French fascist politician jailed for calling black minister chimpanzee

National Front politicians Marine Le Pen and Anne-Sophie Leclere, French parliamentary election poster

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Former Front National candidate jailed for calling black minister a chimpanzee

John Lichfield

Wednesday 16 July 2014

In the severest sentence of its kind ever handed down in France, a former far-right local politician has been sentenced to nine months in prison for comparing a black cabinet minister to a chimpanzee.

Anne-Sophie Leclère, a senior Front National municipal candidate in northern France, posted adjacent images on Facebook of a female chimpanzee and the justice minister, Christiane Taubira. The first image was labelled “at 18 months old” and the second “now”.

Anne-Sophie Leclere and her racist comparison

Challenged about the images in a TV documentary last year, Ms Leclère, 33, said: “On the whole I would rather see (Ms Taubira) in the branches of a tree than see her in the government.” She was rapidly expelled from the FN as part of a drive by its leader, Marine Le Pen to clean up the party.

The Front National was nonetheless – to its fury – also found guilty late on Tuesday of inciting racial hatred by a court at Cayenne, in Guyane in the French West Indies. The FN was fined €30,000. Ms Leclère, from Rethel in the Ardennes on the Franco-Belgian border, was given a nine months’ jail sentence, fined Euros 50,000 and banned from politics for five years.

Both the FN and Ms Leclère have appealed.

FN leaders attacked the judgement as a “judicial ambush” “immoral” and “politically biased”. They complained about the fact that the case had been heard in Guyane – Ms Taubira’s birthplace and an overseas part of France which has an overwhelmingly black population.

“Clearly, in the court in Cayenne, the normal rules do not apply,” the FN said in a statement. “These incredible violations of our legal system must be vigorously denounced.”

The judgement was also criticised by some – not all – centre right politcians but welcomed by the centre-left government and by anti-racist pressure groups.

The government spokesman Stéphane Le Foll, said that he was not going to “judge the judgement” but the attack on Christiane Taubira was “perfectly revolting, unacceptable… and a racist act.”

The lobby group SOS-Racisme said that the court’s ruling should be a landmark in public attitudes to the FN, which topped the poll in the French part of the European elections in May. “This party, whose driving force is hatred of others, can no longer pretend to discover that its election candidates are racist or anti-semitic each time that a controversy like this arises,” the group said.

Ms Leclère was the head of an FN candidates’ list for municipal election in Rethel in Ardennes when she was interviewed for a TV documentary last October. She was [a]sked about her Facebook posting comparing Ms Taubira to a chimpanzee. She said it was a “joke” and “not racist” but she would rather see Ms Taubiura in a tree than in the cabinet.

The FN expelled her from the party, describing her as an “error of casting”. Several similar incidents involving FN municipal candidates followed.

Ms Taubira, 62, is a brilliant academic and lawyer turned politician who has risen from deep poverty in Guyana to one of the top two or three posts in French government. She is detested on the hard right of French politics for pushing through a law legalising same-sex marriage last year.

Soon after Ms Leclère’s attack on her on Facebook, Ms Taubira was greeted by anti-gay marriage protesters on a visit to Angers in central France. They included children carrying “bananas for the monkey.”

Polish extreme right joining Le Pen, Wilders

This video from Poland says about itself:

5 October 2013

Hundreds of demonstrators marched for gay, lesbian and transgender rights in the annual Equality Parade in the Polish city of Wroclaw on Saturday, despite threats from the right-wing Polish National Rebirth group who threatened to disrupt the demonstration by throwing eggs at marchers.

According to Dutch daily De Volkskrant today, extreme right politicians Marine le Pen of the French National Front and Geert Wilders of the Dutch PVV party, today came a step closer to forming an officially recognized parliamentary group in the European parliament.

To form such an official caucus, members of the European parliament from seven countries are needed.

Le Pen and Wilders already had the support of Vlaams Belang in Belgium; FPÖ in Austria; and Lega Nord in Italy.

Today, they are said to have reached an agreement with Kongres Nowej Prawicy (Congress of the New Right) from Poland.

Maybe, there would also come an agreement with Tvarka ir Teisingumas (Order and Justice) in Lithuania, bringing the total to the seven which they need.

Translated from De Volkskrant about Kongres Nowej Prawicy:

The Polish Party Congress of the New Right is called extreme right in media. Party leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke has advocated the abolition of the right to vote for women. He also expressed itself anti-Semitically. And Adolf Hitler supposedly did not known anything about the genocide by the Nazis on the Jews.

Marine Le Pen fails to form far-right bloc in European parliament. Leader of France’s Front National concedes defeat in bid to secure extra speaking time, staff and funds from EU budget: here.

Marine Le Pen at a recent arms fair. The Front National leader had hoped to create a pan-European extreme Right alliance. Photograph: lCHAM/Sipa/Rex

On Friday, June 6, Jean-Marie Le Pen, honorary president of the neo-fascist National Front (FN), verbally attacked well-known artists in an interview, one of whom is Jewish and who had criticized the FN after the European elections. He threatened them, saying: “We will make an ovenload of you next time”, alluding to the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis in crematorium ovens: here.

French students demonstrate against racism

This video from the Netherlands says about itself:

Netherlands: Anti-racism protest ahead of Le Pen’s visit to The Hague

12 November 2013

Around 100 demonstrators took to the streets of The Hague Monday with the motto “The problem is called Racism” to protest against racial violence. Protesters marched from Hobbemaplein towards the city center with banners reading “The Hague against racism” and sang slogans against racism and against the police.

The demonstration took place a day ahead of the French National Front leader Marine Le Pen’s visit to the country to meet with the Party for Freedom’s (PVV) leader Geert Wilders. Both leaders will hold talks to discuss their cooperation in the European Parliament.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

French students rise against racist Front National

Saturday 31st May 2014

Thousand of students have launched rallies across France in staunch protests against the racist policies of the neofascist Front National.

Waving banners that read “No to the Front National” and “Wake up, France,” youthful demonstrators rallied on Thursday in Lyon in the east of the country, as well as in Paris, Toulouse, Rouen, Amiens, Nantes, Marseille and Bordeaux.

“We respect the result of the European elections — of democracy — but we do not accept the values of the FN,” said Silvio Philippe, one of the organisers of the Lyon rally.

“French democracy is in danger.”

The FN took top spot in a nationwide election for the first time on Sunday, beating mainstream political parties to take 24 of France’s 74 seats in the new European Parliament.

The Front National, led by Marine Le Pen, said that it wanted France to quit the euro, reinstate national border controls and repatriate the bulk of Brussels’s powers to national parliaments.

After the vote, Ms Le Pen claimed that voters had demanded “only one type of politics — a politics of the French, for the French and with the French.”

But the underlying theme of all its campaigning was racism and a reactionary nationalism which appalled the youth of the country.

Young people met in cities across the country to demonstrate their rejection of racism and bigotry.

In Paris, thousands of students assembled at the Bastille.

Police said the crowds topped 4,000, although organisers insisted that was a gross underestimate and the real total was double that figure.

Another group of students numbering around 3,000 rallied outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg carrying banners reading “We will not let fascism happen.”

While in Lyon about a thousand students met to protest against the neofascists, carrying posters that read “Lyon, capital of the resistance.”

Demonstrators shouted: “We are all the children of immigrants” as they marched in Toulouse, where another 2,000 young people gathered, displaying banners proclaiming that they were “fed up with the FN.”

The rallies were organised by student unions and Socialist, Communist and Green youth groups.

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