Americans Join Neo-Nazi March in Paris

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Transnational support for an annual neo-Nazi rally in Paris has grown considerably, with groups from the United States and Europe joining in on the hate.

Every year, on May 9, neo-Nazis, neo-fascists, and white nationalists across France gather to commemorate the death of a far-right militant. Last year, the Comité du 9 Mai (May 9 Committee, C9M) managed to cobble together around 300 fascists. This year, that number skyrocketed to around 1,000, no doubt due to a rise in popularity of the far right. Unlike in the past, the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) has found an increased international presence at this year’s march.

At least three American white supremacist groups traveled overseas for the rally, including the Patriot Front, SoCal Active Club, and Active Club Connecticut. The white nationalist Patriot Front, based out of Texas, was founded by former Vanguard America (VA) members following the violence during the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., after one of VA’s associates drove a car into protestors, killing an anti-racist activist. Since the Patriot Front is traditionally concerned with activism in the United States, their supposedly newfound allyship with French neo-Nazis is worrisome, especially considering C9M’s similar propensity to violence.

Patriot Front Sightings, a Telegram channel dedicated to documenting Patriot Front activity, shares pictures of Patriot Front representatives at the rally (Source: Telegram)

Multiple American Active Clubs, part of a larger international white supremacist network of “sports clubs” conceptualized by American neo-Nazi Robert Rundo and Russian neo-Nazi Denis Kasputin, were in attendance. Like the Patriot Front and C9M, the foundations of Active Clubs are rooted in violence. Active Clubs are direct descendants of the neo-Nazi Rise Above Movement (RAM), a violent group formed in 2017 by Rundo and known for engaging in violent street confrontations. RAM members were also present at the violent “Unite the Right” rally in 2017. The SoCal Active Club, based in southern California and one of the largest in the United States, made the trip to Paris along with Active Club Connecticut

Active Club Connecticut poses with their flag in front of the Eiffel Tower (Source: Telegram)

Transnationally, members of an Active Club based in Germany, Active Club Dietsland (Active Club Netherlands), and Légió Hungária (Legion of Hungary), a paramilitary organization with ties to Active Clubs, were all present at the march. A group from Verona, Italy, called Il Mastino Verona (The Verona Mastiff), that has established a “sport division,” also attended.

Some notable French groups at the march included the organizers, Comite du 9 Mai (C9M), and Action Française. Footage also revealed those at the rally wearing shirts reading “Batir quand tout s’écroule” (“Build, when everything is falling apart”), the slogan of the now defunct Bastion Social and now of neo-fascist Tenesoun, and members of Groupe Union Défense (GUD).

An Action Française banner is brandished during the rally on May 9, 2024 (Source: Telegram, translated from French)

The rally received endorsements from several far-right groups internationally on Telegram, including the Romanian-based nationalist group Casus Belli, which supports the fight against “sick ideologies that have infested France” and has spewed “Great Replacement” conspiracy rhetoric such as “today Bucharest is starting to become Little Bangladesh, while it is difficult to express what Paris inspires from a demographic point of view.” American neo-Nazi Telegram influencer “The Western Chauvinist” shared a video from the rally, celebrating that “our guys” are “on the streets of Paris.” The term “our guys” is a term, originating from the online forum 4chan that is known for its bigotry, used by white supremacists to demonstrate that someone is sympathetic to their racist agenda. In Canada, Diagolon and Active Club member Alex Vriend shared a video promoting “French Nationalists” marching, while “Canadian Ultras” shared a video from an European Ultras Telegram channel with footage.

The presence of so many far-right extremists from around the world shows that this movement continues to grow and network across borders. 

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