Choosing not to demonstrate
Bernard Boucault, Prefect of Paris, banned the Riposte Laïque demonstration in defense of freedom of expression planned for September 14. There are numerous articles at RL about the interdict and the predictably political decision of the Prefect. I'm confining myself here to the subsequent decision by Pierre Cassen and Christine Tasin, founders of RL, not to demonstrate. They explain the choice: to demonstrate in defiance of the ban or to hold back, at least for now:
(…) Yes it's very frustrating. We understand the anger of the most determined of our friends and compatriots. We would love to be able to offer a Plan C, but we feel we do not have the right, out of concern for their safety and especially considering the enormous stakes that hover over us. We even feel that Prefect Boucault, appointed by Interior Minister Manuel Valls, would have been delighted had we defied the ban, in order to subject us to the same fate that awaited young Nicolas, who spent three weeks in prison while Taubira allows repeat-offenders to go free.
Note: A reminder that Nicolas Buss, one of the demonstrators against Taubira's law on homosexual marriage, was arrested and sentenced to two months without probation. He spent three weeks in isolation, much of the time in filthy conditions, until an appeal from his lawyers set him free, though it did not clear his record.
The trap was too big and we won't allow our members, our workers and our sincere patriots to fall into it. The essential battles are before us: defense of freedom of expression, the right of everyone to security, the refusal of the Islamization of our country through an immigration of settlement resulting in population replacement and a change of civilization. We know that in this government there are those who dream of dissolving patriotic associations such as ours, that openly dare to resist this unpopular regime (…)
So we chose the second way, because it seemed to us, in the current balance of power, to be the wisest move. That does not mean that we have resigned ourselves to accepting the Prefect's ban every time it is issued. It all depends on the circumstances and our relative strength.
Note: They describe their amazement at the sight of two million motorcyclists converging on Washington on September 11. Numbers are what will make the Prefect's bans impossible. They close on an optimistic note:
Last November 10, three thousand of us demonstrated in the streets of Paris against Islamic fascism. It was a success, but we need more people to impose our next demonstration. We must, as quickly as possible in the days ahead, propose an initiative capable of mobilizing our compatriots en masse and making it impossible for Valls and Boucault to ban it.
Take heart, we will not give in.
Top, the Prefect's letter to Riposte Laïque denying them permission to demonstrate. The second paragraph reads:
- I inform you of my intent to ban the gathering that you have announced, notably because of the risks of a counter-demonstration by anti-fascist groups, which, current tensions being what they are, is likely to disturb the peace to a serious degree. On September 14, an important police presence will already be mobilized to ensure the security of big events taking place in Paris.
In another article, RL points out that by labeling as "antifascist" the hypothetical counter-demonstrators, the Prefect implied that RL is fascist:
"… a permanent fantasy of the left that tries in this way to disqualify all who challenge its dogmas."
Below, the Prefect and the Interior Minister.
Note: Two members of Riposte Laïque, Pierre Cassen and Pascal Hilout, will be in court on September 25, facing charges of inciting to hatred and religious discrimination, as a result of comments they made in articles written in 2011. This up-coming trial was also a factor in the decision not to demonstrate on September 14.