Paris Hub

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.

Violence in Paris Breaks Out After Marriage Equality Passes: VIDEOS


Violence broke out in Paris following yesterday's passage of the marriage equality bill.

2_parisThe Local reports on the violence.

Along their route towards Place des Invalides, the protesters furiously booed President Hollande and the bill's architects. One marcher, 41-year-old Nicolas, from outside Paris, told The Local: "I'm scandalized by this. By the attitude of the government, who have completely ignored more than one million protesters."

Despite the requests of organizers that marchers disperse peacefully, a hard core group of around 500 refused to leave the Invalides.Their anger soon boiled over as bottles and firecrackers were hurled at the riot police, who had blocked off a street leading to the parliament.

One officer was taken to hospital with a head wound after being hit by a brick. “The clashes were extremely violent,” one officer told French media.

Police, who responded with tear gas, made 12 arrests. The protesters also turned their ire on journalists in the vicinity, shouting “scumbags" and “collaborators” at the members of the press. At one point a mob of masked protesters chased a group of journalists down the street and a photographer from AFP was sprayed with tear gas.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls later said those arrested were linked to far-right organisations.

Watch videos of the demonstrations, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Violence in Paris Breaks Out After Marriage Equality Passes: VIDEOS" »

France Expected to Approve Marriage Equality Today in Final Vote: VIDEO


The French National Assembly is set to give its final approval today on marriage equality:

The bill, which would also give same-sex couples the right to adopt, was approved in the Senate earlier this month.
Since no amendments have been made during debate in the lower house, it will be the final vote on the legislation. The measure is expected to pass.

The left, which includes President Francois Hollande's governing Socialist Party, dominates the National Assembly, where the bill was approved by a large majority in February on its first reading.

Hollande will have to sign the bill before it becomes law.

More anti-gay rallies are expected after the vote today. As you know, there has been much violence associated with the opposition.

Security is tight:

Police say legions of officers and a small battery of water cannons were at France's National Assembly on Tuesday to prevent a repeat of previous street violence. A spokesman for the police union UNSA, Christophe Crepin, said the extraordinary security was in place to protect the city's gay community.

Here's video of a rally that took place last week in Toulouse in southern France in which a group called Hommen Toulouse demonstrated in the city's Charles de Gaulle Sqare where they burned the letters of the word democracy, gave speeches, and stood shirtless and gagged, with anti-gay messages on their bodies.


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Continue reading "France Expected to Approve Marriage Equality Today in Final Vote: VIDEO" »

Protesters Crowd Streets of Paris Ahead of Final French Vote on Marriage Equality: VIDEO


Anti-gay protesters crowded the streets of Paris today ahead of a French parliament vote on Tuesday in which it is expected to adopt marriage equality, Deutsche Welle reports:

Protest organizers said between 30,000 and 50,000 people took part in the demonstration in the Montparnasse area of Paris on Sunday. A rival protest in support of the legislation was also held on Sunday but gathered fewer participants.

Two thousand security officers were on hand to ensure the throngs remained peaceful after demonstrations earlier in the week led to a bit of violence.

Protests were held three nights running, from Wednesday to Friday, and some of the hard-core opponents clashed with police. More than 100 arrests were made throughout the week.

Watch a Euronews report, AFTER THE JUMP...

AFP adds:

In a series of guerrilla actions, activists opposed to the bill have staged dawn protests outside ministers’ homes, vandalised cars, assaulted journalists and even blocked a fast train carrying a prominent gay marriage campaigner. One Socialist MP received death threats, and there are reports that two attacks on gay bars, one in Bordeaux and the other in Lille, were linked to rising anti-gay sentiment fed by the protests. So why the explosive outrage in the land of liberty, fraternity and equality?

Some argue that it is simply part of a wider backlash against what is seen as a corrupt, incompetent political class, prompted by Mr Hollande’s inability to tackle unemployment and the discovery that the government’s tax tsar had a secret Swiss bank account.

But the French Right has seized on the gay marriage issue to rally its demoralised electorate. Given the mess that Mr Hollande’s Socialist administration is making of the economy, Right wingers argue, the Left has no right to legislate on moral issues as well.

Continue reading "Protesters Crowd Streets of Paris Ahead of Final French Vote on Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »

Gay Bar Attacked Amid Marriage-Related Homophobic Violence in France: VIDEO


Three employees of a gay bar in the northern city of Lille, France were attacked and assaulted by four men who broke the bar's windows, The Local reports:

  Gianni_lilleThe bar's owner linked the incident to "tensions" surrounding the parliament vote.

"I was hit by a chair," thrown through the window, he told AFP. Police later detained the suspects.

Watch a French news report on the gay bar attack, AFTER THE JUMP...

Atack_lilleMeanwhile, homophobic violence conbtinued elsewhere in France on Wednesday, The Local adds:

Several thousand opponents to the bill crammed the streets of Paris on Wednesday, waving banners that read "A father, a mother, it's basic" or criticised French President Francois Hollande. Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemned acts of violence during the protests "in spite of promises made by the organisers". Several people were detained for questioning after cars and public property were damaged and police officers and journalists attacked, said Valls. Police put the number of detentions at 11.

Organisers put the number of demonstrators at 8,000 while police said 2,400 people had protested. Twenty-four people who took part in a counter-protest denouncing homophobia were arrested, police said.

The day before, some 2,700 opponents had gathered in Versailles outside the capital to protest the bill, leading to scuffles with police.

Opponents have vowed new mass demonstrations in the next week.

Watch a French news report on the gay bar attack, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Bar Attacked Amid Marriage-Related Homophobic Violence in France: VIDEO" »


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