a reaction. A deposit of the Front populaire trademark with the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI). But not by the French Communist Party (PCF), which did not renew the ten-year registration in 2020. And no New Popular Front (NFP) appears in the database.

The initiative comes from Bertrand Potier. And he is not left-wing, quite the opposite. The far-right activist cut his teeth at the National Front (now the National Rally), then at Reconquête (Éric Zemmour’s party). Currently, he is a member of Debout la France (formerly Debout la République), Nicolas Dupont-Aignan’s movement (which is losing activists).

L’Unionwho revealed the affair, specifies that this beginning of the procedure to register the trademark aims to prevent the union of the left from using this name. Which was originally born under Léon Blum, whose government allowed important social advances. He is Jewish – and Zionist – and will therefore be condemned under Pétain’s France. This reference does not please him, and he points out a supposed “anti-semitism” to La France Insoumise (LFI), a constituent force of the New Popular Front. The worldwithout minimizing sometimes dubious remarks, however reported the remarks of the senator (PCF) Ian Brossat, who left the alliance: “Three of my great-grandparents died in the camps and both of my grandparents are Holocaust survivors. Believe me, I would not support the New Popular Front if I had the slightest doubt that there was a form of anti-Semitism on that side.”


Far-right activist Bertrand Potier.

© Xavier Claeys, France Télévision (rush)

Journalist at France 3 Champagne-Ardenne, Alice Brogat met him in Épernay (Marne). “It’s in response to the usurpations of the Popular Front, LFI among others. Historically, the Popular Front was light years away from their ideology. They wanted to ride the wave of the time and appropriate it. So I wanted to stop them.”

“It’s against nature. What I have a problem with is that Léon Blum was the opposite of what certain factions of the Popular Front think. Namely anti-Semitism, hatred of France, a nauseating hatred of the police, as with the slogan ‘one dead policeman equals one less RN vote’. I find that scandalous. I don’t think that Léon Blum, who was Jewish, would have accepted those remarks. And if Léon Blum’s heirs asked me for the brand, I would have no problem giving it to them. Or to anyone else as long as they have no ulterior motives.”

Let’s talk about it. If in The worldhis great-grandson Antoine Malamoud testifies that “The use of the Popular Front is not new. The first to have done so was Michel Onfray for the creation of his magazine [souverainiste et populiste; NDLR]. I didn’t react at the time, but it was a distortion. On the other hand, today, the revival of the expression seems to me to correspond to a reality comparable to that of 1936.” However, his great-grandnephew Jean-Thomas Nordamnn claims that this “It seems to me like counterfeit money, like a noble title that someone wants to raise without having the right to do so. Mélenchon is closer to Jacques Doriot [communiste ayant viré fasciste; NDLR] that of Léon Blum”.

Let us return to Bertrand Potier, who intends to defend Blum’s legacy without daring to claim it. It must be said that his former party and its founder are associated with an indelible stain, and that the entourage of the new National Rally is not always as white as snow. “Once our file is prepared, if the New Popular Front uses this brand, with Maître Ludot [son avocat; NDLR]we will file legal appeals. If people claim this or put up posters in public, they will face financial penalties.”for example. He claims “not having done it for the money”.

His advisor, Emmanuel Ludot, is a little more straightforward. “I believe my client wants to send a strong message. First, to show that the Popular Front is an important part of our historical heritage. It belongs to all of us. Behind the Popular Front, there is someone called Léon Blum, who was of Jewish faith.”

“The second message is to say that the Popular Front is not used like a brand of laundry detergent. That’s what the Communist Party did, which protected this brand like a brand of laundry detergent. And which said to itself in 2020 that it was no longer interested and that it was letting it expire. When we said to ourselves that there was a new Popular Front, it meant that there was an old Popular Front. And that today, it is in the public domain.”

The Popular Front is not used like a brand of laundry detergent.

Emmanuel Ludot, Bertrand Potier’s lawyer

“Mr. Potier, who was a substitute candidate, unhappy with the methods used by the New Popular Front, wants to take the debate to the highest level. To say that we are dealing with political adversaries who are not credible: look at what they have done, they have used the Popular Front, which is part of our history, like a vulgar brand of laundry detergent, and abandoned it like a vulgar brand of laundry detergent. It is a message that is very political.”

“Today, if the Communist Party wants to recover its brand, it can no longer do so. It can contest: it has a deadline to do so. Perhaps it will do so, or perhaps it will not do so. There may also be financial consequences. If it wants to obtain ownership of this brand again, it must knock on Mr. Potier’s door and ask him: how much does it cost?’ And then, we will see what Mr. Potier decides: he appropriates it, but symbolically, and very provisionally, before offering it to whoever deserves it. A brand is bought… and given away.”

He believes that this approach will not have “no implication on the end of the campaign. The second round will take place with the New Popular Front. But somewhere, it is a stone in the shoe of all these extreme left parties.” It should be noted that this coalition presents an ocean of parties and political figures ranging from the center left to the radical left. The far left does not include La France Insoumise, which is not revolutionary but reformist. The NFP only includes three entities, each of which presented a candidate, recalls The cross : New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA), Independent Democratic Workers’ Party (POID), and Young Anti-Fascist Guard.


The tomb of Léon Blum is located in Yvelines.

© Ederolland EdR, HC BLUM L CIM-JouyEnJosas 2015-10, Wikimedia Commons, License CC BY-SA 4.0(link)

“Somewhere, it makes them look ridiculous: ah, we forgot to protect our brand. We should have thought of that.’ Reassure me, there are lawyers at home who would think of doing it? They have confused speed with haste, it seems to me. Any subsequent use of this brand can be the subject of a formal notice from Mr. Potier: he can prohibit them. We will see what his position is, what his political future is, Mr. Potier. But I think that it is above all the cry of anger of the citizen who says to himself: ‘we cannot exploit everything, Léon Blum is not just anyone.'”

The lawyer wonders if “only one member of the Popular Front went to Mr. Blum’s grave in Jouy-en-Josas, in the Paris region, to lay even just a rose and pay his respects, before telling him that he was going to use his story to win the elections.”. And confides “agree with Macron”claiming that “Leon Blum must be turning in his grave“. Free noon yet dismantles this assertion at length, when The Midi Dispatch quotes, again him, the great-grandson of Blum who “denounces a series of misinterpretations”. Perhaps it would be better, as with De Gaulle, to let the deceased rest in peace instead of always wanting to exploit them, when it is not simply a question of transforming them into fans in their graves…

Cédric Lattuada, elected communist representative of Marne, reacts to this unique approach. “Honestly, this is a controversy that does not concern us. He is a character who wants to make people talk about him. He is the substitute for a far-right candidate who got 2% [aux élections législatives]. Our priority is to fight between now and Sunday to prevent the National Rally from winning a majority in all the constituencies of Marne, Champagne-Ardenne, and France. It is the extreme right. It has always played on confusion: that is how it advances.”

This is the extreme right. It has always played on confusion: that’s how it advances.

A communist elected official from Marne

“The Popular Front is above all the history of France. In 1936, the SFIO, the Communist Party, the Radical Party faced fascism. Today, there is the New Popular Front. And I think that the left-wing parties must have filed the trademark with the INPI a few days ago, before this gentleman… The Popular Front is not a brand. Not everything is for sale.” But one does not prevent the other: the PS and the UMP (still registered), to name but two, have been the subject of a deposit and appear in the database without there being any question of trading on them… but not the PCF, it would seem.

“The Popular Front is an approach, it is history: our history, for all of us, for us, republicans. It is also constitutive of the greatest social advances of the last century: the program of the National Council of the Resistance [comprenant la création de la Sécurité sociale; NDLR], but also paid leave, wage increases, rights for workers.” Not forgetting the appointment of the first women in a French government, and the vote on credits allowing the rearmament of the country in the face of the Nazi threat.

“It belongs to no one. The Popular Front belongs to the people, to the Republic. […] The New Popular Front was announced by the left-wing organisations that entered into this alliance [il y a trois semaines]. It’s prior. I don’t think there will be any consequences whatsoever. And I think voters have other things to do than think about this story. Right now, we’re three or four days away from the second round. And the main issue is whether France will fall into the hands of the extreme right, or whether all the Republicans will pull themselves together and block the way so that democracy is preserved.” Voters will vote on Sunday, July 7.

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