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Thousands march in memory of murdered French anti-fascist Clément Méric

The killing of Clément Méric is a result of the toxic climate of racism and homophobia that gives fascists confidence, writes Dave Sewell

Issue No. 2357

anti-fascists lay flowers at the site where Clément Méric was fatally attacked

anti-fascists lay flowers at the site where Clément Méric was fatally attacked (Pic: Photothèque Rouge)


Anti-fascists took to the streets of France last week in memory of Clément Méric. Clément was a student activist who died on Thursday of last week following an attack by fascist thugs.

Over 5,000 marched through Paris last Saturday following demonstrations around the country on Thursday.

They promised never to forgive, never to forget.

Clément and his friends were attacked on their way out of a clothes shop near the St Lazare station last Wednesday. 

He was knocked out by a sharp blow to the head. 

More than 200 people came out at short notice to show support outside the hospital.

Police have arrested five people over the killing. Four are from the hardcore fascist group Revolutionary Nationalist Youth (JNR) or its parent organisation the Third Way.

These violent, racist groups can trace their roots back decades.

But they have come to new prominence this year thanks to mass demonstrations against gay marriage. 

Expulsions

They have fed off a racist atmosphere that successive governments have whipped up, with mass expulsions of Roma people and law after law against Muslims.

Disgracefully, JNR leader Serge Ayoub was invited onto the media to defend the organisation. 

Prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault aims to ban the JNR—a demand initially raised on the night of the attack by the Left Party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

This opened the door for Jean François Copé, leader of the right wing opposition to call for the “extremists” of the left to be banned too.

Fascist organisations exist to suppress liberties and destroy democratic organisation. 

They have no right to organise in peace. But legally dissolving the smallest groups won’t make the threat go away.

And by far the biggest fascist organisation in France, the Front National (FN) led by Marine Le Pen, has managed to fool even much of the left with its aura of legitimacy.

But representatives of all the main left parties and a number of trade union federations spoke at the demonstrations for Clément.

His tragic death can be the opportunity to rebuild an anti-fascist movement that can take on the Nazi filth and the toxic climate of bigotry they feed on.


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Article information

International
Tue 11 Jun 2013, 17:35 BST
Issue No. 2357
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