The far – right movement in France begun during the Third Republic (1870 – 1940) and the Dreyfus Affair (1894 – 1906), a process during which far – right groups started forming. Before the Dreyfus Affair, nationalism was a left – wing ideology. However, after the Affair, ethnic nationalism became the main ideology for the far – right movements, including ideologies such as antisemitism, anti – Protestantism and xenophobia. Several far – right movements were created during the period of the Dreyfus Affair with mostly the same ideologies.
Today, France’s far – right consists of several political parties, as well as extreme, neo – Nazi far – right movements, some of which are prohibited by law.
One of the main characters on the far – right political scene, since 1972, has been Jean Marie Le Pen and his Front National political party. Ever since its creation, Front National along with its founder, have been, more or less successfully, present in France’s political life. Jean Marie Le Pen has contested presidential elections on five occasions, which makes him a major figure in French politics. Because of his extreme far – right views, he has been a guest of some extreme neo – Nazi groups. Le Pen has been convicted of racism, inciting racial hatred, assault, and Holocaust denial.
The new president of Front National, and Le Pen’s daughter, Marine Le Pen is contesting France’s presidential election, set to be held on 23 April 2017. She is considered to be a strong favourite.
When it comes to non – political, extreme right groups, it seems they always revolve around Serge Ayoub, a Lebanese militant associated with all the major French neo – Nazi groups. He is either a group’s founder or acts as a ‘grey eminence’.
Below is the overview of the most prominent French far – right groups.
Front National is a French right – wing, nationalist political party, founded on 5 October, 1972 by Jean-Marie Le Pen. Current leader is Marine Le Pen. For the first ten years of party existence, Front National did not have significant success on the political scene. However, since the 1982 and their electoral breakthrough, they have been a constant force on France’s political scene. Marine Le Pen is now one of the favourites in French Presidential elections.
IDEOLOGY – French nationalism, Euroscepticism, anti – immigration
GOALS – Net legal immigration rate of 10,000 per year, stopping the Muslim immigration from Africa and the Middle East, leaving the European Union and abandoning the Euro currency, reintroducing customs borders
MOTIVATION – loss of sovereignty, fear of terrorism that Front National connects to Muslim immigration
LEADERSHIP – Marine Le Pen (President) – Nicolas Bay (General Secretary) – Wallerand de Saint Just (Treasurer) – Louis Aliot (Vice President) – Steeve Briois (Vice President) – Jean – Francois Jalkh (Vice President) – Florian Philippot (Vice President)
GROUP SIZE – 85,000
ALLIANCES – Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom, Brothers of Italy, Freedom and Direct Democracy (Czech)
MOUVEMENT POUR LA FRANCE (Movement for France)
Mouvement was founded on 20 November 1994 by Philippe de Villiers, who is also its current leader. Due to the party’s stance on multiculturalism, Islam and immigration, they are considered to be a far – right party. The youth wing of the party is called Jeunes pour la France. Philippe de Villiers contested 2007 Presidential elections and came sixth. In 2012, he did not contest. Since 2012, Mouvement is represented in the National Assembly by Veronique Besse.
IDEOLOGY – Sovereignism, euroscepticism, conservatism, anti – Islam, anti – immigration
GOALS – National independence of France, restoring the rule of national law over EU law, closing negotiations over Turkey’s acceptance into the EU, re-establishment of the death penalty, forbidding the hijab in public, abolition of the French Council of the Muslim Faith
MOTIVATION – loss of sovereignty, loss of Christian values, immigration
LEADERSHIP – Philippe de Villiers (President) – Patrick Louis (General Secretary) – Pierre Meurin (President of Jeunes Pour la France) – Veronique Besse (VIce President) – Dominique Souchet (Vice President) – Philippe Darniche (Vice President) – Bernard Seillier (Vice President) – Georges Berthu (Vice President)
ALLIANCES – UKIP
DEBOUT LA FRANCE (Stand Up France)
Debout La France is a far – right party founded in 1999 as Debout La Republique. At the time it was founded, it was a branch of another far – right party, Rassemblement Pour la Republique, a party that was founded by Jacques Chirac. On 23 November 2008, Debout la Republique appeared as an autonomous party and in 2014, changed its name to Debout la France. The party’s leader is Nicolas Dupont-Aignan. Youth wing of the party is called Jeunes de Debout la France and is led by Alexandre Loubet.
IDEOLOGY – National conservatism, Euroscepticism, sovereignism
GOALS – Ending Turkeyâs negotiation to become a part of the EU, stop the enlargement of the EU, withdraw sanctions against Russia, leave the NATO, reject the Euro currency, control the borders
MOTIVATION – regaining national independence
LEADERSHIP – Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (President) – Dominique Jamet (Vice President) – Anne Boissel (Vice President) – Francois Morvan (Vice President) – Patrick Mignon (Vice President) – Jean-Pierre Antoni (General Secretary)
GROUP SIZE – 15,000
ALLIANCES – Europeans United for Democracy – Alliance fo Europe of Comocracies
PARTI DE LA FRANCE
Parti de la France is a far right political party founded on 23 February 2009 by Carl Lang. The party came to the existence following several Front National members leaving the party. Its current president is Carl Lang.
IDEOLOGY – Nationalism, Conservatism, anti – globalisation
GOALS – Decolonisation of France and Europe, providing social aid only to French families, putting the family back at the hearth of French society
LEADERSHIP – Carl Lang (President)Roger Holeindre (Honorary President)Thomas Joly (Secretary General)Myriam Baeckeroot (Treasurer)
ALLIANCES – Nouvelle Droite Populaire, Mouvement National Republicain
RENOUVEAU FRANCAIS (French Renewal)
Renouveau Francais is an extreme right political movement founded in 2005 and consists of activists and executives of various far – right movements. The current president is Thibaut de Chassey. In 2007, RF invited its members to vote for Jean-Marie Le Pen and later to vote for Bruno Gollnisch as Le Pen’s successor. They organise summer camps where they hold lectures on nationalism to their young members. RF publishes L’Heritage magazine.
IDEOLOGY – Counter – revolutionary, nationalism, anti – Semitic, Catholic fundamentalism
GOALS – Contributing to the establishment of a nationalist, social and Christian state
MOTIVATION – Disappearance of our identity, loss of sovereignty, moral decadence, reign of lobbies and international finance, failing economy, criminality, corruption (taken from their website)
LEADERSHIP – Thibaut de Chassey (Director of the movement)Jean Cardon (Business leader)Jacques MadiBenjamin MarraudPaul Thore
ALLIANCES – European National Front, Spanish Falange, Russian Movement Against Illegal Immigration, German National Democratic Party, Greek Golden Dawn, All – Polish Youth
FUNDING – Membership, donations, L’Heritage magazine subscription
GROUPE UNION DEFENSE (Defense Union Group)
GUD is an extreme right student organisation founded in December 1968 by Alain Robert, Gerard Longuet, Robert Allo, Gerard Ecorcheville, Hugues Leclere, Jack Marchal and Jean-Noel Prade (all former activists of Occident, an extreme right political movement).
Its spokesman is Steven Bissuel. The group often organises training camps where they learn about nationalism as well as fighting.
IDEOLOGY – French nationalism, neo – Nazism, anti – immigration, anti – EU
GOALS – Defending the ideas and interests of Revolutionary Nationalism
MOTIVATION – Changing demographics in France, loss of sovereignty
LOCATIONS – Paris, Lyon, Alsace, Brittany
ALLIANCES – National Rebirth of Poland, CasaPound, Hogar Social Madrid, Goden Dawn
TACTICS – Violent demonstrations, militant actions, training camps
FUNDING – Organising sporting, cultural and political events with attendance fee, merchandise, donations, membership
OPPOSITION – Antifa
JEUNESSE NATIONALISTES REVOLUTIONNAIRES
JNR was an extreme right, violent, revolutionary group, founded by Serge Ayoub and Jean-Gilles Malliarkis in 1987. It consisted mainly of Skinheads. JNR was active through the 1980s and dissolved by Ayoub in the mid 1990s. The group was reactivated again in 2010 but dissolved and prohibited by French government on 26 June, 2014, following the killing of Clement Meric, an anti – fascist activist. The group was involved in his murder.
IDEOLOGY – anti – Americanism, anti – communist, anti – Zionist, neo – Nazi
GOALS – Neo – Nazi revolution
KEY PEOPLE – Serge Ayoub, Joel Giraud, Regis Kerhuel, Stephane Boigne, Olivier Mathieu
GROUP SIZE – 300
ALLIANCES – Third Way, Blood and Honour, GUD, French Nationalist Party
TACTICS – Violent marches, extreme violence, protests, murders
TARGETS – Immigrants, left – wing activists, LGBTQ community
OPPOSITION – Antifa, La Horde
WHITE WOLF KLAN
White Wolf Klan are a French neo – Nazi group, another one founded by Serge Ayoub after the dissolution of his Troisieme Voie. The group is extremely violent and has been prosecuted for more than 200 crimes such as robbery, arsons, attempted murders (even of their own members), racist attacks, kidnappings. The leader of the group is Jeremy Mourain and the group is structured as an organisation. Members pay fees, must pass an acceptance ritual, scar themselves with an SS symbol on their hand and wear bomber jackets with the embroidered wolf. Jeremy Mourain has been sentenced to nine years in prison for crimes committed during the period of two years. The group name meaning: White – symbolises white race, wolf – symbolises wolf-dogs that were used by the Nazis to control the prisoners and guard the concentration camps, and Klan- written with the K in order to make the name sound more German.
IDEOLOGY – Neo – Nazi
GOALS – Neo – Nazi revolution
MOTIVATION – Hatred towards immigrants and left – wing supporters
GROUP SIZE – 50 – 100
LOCATIONS – Chauny, Noyon, Ham (Picardy)
FUNDING – Membership fees
OPPOSITION – La Hord, Antifa, Autonome Nationalisten
Report written by Antonija Podrug