The old left of Europe is hanging on with all its might to the themes and categories of political correctness. But with each day that goes by, the old left’s framework is increasingly outdated. Fewer people are willing to be governed by it – because that governance is leading only to the destruction of a way of life.
One witness to this destruction is a lady named Simone, a lifelong resident of the French city of Calais, now home to one of the oldest and most atrocious migrant camps in Europe. Calais lies on the French coast across the English Channel from England. Simone spoke a few days ago, recounting the hell that life has become for Calaisiens, at an event held by right-wing French groups (Riposte Laique and Résistance Républicaine) displaying signs that read “Sauvons notre pays!” (Save our country!).
Simone and her husband had participated in a small (about 150 people) anti-immigration demonstration in Calais, on 6 February. The German group PEGIDA helped set it up, but the French police shut it down quickly, arresting some 20 people for “failing to disperse.” Simone’s testimony to life in Calais was given a short time afterward, in the video (below, with subtitles) posted to YouTube by Vlad Tepes on 9 February.
(The translation was done by “Oz-Rita” of the Little Notes from Paris blog, also a right-wing website. Simone reportedly spoke in the town of Rungis, not far from
Calais Paris; see note from Rita in the comments section.)
Simone’s entire address is mesmerizing. I’ve copied some excerpts below, in case you’re thinking of skipping the video. Don’t.
She begins by describing the onset of the problem with the encampment of illegals in Calais, which has become, in her words, a “city within a city.”
And then, some time ago there were refugees and Sarkozy decided to empty the squat [sic] of Sandgate, if I can say it like this, and these refugees arrived in Calais. Even I, at the beginning, I said they are unhappy people, they are lost, they have nothing, maybe we could help them. And I cannot tell you how it happened but from one day to the next we found ourselves with thousands, I say thousands of migrants, actually at the moment there are 18,000 in what they call the “Jungle.” Yes, 18,000.
It’s horrible, because they really made a city within the city. They have discotheques, shops, schools, hairdressers; they even have…er…no, I cannot say it…because…but I think you have understood, for the needs of the [gentle]men…of course, and…
They made roads; they gave names to these streets. They elected a mayor, yes, the police cannot even enter the – what they call the Muslim part; it’s prohibited.
Simone talks about the daily nightmare of the migrant invasion. (Emphasis added.)
Until then one could perhaps have been able to bear it, but one cannot bear the unbearable when one sees, incessantly, every day, every night there are riots. They come to the town center, by 2, 3, 4 thousand, everywhere, they bash cars with iron bars, they attack people, they even attack children, there are rapes, there is theft, it is unimaginable what we suffer.
They enter private houses, when the people are at home, they just enter, they want to eat, they help themselves, sometimes they also bash the people, stealing what they can and afterwards, what they cannot take they destroy.
She mentions another ugly aspect of the problem:
[The migrants] attack children when they return from school, or when they go to school or to the college. They go so far as to take the school buses, enter the school bus with the children.
She discusses the catastrophic loss of businesses, tourism, and economic health, and concludes:
Calais is a dead town. A dead town because of those illegals we have here. And when they come into town, into the streets of Calais, armed with their iron bars and their Molotov cocktails, watch out. They were surprised making some of those.
I just don’t understand why they are not punished. Why, when the police catch them, they immediately release them, whereas when we, as Calaisians, as French, have the bad luck of making a mistake, we are arrested immediately. … We have no longer any rights to anything.
The unequal treatment of French citizens and migrants is something she brings up more than once.
And when we want to defend ourselves, we have the police on our back. The police have not accepted any complaints for a long time. …
I have seen the riot police retreat before the migrants. This made me cry, because I told myself: that’s not normal. It’s not normal; we are in our home, we are in our country, we are in our town. The riot police should rather order the migrants to step back and not the reverse. …
Let’s speak about houses. When we see that Madame Bouchart [the mayor] has evicted people from their house in Calais, which was close to the zone of “Les Dunes” because it was not viable for them because the migrants were too close, they suffered attacks, theft, and more, she has evicted them even though they paid their rent. …
The French have to be crushed, they have to be evicted. One has to take everything from them to leave the space to the rabble who want to colonize us.
Now, if one is fortunate enough to not live in Calais, perhaps one can be dismissive about how difficult this is for its citizens. But the citizens have reason to be very upset with their national government, which puts virtually all of its policing effort into two goals: keeping the migrants in France – i.e., not letting them sneak across to England, which they are constantly trying to do – and preventing French citizens from making any noise about their own losses and discontent.
France’s loyalty, in other words, is to her intergovernmental agreement with Britain, and the maintenance of some level of brute order at the Channel crossing. This may be understandable, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.
Like the other governments of Western Europe, France’s is trapped in the narrow framework of authoritarian, old-left thinking – and the people of Calais are finding out just what that means for the ordinary citizen. The old left is content to have Calaisiens pay the very steep price of this national paralysis: seeing their businesses, homes, and way of life being destroyed forever before their eyes.
The next few videos give a flavor of what it looks like to live in Calais now.
This one is labeled with the date of Christmas Day, 2015.
This one shows migrants trying to swarm the transit route to the Eurotunnel.
This video shows migrants organized by the radical-left No Borders group, demonstrating, on one of the interminable occasions outlined by Simone, in the middle of a city street in Calais. (No Borders was prominent in the pro-illegal demonstrations in Murrieta, California in 2014. See footnote as well. It has been fomenting unrest from the migrants in Calais for several years now. It also assists migrants in breaking through the security fencing at the port of Calais, and making attempts to storm ferries and run through the tunnel to the UK.)
As Simone says, No Borders activists “push the illegals to create havoc. They are at the four corners of town with their walkie-talkies giving orders.”
The Weimar instability dynamic
Incredible as it seems to many Americans, the European mainstream media and most of the politicians in Western Europe still speak and act as if rejecting the migrant invasion is a problem of “racism” and “xenophobia,” arising from right-wing extremist psychoses.
In this situation, the authorities’ priority is to silence and immobilize Europeans who object by demonstrating publicly. The media cooperate in this enterprise, obediently characterizing peaceful demonstrations as “violent,” and taking pains to associate everyone who objects to the migrant influx with Nazis and fascism.
A case in point is the 6 February demonstration in Calais, from which Simone escaped without being arrested only because her husband hustled her out of the way when the police, who were out in force, bore down on the demonstrators.
French General Christian Piquemal, former commander of the Foreign Legion from 1994 to 1999, was the featured speaker at the rally in Calais. Daily Mail reported that he was arrested in a “violent anti-Islam protest,” although if you read the story closely, you’ll be perplexed as to what the actual “violence” was.
The videos embedded in the Daily Mail story are characteristic, with the featured stills appearing to show Piquemal in the center of a melee.
But if you look at the longer videos below, and here, you’ll see that the scene of the rally was quite orderly. There were a few men with shaved heads – presumably PEGIDA and its allies – but most of those in attendance were middle-aged, middle-class Frenchmen and women. General Piquemal offered no resistance to arrest (for “failure to disperse”), nor is there any violence visible in the videos other than that done by the police themselves.
There is no “anti-Islam” rhetoric, for that matter. What Piquemal and others call for is a restoration of order and national security for the French, including their rightful expectations about security in daily life, and their ability to continue living the life they are accustomed to and pay for.
The old “racist” card
But there’s more to this Weimar dynamic, and you need to follow this thread all the way through. The next piece of information is that, in 2011, General Piquemal was accused by a fellow parachute trooper of having spread “racist propaganda” while he was director of the National Parachutists Union (UNP), a position he held from 2004-2014.
This old allegation was resurrected in the days after his arrest in Calais, published around the web on 9 and 10 February. Nothing was reportedly done about it back in 2011. But the accuser pronounces himself vindicated now, on seeing Piquemal arrested, in ignominious fashion, in Calais.
What was the “racist propaganda” spread by the general? It’s quoted in L’Union:
Dans ces messages, l’homme aujourd’hui âgé de 75 ans évoquait notamment « la peur » de voir la France être « un jour commandée par les Arabes ». (In [his] messages, the man now 75 years of age raised “the fear” of seeing France be “one day ruled by Arabs.”)
Look in your heart, in light of everything that’s going on in Europe, and tell me if you think this is actually, truly evidence of a disqualifying “racism.” Tell me if the fear of being associated with this man should silence French people today: silence them to the extent that they simply stand by and let the cities they live in be transformed beyond recognition.
Now, it’s possible that General Piquemal is someone whose sentiments about non-Europeans I would find distasteful. In all of the non-centrist, right-wing factions in Europe, one must be vigilant for ugly, intolerant nativism and anti-Semitism. (This is the case, for example, according to sources I trust in the UK, with the group Britain First, as well as the British National Party. “Nasty, very nasty” are the words my sources use. Although Marine Le Pen, of the French National Front, has disavowed the anti-Semitism so closely associated with her father, it is legitimate to be concerned about his legacy and the likelihood that anti-Semitism is still a problem in the National Front’s ranks.)
But if “France may one day be ruled by Arabs” is the most Piquemal’s critics can come up with, I’m not impressed. What kind of fool would not find that something to fear?
There are many fine Arab citizens of France, I have no doubt. France has been absorbing Arab citizens for decades, and is surely the richer for it.
But the point of France is to be French: to be a national core of the civilization of Europe. And the Arabs migrating in huge numbers into France today are not interchangeable with Frenchmen, in terms of anything that matters to civil life. Nor is there a prospect of them becoming so.
If General Piquemal were to be more precise about what he fears, he could not rationally say that it includes a fear of ethnically French people, or naturalized and acculturated Arabs. No, if he endeavored to be more precise, what he’d have to speak of fearing is the influx of Arab, Somali, other African, Pakistani, and Afghan Muslims.
He’s be insane not to. This is where the brittle framework of old-left political correctness breaks down: where it levels sanctimonious charges of “racism” at people who have the basic good sense to recognize that violent, ugly migrant camps have been set up in their midst, and that’s when the rampant crime and catastrophic disorder started; that’s why they’re being evicted from their homes; and yet their governments demand unreasonably that they sit silent and take it.
Rushing to label General Piquemal a “racist” is an immoral response to the legitimate complaints of the people protesting in Calais. In fact, even if he is a racist, it’s still an immoral response – because it’s not “racist” to object to what’s happening in Calais. Calling it racist is a cynical, feckless attempt to deflect the Calaisiens’ full justified concern about the damage being done by atrocious policies.
This disconnect – this failure of moral honesty on the part of authorities and their amen-chorus media – is what will fan Weimar instability into life.
French authorities, like their counterparts across Europe, ought to look at the 6 February demonstrators and see the bedrock of their nation’s social order. These people are readily recognizable as the bill-paying middle class: the indispensable people who, thank God, don’t require constant policing.
Yet the authorities send the police out to disperse and arrest them, and suffer them to be smeared in the media as “Nazis” and “fascists.” Above all, the authorities care nothing for what happens to these law-abiding, bill-paying, order-keeping people.
This is suicidal. It’s especially so because the other side of the Weimar coin is unquestionably present: radicals from multiple parts of the spectrum making common cause in the streets to terrify, defame, and destroy the middle class and its voice.
Attacking the middle from all sides
We saw, in Simone’s testimony, that the No Borders radicals are actively making the migrant problem worse by inciting the migrants to riot and pillage. Search on “No Borders” and “Calais” to satisfy yourself as to how widespread this is.
The No Borders agitators were involved in an incident in Calais in January, about which competing videos have gone viral. If you believe the first video presentation, some fascist, PEGIDA-linked right-wing extremists baited an innocent group of No Borders activists and migrants as they headed for a rally, drawing them into a fight. During the fracas, one of the fascists ran to get a long gun from his home and terrified the activist group with it.
On the other hand, sympathizers of the gun-owner point out that the agitator group went directly to his home, and taunted and rushed him from the street. In the second video, his initial stance doesn’t look particularly provocative. Anyone who didn’t want to mix it up with him could have given him a wide berth – and objectively, that would have been the responsible thing to do. There was no excuse for getting into a fight with him on the doorstep of his home.
I emphasize that his brandishing of the gun was obviously irresponsible. Eddie Eagle would have swooped down and whacked him soundly about the head and shoulders for pointing it at the street and waving it around. That’s not what you do with guns.
But it’s precisely the Weimer dynamic that’s in play, when the authorities give no support to responsible citizenship, and thus leave the extremes to create menaces for the middle.
Here’s one more aspect of the extremes-against-the-middle pattern. The author at Little Notes from Paris points it out. In order to defame and silence respectable voices that try to make themselves heard regarding the migrant problem, a self-styled “antifascist” group has set itself up to roam Europe and look for demonstrations like the 6 February rally to “crash,” as counter-demonstrators.
The “antifascists” create disorder where the original demonstrators are not doing so. As Little Notes from Paris observes, the “antifascists” now succeed mainly in getting the local police to prohibit all rallies at which they threaten to show up.* That’s what happened in Calais. The 6 February rally was prohibited, once the police got wind of the plans of the “antifascists” to be there.
This is pure Weimarism: a reprise of Nazis and Communists chasing each other around the streets, pointing fingers deceitfully, denying the streets to the legitimate business of the middle-class, and giving the police too much to handle.
In all this growing dysfunction and disorder, it’s poignant – and maybe instructive – to see this lone, final video. In it, an unassuming middle-class Frenchman in Calais is carrying. It isn’t clear quite why he has the authority to. But he does handle his sidearm properly in an ugly encounter with migrants who pursue him on the street. He never unholsters it. He just puts his hand on it, has it ready, and makes sure the taunting, prodding migrants know he’s got it.
He walks away unharmed. A handful of other people who were walking in front of him are also able to get away unharmed, because he was there, armed, to turn and confront the migrants.
Until Europeans wake up and figure out that this is the man they need – a man they have forgotten is quintessentially European – they will keep sinking further into Weimarism.
To preserve a middle class, with a political middle and centrist solutions, you have to let the middle class enforce boundaries that keep it viable. You can’t stake it to an anthill and let extremists prey on it. Fortunately, letting the middle class harden and arm itself, and take the streets back encounter by encounter, is the most effective way to “support” it.
The leftist “elite” probably won’t wake up to this before it’s too late. But maybe – just maybe – this video shows that enough of the ordinary middle class will.
* Little Notes from Paris has a high-impact image of camouflaged fighters in front of a big ISIS banner holding up an “antifascist” flag, an image that makes it look as if ISIS and “Antifa,” the abbreviated name for the “antifascists” (more commonly known Europe), are on the same side.
But the image is deceiving: what it actually shows is that the Antifa agitators are part of an international radical-left faction that includes the No Borders crowd. The path is a little circuitous, however. The origin of the Antifa image is a posting at the Antifa Facebook page from some time ago (it seems to date to 2014), commemorating the support of Antifa for the Kurdish fighters against ISIS. The men in camouflage are reportedly Kurds, holding up the Antifa banner to symbolize triumph over ISIS.
Also posted at the Antifa page is an article from 2014 on Anarchists throwing their support behind the Kurds. A key point about the international Anarchists, whose black and white A-in-a-circle logo is seen on the image below, is that they were a major force in the “astro-turf” protest groups that showed up in Murrieta in July 2014, during the ruckus over the processing of illegals at the Border Patrol station there.
As recorded in my reporting at the time (see here, for starters), the astro-turf groups demonstrated in Los Angeles in order to garner major national-media coverage during the Murrieta standoff, and then drove in buses to Murrieta in the afternoons to get featured on the 5 o’clock news on the West coast. The Anarchists and No Borders worked closely together.
And the Anarchists have long billed themselves as “antifascist.” In some protest venues in Europe they are interchangeable with Antifa. (They have protested together in Canada and Australia as well.) What we can assume, given the radical-left links of all three groups — No Borders, Antifa, and the Anarchists — is that Antifa and No Borders are working toward the same end: enabling migrant demonstrations, while shutting down protests by the fed-up middle classes of Europe. Little Notes from Paris is right about this, even though the image with the big ISIS sign doesn’t show that Antifa is connected with ISIS.