Three French unions representing school teachers have condemned antisemitic tropes that featured at demonstrations against ‘vaccine passports’.
In a joint statement, CGT Education 43, FSU 43 and SUD Education 43, all of the Haute-Loire region of south-central France, observed that “for several weeks now, a handful of ultra-right activists have been instrumental in using the Saturday demonstrations against the health pass to display signs with hate messages with impunity,” and declared that “words and acts that target French people of Jewish faith, culture or tradition or attack their existence, their memory or their identity, hurt the whole of France.”
Placards at the rallies apparently bore slogans including, “Non a la manipula-Sion” (“No to manipulation”) with “Sion” (“Zion”) underlined; “En marche vers le chaos mondial” (“Forward to global chaos”), a pun on the political party of French President Emmanuel Macron and a slogan associated with convicted Holocaust denier Alain Soral; and “Je suis Cassandre” (“I am Cassandre”), declaring solidarity with controversial activist and former far-right Parliamentary candidate Cassandre Fristot.
The unions’ statement went on to assert that “Antisemitism is a crime condemned by law. It should be neither excused nor trivialized,” before calling on local residents “to stand up in the face of the return of the ‘Filthy Beast’ and of any form of racism.”
Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.