They were arrested for risk of violence or damage. On Saturday, 39 ultra-right members, including around twenty S members, were placed in police custody in Paris and questioned for “participation in a group with the aim of committing damage”, AFP learned from a source close to the case. and with the prosecution. They were still in police custody this Sunday at midday, the Paris prosecutor’s office told AFP. Among them are well-known figures from the movement, including the former leader of the small group “Zouaves”, Marc de Cacqueray-Valmenier.
What happened ?
Saturday, around 4 p.m., police officers from the Brav-M motorcycle brigade intervened at the exit of the Charonne cemetery, in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, to arrest members of the ultra-right movement. The latter had just paid tribute to the far-right writer Robert Brasillach, sentenced to death and shot at the Liberation for acts of collaboration.
Before being arrested, these activists had also been seen near a union demonstration against the far right which was taking place at Place de la République, said a source close to the matter. At least two of them were equipped with crutches, which could be considered weapons by destination, again according to this source.
Who are they ?
In total, 39 people were placed in police custody, including around twenty on S files. Those arrested are all adults, with the exception of two minors. The oldest was born in May 1995 and the two youngest in October 2006, the prosecution said on Sunday. Some were prohibited from going to Paris, said the source close to the matter.
Among them are well-known figures from the ultra-right movement, including the former leader of the small group that dissolved the “Zouaves”, Marc de Cacqueray-Valmenier, or Gabriel Loustau, a figure in the GUD.
Marc de Caqueray-Valmenier, 24, has already been convicted and imprisoned in recent years, notably for the group attack on a bar known as “antifa” the Saint-Sauveur, in Paris, in 2020. This young man from a family with a long line of aristocrats is currently indicted and placed under judicial supervision in the case of the attack on SOS Racisme activists during a meeting of Éric Zemmour, president of the movement far right Reconquest, in December 2021.
On his Instagram account, he boasted of having gone to fight in the fall of 2020 in Nagorno-Karabakh alongside Christian Armenians against Muslim Azerbaijanis. He then posted a photo where he appeared in military uniform, assault rifle in hand, a skull and crossbones patch on his chest.
Gabriel Loustau, in his twenties, is the son of Axel Loustau, close to Marine Le Pen and an active member of the Groupement union Défense (GUD) in his youth. Gabriel Loustau participated with his father in May 2023 in the ultra-right demonstration in Paris. According to Street Press, he studied like his father in Assas. In early January he was seen in Rome during the fascist Acca Larentia commemoration.
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A context of increased threat from this movement
These arrests take place in a context of increased threat from this movement. The former director general of internal security (DGSI), Nicolas Lerner, now head of the DGSE, warned last July of “the very worrying resurgence” of violent actions by the ultra-right since spring 2023, in an interview with Le Monde.
In November 2023, 13 people, including seven on ultra-right S files, had already been arrested in Paris for swastika tags on the ground in the 18th arrondissement of the capital. Two of them had been indicted for public apology for a crime or offense, six others for refusing to hand over the code of their mobile phone to the judicial authorities.
Faced with this threat, several small ultra-right groups have been dissolved in recent months by the government. The latest, the Lille ultra-right association La Citadelle, which was banned from organizing an evening entitled “Let them return to Africa” in February 2023, was dissolved last Wednesday in the Council of Ministers.
In December, another small group, La Division Martel, was dissolved after a demonstration resembling a punitive expedition in Romans-sur-Isère (Drôme), in reaction to the death of young Thomas in Crépol. Since 2017, 10 planned attacks inspired by the ultra-right movement have been foiled, according to the authorities.