"At the time of the great national debate to which you invite French citizens, will we leave the newspaper created by Jean Jaurès, Humanity, to die? Already in 1993, young advisors of the right-wing ministers in the famous cohabitation government of François Mitterrand directed by Édouard Balladur, we were confronted with this question. Despite our different routes, from the left to the one from the right to the other, the son of a pastor Cevenol, leader of the Resistance became head of the communist press, the other son of a doctor mobilized in Algeria, anti-Gaullist by chance, both disciples of Chaban-Delmas by conviction, we were then around an absolute certainty: we must save humanity. And we had worked in the shadow, between public advertising and specific help, to prevent the sinking of everyday life.
We invite you with great humility and solemnity to prevent by any means the death of this newspaper that was once, and that remains in part, whatever the criticism that everyone has the right to bring, the messenger of a wounded and troubled popular France . In the past, of course, we take a critical look, sometimes shared by the editorial staff of the newspaper itself. Stalinism, the Cold War, its opposition to Gaullism, free initiative, international openness and many other points, we could express our differences with the editorial line of the newspaper as in a poem by Prévert.
But let's not forget that humanity was, since 1904, the newspaper that brought the voice of those who were voiceless, mines with the countryside, which was a central element in the reforms of the Popular Front, paid leave for collective agreements , which participated in the struggle of the Resistance against the Vichy regime, which became an ally of General de Gaulle to the Liberation to build an unprecedented social shield in the world and that even avoided, in 1968, a bloodbath by rejecting the irresponsible adventurism of the extreme left. Mr. President, in you we perceive a man firmly committed to freedom of thought and pluralism of the press, indispensable elements in a democracy worthy of the name.
Because it is not just a matter of preserving a heritage linked to our history, but also of guaranteeing the existence of an open public space, a prerequisite in every Republic worthy of the name, so that all the currents can express themselves. that irrigates a country. If we leave to the financial considerations the right to decide which words are allowed in this public space, then we will break this pluralist basis of freedom and violate the republican pact of this freedom.
Without this pluralistic freedom of the press, the word republic itself, this "res" (thing) "publica" (public) would thus become an empty dream. "Our freedom depends on freedom of the press and can not be limited without being lost," said Thomas Jefferson, president of the United States, Francophone and disciple of Montesquieu, who knew what he was coming back to. Mr President, today it is up to you to demonstrate to all your critics that you are friends of freedom and that you want this great debate on public space for the public good to be free, biased, diverted from premature financial considerations.
Thank you, Mr President of the Republic, for having often attributed these words to Voltaire: "I am not in agreement with what you say, but I will fight to death to have the right to say:" We are Republicans to the end, we defend the our values of freedom, we do not wait for the death of humanity! "