If necessary also actively against the policy of the governing ones

France: the "marriage for all" as a special sting that brings the mobilization readiness of conservative circles out of its latency state

France is the ninth country in the european union, and the fourteenth in the world, to open marriage to homosexual couples, a few days after new zealand. Just like heterosexuals, they now have the choice between living together without a marriage certificate, a registered partnership in the form of a contract – introduced in 1999 under the abbreviation pacs – and the possibility of getting married.

For all others, apart from the affected same-sex couples, nothing changes at all. At first glance, it is all the more astonishing to see the massive reaction that the reform has provoked, from the announcement of the legislative initiative in october to the recent adoption of the text and probably beyond. The demonstrations, on the other hand, attracted at least several hundred thousand participants, their organizers even claim: millions. In any case, considerably more than the trade union and social protest demonstrations in the same period, although there were plenty of occasions for the latter.

Not a single one of their own rights was violated

Astonishing in the sense that the protesters are not touched in any of their own rights, in the sense that none of their social achievements is touched and none of their existing ways of life is threatened with a ban or restrictions. As a former gay politician of the conservative-economic liberal ump, jean-luc romero – who left his party because of its reactionary positions – put it on radio france inter earlier this week, "in the protests against the 2010 pension reform," that is, in the last massive union upheaval in france to date, "people’s personal rights were affected: they were being asked to work until a higher age," or to retire with much less pension money. Nothing of the sort is the case with the reform under the name of "marriage for all".

Nevertheless, it is possible to speak of a social movement, but a social movement that is clearly right-wing politically and, in some areas, religiously motivated. The conservative daily le figaro spoke of a "mirror image of may 1968", from the right. One of the organizations that organized the movement calls itself "french spring" – le printemps francais, borrowing from the now long-worn metaphor of the "arab spring," which for a few months became the anti-dictatorial revolts in north africa, the first phase of which took place in the winter of 2010-11. Now "the time has come for the french people" to shake off the dictatorship that weighs on them, claim the protagonists of the association, which was founded at the end of march after the massive demonstrations on march 24. Of the month (cf. "Everyone is angry, we live in a dictatorship").

"Excellent opportunity for right-wing groups"

"Down with the socialist dictatorship" is often shouted in the demonstrations. The very fact that a bill was being debated, which was "perverse" in nature, characterized for some the alleged authoritarian rule, while others saw dictatorship looming when the parliamentary debate was cut short by a few weeks. After the senate had approved the bill in mid-april, it was sent back to the national assembly for its final reading on 23. Instead of mid-may, as originally planned, it was sent back to the national assembly for the final reading, i.E. To the parliamentary "lower house", which has the final say link to /8/154160.

The main reason for this was that the government wanted to shorten the ongoing conflict over the reform, which had been going on for months, "because right-wing groups find here an excellent opportunity to recruit new generations of members for years to come," as one social democratic minister put it, referring to earlier school, student and trade union protests, each of which brought new generations of activists to his own party. However, bringing forward the planned date for the roll call vote of the deputies by three weeks did not exactly mark a reign of terror, especially since the parliamentary balance of power was clear.

The founder of the "french spring," beatrice bourges – the lady bears a striking resemblance to the german comedian otto waalkes – has a ump membership card. The strongest french opposition party, strongly anchored in the current "anti-may 1968 movement" (to speak with le figaro). However, in her own words, the protest that had taken place up to that point, the majority of which was church-dominated and conservative, was "too harmless," too well-behaved and too lame.

Hommen – the counterpart of femen

Under the guidance of the figurehead frigide barjot, who describes herself as a "catholic comedian" and who combines a sharp rejection of gay marriage with language that is overflowing with sexual expressions and at times obscene, and who must be considered at least a strong extrovert, the demonstrators waved blue and pink flags en masse (cf. For more children, for the sacrament of marriage and against the "marriage for all" ). On the one hand, these were intended to symbolize adherence to a clear and orderly gender order: pink for girls and blue for boys, but on the other hand, together with white clothing, they produced a pale version of the tricolor national flag. Since the success of the demonstration of 24. In march, however, this was no longer enough for a growing part of the protesters.

Le printemps francais organized blockades or attempts to break through police lines. At the same time, the hommen group emerged as a kind of ostensible masculine counterpart to the bare-breasted protesting feminists of the femen group, which originated in ukraine and has become active in france and tunisia in recent months.

These young men repeatedly chained themselves bare-chested in front of public buildings. With much pathos and martyr poses they love to be taken away by policemen. Other actors resorted to harsher means: parliamentary president claude bartolone was sent ammunition by letter as a threat.


In paris, lille and nice, homosexuals have been attacked in the last two weeks, in the northern french city of lille, for example, in the form of an attack on a gay bar by skinheads. Even on tuesday night last week, after the final passage of the bill, police were attacked and journalists and photographers beaten up on the sidelines of a nighttime protest demonstration. As "collaborators" of the ostensible socialist dictatorship, as heated rioters from radical right-wing groups like the catholic nationalist renouveau francais called to it.

These activists pay to openly right-wing extremist and profascist groups that try to distinguish themselves as the spearhead of a radicalized protest and thereby attract new adherents. But the spectrum of protest extended into the conservative milieu of the center-right. But why could the movement unleash such a dynamic??

Profiling of the camps through symbolic political values

There are various reasons for this, of both a current and structural nature. On the first level is the shameful record of the current governing coalition of social democrats and greens: apart from the promise to introduce gay marriage, which actually materialized, it has no other successes to show for itself. Especially in the field of economic and social policy, it shows no will to shape, but invokes capitalist "factual" and european "austerity" constraints, executes the will of "the economy" and shows little difference from its predecessor government.

The differences between the rough political camps have therefore become very largely blurred – except for symbolic political ies, where "values" are mobilized by both sides without having to touch the questions of distribution between capital and labor.

In addition, as a structural element, the historical legacy from french history continues to have an effect on a part of society. In a milieu characterized by the binding effect of "catholic values" and conservative attitudes, an apolitical attitude or the establishment in the existing may have been more predominant in other countries. In france, however, part of this very milieu is marked by the memory of the epochal break of 1789: modernization and turning away from the traditional are permanently associated with a supposedly traumatic experience, that of the collapse of an order imagined as "natural.

Right-wing protest dominates the street

For this reason, there is always a willingness, which at first glance seems astonishing, in a part of the conservative to reactionary social milieu to actively oppose the policies of those in power "if necessary" – especially if they belong to a political camp that is perceived as hostile and that has been suspected of every possible outrage since the beheading of the king in january 1793 and the separation of church and state in december 1905. Such activist conservatism is rather unknown in germany, for example, and comparisons are currently being drawn west of the rhine with the tea party movement in north america.

Most of the time, this willingness to mobilize on the part of conservative circles remains in a state of latency. But when an ie such as the perceived threat of the reform of state funding for private catholic schools in the spring of 1984 – the protests of millions at that time coincided with the breakthrough of the front national as an electoral party with mass support – or currently "gay marriage" is perceived as a particular sting, then the situation flips. Especially when, as is the case at the moment, the right-wing protest is left to take the streets, because the base of the left-wing parties and a good part of the trade unions are staring in disorientation, frustration and lack of perspective.

"Demo for all

Meanwhile, the ruling social democracy hopes that the visible presence of the extreme right in the ranks of protesters – fn deputy gilbert collard was arrested on sunday, 21. April photographed in eager solidarity with conservative parliamentarians at the demonstration – as a warning at least their electorate is driven back to the polls.

Meanwhile, opponents of gay marriage have also announced their own massive presence in the next local elections, which will be held throughout france in march 2014. The collective "demo fur alle", which was the official organizer of the demonstrations against "marriage for all", may run its own candidates. Its spokeswoman "frigide barjot" alias virginie merle, whose self-chosen pseudonym means "frigide stupid", may also want to run herself alternatively, it is conceivable that the activists from the youngest protest movement support those from the right-wing parties who have been particularly prominent.

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