Rally against Russophobia in Pau (France) June 30, 2022
Valentina Shevchuk, Association of Russophones Des Pyrénées
The association Russophones of the Pyrenees (Russophones Des Pyrénées) held a rally in support of Russia and against Russophobia in Pau on June 30. Information about the rally was posted on the Facebook page (organization whose activities are banned in the Russian Federation) of the association.
On Thursday evening, a pro-Russian demonstration was held in the center of Pau (Atlantic Pyrenees). Organized by Russian compatriots living in France from the Association des Russophones de la Pyrenees, it was called “Say STOP to discrimination against the Russian people.”
By 7 p.m. about three dozen people, two-thirds of whom were native French, had gathered in front of the departmental prefecture on Rue Marshall Joffre. The participants of the rally placed a large banner on the sidewalk with the words, “No to discrimination. “No to imperialist wars. No to Fascism. No to NATO.”
The participants of the rally held placards on which they wrote, “Russophobia equals fascism,” “I am French. I support Russians. Stop Russophobia”, “I am French. No to Russophobia. No to discrimination”, “Let’s stop demonizing Russia”. One of the banners expressed disagreement with the French and European Union funding of the Ukrainian army, “Money for the poor, not for bombs.”
Addressing the participants, the organizers stressed that “during the last decade Russophobia has been flourishing and gaining momentum,” and that in recent months its manifestations in the EU and, in particular, in France have been “shocking.” The hatred of Russians has been systematically cultivated in the media at the behest of the EU authorities. “It is important for us to point out the problem, and we hope that we will be heard by decision-makers. We say that discrimination against Russians in Europe will not help resolve the conflict, but will only intensify it,” said one of the organizers of the rally.
“We are an association engaged in the cultural activities, but we can no longer stand by and remain silent. … So far, the hatred of the population towards the Russians is manifested mostly in French social networks, but we must not allow it to come into real life. … And in real life, they closed bank accounts of the honest working Russians, made it impossible to send packages, stopped flights to Russia because of sanctions,” the organizing committee stressed.
“We are witnessing a rupture of cultural ties between Russia and France, a ban on our classics: writers, composers, artists,” the organizers continued with concern. “And yet artists are the bridge to connect our cultures.”
“Russians are not aggressors, they know very well what war is,” because during the Great Patriotic War the USSR “lost 27 million lives,” the organizers recalled. They noted that in the history of French-Russian relations there have been much better episodes and the French authorities should take their example from them.
The French who spoke afterward expressed their concern about the processes in the society: the dismantling of democratic institutions, rights and freedoms. They spoke of the lack of transparency in the decisions made by the authorities and impeding Nazism and transhumanism. Society must wake up from its consumerist lethargy and apathy, they said, or the consequences will be catastrophic.
One of the participants read out a French translation of Alexander Pushkin’s poem To the Slanderers of Russia.
The organizers of the rally told a Rossa Primavera News Agency‘s correspondent, “With this rally, we would like to initiate a wave of similar pro-Russian rallies in France, so that people will not be afraid to come out and say ‘stop’ to Russophobia. The first was the recent protest in Marseille, we are the second. I hope we were able to raise the morale of those who love Russia.”
Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency