French far-right racism and homophobia and the US Tea Party

This 4 September 2018 video shows an anti-fascist demonstration in Paris, to commemorate the murder by nazis of Clément Méric five years earlier.

Another video used to say about itself:

Demonstration in Paris (8.6.2013)

Murder Charge Sought in Paris Activist Death

PARIS – Thousands of supporters marched in grief and anger Saturday to honour an anti-fascist activist who died after a brawl with far-right militants, while authorities opened a murder investigation against a 20-year-old skinhead suspected of delivering the fatal blow in a killing that has shocked France.

France’s Socialist government also took a first step toward banning the security branch of a nationalist youth group that the suspect and four alleged accomplices had claimed ties with, according to the Paris prosecutor.

The death of 18-year-old Clément Méric, a student at Paris’ prestigious Sciences-Po political science university, has renewed concerns that hate groups are on the rise — not just in France, but across Europe.

A medical examiner determined that Meric died from head trauma sustained in the fight that erupted after a chance encounter Wednesday between the far-right militants and anti-fascist activists including Meric in a posh Paris shopping district, prosecutor Francois Molins said at a news conference. He said a murder investigation was under way into one suspect — a security guard who was identified only as “Esteban” — while he and three other skinheads were also facing charges for group violence in the fight that led to Meric’s death.

The four suspects were being held, and a fifth suspect, a 32-year-old woman named Katya who was said to be Esteban’s girlfriend, was facing the prospect of preliminary charges for complicity in group violence, Molins said. The suspects, under police questioning, acknowledged links to an ultranationalist group known as “Troisieme Voie” — or Third Way, he said. None of the suspects had a prior criminal record, though Esteban was known to police for possession of banned weapons in Paris in May 2011, the prosecutor said.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault‘s office said in a statement Saturday that he had asked the interior minister to immediately take steps, under a 77-year-old domestic security law, toward dissolving a far-right group known as Revolutionary Nationalist Youth — considered the security unit of Third Way.

Militant extreme-right groups have become increasingly visible in France, and the government said after Meric’s death that it wants to ban fascist and neo-Nazi groups. Extreme-right groups have gained attention in numerous European countries, particularly Greece, where the Golden Dawn party, broadly vilified for alleged Nazi sympathies and violence against immigrants, holds seats in parliament. Last month, the World Jewish Congress said it’s greatly concerned about the emergence of what it called neo-Nazi parties in places like Greece, Hungary and Germany.

On Saturday, demonstrators poured into the streets of eastern Paris to honour Meric, chanting “we don’t forgive, we don’t forget” and marching behind a banner that said he was “forever in our memories, forever in our hearts.”

The fight erupted outside a clothing store where members of the two groups had run into each other by happenstance Wednesday, Molins said, citing witness accounts and testimony by the suspects during police questioning. … He said a saleswoman in the store testified “having heard one of the skinheads call in reinforcements to do battle, saying — and I quote — ‘in any case, we’re going to call in the others, and we’re going to mess them up'”— in a charitable translation of the profanity-laced remarks.

By the time Meric and his three leftist friends left the store, a group was waiting for them outside — and blows were exchanged, Molins said. Others were injured in the brawl.

During questioning, “the one named Esteban acknowledged to police that he had struck Clement Meric twice — bare-fisted, he claimed — including the blow that caused him to fall to the ground,” Molins said. “A friend of Clement Meric said he saw him (Esteban) with brass knuckles, while another witness of the scene referred to a ‘shiny object’ in his hands.”

By Robert Myles:

France’s interior minister warns of emerging ‘tea party of the French’

Feb 02, 2014 at 1:31 AM PST

France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls, a key minister in President François Hollande’s cabinet, warned Sunday of the emergence of a “tea party of the French,” on the far right of French politics.

Valls was interviewed in the French Sunday newspaper Journal du dimanche. His remarks came a week after Paris witnessed a demonstration under the banner “Jour de Colère” — Day of Rage — against the policies of socialist President Hollande.

Last week, up to 50 disparate groups, united in their opposition to Hollande’s government, took to the streets. Organizers put the numbers of those demonstrating at 120,000, though, as is the norm in France, the police estimate of numbers was a more modest 17,000.

As the demonstration broke up, it turned violent. Police arrested up to 250 demonstrators, mainly on public order and police assault charges, when police came under attack from a hail of bottles, fireworks, stones and other missiles.

Up to 50 disparate groups participated in the Jour de Colère. Demonstrators ranged from far-right fundamentalist Catholic movement Civitas, anti-abortionists, through Comité de Lépante,

This anti-immigrant organisation calls itself after the 1571 naval battle of Lepanto.

Then, a coalition of Roman Catholic States, mainly the kingdom of Spain, fought against the navy of the Turkish Ottoman empire.

However, the 21st century French bigots don’t know their French history in choosing their name. The kingdom of France did not participate in the battle of Lepanto. Often, France then saw the Muslim Ottoman empire as allies against the Habsburg rulers of Spain and Austria.

Like the Dutch, mainly Protestant Christian, rebels against the king of Spain also preferred the Turkish empire to the Habsburg rulers. Geert Wilders, the Dutch ally of the French extreme Right, also does not know his Dutch history about this.

which campaigns against what it sees as the Islamization of Europe, and Printemps Français (French Spring), the most vocal and extreme of the broader Manif pour Tous coalition, campaigning against France’s recently introduced relaxation of laws on same-sex marriage.

One week later, with a further Manif pour Tous anti-gay marriage rally scheduled to take place in Paris Sunday, Valls expressed deep concern at a society “tormented by the dark forces of division” and called on what he termed “the Republican right” of French politics, to distance itself from these groups.

Valls’ call Sunday echoed remarks made by President Hollande two days ago during a visit to the UK for a Franco-British summit with UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Asked about the Jour de Colère, Hollande condemned “the manipulation of minds” with specific reference to what he said were unfounded rumors started by minority groups with the aim of fomenting fear and division, focusing on stories which had been circulating concerning the teaching of gender theory in French schools. Such rumors resulted in a number of French parents withdrawing their children from school, prompting France’s minister for education to write to all school heads in France.

But Valls went a step further, drawing a parallel between the intolerance of elements of Jour de Colère with 1930s Europe in a thinly veiled reference to the rise of Nazism. He described it as “a revolt of the antis: anti-elite, anti-government, anti-tax, anti-parliament, anti-journalist,” but said it went further being especially, “anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic…simply anti-Republican.”

Analyzing what he thought was happening in French politics, Valls said he believed “we are witnessing the creation of a tea party of the French,” drawing a comparison with some far right wing elements of the Republican Party in the US.

“Bound up with the crisis of leadership of the right [in French politics], and faced with the refocusing of the [far right] Front National [political party],” Valls said, “a conservative and reactionary right has come into being. With opposition to marriage for all [same-sex marriage reform], it has increased its forces tenfold. It occupies the streets as it considers that the left [Socialist Party] in power is not legitimate.”

And in a call to the mainstream right of French politics to stand up for democracy, Valls stressed, “In this, the Republican right has a clear responsibility to stand clear of movements that do not accept democracy and the will of parliament.”

However correct Mr Valls may be on the dangers of the extreme right on France, and on the “moderate” right’s role in helping the extremists: let us not forget Mr Valls’ own role in helping the extreme right. Mr Valls wages a campaign against Roma people with bigoted rhetoric. And with anti-democratic repressive measures, like the deportation of Roma schoolgirl Leonarda and her family to dangerous Kosovo. Like the deportation of Armenian student Khatchik Kachatryan. The youth organisation of Valls’ own Socialist Party demonstrated massively against Valls’ xenophobic deportations. In this context, even the truest truism in what Valls says on the French bigoted “tea party” far right sounds hypocritical.

France’s centre-left president Francois Hollande has given a chilling glimpse of what could be in store for Britain under a future Labour government. Hollande capitulated to reactionary protests against his government’s tame pro-LGBT reforms last week: here.

Anti-gay stigma significantly shortens the life-spans of people who identity as gay, lesbian, or bisexual: here.

Al Sharpton: From Arizona to Uganda, We Must Protect the Rights of the LGBT Community: here.

Conservative California Catholic bishop forces out popular, progressive gay priest: here.

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