On a recent Sunday in Paris, I had the opportunity to witness an anti-immigration street protest. The approximately 600 participants followed started next to the catacombs in Place Denfert-Rochereau, walked a 1.9 km route in about 1½ hours along two broad boulevards, and ended at the Place d'Italie, where they spent an equal length of time listening to speeches.
Organized by Résistance Républicaine (led by Christine Tasin) and Riposte Laïque (led by Pierre Cassen), the demo on March 9 also included such important figures on the right as Fabrice Robert (head of Bloc Identitaire) and Renaud Camus (a theorist). Agence France Press covered the event with a reasonably objective account that major media (l'Express, Libération, Métro, Le Parisien, Le Point) then published.
Inspired by the surprise success of the recent Swiss referendum limiting immigration, the demonstrators demanded a similar opportunity to vote on this heated issue in France. Flyers announced "Peuple de France n'aie pas peur. Dis que tu en a assez!" ("People of France don't fear. Say that you have enough!"). Tasin passed out copies of her booklet, Qu'est-ce qu'elle vous a fait la République? ("What has the [French] Republic Done to You?").
Marchers sang the national anthem, La Marseillaise, and repeated slogans shouted by Cassen from the back of a very slow-moving truck, including:
Assez, assez, d'immigration. Non, non au remplacement ("Enough, enough of immigration. No, no to being replaced [by Muslims]")
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