In the aftermath of the aggression of several SOS-Racism activists during the first meeting of Eric Zemmour at the Parc des Expositions, in Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis), right-wing and far-right elected representatives regretted, Monday December 6, ” the provocation ” of their attendance.
After sporting T-shirts with letters used to form the message ” No to racism ! “, several anti-racist activists were jostled by supporters of the far-right candidate, then violently beaten, sometimes by several people simultaneously. The videos also show that they were targeted by several throws of chairs. An activist from SOS-Racisme notably been filmed with bloody face at the end of these clashes.
While condemning “All forms of violence”, the deputy of the North and spokesperson for the National Rally (RN) Sébastien Chenu estimated, Monday, on France 2 that there had been “Unnecessary provocation” on the part of SOS-Racism activists. “It’s not responsible. When you are an activist totally opposed to an idea or a candidate, you do not come to a meeting to take the risk of altercations ”, he believes.
For the candidate of the Republicans (LR), Valérie Pécresse, “You have to keep your cool”. “We need both freedom of expression; I am for the freedom of expression of all those who do not think like me (…). Provocations in meetings, it exists, it’s never pleasant, I had it like everyone else ”, did she regret on France Inter. “Above all, we must ban violence from meetings, as much as possible. Either way, because you know that the extreme left can sometimes be ultra-violent in a rally ”, she added.
For the President of the Senate, Gérard Larcher (LR), “All violence is unacceptable, and the right to demonstrate is essential. But, at the same time, provocation in a meeting can lead to [des violences] “. “So I believe that everyone must find the ways of appeasement”Mr Larcher continued on Franceinfo, calling for “Respect freedom of expression, such as the freedom and the right to demonstrate”.
“I think of this young woman who, of course, has opinions different from those of Eric Zemmour, but who comes out bloody. Quite simply because she came not to chant, but to show a no to racism ”, a regretted on Europe 1, Monday morning, the president of the group La République en Marche (LRM) at the National Assembly (LRM), Christophe Castaner. “We can see that the extreme right, whether it has the face of Eric Zemmour or others, does not change, the extreme right is carried by the violence of the attacks against its opponents, by the violence of the attacks against France “, he continued.
“We came to titillate people”
“We never imagined it could get out of hand at this point. We obviously came to titillate people ”, declared the president of SOS-Racisme, Dominique Sopo, on Franceinfo. According to him, “You have to be either intoxicated with racism, or in a form of certainty of omnipotence to be able to do such an act in front of cameras”. While “Five people were injured” according to Mr. Sopo, he said that SOS-Racisme ” to accompany[ait] activists so that they file a complaint ”.
On the side of Mr. Zemmour’s campaign team, this violence is not condemned. These persons “Did not have to be there, we must not come and provocate in our room”, reacted Antoine Diers, spokesperson for the new party of the far-right candidate, Reconquest. “If there was excessive use of force, I regret it, but I find that with all the provocations we are subjected to, we are really very, very calm”, he added. “We are the most provoked people. We have the impression of being caricatured all the time. In a democratic country, everyone has the right to defend ideas ”, did he declare.
“Coming to a meeting in the French Republic with T-shirts with the phrase“ No to racism ”is therefore a provocation., wondered Mr. Sopo. I remind you that we are in a republic and that in a republic, normally, we can say “No to racism” everywhere. Activists (…) were at the back of the room. There was no question of invading the stage or whatever. “