Sunday, February 21, 2016

Calais: 4 arrests at a banned demonstration of the extreme right – Le Point

Four known far-right demonstrators were arrested for defying a prefectural ban to gather for “the defense of Calaisiens” Saturday in the port city bordered by a camp of some 4,000 migrants, local authorities reported. One hundred and fifty police officers, CRS and Public Security agents divided into fifteen cars, had been deployed in the city to prevent the progress of this initiative, noted journalists from Agence France-Presse.

these protesters, ex-legionaries and parachutists, initially wanted to hold a rally at Memorial stadium, but the mayor of the city had said that the place was not available before the prefecture takes a decree banning the demonstration. The organizers, including a former soldier called Willy native of Calais Destierdt, intended especially to express their support to General Santos, arrested during a banned demonstration organized by the Islamophobic movement Pegida on 6 February. General Santos is former head of the Foreign Legion from 1995 to 1999, which is no longer in active service.

A “civic promenade”

Instead, Willy had Destierdt announced a “civic promenade”, by small groups that were to drop from 14 hours wreaths at various monuments honoring the memory of French soldiers killed in combat. From 20 to 30 people, according to the prefecture, including several red berets (paratroopers) and Green Berets (legionnaires) wearing military medals, had responded to his call. They played cat and mouse with the police for about an hour.

Willy Destierdt managed to lay a wreath at the war memorial in front of the railway station of Calais. Previously, he had tried to lay flowers in front of City Hall, in front of the monument dedicated to French Souvenir “died for France” before the two world wars. Without success, due to the presence of cords CRS, who arrested the former military.

“All this was done smoothly”

Three other protesters were later arrested for trying to breach the prohibition to gather for a total of four according to the sub-prefect of Calais, Vincent Berton. Shortly before 15 hours, the CRS dispersed the demonstrators, the rally ended. “All this was done smoothly”, welcomed Vincent Berton. “We do not need a disruptive (…), we are already in a difficult situation, this city needs serenity and calm,” he said.

6 February during a protest against the migrants by organized Pegida, twenty people were arrested. Among them, General Christian Thornton, 75, charged with “participation in an unlawful assembly which has not dissolved after summons.” His trial is scheduled for May 12 court of Boulogne-sur-Mer.


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