Tens of thousands marched in Paris on Sunday to support firebrand leftist presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, who has shaken up France's election campaign with a surprise jump in the polls.
Melenchon of the Left Front, who represents a coalition of leftist parties including the Communists, has emerged as a significant factor in the campaign just as Socialist frontrunner Francois Hollande faces a resurgent threat from incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy.
His virulent attacks on the rich, France's elite and austerity measures have struck a chord with many voters and polls this week showed him surpassing the symbolic 10 percent mark, up four points from the start of the year, with only five weeks to go before the April 22 first round of voting.
Waving a sea of red Left Front and Communist Party flags, tens of thousands of supporters marched through central Paris under cloudy skies in a symbolic rally to "retake the Bastille" -- the square where the medieval fortress and prison was stormed during the iconic moment of the French Revolution.
In good Gramsci fashion and I feel another Gramsci blog approaching here this week, the symbols used are those of the Republic. Same thing is happening in Ireland, where the Republican movement has been undermined by the communists. Watch and see what happens. The Politics of Envy is alive and well in France and Ireland.