Reports on yesterday evening’s series of French anti-Islamisation demonstrations planned for Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulon and Toulouse reveal that turnout was disappointingly low, ranging from perhaps 300 in Paris to a meagre 20 or so at other locations (circa 60 in Lyon according to the police). Understandably, the Bivouac-ID blog, which was one of the main backers of the protest, indignantly asked its readers “but where were you?”
Bivouac-ID, resolutely anti-Islamisation and attracting a readership of thousands every day, was quite right to chastise its readers for their apathy despite their vocal cyber-support. This of course is not a phenomenon unique to France. Whereas in the past we had ‘armchair generals’ we now have so many ‘internet warriors’. If this sense of dissatisfaction does not translate itself into some form of practical political action such as protest or support for political parties that oppose Islamisation it is not exactly productive.
Other than apathy, some have speculated that many potential protesters may have been deterred from participating by fear of leftist counter-demonstrators and the police. In Toulouse, as can be seen in the video below, circa 100 demonstrators from ‘MRAP’ (Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'amitié entre les peuples) forced the 20 or so anti-Islamists to cut short their protest. MRAP is very much in the mould of UAF in the UK, sharing ideological positions and strong links to communist parties. As in the UK, French anti-Islamists are thus routinely smeared as ‘racist’ and ‘far-right’.
This photograph from Lyon shows a small group of demonstrators in the centre of the city.
The following report from Paris features an interview with protest organiser Christine Tasin of Résistance Républicaine.
Although yesterday evening’s protest yielded disappointing numbers, it at least demonstrated that there are many dedicated people in France who are determined to stem and reverse the tide of Islamisation that threatens to engulf their country and culture. Hopefully, next time that such protests are held, those who had lent their vocal support to the Grand Apéritif Républicain but stayed at home will make an effort to show their solidarity to the cause and take to the streets.