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France: Ultra-right movements

Last modified: 2005-04-09 by ivan sache
Keywords: unite radicale | cross: celtic (black) | disc (white) |
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Presentation of the ultra-right movements in France

The two main movements of the French ultra-right are presented in the Figaro (a conservaitve daily newspaper) dated 17 July 2002 as follows:

  • The neo-Nazi movements are grouped around the PNFE (Parti nationaliste français et européen - French and European Nationalist Party) and skinhead small groups. The PNFE was created in 1987 by Claude Cornillon, a former member of Le Pen's Front National, and its membership peaked around 500 in the 1990s. These movements were involved in attempts against immigrant homes on the French Riviera. The PNFE membership is now reduced to a few tens of skinheads, mostly opposed to any kind of organization and divided into rival groups.
  • The "nationalist-revolutionary" movements are grouped around UR (Unité radicale - Radical Unit). UR was founded in 1998 by the merging of:
    • the GUD (Groupe Union Défense - Group Union Defense), active in colleges and universities such as the Law Faculty of Assas in Paris;
    • NR (Nouvelle Résistance - New Resistance);
    • RV (Résistance Verte - Green Résistance), ultra-right ecologists;
    • activists of the PNFE (see above) and L'Oeuvre Française (French Work);

UR claims to fight "the stateless syndicalism, the exploiter (economic) liberalism, the crossbreeding jacobinism". UR activists are anti-American, anti-Zionist and anti-globalist but promote an "Imperial Europa, spreading from Galway to Vladivostok". UR was suppressed by governmental decision a few weeks after the attmept against Jacques Chirac (see below).

Ivan Sache, 16 July 2002

The flag used by the man who aimed at Jacques Chirac on 14 July 2002

On 14 July 2002 around 10:00, avenue des Champs-Elysées, a 25-year old man by the name of Maxime Brunerie aimed at President Jacques Chirac's command car with a .22 rifle. The lone gunman stood among the crowd of onlookers who waited for the beginning of the Bastille Day parade. He was immediatly brought under control by two witnesses who had seen the rifle. One of them, a psychiatric male nurse, had noticed Brunerie's weird behaviour. After having controlled him, he was able to prevent him to commit suicide. It seems that the gunman shot once, but his rifle was turned off course upwards by the second witness. The bullet has not been found yet.
According to ballistic experts, the probability for the President to have been shot was extremely low in that configuration, but other people could have been hit by the gunman, not to mention the wave of panic which could have swept through the crowd.

Brunerie was immediatly arrested and questioned. Yesterday, he was confined to a special protected unit in a mental hospital because of his delirious behaviour. Psychiatric experts shall decide in the forthcoming days whether he will be considered as fully responsible of his acts and tried accordingly.

[Brunerie's flag]by Ivan Sache

Several newspapers have investigated Brunerie's background. It was rapidly shown that Brunerie was a member of small groups of neo-Nazis and football hooligans. It seemed he had announced "a brilliant act" on neo-Nazi bulletin boards and to his friends, who had not believed him.The daily Figaro (conservative) published today a series of papers on the French ultra-right. The front page of the Figaro dated 17 July 2002 shows a colour picture taken by the photograph Paul Delort during the 1st May 2002 ultra-right demonstration in Rivoli street, in the center of Paris. On the right of the picture, the man wearing a blue shirt is Maxime Brunerie, the 14 July gunman. He waved a red flag, apparently 1:2, charged with a black Celtic cross inscribed in a white disk. The disk is skewed to the flag hoist.
The flag is variation of the neo-Nazi flags using the Celtic cross. The design of the flag is a straightforward reference to the Nazi flag (red field, white disk, black symbol) and the Celtic cross is one of the neo-Nazis' prefered symbols.

However, the flag used by Brunerie cannot be attributed to a specific movement. Brunerie was a member of the GUD and later of UR. In May 2001, he was candidate to the municipal election in Paris (XVIIIth arrondissement) on the MNR list, which had tried to attract supporters of the ultra-right movements.

Ivan Sache, 16 July 2002