“Return to Morocco”, “France to the French”, “She hurts Muslims”, or even “666”, the number associated with the devil … In Bron (Rhône), a city in the Lyon metropolis, the posters of campaign of Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, head of the socialist list for regional in Auvergne – Rhône-Alpes, were the target, this Thursday, of these racist and xenophobic inscriptions. The socialist section of Bron is preparing to file a complaint.
These attacks provoked an almost general outcry from the political forces in the region. The LR mayor of the city, Jérémie Bréaud, condemned “with the greatest firmness” these acts. “In Bron, there is not and there will never be a place for xenophobia, anti-Semitism or any other form of hatred”, he denounced. Same attitude on the part of Laurent Wauquiez, LR candidate and outgoing president of the region. « Our region deserves a respectful debate. I strongly condemn this xenophobic act, ”tweeted the former Republican number one. Bruno Bonnell, head of the LREM list, like all of the left and environmentalists, also expressed his rejection.
The support of François Hollande
« I greet and thank the candidates, as well as their supporters, who condemned the racist, xenophobic and defamatory insults of which our Alternative campaign was the target, ”tweeted for his part Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. François Hollande, himself, provided assistance to his former Minister of Education. “All my support for Najat Vallaud Belkacem,” tweeted the former President of the Republic. Hatred and xenophobia have no place in our democracy, I condemn them with the greatest firmness. An exception, however, in this outpouring of republican solidarity: Andrea Kotarac, leader of the RN, made no comment.
“These acts are a reflection of the excesses of French society where all hatred, from racism to conspiracy, mingle, sighs Guillaume Lacroix, president of the Left Radical Party and number 2 on the list of Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. As for the silence of Andréa Kotarac, it confirms the complacency that exists between the RN and all the hatred currently asserted. At the beginning of May, an Ipsos and Sopra Steria poll granted 11% of voting intentions to Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, behind incumbent Laurent Wauquiez (LR), given at 31%, candidate RN Andréa Kotarac (19%), the LREM list (16%) and that of EELV candidate Fabienne Grébert (13%).
During the municipal elections last year, a campaign poster of Alexandre Saada, LREM candidate in Pré-Saint-Gervais (Seine-Saint-Denis) had been vandalized with the inscription of a swastika while racist remarks had been glued to those of candidate Aubin Nzouetoum, in Moissy-Cramayel (Seine-et-Marne). In February 2020, a swastika was also discovered on a municipal campaign billboard of candidate Sonia Krimi (LREM deputy for Manche) in Cherbourg.