A report back from an anti-fascist organizer who confronted France’s fascist Front National in France on November 5th.
The police had blocked the surrounding streets with anti-riot barriers, restricting access to the square, but we eventually make it through one by one, occupying part of the square and deploying our banners (“Ravier fuck off”
, “Migrants welcome, fascists out”
, “Welcome to our fellow humans”
We chuck a few eggs at the National Front supporters, who are gathered on the other side of the square behind a line of riot police, and disrupt their speeches with chants of “Tout le monde déteste les fachos“, “Refugiés Welcome, Fachos Go Home“, “Massilia Antifascista“, “Siamo tutti antifascisti“, “Pas de quartier pour le fachos…“, “On a pas peur de toi, sale faf, rentre chez toi, sale faf” and other merry rhymes.
Eventually the pitiful and disappointed Frontists conclude their event with an attempt to play the national anthem, which is drowned out by choruses of “fuck off”s. As they finally leave under police protection, about 400 of us set off on a spontaneous unauthorised demo, determined to shout out loud our solidarity with migrants and our opposition to borders, to the National Front, and to xenophobia. Graffiti appears on walls, a few banks and insurance companies are redecorated. The bystanders we meet along the way are generally quite pleasantly surprised.
At the port, we head on towards the National Front headquarters, but when we pass in front of the tribunal a series of police vans reappear, apparently trying to block our route. We all run forward to try and get past them before they can cut us off, so the vans accelerate, nearly running some people over, but then to our great delight one of them rear-ends another. Annoyed, the police shoot tear-gas at us, forcing everyone back. After a few minutes hesitation, the antifascist demo changes route and heads back towards the town centre, chased by tear-gas, stun grenades and baton charges, before dispersing. One person was arrested, then released a few hours later. There have been reports of an injured person, who may have been spotted leaving in an ambulance, but this can’t be confirmed yet.
All in all, an energetic and combative demo which highly disrupted our local fascists’ plans. Despite the gassing and the chasing, our day was a success. And despite all the protection they had, the far right didn’t have a good time. To the proud Ravier, we say : next time, come without your bodyguards. Then we’ll see what the “silent majority” which your party claims to represent thinks of you.
Source : adapted from https://mars-infos.org/quand-ravier-et-sa-clique-font-1813 (not a 100% translation)