Anti-fascism

Polarisation in Europe: Right Turn or Revolt?

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The crisis in Europe has allowed the far right a hearing, but it's also led to a resurgence of the left.

Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold.' The Irish poet WB Yeats wrote those words in the wake of the First World War. Today the sense of political crisis across Europe, while not as great as then, is growing weekly as support for the parties of the centre cracks and politics polarises to the left and right.

'Halte au fascisme, halte au capitalisme!'

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They came in their tens of thousands, young and old, black and white. Within hours of the news that Le Pen had come second in the first round of the presidential election, the boulevards of central Paris were filled with protesters.

Many were in tears of shock and emotion. One young woman had painted 'J'ai honte' ('I am ashamed') on her forehead.

I was on a feeder demonstration that marched first to the Place de la Republique on its way to the traditional gathering place for protesters, the Bastille. As we passed metro stations and cafes people responded to the call 'Dans la rue!' ('Onto the street!') and joined the march. Demonstrators hugged each other as they found friends in the crowd--they were on their mobile phones--'We're going to the Bastille. You must come'.

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