Massive French Crowd Forces Anti-Refugee Racists to Retreat (VIDEO)

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Even after a senseless massacre that left over 150 civilians dead, Parisians are choosing compassion over blind hatred, and are willing to go toe-to-toe with racists spouting anti-Islamic rhetoric.

At a silent vigil today for victims of the attacks in downtown Paris, a group of racists holding a banner calling for the expulsion of Muslims was forced to retreat by a much larger crowd of several hundred, chanting “Fascists go home!” Eventually, the Islamophobic protesters were forced across the street. After taking back the square, the large crowd of mourners began singing France’s national anthem, Le Marseillaise. Watch a video of the confrontation here:

The group holding the banner was largely made up of a dozen or so supporters of the French National Front (FNF). The FNF is France’s third-largest political party, and its members have been referred to as racists on multiple occasions. The FNF was founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has been charged with inciting racial hatred at least six times throughout his career, specifically in reference to Muslims.

Marine Le Pen, who took over the front from Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2011, has called for a moratorium on legal immigration, and bemoaned the fact that immigrant detention centers were largely empty in 2011. This past October, she went on trial on charges of inciting racial hatred against Muslims, comparing Islamic prayer in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France during World War II.

In the wake of the attacks, French president Francois Hollande called for the immediate closure of international borders and declared a nationwide state of emergency. The last time France was under mandatory curfew was in 1944. This is especially significant, as just months ago, Hollande pledged to accept 24,000 Syrian refugees over a two-year period.

The influx of Syrian refugees into Europe is the largest refugee crisis the continent has seen since Jews were liberated from Nazi concentration camps and ghettos after World War II. An estimated 250,000 Syrians have been killed as a result of the civil war that has torn the country apart since 2011.

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