Paris Hub

Eight People Held in Connection to Beating Death of Gay Rights Activist Clement Meric


Eight far-right extremists are being held in connection to the beating death of gay rights and anti-fascist activist Clement Meric on Wednesday night, the Guardian reports:

MericThe interior minister, Manuel Valls, blamed "an extreme right group" for the murder. He said there had been a "dangerous discourse" in France for several weeks, a nod to the heated row over same-sex marriage and violent skirmishes on the fringes of the anti-gay marriage movement and demonstrations.

The leftwing former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon said the fact that Marine Le Pen's far-right Front National, which has increased its scores in elections and now has two MPs, had become normalised and "banal" had allowed all types of extreme-right movements to flourish.

The hard-left Parti de Gauche warned of "the fascist horror which has killed right at the heart of Paris", while some of Meric's fellow activists called his death "a political murder".

Le Pen said the attack had nothing to do with her party and the FN had "no contact, near or far" with Meric's attackers.

Serge Ayoub, a former skinhead leader in Paris once known as "Batskin" for his baseball bat, and now linked to the extreme-right group Jeunesses Nationalistes Revolutionnaires (Nationalist Revolutionary Youth) denied any members of his group were responsible for Meric's death.

Thousands have joined demonstrations against fascism in France following the horrific incident.

Watch reports from Euronews and Al Jazeera on the reactions, AFTER THE JUMP...

Clement Meric Seen Holding 'Homophobia Kills' Banner at March: VIDEO
18-Year-Old Gay Rights Activist Brain Dead After Attack by Skinheads in Paris: VIDEO

Continue reading "Eight People Held in Connection to Beating Death of Gay Rights Activist Clement Meric" »

French Gay Rights Activist Clement Meric Seen Holding 'Homophobia Kills' Banner at March: VIDEO


This morning we reported on the horrific attack on 18-year-old French progressive activist who is brain dead after an attack by a group of three neo-Nazi skinheads in Paris last night.

Video has emerged of Meric marchiing in an April demonstration in Paris, carrying a banner reading "homophobia kills".

At least one prominent French activist Pierre Bergé implicated the anti-gay marriage movement known as "Manif Pour Tous" for the attack on Meric.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "French Gay Rights Activist Clement Meric Seen Holding 'Homophobia Kills' Banner at March: VIDEO" »

18-Year-Old Gay Rights Activist Brain Dead After Attack by Neo Nazi Skinheads in Paris: VIDEO


Clément Méric, an 18-year-old student at Sciences Po in Paris,and a well-known progressive activist, was beaten by a group of three skinheads near the Saint-Lazare train station in Paris on Wednesday night and is now brain dead, the Guardian reports:

2_mericNo suspects have been arrested, and Valls told reporters at the scene of the attack – a crowded, pedestrianised area with cafes and chain stores – that finding them is the top priority. It was unclear how the fight developed and how many people were involved. Political tensions are high in France after months of protests against legalising gay marriage, that sometimes ended with troublemakers from the extreme right clashing with police.

The Local reports:

A number of eyewitness reports, as well as a police source quoted by TF1 television, indicate that a group of left-wing activists had gone clothes shopping on Wednesday evening on rue Caumartin in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.

After far-right activists entered the same shop, there was an angry exchange of words and insults. When the group including Meric left the store, the extreme-right group had "brought reinforcements."

The victim was hit by a man wearing what appeared to be knuckle dusters, according to initial reports.

3_mericMeric's activism for The Party of the Left encompassed a range of progressive causes, including, apparently, gay rights.

The Local adds:

French industrialist and pro-gay marriage activist Pierre Bergé has caused a stir by implicating the anti-gay marriage movement, known as  'Manif Pour Tous' (Demo for all) in the
attack on Méric.
"Despite everyone who's insulting me, I say again: the Manif pour tous accepted into their ranks these fascists who killed Clément. For them to reflect on."

Watch a Euronews report on the murder, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "18-Year-Old Gay Rights Activist Brain Dead After Attack by Neo Nazi Skinheads in Paris: VIDEO" »

Thousands Rally In Paris Against Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2013-05-26 at 6.35.43 PM

In anticipation of the upcoming wedding ceremonies, tens of thousands of anti-gay marriage protesters rallied in central Paris earlier today. The Guardian reports on the march and the clashes between demonstrators and riot police:

At least 150,000 protesters converged on Paris, marshaled by more than 4,500 police who were deployed after the government warned of a risk of violence and disruption.

Riot police evicted about a dozen far-right activists who used ladders to climb on to the roof of the Socialist party headquarters and unfurled a banner saying "Hollande resign".

The night before the demonstration, 50 people were arrested after chaining themselves to metal barriers they had placed in the middle of the Champs Elysées and firing smoke canisters. A van carrying masks, banners and smoke bombs was seized by police.

The reform has sparked months of bitter political division over the issue. On Tuesday, a far-right historian shot himself at the altar of Notre Dame cathedral after leaving messages in which he denounced gay marriage.

The marriage equality law, signed by French president François Hollande last week, will go into effect on Wednesday. The move makes France the ninth country in Europe and the 14th globally to legalize marriage equality.

Watch a news report on the anti-gay protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Thousands Rally In Paris Against Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »

Anti-Gay Far Right Activist Commits Suicide on Altar of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

A well-known far right activist and historian, Dominigue Venner, shot and killed himself in front of crowds of tourists today at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, The Independent reports:

VennerMr Venner, a presenter on a Catholic-traditionalist radio station and controversial historian and essayist,  posted an essay on his website earlier in the day calling for "new, spectacular and symbolic actions to shake us out of our sleep, to jolt anaesthetised minds and to reawaken memory of our origins".

His long essay was a tirade against gay marriage but also a warning that the "population of France and Europe" was going to be "replaced" and brought under "Islamist control" and "sharia law".

Mr Venner placed a sealed letter on the altar of the cathedral before shooting himself. His choice of the altar -  associated  with religious marriage ceremonies -appeared to be a symbolic gesture of protest against the law permitting civil gay marriages in France which took effect last weekend.

Venner was 78. The cathedral was evacuated and closed for four hours after the incident, the paper adds:

The rector of Notre Dame, Monsigneur Patrick Jacquin, said that, as far as he was aware, this was the first suicide within the cathedral since it was founded in the 12th century. "We will pray for this man as we pray for so many others who are at their wits' end," he said.

Mika to Headline Free Concert in Paris to Celebrate Marriage Equality, Fight Homophobia


Mika will headline a free concert on May 21 in Paris to celebrate France's marriage equality law and bolster the fight against homophobia in France, ACT UP reports:

The Franco-British artist, who has made public his homosexuality last September, will occur on the place de la Bastille at this concert for all» scheduled from 7 p.m. to midnight in a spirit "festive and protest", said Nicolas Gougain, spokesman of the federation of the leading associations for the defence of the rights of homosexuals.

The concert was originally planned may 17, the international day against homophobia, but it had to be shifted to practical issues. It will finally take place five days before a national demonstration of opponents of the law opening up marriage and homosexuality to same-sex couples. "We continue to occupy space and express ourselves," said Nicolas Gougain.

Here's the Facebook event page for the concert.


Towleroad - Blogged