[Originally published in French by Daniel Dova in Obs / Rue89 on December 13, 2014.]
On Saturday, 22 November , a meeting of the European far right was held in Nanterre, a few kilometers from Paris, entitled: "Awakening of Nations."
The document we publish shows how the international ultra-right, which extends to the neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn in Greece, seeks to organize itself to take advantage of the European crisis.
The event was held behind closed doors, in theory, without journalists. This report (written under a pseudonym), however, has arrived, and the content of the speeches held shows the obsessions of this movement and its strategy of infiltrating popular movements, including the suggestion that the extreme right infiltrate the ZAD (Zones à défendre, areas to be defended as proposed by formations such as the TAV).
This article is an attempt to understand what is taking place at the fringes of our system. - Pierre Haski
No journalists were allowed to pass at the entrance. A team of the "Petit Journal" on Canal+ tried to film the event, but without success. As the only journalist present, incognito, I managed to enter and record the speeches reported here.
A dive into an unknown microcosm that is becoming more and more widespread in Europe, but also in France, and has been able to organise a meeting with impunity on the outskirts of Paris.
The event location was communicated only the very morning on the Internet, as usual for this type of meetings.
Leaving the RER (regional railways), I walked to the meeting place, a short walk of fifteen minutes in a semi-industrial area, which is located behind the railroad tracks. In front of me, two young men on foot, followed by one man, then by a couple. Everyone heads to the place of the reunion.
Meeting of the European extreme right. November 22, 2014 in Nanterre - official GUD website
At the end of a small road is the event location Jenny. A location known since a few years for its amateur wrestling nights. Today, it regularly hosts weddings: 300 seats, a dance floor, a stage ...
Over 300 people (600 according to the organizers) had come together in Nanterre, amongst them European radical nationalists, nationalist revolutionaries, neo-fascists and neo-Nazis for a day of debates, followed by an evening of concerts.
At the entrance a small passage that lets people only pass one at the time. No search at this stage, but inquiring looks that do not inspire camaraderie, let alone conversations.
Sandwiches "guaranteed non-halal" (food forbidden by the Islamic religion)
A small courtyard where smokers flock to have a last cigarette before the start of the "far-right European meeting" in 2014. Their hair is often short if not shaved, tattoos can be seen on their necks or peaking out of their sleeves, the clothes are black or dark, the leather shoes are reinforced at the tip ... Many t-shirts, badges or patches recall the belonging of this small crowd to the culture of the extreme right: Celtic crosses, eagles, etc.
In front of the door to the hall a man and a woman are in charge of searching the visitors. Normal checks, which I pass without too much difficulty. They did not find my recorder, and I can get close to the cash register. 20 euros admission, a blue bracelet as a souvenir. You can also buy tickets for the bar, 10 euro for four tickets, which can be used to buy beer or "guaranteed non-halal" sandwiches, suggests a participant.
Everything is managed by the GUD, which has, according to my estimates, made a nice profit with the event. I observe that no purchase receipt is provided, nor tickets, nothing. All sales are clearly made illegally.
Several groups and European parties had responded to the call of GUD Paris, the most important being:
- for the first time visiting France, the Greeks of Golden Dawn, the third most powerful political formation of the country after the last elections;
- the Italians of CasaPound, a neo-fascist group that boasts 5,000 militants;
- the Spaniards of MSR and Liga Joven who, even if in a minor tone, are beginning to gain more ground on the other side of the Pyrenees;
- the Belgians of Nation;
- the Cypriots of Elam;
- the French of the Mouvement d'action social and the representatives of Synthèse nationale, a website well known in the fascist ecosystem.
In the hall people discuss, the atmosphere is friendly ("We are among us!" I heard several times). The "congress participants" walk among the few stands where each group can sell gadgets, some bands also.
«Yes we can» ... with Hitler
As promotion of its respective association stickers are distributed, sporting the slogan "Eating halal is seriously detrimental to your health", in this case by Martial Roudier (convicted in 2012 for a six-month prison sentence for having stabbed a left activist) who presents Réseaux Identités, whose program seems obviously clear.
A little further away, a stand is selling stickers with pictures of the poster and the slogan "Yes We Can" by Barack Obama ... If it were not that the president of the United States is replaced by Adolf Hitler.
A stand of Présent, another of Synthèse nationale, which offers a rather tale-telling range of literature: François Duprat, Dominique Venner, negationist books ... The whole catalog is also available on the Internet.
Above the small stage on which the speakers will take their seats, the flags of the parties present: Golden Dawn, MAS, GUD, MSR ...
The flags of the movements represented in Nanterre on 22 November 2014 - Official GUD website
No trace of CasaPound’s banner, the Italian neo-fascist movement, whose leader, Gianluca Iannone, is nonetheless the big star of this meeting.
This movement, which is gaining ground in Italy, has always denied having relations with neo-Nazi groups, even more so today that the party tries to find an electoral agreement with the powerful Northern League party.
Xenophobia, patriotism and conspiracy theories
During the discussion, I found that the ideas are many and varied, sometimes containing surprising references, while the enemies are often the same, even if they are not named directly. The language is strangely polite, as if they too are striving for a sort of 'de-demonization' that should allow them to gain a little more justification in people's minds.
More than a common ideology, it is a culture that unites xenophobia, patriotism and a conspiratorial vision of the world which will be the common thread throughout the afternoon.
The fear of the "great replacement" theory of the extreme right-wing ideologist Renaud Camus is one of the main themes of the day. The martyrs of the extreme right are constantly quoted, applauded, to emphasize the value of the commitment shown by these radical activists.
The references are sometimes biased, spoken with the confident tone of school children, with a wink. The deaths of Clemente Meric (leftist militant assassinated June 5, 2013, by the fascists of Jeunesses Nationalistes Révolutionnaires) or Rémi Fraisse (young French botanist involved in environmental protection, killed by a grenade launched by a gendarme on October 26, 2014) are mocked, the power of stateless finance is abjured, accusing instead Zionists and Masons ...
Another surprise, nobody takes notes. Nobody. All listen calmly, almost religiously, laugh when they are supposed to, and applaud when it is time to applaud.
And in my case, I also refrain from taking notes, out of fear of being discovered.
Logan Djian, head of GUD Paris, on November 22nd in Nanterre - official GUD
Welcome to the "awakening of nations" 2014
The first speaker is the head of GUD Paris, Logan Djian. An extreme right-wing activist, he is the leader of the Groupe Union Défense, this ultra-violent fascist group banned for many years.
Without being too well known, he is a figure of the microcosm of the extreme right. We saw him in particular at the trial against Dieudonné, where he was shouting "Shoananas" in defense of the "comedian".
Here we can see him on his Facebook page alongside a smiling Marion Maréchal Le Pen.
Logan Djian with Marion Maréchal Le Pen - Logan Djian's Facebook page
Today, he will not only hold a speech, but will set the tone:
"This first European congress in France is mainly intended to create links between European, Spanish, Italian, Greek, French and Belgian countries. The second objective is obviously to understand the problems that exist in Europe, both problems of repression, as we are witnessing in Greece at the moment, and economic problems with the social crisis in Europe, and that there are also problems related to mass immigration and population replacement.” Logan Djian of the GUD Paris
The Belgian neighbors of Civitas
The first speaker is from the Belgian movement Nation: A Belgian right-wing extreme movement, Nation was founded in 1999 by Hervé Van Laethem, a well-known Belgian figure of the extreme right, twice convicted of racism by the judiciary of his country, in 1997 and in 2006.
Close to the Catholicist fundamentalist Civitas movement, Nation is running as party in the elections, for now without any electoral successes. After praising the martyrs of the extreme right-wing cause, including the writer and former number two of the National Front, François Duprat, the representative of Nation launches an appeal in favor of the Syrian army of Bashar Assad:
"Even if it is not the topic of today, speaking of sacrifice, I wanted to confer to you, because they asked me to do so, wherever I go to Europe, the salute of the Syrian army. In Damascus, I was there three weeks ago, this is what I have been asked to do. Tell the Europeans that this war is also a European war. If Syria falls tomorrow, the jihadists will turn to Europe, they are already in Europe. And somewhere, indirectly, the Syrian army is fighting for Europe. It is not only the duty, but also in the interest of European countries to support the Syrian regime. "
Following a "joke" of the extreme right, referring to the death of militant antifascist Clemente Meric and Zadista Rémi Fraisse:
"Anecdotally, we saw in April our activists in a severe confrontation with anti-fascist militants, who took the beating of their life. It 's interesting because it had seemed to us that your anti-fascists were a bit fragile, [laughter in the room) ... There are those who die from a slap, there are those who die when there is a big firecracker exploding next to them [laughter in the hall], so the advice I give you, as a foreigner, is to feed them well, because if not, at the end ..."
Spaniards nostalgic for Francoism
After some applause, the Belgians passed the word to the Spaniards of the MSR, a small Spanish extreme right-wing party, established in 1999. Supporting a nationalist-revolutionary ideology, it integrates also dissident Falangists (supporters of the dictator Franco) as well as anarcho-syndicalists.
The leader of the movement, Jordi de la Fuente, said the following:
"It is you, it is us, the European comrades here present, with the memory of the comrades who fell in combat, who are condemned to live in darkness. Condemned to be crushed under the threat of a "truth" that is false, and that kills. Condemned to be crushed by the lords of the rootless, who kill the Syrian, Palestinian, Ukrainian children, while they love their money god. We will therefore be the villains of history. Comrades, embrace these condemnations, embrace your chains and let us stand up in this ruined world, let's bring to a boil the European blood that flows in our veins to crush this system. We have in us the three ingredients that the system can not control: young people, love and revolution!"
At the end of the MSR intervention, Logan Djian shuts down the cameras of the GUD that filmed the congress, so that the "comrades" of the Liga Joven could speak.
This small group of the extreme right, made up of young workers and students, is the youth section of the MSR, even if they maintain a separate organization and some form of independence. The group is at the center of an investigation in Spain for illegal association and other acts of violence.
The Liga Joven appears in none of the images posted on the websites of the participating groups or on their Facebook pages. The name of its representative is not announced on the microphone. The latter starts off with his worst enemies, the Spanish leftist unions, which have "demonized" the group, treating them as fascists:
"In June 2014, the union of left-wing students in Spain filed a lawsuit with the Spanish government against the Liga Joven, complaining that at all of their events the Liga Joven would show up to cause a ruckus. According to them, our goal is always to create problems. Why did they actually complain? Because they are afraid of losing their monopoly. They receive subsidies from the state, and do not want to lose them. For 30 years they have been working for the students and despite all their grants, they have not achieved anything. [...] After this complaint, in June 2014, fifteen members of the Liga Joven were arrested for reasons of "illegal association", even though the Liga Joven is officially registered as a party. They say we are always looking for conflict, almost like a terrorist group ... They have also made an appeal to prevent us from demonstrating, because according to them, our presence would be a violation of their freedom of expression. Ironically, because we do not have the right to demonstrate, they expel us. "
Roland Hélie: Nanterre, a «revenge»
The first part was closed by Roland Hélie. A figure of the French radical right, he has collaborated with numerous magazines (National Hebdo, Initiative nationale) of the far right milieu, before becoming the webmaster of the website Synthèse Nationale, a nationalist and identitarian news outlet.
He is the oldest participant of the meeting, and recalled an anecdote that shows the commitment of the GUD supporters in the history of the far-right:
"We are meeting today in Nanterre. Certainly the youngest of you were not there on December 12, 1980. On that day, the GUD went to the university to distribute flyers. It turned out very bad. There were dozens of injured, dozens of arrests, there was a destroyed RER train - this is not the worst, one could say - above all it was a military defeat for the GUD. Today we are meeting in Nanterre, well I consider it a victory, revenge for that defeat, which should be applauded [applause].”
After the break it was the turn of Arnaud Robert, the representative of the "Social Action Movement" MAS, who received the most applause of the day.
The MAS is a small group that tries to establish themselves on social, cultural, political and union grounds, to convince the "people" to wake up against those who want to "kill our race".
Arnaud de Robert, representative of the MAS, on November 22nd in Nanterre - official GUD website
After having elaborated on the electoral victories of various nationalist movements in Europe ("Nationalist movements gain ground. This is the revolt of the people. This is a sort of popular protest, widespread, multiform, but deep and wide, much bigger than what is believed."), he invited the participants to question the method of struggle. Be it amongst red caps, or agricultural cooperatives, nationalists should also be present in the ZAD:
"I would also like to say that the ZAD, the areas to be defended, are derived in some way from this movement. Let's be clear, I have no sympathy for the clown dreadlocks (rastas?) dancing in front of the police. But I think I have even less sympathy for the forces of disorder that represent the police. So, in any case, instead of these rascals in the ZAD, maybe we should be there. Who are the first defenders of the earth? Who are the first defenders of their land? Who are the first defenders of the roots on which our identity is based? WE ! WE ! NOT THEM! [...] They want chaos. They always wanted it. We want a new order. This is what differentiates us at the end, and this is what will prevent us from thinking the same thing in the end, but in some respects their analyzes are accurate. Including the designation of the enemy."
The invisible enemy
The enemy ... He has different names throughout the day. He is invisible, sneaky, hidden. It is neither a person nor an institute. It is, listening to the speeches, a "system" that creates scapegoats.
"I do not believe in this beautiful story told by the powers in be of Islam being the ultimate enemy. No, I do not think so. It is a tool, an important tool of the oligarchy to destroy us, that's for sure. This is certain. To replace us, to destroy all the people of Europe. With economic violence, with the replacement of the population, these are the weapons of those who lead us, even today. Our enemy has slowly identified itself after the middle of the nineteenth century, which in reality has no face. It's called Junker, it's called Macron, a paradox that a minister of a socialist economy comes from the Rothschilds, saying we will create extraordinary and great things. It's called Rothschild, it's called Lehman Brothers, it's called the International Monetary Fund, it's called BCE, it's called whatever you want, it's interchangeable." Arnaud de Robert of the MAS
«Islam, an instrument of these people»
"Islam! "A man with a shaved head is sitting in the room.
"Islam is an instrument of these people, sir, do not forget that. One should not only deal with the consequences, one must also tackle the causes. If a group of Muslims can build a mosque, it is because we gave them the right to do so, signed by a banker [applause]."
Finally, he goes on to praise a proposed measure by some far-right parties in Europe, the "re-immigration": to repatriate immigrants to their countries of origin ("This is great. Here is an idea that is a real counter-attack."). Because the current time, according to him, is very serious.
This war brought against the white peoples of Europe is at a decisive stage:
"And when they win, we will simply disappear as a civilization, as a culture, as a people, as a race!"
After the MAS, which, measured by the applause received, was the unchallenged victor of the day, two prominent guests held their speeches: Gianluca Iannone, president of CasaPound and Konstantinos Boviatsis, of the Greek Golden Dawn party. This is the first time that CasaPound and Golden Dawn are invited to France, the first time they speak publicly.
CasaPound, live from Italy
CasaPound is an extreme right-wing Italian party that has [unofficially] existed since the early 80's. Explicitly supporting the ideology and history of fascism, it mixes the ideas of the extreme right with references to a social discourse. It was established in Rome after occupying a building in the center of the capital at the end of 2003.
The organization boasts 5,000 members and many sympathizers. Particularly targeting people aged 14-20 years, the party uses a social discourse to attract the sympathy of young leftists trying to turn them to the extreme right, the final argument being to "oppose the system."
Today CasaPound tries to take a step further and carry its success with the public into the polls. The organization is holding talks with the Northern League in Italy.
The President of CasaPound has a shaved head and a long beard. He speaks with a stentorian voice, slowly, to mark each of the words he uses. He has the aura of a guru in front of a smitten auditory that drinks up his words.
After having invited the room to banish the word "impossible" from its vocabulary, and to reintroduce that of "will", he makes a proposal: to create a commemorative calendar of the "European comrades" - martyrs of the nationalist and identitarian cause.
"It would be wonderful if we could talk about Europe as a true Europe. To do this, it is important to begin by drawing inspiration from the blood of our martyrs: With an annual calendar containing several dates that would be an opportunity for us to meet. For us, one of these dates is January 7, in Rome, the ceremony of Via Acca Laurentia. On January 7 we lost two comrades, one killed by (anti-?)fascist commandos and another killed by the police. And it is this drama that gave rise to a long armed struggle in Italy. 9 May, I am not saying anything new to you, marks the death of Sébastien Deyzieu in Paris. November 1, marks the death of Emmanuel Kapelonis and Giorgos Foudoulis, our Greek comrades who were murdered in Athens, and on 24 October in Madrid. This would give importance to the blood shed by our martyrs. But it would also be an outline for our future. A simple word can change the meaning of the word will. This word will mark our destiny, that of victory. The same that allows us to forge a form of camaraderie that transcends boundaries, surpassing the world. We have been imprisoned in France, Italy, Greece, where the leadership of a whole party has been locked up without reasons or explanations. We must find the strength to declare to the press and to anyone, to defend our comrades on the road to victory. "
Sébastien de Boëldieu, Gianluca Iannone of CasaPound, and Konstantinos Boviatsis of Golden Dawn
Sébastien de Boëldieu and Gianluca Iannone of CasaPound, Konstantinos Boviatsis of Golden Dawn - Official GUD website
Golden Dawn, Greek neo-Nazis
For its part, Golden Dawn, whose real name is the Popular Association Golden Dawn, is a far-right Greek political party established in the 1980s. Considered as a neo-Nazi party by the press and specialists of the far right, its members have always rejected the label.
Under the slogan "For a Greece that belongs to the Greeks", it defends nationalism, the right of blood and soil, xenophobic theses. By doing social work in popular neighborhoods it could gain the support of a considerable part of the local population.
In the late 1990s, it participated in the elections for the first time, gradually gaining more and more votes in the 2000s, while remaining below 5% of the vote.
Starting in 2011, filling the void left by the serious crisis that hit the country, Golden Dawn could gather even greater support, and could subsequently increase its electoral successes. Fifth political force with 7% of the vote in the parliamentary elections 2012 (21 deputies out of 300 in the Greek parliament), fourth in the municipal elections of Athens in 2014, Golden Dawn became with 9.4% the third Greek political force in the last European election.
The assassination of the anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a militant Golden Dawn member and the arrest of several prominent members of the party (its founder Nikólaos Michaloliákos, and four other deputies) in 2013, did not stop its electoral success.
Today, twenty-one members of the party are on trial for membership in a criminal organization. The trial will be held shortly.
The representative sent by Golden Dawn to the event was Konstantinos Boviatsos, the parliamentary spokesperson of the Greek party MEP, George Epitideios.
He holds his speech in Italian. After expressing his distaste for his job (i.e. the European Parliament being "a big farce"), he launched an appeal for members of his party who are behind bars for "unjust reasons":
"There are still eight deputies and almost 60 imprisoned comrades. The only crime they committed is that they are nationalists and love their country. My comrades and brothers-in-arms have said that there are no charges. Every day they invent accusations without proof. We are accused of being a "criminal gang". It's been eighteen months that they're looking for submarines, bombs, tanks in the mountains ... They have not found anything yet. The only thing we have as a weapon is our soul. They tried to take away our soul. They tried to bribe us. But they could not prevent the force of the people. We are a secular force defending a secular nationalism. We are a movement that was established by the people, for the people, and that will die with the people. They are afraid of us and every day they lie to the press. We can no longer listen to either the radio or the TV in peace. Because we are criminals, murderers. 600,000 votes are considered criminal. 10% of the votes in the last European elections are considered criminal. We have three members in the Parliament in Brussels, therefore, according to the system, they are criminals."
«Rock against communism»
At that moment, my recorder runs out of batteries, and it was impossible to change them without revealing to my neighbors in the hall the presence of a device forbidden in these places.
But I memorized that after having encouraged the crowd to applaud the "Russian brothers" who fight in Ukraine, the orator of Golden Dawn had addressed the skinhead who had shouted "Islam" during the speech of the MAS, to tell him once again that the Muslims were "an invention of the system to deceive the people, and deviate from its true struggle against its true invisible enemy. "
Later, as the night falls on the towers of La Defense, the first guitar chords resound, and the concerts begin. On the program the French band Baignade interdite, and the Italian bands Bronson and Blind Justice.
Baignade interdite, rock against communism - official GUD website
I leave the Jenny space without passing any police officers, and without seeing any unmarked police cars watching the scene. The prefecture will now have to explain how such a gathering could take place, only one year after the highest authorities of the French state announced their intention to ban such groups.