Femen disrupts far-right European Parliament election kick off
Bare-chested members of the activist group Femen crashed the far-right’s National Front press conference held today to launch their campaign for next month's European Parliament elections.
Nationalist and far right parties in France, and elsewhere in Europe, are poised to make historic gains in the vote.
Femen activists blocked the entrance to the press conference in Paris’ 8th arrondissement as they yelled “Fascist Epidemic” and bared painted European Union flags across their chests.
The golden stars on the EU flag, which normally take the shape of a circle, were rearranged to represent a swastika.
The group’s Twitter said the protest was aimed at starting its own campaign to fight fascism in Europe – but the action only lasted ten minutes before police arrived and arrested the activists.
"An army of 23 sextremists from around Europe disrupted their press conference by denouncing the coalition of all the European extreme-right parties who have the goal of contaminating a few more seats in the Parliament,” the group wrote in a series of tweets. “Femen begins here its campaign against the epidemic that is sprouting throughout Europe."
The far-right anti-EU party, which takes a hard-line on immigration, is expected to have a strong showing on the May 25th elections, as a follow up to an electoral comeback in France’s municipal elections in March.
The police also broke up a confrontation between reportedly young nationalists who had threatened the group over social media in the week before the event.
With a strong base in France, Femen unveiled a new Paris suburbs headquarters on Sunday night.
In the week prior to its official launch, Femen had received threats on social media from a group of reportedly young nationalists.
Some of them showed up at the launch before police broke up the confrontation on Sunday.
The current headquarters in Clichy is an unoccupied building owned by France’s water department, which has filed complaints against its illegal occupation.
However, over the past five months Femen has taken over the facility and has made use of its large terrace and created dormitories for its members and a training room.