A long-approved march opposing the spread of Islamic radicalism across Europe was outlawed only hours before it was due to commence this past weekend, under the pretext that police could not guarantee law and order faced with leftist counter-protestors.
Organized by Génération Identitaire (Generation Identity), the French branch of the European “identitarian” movement, the Paris prefecture of police took the unusual step of banning the already authorized march, branding the anti-immigration youth outfit ‘’extreme right’’, and warning of the threat of violence from ‘‘determined’’, ‘’organized’’, ‘’masked’’ and ‘’highly mobile’’ extreme left groups seeking to disrupt the event.
Lawyers for Génération Identitaire failed to over-turn the ban Saturday morning, and organizers described it as a politically motivated decision to silence public resistance to the implantation of Islamism across France. They also pointed to the setting of a worrying precedent; the use of counter protests as an excuse for the state to ban legitimate assemblies.
The prohibition comes at a time when left wing protests, authorized by the prefecture, routinely end up with anarchist and extremist elements damaging property and clashing with police.
Paris police prefect, Michel Delpuech, came in for particular criticism on alternative media for his decision to ban the march. The police chief, appointed to the Paris region by the outgoing socialist administration earlier this year, has reportedly characterized nationalists and traditionalists as ‘’extreme right.’’
Critics have accused Delpuech of remaining silent on profanations against Christian churches whilst last year pledging his full support to the Muslim community when a Lyon mosque was tagged with graffiti following the Islamist terrorist attack at Nice, death toll 84.
Outside the Café Pierrot, meanwhile, in Paris’ 15th arrondissement, near where Saturday’s march was due to commence, a crowd of several dozen Parisians had gathered to support the event, some unaware of the ban, others claiming their presence was the least they could do to register their discontent.
Virginie, a well-heeled former resident explained to the Gateway Pundit that she was disappointed but not surprised to see such a massive police deployment to prevent a democratic gathering.
Such a show of force would have been better served in Mantes-la-Jolie, she explained, referring to the suburb of Paris in recent weeks the scene of rioting by immigrant youth, complete with car burnings and Molotov cocktail attacks on police.
‘’We don’t shoot people, cut throats or plant bombs and yet it’s us – the law-abiding citizens, we that pay for the police and their equipment – that are treated like the terrorists here’’, she added, explaining that she had reluctantly quit Paris after 50 years for a safer town to the west of the city.