The Front National (FN) is a modern fascist party. It was formed in 1972 by Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was backed by wartime fascists, including ex- SS officers and supporters of the pro-Nazi Vichy government, and a new generation of fascists, or self-styled ‘revolutionary nationalists.’ Their strategy was to seek respectability to win wider support and then transform these supporters ‘in our image.’
The FN is deeply racist. It has tried to use its electoral success and media profile to bring anti-semitism and Holocaust revisionism into the mainstream, and to make racism respectable. In 1987 Le Pen described the gas chambers as a ‘point of detail’ of the Second World War. In 1996 he argued that racial inequality was a fact. In 2010, Marine Le Pen, compared Muslims praying in the street to the wartime occupation of France.
The FN continues to cultivate links with fascist groups and parties and retains links to white supremacist and organisations promoting Holocaust denial. In 2012, on Holocaust Memorial Day, Marine Le Pen was a guest of the Austrian Freedom Party at a ball in Vienna organized by the neo-Nazi Olympia society. Olympia bans Jews or women from its membership, once proposed that the Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to Nazi Rudolf Hess, and organizes celebrations of Holocaust denial featuring prominent revisionists like David Irving.
Marine Le Pen has used the recent killings in Paris to launch attacks on Muslims and migrants.
Oxford is a multicultural city that has been targeted by fascists in the National Front trying to stir up race hatred by exploiting the suffering of rape victims and scapegoating Muslim men. By inviting Marine Le Pen the Oxford Union is contributing to a climate of Islamophobia which only encourages racists and fascists. The Oxford Union should not be giving racists and Islamophobes the prestige of speaking at their institution and we demand Marine Le Pen's invitation is rescinded.
Signatories include: Ken Loach film director / former Oxford Alumni, Avi Shlaim, Emeritus Professor of International Relations St Anthony’s College Oxford, Anneliese Dodds MEP, Megan Dobney Regional Secretary SERTUC, Roger McKenzie Assistant General Secretary UNISON, Pol O’Ceallaigh President of Oxford and District TUC, plus Oxford City Councillorsand over 140 trade unionists, students and Oxford residents.
Please share with hastag #LePenoutofOxfordUnion
Statement organised by Oxford Unite Against Fascism
In the event of Le Pen's talk going ahead there will be a protest at the Oxford union from 5 pm on Thursday 5th February (called by Unite Against Fascism)Join the facebook event for the protest https://www.facebook.com/events/1609440465956770
Rally - No Platform for fascsts - Marine Le Pen Not Welcome Here. Oxford town Hall, 7 pm Wednesday 28th January FB event https://www.facebook.com/events/1404300689866187