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Testimony.  “The RN is terror and intimidation”

“I was an opposition municipal councilor in Hénin-Beaumont (Pas-de-Calais) for six years. Next Sunday, I will vote without hesitation to block the way to Marine Le Pen, because the RN in power in a city is democracy permanently hindered.

In the municipal council, we were six combative opposition elected officials against the 29 majority elected officials. The mayor RN, Steeve Briois, commented on each of our speeches in a sarcastic tone, before cutting off our microphones when we responded to his attacks, under the boos of the public acquired for the cause of the RN… In six years of mandate , all our motions, even the most consensual ones, were rejected. When we voted against the budget, we were vilified in the municipal magazine of the following month, accused of having voted against associations, against municipal employees, and of having hatred against our city…

In six years and more than 60 issues of the municipal magazine, several of our forums have been censored and almost all have been the subject of an immediate right of reply from the RN group, until I hire and win an appeal before the administrative court to put an end to these practices. Regularly, our group president received messages threatening him with a libel suit if we did not change a wording of our text. The stands of the RN were, they, of an unprecedented violence. Every month we were accused of being “bobos, leftists, revengeful, hysterical, incompetent”. These attacks hammered from platform to platform have not been without effect, and part of the population believes the false propaganda disseminated by the far right at its word.

Treated as a small group of “woodlice”, the LDH was expelled from the premises lent by the town hall because of a call to vote against the FN in 2014… and because I was an active member. The president of the cultural center, where I had been doing theater for ten years, also asked me to resign from the board of directors because he was afraid of losing subsidies. The local Secours Populaire Français committee was banned from the Christmas market on the pretext of the proximity of several of its volunteers to the opposition.

During the term, I was the subject of five defamation lawsuits and I was insulted many times on social networks. This climate of terror and intimidation has achieved its goal: eight years after the RN came to power, more people dare to oppose the municipality head-on; many municipal employees preferred to request their transfer and were replaced by RN activists. For my part, I left Hénin-Beaumont. Others than me are continuing the fight there. My experience makes me say that the unions, the associative world, the world of culture, the press and more broadly the population as a whole would have everything to lose from a victory for Marine Le Pen. »