August 1, 2021

A “March of Freedoms” against the extreme right in 140 cities in France

After a year and a half of health crisis, which complicated the organization of demonstrations, the “March of Freedoms” offers a kind of big catch-up for political and union activists, environmental activists and associations from various sectors.

They called for a parade together on Saturday, June 12 in nearly 140 cities in France, in order to denounce “Attacks on freedoms” which are multiplying, according to them, because of the rise of the extreme right and of laws “Liberticides”. The demonstrations started at 10:30 a.m. in Montpellier or Nancy, and at 11 a.m. in Nantes and Bordeaux. In Paris, after a press conference at 12:45 pm, the “March” began around 2 pm from Place de Clichy, to reach Place de la République via Boulevard Magenta.

CGT, FSU, the Syndicat de la magistrature, or even the UNEF, on the side of the unions; the Human Rights League, Cimade, Oxfam, or even Attac, on the side of the NGOs; Youth for Climate and France nature environnement for climate defenders; all left-wing parties: in all, more than 100 organizations should be represented.

According to the initiators of the call: the rebellious deputy Eric Coquerel and the spokesperson for Générations, Thomas Portes, the subject of freedoms has imposed itself. Because they believe that the rise of the extreme right in the country, which is according to them as electoral as cultural, is currently a major theme of anger for the left, especially in the absence, for the time being, of an alternative. strong, on this side of the political spectrum, to Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron in view of the presidential election of 2022.

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Left divided

“The great diversity impresses me. It shows that there is a concern for authoritarianism in power, and ideological and electoral pressure from the extreme right which affects everyone ”, believes Eric Coquerel, who recognizes that the scale of the mobilization in the street on Saturday is unpredictable. For Thomas Portes, also president of the National Observatory of the Far Right, the march has a ” capital importance “ : “We feel on the ground that people (on the left) are tired of taking hits. “

The diversity of the mobilization, to be confirmed on the ground, cannot however make us forget the divisions which undermine the left, even on the subjects which concern secularism, freedoms or security, something inconceivable several years ago.

The participation of the socialist leaders, Olivier Faure, communist, Fabien Roussel, and the potential ecological presidential candidate, Yannick Jadot, in the demonstration of the police officers in front of the National Assembly, on May 19, deeply shook the parties of the interior . To the point that the PS and the PCF signed a call for mobilization separate from the initial call, the text of which deplores that “Taking back your ideas is no longer a prohibition”.

Demonstration against “liberticidal” laws

Protesters also rise up against the government and the right on Saturday, which they accuse of running behind the far right.

“We had a President of the Republic who wanted to present himself as a bulwark against the extreme right and for our freedoms”, more “Our freedoms are really in danger”, and “A real start is necessary”, argued the number one of the Greens, Julien Bayou, on France Inter on Saturday.

They aim “The liberticidal laws” government, such as the “global security” law and some of its articles, for example the one that punishes “Provocation to identification” police, censored by the Constitutional Council on May 20.

They will celebrate the new disavowal inflicted by the Council of State on Thursday on the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, conspired on the left. The high court canceled several key provisions of the law enforcement plan, including the technique of «Wet» and the obligation for journalists to leave demonstrations.

Floured Mélenchon at the start of the procession

LFI boss, presidential candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon received a jet of flour Saturday at the start of the Parisian demonstration, while he was responding to the press at Place de Clichy. The alleged author of the shipment, a young man, was then pushed back by the CGT’s security service.

Dusting himself off, Mr. Mélenchon reacted calmly: “There is great tension. There, I don’t know what the motive was for throwing flour at me. It is really a threshold that has been crossed. (…) If you don’t see me more moved than that, it’s because it could have been worse. It’s made to intimidate. (…) Even if it is painful, we must not back down. “

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The World with AFP