Last April 9th, 2017, the French candidate to the presidential elections Jean-Luc Mélenchon delivered an emotional speech at a campaign rally in Marseilles, in front of 70,000 people, were he made an appeal to peace. During his intervention, he rejected extremist movements and, in particular, the xenophobic and protectionist position held by rightwing parties, embracing, instead, the country’s multicultural origins.
During the speech, he asked for a minute of silence for all immigrants deceased in the Mediterranean. “Do you hear that? It is the silence of death! 30,000 people have lost their lives in the Mediterranean.”
As Mélenchon reminded, we are talking about forced migrations, resulting from wars, poverty and inequality, and from the harmful effects of climate change. Against this, he demanded a new path for France, a path of peace and comprehension towards those escaping from misery. Symbolically, this would be represented by the “olive of peace”, the Mediterranean tree, “which bears its fruits when all seems hopeless”.
Click on the video to watch the full speech.