Toulouse. The Archipel Citoyen group was “the permanent difficulty to decide”, says Hélène Magdo
Through Guillaume Laurens
The vole archipelago shattered. The list which had succeeded in the Municipal 2020 the tour de force of bringing together ecologists, rebels, ex-socialists, and other citizens anchored to the left, continues to be divided. Following the example of the split already in force for a year in the Metropolis, the elected officials ofCitizen Archipelago come from split into two groups at the Town Hall: ecologists on one side, “municipalists” on the other. But two other elected officials also decided to join the ranks of “Non-registered”, among which Helene Magdo, member of France Insoumise. What drove this 38-year-old artisan-seamstress, close to Jean-Luc Mélenchon, was she not a long time collaborator, to stand apart? Maintenance.
“More quibbling than a real opposition role”
News: After the division into two groups of Citizen Archipelago, you find yourself elected non-registered. Why ?
Hélène Magdo: “It’s a personal decision. At the end of the last community council in October, I resigned from the group at the Metropolis, and I was waiting to see what was going to happen at the level of the group at the Town hall to find out what to do…
I believe that the conditions were not satisfactory for the proper exercise of my mandate. At Archipel Citoyen, we collectively had difficulties working and feeling constructive in opposition. I am one of the people who are not satisfied with the way in which we express an opposition to Jean-Luc Moudenc “.
What was it that you lacked to be comfortable?
HM: “We haven’t had any major political differences, but for the past year we’ve focused a lot on our internal problems, with very complicated decision-making processes, obtained from the design of the list. Everything is discussed, and that leads to difficulties to decide. We were more in quibbling than in a real role of opposition. We were not enough in action “.
“To post a tweet, it requires hours of discussions”
Concretely, how did the difficulties you mention manifest themselves?
HM: “This difficulty to decide is permanent, it lasts since the beginning of the mandate. Even to post a tweet, it requires hours of discussions, to know if we do it or not! If a person does not agree, that is going to take a long time… On arrival, it’s exhaustion: people give up, and often, nothing is done. Unfortunately, we spent a lot of time writing tweets that do not never appeared “.
Everything is decided unanimously at Archipel Citoyen?
“That’s it (laughs), or rather to the one who does not let go … It is a logic of consensus that does not exist, because on arrival, it is those who give in to those who not giving in “.
But co-construction was the DNA of Archipel Citoyen, a dynamic that you have also defended and joined …
HM: “I don’t shy away from my involvement. It’s a group dynamic that we all got into. But we got into something unhealthy, this collective dynamic served us well. When everything is discussed all the time. , on ended up doing nothing.
We were a number to block subjects rather than appear. But there are also people who are specialists in this, and did not make things easier …
The groups were breaking up, and to stay with the new group (Alternative Municipaliste Citoyenne, editor’s note), I needed our modus operandi to be changed in order to be efficient “.
“We would like to laugh all Toulouse”
Were there other difficulties in this group?
HM: “After a year in office, we came to the end of the exercise. I encountered regular difficulties around the place of France Insoumise in the group, in the Metropolis as in the City. The question that often came up, it was: do we have the right to intervene as LFI, or do we always have to come back to the municipal program? to the Metropolis. ‘changed my mind, and I wanted to vote against, because I consider that it is not up to the local authorities to finance such a national transport project. had to abstain, because part of the group in the Metropolis was asking that we remain on the position of the Municipal …
In short, I prefer to have my freedom of speech. I might be more efficient on my own “.
Why not quit?
HM: “It’s been a year, and I say that I can still find my place. When I see that the two non-registered elected representatives (the socialist Vincent Gibert, and the communist Pierre Lacaze, editor’s note) become regularly and without any problem, I tell myself that maybe this is a better way to be useful for my city “.
Do you plan to create a group with these other non-registrants?
HM: “We have no contact. But it seems very complicated … We could laugh all Toulouse with a group bringing together the PCF, the PS and LFI!”
“The feeling of not feeling useful”
The other Insoumise of the municipal council, Agathe Roby, remained in the group… Why this division?
HM: “Agathe is very involved in culture issues in the group and I understand her choice to stay. But me, within the group, I had trouble. I have the feeling of not having found my place, of not not feel useful as a member of the opposition …
I would have preferred that things be clarified to the end, and that we had a group La France Insoumise. But it was not possible because it takes four elected to create a group at the Toulouse city council, and we were only two, or even three with François Piquemal, who is a committed citizen who supports Jean-Luc Mélenchon in the Presidential.
I have been in politics for a long time, and I wonder what the political recomposition must be to win in 2026. Because I do not know if the path must be the same as in 2020. Should we s ‘lean on the party structure or on a large-scale citizens’ movement? We don’t have this movement, so for me, we have to rely on political organizations, especially mine. It is moreover this vision that we have in common with the people of the environmentalist pole… “
Precisely, have you considered joining the group of environmentalists?
HM: “When a group was formed around the environmental pole, we thought about it, we discussed it with Antoine (Maurice, editor’s note). But overall these are people who will vote for Jadot. And it seemed complicated, as a member of LFI, to find myself in a group which defends the candidacy of Yannick Jadot… It is purely political.
We have confirmed a first reorganization of the opposition, nothing is final, even if it seems complicated to me to come back to it. But perhaps everything will be simpler after the new political recomposition resulting from the presidential period… “.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whom you are supporting for 2022, is betting on “The Popular Union” and the civic spirit behind his candidacy. Are you afraid that he will reproduce the same mistakes as in Toulouse, on a whole different scale?
HM: “Building with people is the way I have been doing politics since I left the PS in the 2010s (she followed the path of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, from the PS to LFI, through the Left Party, editor’s note). We can form a popular union from the moment we broadcast everyone. This is what we lacked in the campaign in Toulouse: if we had had this popular momentum, we would have won .
The problem with Archipelago is that we did not mark a significant part of the citizens, but a certain category. The profile of the people arriving in our campaign, they were engineers, CSP +… The real momentum around Archipel did not actually materialize. After a year in office, we have come to the end of the exercise “.
Hélène Magdo, LFI candidate for the Legislative Assembly?
“This is one of the questions we ask ourselves”, blows the ex-parliamentary assistant and press officer of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, even if “my constituency, the 9th of Haute-Garonne, is not the most easy for us, because half of it is in Toulouse, and the other half in towns to the south of the city “.
But the elected municipal official advances: “The question that we first ask is whether Manuel (Bompard, editor’s note), today Euro-MP, wants to be a candidate again. He is a media figure and recognized in the France Insoumise, and on an election which is played on the personality, it has more chance than us to win “. But what if he is not a candidate? “The question of whether the two elected municipal officials can be useful for the legislative campaign may arise,” blows Hélène Magdo. “If the activists believe that we are in the best position…”.
Who will be in which group in the opposition?
In a joint press release, the former elected representatives of Archipel Citoyen declared their division, believing that “our different approaches to a municipal opposition need to find their full expression to strengthen our actions”. Here is how the opposition is recomposed:
• Groupe Toulouse ecologist, solidarity and citizen: Michèle Bleuse, Hélène Cabanes, Romain Cujives, Isabelle Hardy, Antoine Maurice (group president)
• Alternative Municipalist Citizen Group: Aymeric Deheurles, Jamal El Arch,
Caroline Honvault, Maxime Le Texier (group co-president), Odile Maurin,
François Piquemal, Agathe Roby (group co-chair)
• Elected officials not registered (ex-Archipel Citoyen): Hélène Magdo, Julienne Mukabucyana
• Elected officials not registered (formerly Une Nouvelle Énergie): Vincent Gibert, Pierre Lacaze
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