A group of ultraright extremists gathered in Paris on Friday evening to pay tribute to young Thomas, who was killed at a village party in Drôme. The group, Les Natifs, organized the event, which drew about 200 people to the Panthéon square after the suspension of the prefectoral order banning it.
The participants at the gathering chanted slogans such as “justice for Thomas,” in addition to “Justice for Lola” and “Police complicit, journalist collaborators.” The march was placed under high surveillance and even booed Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, with passers-by calling him “fachos.”
The Paris police chief announced on Wednesday his decision to ban the rally due to concerns about incitement to hate and violence. However, the administrative court suspended the order just minutes before it was set to take place, citing a “grave infringement on the freedom to protest.”
The judges concluded that there was insufficient evidence to show that the rally posed a risk of infringing on human dignity or inciting criminal offenses. The purpose of the gathering was to honor Thomas and denounce the legal leniency that fails to “deter attackers from repeating their actions.”
The spokesman for Les Natifs, Antoine, explained that the goal of the demonstration was to bring together people who were shocked by Thomas’ death and to protest against the legal laxity that enables perpetrators to evade justice.
According to him, the militant extremists who clashed with young people in Romans-sur-Isère “expressed anger, but it was not the right way.” The Paris gathering was dispersed peacefully shortly after 8pm.