France’s National Front marches alone for ‘liberty’

France’s far-right National Front (FN) holds a demonstration of its own in the southern town of Beaucaire against terrorism, after being excluded from the unity rally in Paris.

Party leader Marine Le Pen leads the demonstration, claiming she and her supporters had been shunned, even though President Francois Hollande had invited “all citizens” to participate in the Paris march.

Le Pen thanks the 1,000-strong crowd “for being here and reminding us of the values of liberty,” saluting them from beneath a banner reading “I Am Charlie — Homage to the victims of terrorism.”

The slogan contrasts with the flat rejection Saturday by her father and FN founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, to associate with the “#JeSuisCharlie” (IAmCharlie) slogan. “Sorry, but I’m not Charlie,” the elder Le Pen told the Beaucaire crowd in a video message, echoing his long-standing hostility towards the paper that frequently singled him out for merciless satire.

— AFP

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