FRANCE: Topless "Nuns" Clash With Anti-Gay Marriage Catholic Protesters
FEMEN staged a topless counter-protest of an anti-gay marriage march in Paris, where they were attacked by Catholic activists who the "nuns" sprayed with powdered "sperm" while chanting slogans such as "In Gay We Trust."
Besides the opponents of the bill, a dozen topless activists from the Ukrainian-based women's movement Femen had shown up to stage a counter-protest dressed as nuns and chanting "humourous" slogans, said French feminist writer and columnist Caroline Fourest. "When they moved toward the demonstrators, some of (the protesters) ran after them, raging," Fourest said in a phone call with AFP from a police wagon, where the women had been taken for their own safety. She claimed the women were hit by their pursuers, who also lashed out at journalists filming the scene.The above-linked story notes that today's anti-gay march was attended by senior members of France's far-right nationalist movement. Via Andrew Belonsky, below are clips from today's fracas.
Several photographers were roughed up, an AFP photographer said. The local police station said officers had made five arrests. President Francois Hollande's government and its allies sharply criticised the aggression. French Socialist party first secretary Harlem Desir denounced it as "stupid", and government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said authorities would take a zero-tolerance stance on violence. "There is no place for the extreme right's acts of aggression in our country," Vallaud-Belkacem said. "The government will show no tolerance for this violence. Family Minister Dominique Bertinotti said violence was "intolerable" and went against French values. "We cannot tolerate violence, homophobic sentiments, they are punishable under the law," the minister said on Europe 1 radio.
UPDATE: The first clip has been removed from YouTube for nudity.
RELATED: Same-sex marriage in France was thought to be a done deal upon the recent landslide election of Socialists into the national legislature, but the opposition movement has swelled in recent weeks.