January 24, 2022

the deputies of the majority facing the “rise of hatred”

The man is alone, helpless. The mob, unleashed, throws projectiles at him which he receives violently in the face. “It looked like a stoning”, deplored the deputy La République en Marche (LRM) of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, Stéphane Claireaux, shocked, after being the target of seaweed throws from demonstrators against the sanitary pass, on January 9, in front of his home. He intends to file a complaint after this latest act of violence against an elected member of the majority.

Like his colleagues, he too had arrived at the National Assembly all smiles, in June 2017, with the ambition of “Renewing practices” policies. Novices for the most part on their arrival, the Macronist deputies very quickly became disillusioned. Insulting letters, insulting messages on social networks or by email, death threats, burnt down offices, burnt personal cars, targeted homes… Never has a majority been so targeted.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers “A tragedy is always possible”: the concern of elected officials confronted with the trivialization of death threats

“The increase in violence against deputies has no equivalent under the Ve Republic “, noted the historian Christophe Bellon, specialist in parliamentary history, in 2019. Since then, far from decreasing, the phenomenon has only worsened. To the point that not a single member of the LRM group has been spared by this type of behavior, at one time or another of the five-year term, according to the group’s presidency.

“A liberation from violence against elected officials”

It began in May 2018, when a majority of LRM elected officials had retested an amendment aimed at setting in stone the abandonment of glyphosate by 2021, in order to respect a promise made by Emmanuel Macron. There followed an avalanche of criticism, then a witch hunt. On the Web, elected officials considered to have “Badly voted” were presented as the “42 bastards”, and threatened with death.

But it was nothing compared to the explosion of violence from the end of 2018, with the crisis of “yellow vests”. “This movement has uncapped something, with a liberation of violence against elected officials and a graduation in the actions committed”, observes the leader of LRM deputies, Christophe Castaner, who was then Minister of the Interior.

Often in the front line, the “walking” deputies receive the full brunt of the anger in their constituencies. A notch is exceeded when some are taken to task at home, going so far as to fear for their lives and that of their families. Like the member for Dordogne Jacqueline Dubois, whose car is set on fire, as well as that of her husband, in front of her house. “Poujadism already existed before, the difference is that now more and more people are uninhibited and take action”, then analyzes the elected LRM of Vienne Sacha Houlié, whose office has been vandalized.

You have 66.8% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.