Two Frances facing each other. People are furious, authorities fear “Arab street”

More than a dozen patriotic demonstrations were banned in various French cities, as if solidarity with the victim of the racist murder were a greater threat to the Republic than the hordes of immigrants terrorising the country. Repressive measures against patriotic reactions went as far as to arrest people for simply putting up posters with the victim’s likeness. When the police searched the home of a young woman accused of putting up posters, they confiscated a national flag… as evidence.

For more than two weeks, the whole of France has been living through the events of Crépol, where 16-year-old Thomas Perotto was stabbed to death by a group of Arab immigrants during a village ball. Beyond the framework of a singular tragedy, this drama is like the lens of a microscope, concentrating some of the most important social problems of contemporary France.

The annual ball, organised by a local committee in the small village of Crépol, is no less than a local institution. On Saturday, November 18, 2023 it brought together nearly 400 people, mostly youngsters from the local villages, and for many of them it was the first party ever. This was the case with 16-year-old Thomas, who attended his first ball with his parents’ permission, under the protection of his 23-year-old brother, and, afterwards, was to invite his friends home for the night. He is said to have known about 80% of the people at the party personally. Alas, this serene scenario was disrupted by uninvited guests.

According to the first report on social media, a group of more than a dozen people arrived at the party after midnight. As they later explained, they had heard that there would be quite many girls there and that the entry was be free after midnight – four euros is no trifling matter. Some of them managed to get in – they sat as a group, looking askance at the people having fun, looking for a fight. Others went to the car park to drink beer. The first confrontation also broke out. One of the bouncers wouldn’t let several of them in because they weren’t on the party list, and after a search they were found to be carrying knives, “20 to 25 centimetres long”. The situation deteriorated: a brawl ensued, the bouncer got wounded in the hand. The first reports even spoke of fingers being cut off.

”We have come to kill white people”

After that, things went quickly. The uninvited guests, having surrounded the room where the ball was being held, began to assault those exiting. Some slashed blindly with knives, others threw stones at people – a real massacre. As a result of the attack nine persons were injured and had stab wounds, this including two young men aged 23 and 28 who ended up in intensive care, and six with minor injuries. Eight other people in a state of deep shock were treated by paramedics. “The room looked like a slaughterhouse. The wounded were laid on the floor, just like during a war” – said one witness. 16-year-old Thomas Perotto, a high school graduation class student and the captain of the local rugby team, was stabbed with a knife in the heart and throat. He died while being airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in Lyon.
A man holds a flare during a minute’s silence, organised by the right-wing group “Les natifs” (“The Natives”) in Paris on December 1, 2023, in honour of the young French victims of the attack at the Crépol party. Photo: PAP / EPA / Teresa Suarez
The attackers fled the scene before emergency services arrived, and while escaping, they fired guns from the car. They returned home, to the Monnaie housing estate in Romans-sur-Isère, 20 kilometres away. The attackers belonged to a specific social category: they were all “young people of immigrant origin”, belonging to one of the gangs from the housing estate. The antipodes of the population of the small village in the French countryside to which their victims belonged.

According to many witnesses, during the attack the aggressors said “we have come to kill white people”. Racist, anti-French insults can be heard in the videos, e.g. the Arabic word “gver”, popular among the immigrant population. The racist nature of the aggression and its premeditation seem beyond doubt. From the outset, the police and the public prosecutor’s office spoke of a “planned punitive expedition”.

The police quite quickly identified the participants of the raid on Crépol. In the age of smartphones and geolocation, this is not particularly complicated. However, they were not arrested immediately, the police having discreetly watched, listened and gathered information. It was only when, three days after the incident, one of the suspects took six of his friends and suddenly left the city in his mother’s car that it was decided to intervene. In a spectacular action, 50 gendarmes from the elite GIGN (National Gendarmerie Intervention Group) unit detained seven people, including three minors. The action took place in Toulouse, 450 kilometres from Romans, which allows us to assume that the perpetrators intended to escape via Spain to one of the Maghreb countries, where they could count on the support of relatives and impunity vis-à-vis the French justice system.

At the same time, two other suspects were apprehended in Romans-sur-Isère. All the detainees, aged between 17 and 20, are members of one gang from an immigrant housing estate, they all bear Arabic names and surnames, many have criminal records, and the main suspect, Chaïd Akabli, has previous convictions for theft and possession of weapons. Paradoxically, on 25 September 2023, he was sentenced by a court to a two-year ban on possessing and carrying white arms.

Two Frances

This portrait is the exact opposite of the victim and symbolises the contrast between the two faces of contemporary France. Thomas Perotto is at the other end of the spectrum: a high school student, no problems with the police, and his only drug is sport. He was a passionate rugby player, typical of the French provinces.

A similar contrast between the “two Frances” is represented by the places of origin of the victims and perpetrators. On the one hand, Crépol, a small village in the area called mountainous Drôme, as if taken straight from Charles Trenet’s song about “sweet France”. 500 inhabitants, church tower, small mayor’s office, common room where the tragic event took place, peace, quiet, nature. The only tourist attraction is the Postman Cheval’s Ideal Palace in Hauterives, fifteen minutes away, where Thomas’s parents ran a restaurant.

Interestingly, some of the inhabitants of Crépol are migrants. Not bogus “refugees” from Africa, from non-existent wars, but native French people fleeing the explosion of crime and violence in French cities, in search of peace and a normal life for their children and families. Unfortunately, the violence hit them there too, and it came from the very place they feared – a housing estate for immigrants.

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The Monnaie housing estate in Romans-sur-Isère is an almost classic example of what the French flee to the countryside. A housing estate of prefabricated houses built in the 1950s, during a period of prosperity when the city’s shoe industry flourished, gradually became an immigrant ghetto, dominated by gangs and drug dealers. Even though Romans has only 34,000 inhabitants (and Monnaie cannot be compared to the famous suburbs of the Paris, Lyon or Marseille agglomerations), it is well known to the police and regularly appears in the crime chronicles, just like the Pissevin district of Nîmes or Planoise in Besançon.

Neighbourhoods like the Monnaie are a perfect example of the explosive mixture called “French suburbs”, i.e. the result of the combination of several negative phenomena. The mayor of Romans, Marie-Hélène Thoraval, has had her say on the subject in the media, and her testimony is far from political correctness, which – it must be admitted – is quite unique for a French politician. She described a district of 4,500 inhabitants held in check by a hundred gangsters, including about 30 from the “hard core” to which Thomas’s killers belonged. All those detained in this case are “criminals, children of criminals”. “You could say it’s a kind of culture passed down from generation to generation”, she said.

Positive discrimination policy

Mayor Thoraval also points out that the responsibility for the transformation of a workers’ estate into an immigrant ghetto cannot be blamed on alleged discrimination. Since 2014, €150 million has been spent on a building renovation program there. As you can easily calculate, it’s over €33,000 per inhabitant. Many pre-fab houses were demolished to reduce population density and rebuild houses on a human scale. “La Monnaie is one of the best-stocked districts! There is no other district in Romans that would have a community centre, a library and a médiathèque” the mayor noted, adding that the district with only 12% of the city’s population consumes 45% of the education budget.

How do locals repay this care? “In 2020, the community centre was partially burned down by residents of the estate, as was the nursery in 2017 and the school in 2016.” It was similar during the last riots in July 2023, when the housing estate administration office was burned down and a Chinese restaurant and a bar were devastated, the latter remaining closed to this day. Strangely enough, when we take a closer look at the damage, it turns out that none of the local “community” businesses, i.e. those run by people associated with gangs, often with a Muslim profile, such as halal shops or kebab shops, were damaged. In addition to the funds constantly pumped into the district for renovations, the damage costs the city budget €500,000 per annum.

These spectacular figures are not unusual in France. A similar pattern is repeated in every larger city. The so-called The urban policy implemented since the turn of the 1970s and 1980s, i.e. the policy of positive discrimination in favour of immigrant districts, has consumed an enormous amount of money, estimated at between 200 and 400 billion euros at national level, and the balance of its effects is almost nothing.
The French demand justice for Thomas' murder. Photo Adam Gwiazda archive
SIGN UP TO OUR PAGE While the case of Thomas’ murder was occupying the headlines, , Grérad Collomb, the long-time mayor of Lyon, one of the historic figures of the Socialist Party and then Emmanuel Macron’s man from the very beginning of his presidential career, and his first minister of the interior, died on November 25. The coincidence in time with the events in Crépol meant that in a wave of memories and obituaries, his words from 2018, spoken when he resigned from the Ministry of the Interior, were recalled. He then warned that ”today we are living next to each other but soon we will be facing each other”. This is an extremely radical opinion, consistent with former president François Hollande’s text about the inflaming divisions in France.

Decivilisation is spreading across the map

In fact, the division into two Frances standing opposite each other has already taken place, but has not yet been officially accepted – a sociological division, on the ground, with facade slogans about institutional unity. Promoting the ideology of diversity as peaceful coexistence turned out to be a naive fiction. This is symbolized by two marches that took place at different times in memory of two young people who died tragically. The march in memory of Nahel, who was shot dead by a policeman at the end of June, brought together participants, among whom the only white people were politicians and activists of the extreme left. Among the six thousand people who took part in the white march in Romans after the death of Thomas, you could count the representatives of “diversified France” on your fingers.

The territorial boundaries of this division are fluid and constantly shifting. The recent riots that broke out in France at the turn of June and July and partly spread to urban centres in the provinces, allowed us to notice the phenomenon of the spread of cultural codes typical of the immigrant suburbs of large agglomerations to these smaller cities and towns. Sociologists even coined a special term for this phenomenon: banlieusardisation, i.e. “suburbisation” (from French Banlieue – suburbs). Because population movements concern not only the native population fleeing violence and crime, but also the population pushed by gentrification and real estate prices to smaller urban centres. When they move to the provinces, they bring with them the cultural codes of no-go zones: hyperviolence, gangs, drug trafficking, and the phenomenon of loss of moral norms called decivilisation. The stain of this “oil” is spreading more and more widely across the map of France, leaving and means that there fewer and fewer safe places, including even villages of 500 inhabitants.

At the same time, politicians are doing everything in their power not to acknowledge the link between immigration and violence. On the one hand, it is ideologically motivated, because differentiation according to the criterion of origin radically contradicts the a priori postulate of equality, and if the facts say otherwise, so much the worse for the facts. On the other hand, the motivation is also very pragmatic. As Éric Zemmour has said, the authorities are afraid of the “Arab street” and its reaction. This is why, the day after the incident, before the full circumstances of the incident were known, a minute’s silence was observed at the French National Assembly in memory of Nahel, a criminal and recidivist shot dead by a policeman whom he almost ran over after refusing to stop for a traffic control. Thomas, in turn, had to wait ten days for his minute’s silence, and it was decided only to calm public opinion outraged by the unequal treatment of immigrants and natives. “At that first moment there was a rift, and a few months later, when the French saw the radically different treatment of Thomas, they became furious,” says Marie-Hélène Thoraval.

A “banal incident” for which the victims are to blame
A symptomatic fact: the public prosecutor’s office and the police withheld the names of the suspects, even after their arrest, which also caused regret and misunderstanding. The motives are understandable: a reluctance to confirm immediately that it’s always “the same people”. But the procedure itself was very naive, because the list was leaked to social media anyway. An anonymous minister told journalists that “they are French [i.e. French citizens, there is no distinction in the French language], but none of them have a French-sounding surname. The Internet, a good litmus test of social mood, began to roar.

It can be assumed that for the same reasons, the prosecutor’s office did not include an aggravating circumstance: racism among the charges brought against Thomas’ murderers, despite the testimony of witnesses and to the dissatisfaction of the victim’s parents. The mayor of Romans, who supports the demands of Thomas’s parents in this regard, may have experienced the reaction of the “Arab street”. In response to her statements, she began receiving death threats, including beheading.

The authorities, as usual, have been echoed by the mainstream media, which from the start have offered various excuses to take the heat off the perpetrators. A whole arsenal of social engineering tricks was launched. In addition to the classic accusations of “zeroing” by right-wing politicians, according to which talking about the tragedy by Marine Le Pen or Éric Zemmour is worse than the death of an innocent boy, a wide range of “appropriate” experts were invited to the studio and to the newspapers.

From the first hour, the media use the word “fight” or “brawl” to describe the tragedy in Crépol, which suggests a kind of symmetry between the aggressors and the victims, although the witnesses clearly speak of an attack. Many journalists and commentators were not satisfied with symmetry and began to shift the blame onto the victims. Famous commentator Patrick Cohen dared to say on RMC that young people from the housing estate came to have fun, and everything that happened was the fault of the taunts from the rugby players. In the eyes of left-wing Parisians, rural rugby players are almost a symbol of aggression. Far-left MP Clémentine Autin made a feminist interpretation, writing that “only men attack each other, and violence between youth gangs is typically male”. Renowned sociologist from the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – National Centre for Scientific Research) Isabelle Veyrat-Masson said that Thomas’ death, a “trivial incident”, reminded her of “Romeo and Juliet”. The list of these grotesque absurdities grows endlessly.

Evidence against patriots: a national flag

French patriots came to the authorities’ unexpected help, organizing a demonstration on November 25 in Romans demanding justice for Thomas. Propaganda immediately took advantage of the opportunity and brought out big guns: the far right, neo-Nazis, a self-proclaimed militia wanting to lynch Arabs, etc. The demonstration was broken up by the police, who deployed large forces in the area to prevent a hundred young French people from marching through the housing estate and to protect those who throw Molotov cocktails at the police on a daily basis. 20 people were arrested, several of whom were summarily tried and sentenced on fabricated charges to harsh sentences ranging from 6 to 10 months in prison. Unheard of in France, where sentences of up to two years are practically not served; young activists from the courtroom were sent straight to prison.
A minute’s silence in honour of the young French victims of the attack at the Crépol party. It was organised in Paris by the right-wing group “Les natifs” (“The Natives”). Photo: PAP / EPA / Teresa Suarez
One of the participants of the demonstration broken up by the police, a 20-year-old – not a radical, but noted by the French services only for participating in a demonstration in defence of a church scheduled for demolition – was captured by the Arabs from Monnaie, friends of Thomas’s killers. Pulled from the car, dragged to a housing estate, stripped and beaten – and almost lynched. When his oppressors were going to get a can of gasoline to burn him alive, a bystander called an ambulance. According to “Le Monde”, he was rescued from the hands of his executioners by two local Islamists who enjoyed the fame of former jihadists in the housing estate. A significant incident that did not receive much media coverage.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, More than a dozen patriotic demonstrations were banned in various French cities, as if solidarity with the victim of the racist murder were a greater threat to the Republic than the hordes of immigrants terrorising the country. Repressive measures against patriotic reactions went as to arrest people for simply putting up posters with Thomas’ likeness, on charges of inciting racial hatred. When the police searched the home of a young woman accused of putting up posters, they confiscated a national flag… as evidence.

In its announcement regarding the demonstration in Romans, the prefecture used an interesting formula, writing that “80 individuals tried to invade the Monnaie district”. Lapsus linguae? If so, that’s significant. After all, the word “invasion” is an implicit recognition that immigrant districts constitute separate territories, separated from the rest of France by a border whose crossing is repressed. The prefecture is quasi-officially sanctifying immigrant housing estates here, and the notorious no-go zones are beginning to fully deserve their name. The police can still enter there, especially after bringing in reinforcements, but ordinary citizens cannot.

As we know, in the long run it is not possible to have two opposing populations in one territory. Even if the current inflammatory situation does not end in a civil war, as the prophets of the Apocalypse predict, the daily conflict-generating nature will certainly increase.

Will Jean Raspail’s sorrowful vision in his 2004 article “A Homeland betrayed by the Republic” come true? What will be left is what ethnology calls an isolate: a strong minority, perhaps some 15 million French – not necessarily members of the white race – who will continue to speak more or less correct French and will hold to on to the heritage of our culture and history, passed us down by the previous generations. It won’t be easy for them”. Truth to tell, it already isn’t.

– Adam Gwiazda

TVP WEEKLY. Editorial team and jornalists

– Translated by Dominik Szczęsny-Kostanecki
Main photo: For some French people, the attack by a gang from the immigrant suburbs on an event in Crépol is a symbol of anti-white sentiment. The head of the Interior Ministry, Gerard Darmanin, has announced that he will seek to outlaw the three right-wing groups that are demonstrating their discontent. Photo: PAP / EPA / Teresa Suarez
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