150,000 far right protesters march against gay marriage in Paris
Her name isn't metnioned in the article, but I thought Marine LePen and the right were trying to court the gay vote.
Tens of thousands of people registered a final, furious protest against same-sex marriage on Sunday, days before the first wedding ceremony under a new law.
At least 150,000 protesters converged on Paris, marshalled 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 new law – the key social reform of the Socialist president, François Hollande – was officially adopted last week, making France the 14th country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage. The first wedding will take place between two gay activists in Montpellier on Wednesday.
But the reform has sparked months of bitter political debate and the biggest rightwing street demonstrations in decades, including hundreds of arrests after clashes between police and demonstrators in the runup to the parliamentary vote. Rights groups have recorded a sharp increase in homophobic acts across France.
Protesters from the anti-same-sex marriage movement converged in their thousands at the Invalides in Paris, while a more hardline demonstration led by Catholic traditionalists gathered near the Opera. Nationalist youth groups attended the latter demonstration, with one calling for a "national revolution".
Among the crowds, one demonstrator led a donkey carrying a placard: "I'm an ass, I voted Hollande."
Divisions over the law continue to cause tensions on the French right, with the government warning of a resurgence in far-right groups and a small number of "ultras" on the fringes.
The most radical protesters have grouped together under the banner "Printemps Français" (French spring), a loose grouping of traditionalists and far-right associations, which the French interior ministry last week threatened to outlaw.
Tensions were exacerbated by the suicide last Tuesday of a far-right essayist, Dominique Venner, who shot himself at the altar of Notre Dame cathedral on Tuesday after leaving a blogpost railing against immigration and the "vile" law legalising same-sex marriage.
The comedian Virginie Tellene, known by her stage name Frigide Barjot, who has led the anti-gay marriage movement and been its figurehead, did not attend the demonstration in order to defend what she called "peace and freedom of expression". She is under police protection having complained of death threats and pressure from the extreme rightwing.
Jean-François Copé, leader of the rightwing UMP party, keen to capitalise on the protest movement in the runup to next year's local elections, attended the demonstration in Paris after other key figures in his party, including the former foreign minister Alain Juppe, had cautioned against it.
The prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, attacked UMP politicians for supporting the demonstration, warning that they were taking "a heavy responsibility" in "sparking tension and radicalisation".
Christian Jacob, head of the UMP group in parliament, who was at the rally, said: "Even though the law has been voted in, it doesn't mean we can't contest it."
I'd be surprised to see this thread get even a baker's dozen in posts what with the "hue" of the protestors.
Was Bardot there?
And? Then they'll all get way over it.
Just like we will here.
La Partie du Thé, enculé vous!
I think it will get more, R1, but point taken, if it was a mass of dark Muslims, it there would be hundreds of posts immediately.
Is this going to do anything at this point? It's signed law now, but I'm not familiar with politics in France.
People like to ignore the fact that a large number of the French supported the Nazis during World War 2 and helped the Nazis round up French Jews afterwards.
As if I needed yet another reason to hate Paris.
Working our way up to a bakers dozen. I know we can do it even though it's a slow holiday weekend.
Why hate Paris for this, r8? Gay marriage is legal. We're used to opposition by now. And France is a democratic state where people can assemble peacefully and express their noxious viewpoints without punishment. Things are about as they should be.
150,000 marched. 64,850,000 stayed home.
Well, R11, I certainly hope you have that type of common sense when it comes to other situations.
I'm sure you aren't daft enough to blame a beheading by a couple of people on over a billion people who had nothing to do with it. Right?
And a lesbian themed film wins at Cannes.
Who gives a shit about these right wing assholes. Time will devour them.
I was in Paris today and avoided the demo. Went to a show about Billie Holliday and a very good early dinner at L aCouple.
Blvd Montparnasse and some metro stations were closed.
Whether you disagree with their cause or not, I give them credit for being politically engaged enough to dedicate themselves to protesting, marching, and organizing. If only progressives would be so dedicated.
An 18-year-old gay rights campaigner has been left brain dead after an attack by far-right skinheads in Paris.
The Local reports Clément Méric, a student at Sciences Po in Paris, was violently attacked by a group of three skinheads, including one woman, near Saint-Lazare train station on Wednesday evening.
A vigil for Clément Méric will take place this evening.
In a statement, the democratic socialist party, Parti de Gauche, said: “The horror of fascism has just killed right in the middle of Paris.”
“Violently beaten to the ground by a group of activists from the extreme right, manifestly from the group JNR (Jeune Nationaliste Revolutionnaire), left motionless, he was declared this evening to be in a state of brain death at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris,” the statement added.
The leader of JNR, Serge Ayoub, has denied his group’s involvement in the attack.
Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, called the attack on the young student repulsive and detestable but said groups such as the JNR had no ties with her party.
When asked by RTL radio why one of the attackers was seen wearing a top with her party’s logo, she reacted angrily.
“Making this kind of association is scandalous, I’d like to know very much who this witness is,” Le Pen said. “You have no proof at all.”
It is the latest violent homophobic attack to have taken place in France in recent months.
Anti-gay crime has soared with the arrival of equal marriage in the country.
In April, Raphaël Leclerc, a gay cabaret dancer was beaten unconscious in Nice, and Wilfred de Bruijn, a gay librarian, was attacked in Paris.
In the same month four people were detained on suspicion of carrying out an attack at a gay bar in Lille.
President Francois Hollande called for the violence to stop in April.