France’s exhumed grievances from roundabouts

By Stephanie Hammer

Posted yesterday at 12:30 a.m., updated yesterday at 4:20 p.m.

The founder of the association Make complaints!, Didier Le Bret, at his home in Paris, January 10, 2022.

But where did the blackened notebooks of grievances go during the three months of the great national debate, in the winter of 2019? Didier Le Bret, who founded, in the spring of 2020, the association Make the grievances! found them, buried in the boxes of the departmental archives where they are currently consigned. Because Emmanuel Macron, who had undertaken to make them public and accessible online, has still not honored his promise. The 400,000 scanned pages are currently only available at the BNF.

So that this material, which intimately tells the daily life of 1.6 million French people, is not lost, Didier Le Bret publishes, on January 19, Make the grievances! Investigations into the confiscated speech of the French (JC Lattès), a work which analyzes and reproduces in facsimile a small part of these texts. “They are invaluable for understanding the crisis experienced and all those to come”, considers the former diplomat, ex-“Mr Renseignement” of the Elysée Palace under François Hollande, who now divides his time between a consulting firm in economic intelligence and ALP, the investment consulting firm of Anne Lauvergeon.

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Unhappy socialist candidate for the 2017 legislative elections, Didier Le Bret is now very involved in the presidential campaign of Anne Hidalgo, whom he sees regularly. He intends to place grievances at the heart of the program of the latter. “I was struck by the silence of the left during the “yellow vests” crisis, he remembers. Yet it was an unexpected opportunity to reconcile with the people of the left. These white trash, as we would call them in the United States, are our electorate, but, overall, they were considered infrequent. It is not because they are not gendered-racialized-minored that that makes them second-rate French people, we have to get out of class contempt! », he throws.

A curious hitch

This book is co-written with relatives, long-time friends, all from the same militant and political ranks. Thomas Ribémont, who chairs the association Make the grievances!, is the former president of Action against Hunger, an NGO of which Didier Le Bret is a member of the board of directors. Nathan Cazeneuve, son of Bernard, is the director of the young magazine Germinal, a publication “republican, socialist and ecologist”, fueled by some forty intellectuals.

Also read the column: Article reserved for our subscribers Make the grievances!

Dorian Dreuil, who was in charge of communication for Didier Le Bret during his 2017 campaign, co-founded with him Rendez les doléances! He is also an expert associated with the Jean Jaurès Foundation, the think tank close to the Socialist Party and partly subsidized by the government. Chloé Gerbier and Marie Pochon are members of Notre affaires à tous, an association fighting climate change through the law.

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France’s exhumed grievances from roundabouts