Originally posted on ImportantCool.com:
By Andy Beale
Where the hell are all the #jesuischarlies?
Following the attacks against the cartoonists and journalists at the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, the English-language media fell all over itself to show support for the magazine. The New York Times published a column describing the attack as “an assault on French identity.” The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, the Daily Beast, USA Today, and many others all republished a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad to show their support for the magazine. Nearly 4 million people gathered in a giant Paris “unity rally” to condemn the attack. Charlie Hebdo and its anti-Muslim cartoons are still in the news four months later as the magazine was awarded the prestigious PEN Freedom of Speech award this year, despitestrong objections from PEN members.
So why aren’t any English-language media covering the vicious mob violence perpetrated against Parisian journalists on May Day?
The violence was carried out by Front National members and, most importantly, by an elected, sitting Front National European deputy. You may know the FN as France’s anti-gay, anti-Muslim fascist party. Party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen recently described the Nazi gas chambers as an unimportant “detail of history.”
On May 1st, as it does every year, the FN held a rally and march to commemorate Joan of Arc. The event quickly went south for the fascists, with much lower turnout than previous years due to rain, and immediate disruptions by topless FEMEN activists. In the FN’s first assault on free speech of the day, FEMEN was immediately and violently removed by the fascist party’s private security service. (French newspaper Le Monde says FN security’s removal of FEMEN was blatantly illegal, as “Following the penal code, coercive power is exclusively reserved to the police and the gendarmerie.”)
Then came the mob violence.
French satirical program Le Petit Journal, which has been described as the “French Daily Show,” sent two camera crews to the FN demonstration, capturing party supporters saying really dumb and racist things and supporting the Nazi-collaborating WWII Vichy government of Maréchal Petain. It was all fun and games until party leader Marine Le Pen took the stage.
Le Pen’s hour-long speech was pretty standard FN stuff, decrying the French government for its supposed multiculturalism. “They have allowed massive immigration to install itself in France. They have unpinned the Islamic fundamentalist grenade,” Le Pen told the crowd of 3,500.
Though Le Pen’s xenophobia was expected, Bruno Gollnisch’s violence was not. Gollnisch is an elected member of the European Parliament, one of 23 French deputies representing the FN at the EU. Le Petit Journal installed itself next to the FN’s VIP box, recording Gollnisch and other elected officials’ responses during Le Pen’s speech. Gollnisch, recognizing the journalists as employees of Le Petit Journal, grabbed an umbrella and attacked the journalists, managing to break their boom mic before being pulled away by FN security.
Gollnisch’s umbrella assault, on its own, might have been harmless, or even kind of silly. What came next was definitely not.
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