Members of France’s far-right National Front party quickly learn their brand of xenophobia isn’t welcome at this vigil.
Image via YouTube screen capture
In the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks that left 129 dead in Paris last week, France—and the world as a whole—has come together to mourn the victims and show support for a city so deeply hurt by an unconscionable act of violence. At rallies, memorials, and vigils, communities have turned out in the streets and other public spaces to demonstrate resolve in the face of bloodshed, unity in the face of division, and humanity in the face of barbarism.
It was at one such event that protesters, reportedly members of France’s far right National Front party, found their politics—and their presence—rebuffed to the point of being forced to bid a hasty, embarrassing retreat. The confrontation took place in the French city of Lille, where a planned silent vigil attended by hundreds of mourners was interrupted by about 15 National Front members who launched firecrackers, yelled “Expel Islamists” and waved offensive banners, reportsThe Independent.
It was then that the vigil attendees, who had gathered to pay their respects to those lost in the violence of last week’s attacks, began booing, jeering, and shouting “Go away, fascists!” while pushing toward the small group of National Front protesters, who quickly backed off before being separated from the approaching mass by on-site security.
The whole incident was caught on tape:
After the confrontation, the vigil attendees reportedly opted to abandon their silence altogether, choosing instead to sing “Le Marseillaise,” France’s national anthem—a sign that neither the horrific destruction caused by terrorists nor the offensive discord caused by political opportunists could dissuade them from the pride they take in their home country, and the sense of solidarity they feel toward one another.