Dray, Julien

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DRAY, JULIEN (1955– ), French politician. Born in 1955 in Oran, Algeria, Dray was first active in far-left movements after his family had to move to France at the end of Algeria's war of independence. During the 1970s, he was a member of the Trotskyite Ligue communiste révolutionnaire and the left-wing student union Mouvement d'action syndicale, which merged in 1980 with the newly created unef-id, a radical faction of the mainstream socialist unef union. At the time, Dray himself moved from the far-left to the mainstream left and joined the Socialist Party (ps) in 1980, shortly before the socialist François Mitterrand was elected France's president. Dray was in charge of managing the Socialist Party's youth movements, and in 1984 was a founding member of sos-Racisme, an anti-racist youth association affiliated with the ps and aiming at promoting the social integration of the immigrants, federating French youth around anti-racist values, and countering the rise of the anti-immigration far-right Front National party. In 1986, Dray also helped create the fidl, a high-school student union. In 2003, he was involved in the creation of Ni putes ni soumises, a feminist organization that worked in the neglected, impoverished suburbs and among immigrant youth to promote the advancement of young women and lead the fight against sexual discrimination and violence. Dray was a member of Parliament from 1988 and in 1997 and 2002 was elected vice president of the Ile-de-France Regional Council. Acting as a spokesman for the party, Dray also participated in its internal ideological debates and headed one of the ideological clubs within the ps, the Club de la Gauche Socialiste. Julien Dray was widely seen as one of the most promising young leaders of the Socialist Party.

[Dror Franck Sullaper (2nd ed.)]