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article imageFrance to ban extreme right Revolutionary Nationalist Youth group

By Robert Myles     Jun 9, 2013 in World
Paris - France is to take steps to ban an extreme right wing group after a student died following an altercation in a Paris street last Wednesday evening with a group believed to have neo-nazi links.
Following the death of an 18-year-old student who was allegedly set upon by five assailants on a Paris street on Wednesday evening, France’s Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has asked the French interior minister to take immediate steps to dissolve the extreme right group known as Revolutionary Nationalist Youth or Jeunesses nationalistes révolutionnaires (JNR) in French.
Left wing activist Clément Méric was involved in a clash with a group of far right supporters after emerging from a Paris shop last Wednesday. Méric later died from injuries sustained. Following Méric’s death, five people were arrested and are currently under investigation by the Paris Prosecutor’s office. The attack, said to involve two small groups of left wing and right wing sympathisers took place in full public view in a busy shopping street close to the St. Lazare train station in Paris.
According to Paris Prosecutor François Molins, the principal suspect, named Esteban, has been charged with Méric’s murder. All five accused were remanded in custody after a court hearing in Paris yesterday. Some witnesses have claimed one of Méric’s attackers was wearing a knuckleduster while others refer to one of the attackers having a ‘shiny object’ in his hand.
The attack on Méric was strongly condemned by France’s President François Hollande. It happened less than two weeks after violent street clashes in Paris between riot police and far right protesters. Then, supporters of the extreme right had stayed on the streets after a large and generally peaceful anti-gay-marriage rally held near Paris landmark, Les Invalides, broke up.
Following the killing of Clément Méric an estimated 5000 marchers took the streets of Paris and Toulouse, his home city, yesterday, to pay homage to the young man. Many of those who marched were members of the French anti-fascist alliance ‘Antifa’ but many, too, were ordinary citizens concerned at what they saw as an upsurge of far right, homophobic violence in France, a reaction to the recent legalisation of France’s ‘marriage for all’ gay marriage reform. French website 20 minutes reports one marcher in Paris, a 75-year-old woman named simply as Michèle, saying, “He (Méric) could have been my grandson. Michèle said she’d come to denounce “the current climate which is really bad.”
Extreme right Revolutionary Nationalist Youth in French government’s sights
The Jeunesses nationalistes révolutionnaires (JNR) group, which seems likely to be proscribed by the French government, is not a political entity in the conventional sense. It was founded by two extreme right supporters, Serge Ayoub and Jean-Gilles Malliarakis, in 1987. The JNR may be more accurately described as providing ‘security services’ to another far right group founded by Serge Ayoub, known as Troisième voie — The Third Way. The similarity of names between this grouping and a political philosophy once espoused by former British Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair is purely coincidental — they are poles apart.
Troisième voie came into being in 2010. Ayoub claims it has 1,000 members and 4,000 supporters. In contrast, according to French newspaper Le Figaro, the JNR may be composed of as few as 30 members, all of whom, the newspaper says, are typically of muscular build, shaved heads (skinheads) and generally around 40 years of age. Their dress code is black, echoing earlier European fascist movements, and tattoos are common. The accompanying video provides an example of the ‘security’ provided by the JNR as they interpose themselves between police and far right protesters at a demonstration in Paris held on May 12 this year.
Commenting on French Prime Minister Ayrault’s demand that the JNR be dissolved, Serge Ayoub, on Troisième voie’s Facebook page, said, “It’s weird. The JNR were not implicated in the (Méric) case. In wanting to destroy the extreme right, Ayrault has destroyed his intelligence.”
A statement issued by French Premier Ayrault on his French government website said, “There is and will be no complacency when it comes to dealing with all groups intent on violence and hatred of others."
The statement said the Prime Minister had asked French Minister of the Interior, Manuel Valls, to examine the applicability of the appropriate section of the French legal code as it affects homeland security to right-wing extremist groups bent on provoking racial hatred, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and homophobia.
On the basis of the response received from Interior Minister Valls, the Prime Minister said, “I asked him to immediately start the necessary procedures, prior to submission to the President of the Republic and the Council of Ministers of a decree of dissolution of the Revolutionary Nationalist Youth (JNR).”
Hinting that the group Troisième voie may also be targeted by the French government the Prime Minister also said he’d asked the Interior Minister to ascertain whether the conditions for dissolving organizations might be also be applicable to other associations and groups. The latest move by the French Prime Minister follows swiftly upon remarks he made in France’s National Assembly on June 6 when he spoke of “a determination to cut to pieces, democratically, under the rule of law, these neo-Nazi and fascist inspired movements which damage the French Republic and damage France itself.”
France’s constitutional far right party the Front National, has distanced itself from the Méric killing, reports BBC News, which said the Front national had described Méric’s killing as "appalling".
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