Well, maybe fight is too strong a word, but for the first time today French patriots will be happy to know that valuable French policing resources, including CS gas, have not been all used up on migrants! It was also refreshing, although a little odd, to watch the French police throw to the ground and arrest someone in a black hoodie without any CMS folks feeling the need to panic.
At around 1pm yesterday about 150 Pegida gathered at Calais Ville train station to deliver their hatemongering message, and were disappointed to find that, (though the prefecture had already told them the demonstration would not go ahead) the demonstration was not going ahead! Before the demo Pegida claimed that they were expecting 800 to 1,000 numpties to make it to Calais, so with these low numbers and a lack of visible local support the day seems to have been a bit of a wash out.
As well as French flags there were masked men sporting the iron cross, showing that Pegida cannot deny their association with neo-nazis. Among the 20 reported arrests are Pegida leader Loïc Perdriel and figurehead General Piquemal – so Pegida will be unable to blame conflict with police on rogue members.
Despite the heavy policing of the Fascists, showing that the police are not their allies as they may have hoped, the ban on this demonstration seemed largely to focus on the percieved ‘threat to public order’ posed by a counter demo. Opposition to Pegida from locals, migrants, associations and humanitarian volunteers was intimidated both by the threat of attacks from fascists and the threat of heavy policing. Associations in the jungle warned volunteers to stay out of town ahead of the demo, hindering the possibility of a visible pro-migrant presence on the streets.
On this occasion police partially contained a dangerous fascist presence, and the rare sight of our enemies fighting each other warmed our hearts. However, this is limited cause for celebration when we know the new state of emergency ban on demonstrations will also be used against migrant and pro-migrant demonstrations, probably with more heavy handed tactics. Further, the police continue to do nothing about the continued attacks on migrants in Calais and there are concerning speculations that an attack by an ‘armed militia’ last Thursday may be associated with off-duty police.