‘Explain yourself!’ – French authorities blasted for allowing 100s of neo-Nazis to march in Paris

Some 500 black-clad demonstrators shouted “Europe, youth, revolution” while waving flags displaying a white supremacist symbol.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

French authorities were blasted Monday for allowing a march through Paris on Saturday of some 600 neo-Nazis.

Opposition Senator David Assouline (Socialists), who represents Paris, tweeted, “Explain yourself!” to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who is in charge of the police that allowed the rally through the sixth district of the capital.

It was “inadmissible to have let 500 neo-Nazis and fascists parade in the heart of Paris,” he wrote. “Their organizations, the manifestation of their ideology, slogans, insignia, are as much an insult to the dead as provocations to racial hatred.”

May 8 is VE Day, which is celebrated on the Continent to mark the day the Allies accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender, bringing an end to World War II in Europe. It is a public holiday in France.

Members of the government were also furious that the march had a police permit.

“These images … of masked neo-Nazis in the streets of Paris are as terrifying as they are scandalous,” Le Progres quoted deputy for Paris Astrid Panosyan-Bouvet, who ran on President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance ticket.

“Even legal, this sordid parade damages the Republic and must be denounced with the greatest vigor!” added MP Bruno Millienne of the coalition’s MoDem party.

The rally, organized by the “Ninth of May Committee,” marked the anniversary of the death of neo-fascist, Sébastien Deyzieu, who died while trying to escape the police during an illegal extremist demonstration in 1994.  A large banner saying “Sebastien [is] Present” was held by several marchers, and the crowd at times yelled the words in unison, according to a clip uploaded to social media by democ., a group that documents and analyzes anti-democratic movements.

Read  Ex-Neo-Nazi guilty in slayings of Florida roommates who mocked his conversion to Islam

A mass of people clad in black, a vast majority of them men, many with hooded jackets and masks over their faces to hide their identities, can be seen marching down a wide street. Most of them reportedly identified with the extremist Union Defense Group (GUD), a militant group that was reactivated last year. They waved black flags with a version of the Celtic cross that is commonly used by white supremacists and neo-fascists while chanting the GUD slogan, “Europe, youth, revolution.”

According to democ., there was only a light police presence on the scene. No violence was reported, although the organization said that journalists were “harassed.”

For its part, the police said that since there was no “proven risk to public order,” they could not legally prevent the march.

“Given that this demonstration had not caused any problems or public order issues during previous years, the Paris prefect was not in a position to take steps to ban it,” the police said in a statement.

A member of the capital’s municipal council, Ian Brossat, responded to the police statement by saying “Saucepans are clearly more dangerous than jackboots.”

He was referring to the current attempt to bar people from banging the kitchen implements during ongoing demonstrations against the government’s ramming through a law upping the pension age in the country by two years.

Read  Florida man forsakes neo-Nazism for Islam, murders his roommates for insulting his new religion

According to democ., this year’s march was much larger than in the past, pointing to a worrying growth in the neo-fascists’ popularity.

The authorities had barred a protest set for the previous day’s VE Day ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe war memorial in Paris that Macron attended.