(Video) “In Lyon, it’s been eleven years since we suffered this violence from the extreme right”, Raphaël Arnault, spokesperson for the Young Guard
Raphaël Arnault, spokesperson for the Young Guard, an anti-fascist organization created in Lyon in 2018, is the guest of 6min chrono
Saturday 23 October, a demonstration against the extreme right-wing violence held in Lyon. On November 4, seven Lyon anti-fascists from GALE went to court for violence. Raphaël Arnault, spokesperson for the Young Guard, an anti-fascist organization created in Lyon in 2018, returns to these subjects for the 6 minutes chrono program on Lyon Capitale.
“Ultra right: this small group which dreamed of overthrowing the State”, the front page of the Parisian of October 27 does not. In Lyon, considered the cradle of fascist and far-right ideas in France by a commission of inquiry of the National Assembly, concern had already been growing for years. In 2018, “La Jeune Garde” was set up, an anti-fascist organization of a new kind. With their faces uncovered, close to the class struggle and movements against discrimination, its activists want to make the “to push back the ideas of the extreme right, until the terrorist attacks”. Raphaël Arnault, spokesperson for this organization is invited by Lyon Capitale TV.
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Lyon, “cradle” of ultra-right groups according to the commission of inquiry (2019)
Saturday 23 October, behind the Young Guard, invoked by Raphaël Arnault at the head of the procession, several thousand demonstrators marched in the streets of Lyon “against the violence of the extreme right”. They were 5,000 according to the organizers and 1,800 according to the prefecture. Alongside the anti-fascist organization, there were associations (Planning Familial, Alternatiba), political parties (France Insoumise, Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste …) and unions (CGT, Solidaires, UNEF …). Find the story of this event by Lyon Capitale.
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Outreach against far-right locals
In the sights of the Young Guard and their supporters: “La Traboule” and “L’Agogé”, a bar and a boxing hall in Old Lyon. These premises reopened in early September. They previously hosted Génération identitaire, an extreme right-wing association dissolved for incitement to discrimination, hatred and violence. “In Lyon (…) it has been 11 years that there are premises of the extreme right. Attacks start from these premises and return to these premises. We denounce this situation which is worsening”, argues Raphaël Arnault. He asks the prefecture to permanently close these two rooms.
In 6min chrono, the activist refers to stab wounds carried on minors in 2014, for a frame of Generation Identity a doomed summer. He also mentions the attack on a tram at Perrache station on September 29, 2021 by far-right activists, at the end of a conference organized by the city of Lyon. Claimed attack, like several others at the end of September and during October, in the fascist “Ouest Casual” channel on Telegram. Lyon Capitale had listed some of them at the Gérald Darmanin room in Lyon on October 7.
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On the side of the prefecture, on the edge: “There is no impunity for violent ultra-right groups. Thanks to local government services, Génération Identitaire was able to be dissolved in the Council of Ministers “. If the institution notes the reopening of Traboule and Agogé, it explains that unlike the Génération Identitaire association, “they are not subject to a ban”. Indeed, it is a new association “Les Remparts” which manages the place and says it wants to play “a community, cultural and sporting role rather than a political one”.
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Lyon anti-fascists scrutinized by justice
Very active on social networks, Raphaël Arnault regularly positions himself against far-right terrorism, whether it comes from the West or from Islamist organizations. However, according to our colleagues from Progress, an investigation was opened at the beginning against one of the members of the Young Guard for apologia for terrorism. On these accusations, the spokesperson kicks in touch and denounces a “far-right intox” because the information was first released by an extreme right-wing student media. “I am awaiting the results of this investigation if there is an investigation underway on it”, he adds, before detailing the commitment of anti-fascist militants. “Activists more or less close to our organization left to fight Daesh in Syria”, he argues. Contacted, the Lyon prosecutor’s office did not respond to our requests on the progress of the investigation.
And justice keeps an eye on the Lyon anti-fascist milieu. Seven members or sympathizers of the Lyon and Surroundings Antifascist Group (GALE) will go to court on Thursday, November 4. “They are accused of having committed violence in meetings on a person because of his alleged extreme to a right-wing group in the context of the demonstration anti-pass of August 28, 2021 “, reports the prosecution, which specifies that this violence did not trigger a temporary interruption of work.
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“For weeks there were attacks by far-right activists on people in anti-health pass mobilisations. Young anti-fascists organized themselves to respond to this violence. (…) And there , what’s going on? The prosecution takes legal action and we send anti-fascist activists to the dungeon “, is indignant Raphaël Arnault. Four of these anti-fascists are in fact in pre-trial detention. He denounces, in mirror,“impunity” of the extreme right during the attacks that took place in Lyon, especially in recent weeks.
With the Young Guard, anti-fascism takes a turn, shows a new face. Antifascists previously performed more discreetly, without a spokesperson, away from the media. To do “push back the ideas and violence of the extreme right” in the street as in all public spaces, the Young Guard changes strategy. She now comes to defend anti-fascism on TV sets, in Lyon Capitale TV as elsewhere.
Read also: Lyon: anti-fascist activists placed in pre-trial detention