French MPs belonging to Macron’s LREM party have been hit by a wave of threats, including death threats, while others have had their cars burned and their homes broken into.
One French historian called the levels of threats and abuse towards lawmakers as “unprecedented”.
The party’s president in the National Assembly Gilles Legendre calling for an end to the threats in an open letter to Le Monde published on Wednesday.
“That’s enough!”, he said. “We are in France in 2019!”
“The nation’s elected representatives deserve neither more nor less protection or compassion than all French men and women.”
A group of around 20 ‘yellow vests’ approached the same MP’s home chanting “Macron, démission!” (“Macron, resign!”), banging on his door and clamping his door shut.
MP Benoit Potterie received a bullet in the post on December 7th accompanied by a handwritten message saying, “Next time you’ll get it between the eyes”.
« La prochaine fois ce sera entre les deux yeux »
J’ai toujours été ouvert au dialogue mais ces menaces sont inacceptables. Je ne me laisserai pas intimider et continuerai mon travail de député avec la même motivation, l’intérêt général, et la même méthode, échange et dialogue pic.twitter.com/sJiofhXi7D
— Benoit Potterie (@BenoitPotterie) December 7, 2018
And on November 24th, LREM MP Mireille Robert announced on Twitter that around 40 individuals wearing helmets and face masks had entered her vineyard, threatened her and started a fire.
On particular minister who has been targeted by abuse and threats online is Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa.
She published a tweet showing some of the abuse she has received.
“You deserve a flash ball in head” and “we are going to hang you” were just two examples she chose.
« Pute à Juifs »
« Putain de l’Elysée »
« Vous méritez de prendre un flash ball dans la tête »
« On va te pendre »
Photo, vidéomontages dégradants…
Par téléphone ou en ligne.
Tous les jours.
Ne rien dire c’est couvrir. pic.twitter.com/KAyoAS4Jh8
— 🇫🇷 MarleneSchiappa (@MarleneSchiappa) January 9, 2019
LREM MP Bruno Studer filed an official complaint on January 10th after finding violent anti-Semitic abuse on the wall of his home near Strasbourg.
France’s Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted a photo of the message with the words: “A new anti-Semitic infamy perpetrated against an elected representative of the people. Solidarity with @ BrunoStuder67 and all parliamentarians targeted by these despicable attacks.
“The Republic is stronger than hatred. Those who want to dishonor her will answer to justice.”
Une nouvelle infamie antisémite perpétrée contre un élu du peuple.
Solidarité avec @BrunoStuder67 et l’ensemble des parlementaires visés par ces attaques abjectes.
La République est plus forte que la haine.
Ceux qui veulent la déshonorer en répondront devant la Justice. pic.twitter.com/EKOMmv7nDh
— Christophe Castaner (@CCastaner) January 10, 2019
On January 7th, LREM MPs Marie Lebec and Aurore Bergé published anonymous letters they had received containing threats of sexual violence and promising that Lebec would be hung and Bergé decapitated.
With some of the threats carried out anonymously, not all of the incidents can be definitively pinned on the gilets jaunes.
However the sharp rise in the number of threats coinciding with the anti-government ‘yellow vest’ wave that has been taking place over the past two months makes it highly likely that they are linked, particularly when some of the threats are being openly carried out by members of the movement.
And it seems the very public anti-Macron message voiced by many of the gilets jaunes is spilling over onto other member’s of the president’s party.