Parisians spilled into the streets to honor antifascist activist Clement Meric, who was killed four years ago. Scores of left-wing protesters march through the streets carrying banners depicting Meric, while chanting slogans and throwing smoke grenades.
The demonstration began at the Place de la Republique and will proceed to Place Gambetta. The activists heading the procession are carrying a large red banner reading “Four years after the death of Clement Meric, we fight against racism and the extreme right.” Some are seen waving flares and brandishing flags of the ‘Antifascist Action – Paris Banlieue’ movement.
The 18-year-old activist was killed in a brawl with far-right activists on June 5, 2013 in central Paris. Meric, severely beaten, was hospitalized, where he was declared brain dead the following day.
The incident was denounced by French politicians, with then-Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault vowing to “cut to pieces” all extreme right-wing groups. Later, the French authorities shut down a number of neo-Nazi groups, including the “Third Way” and the “Revolutionary Nationalist Youths,” whose members were blamed for the murder.
The main suspects were released after more than a year of pre-trial detention, with one of them admitting he had hit Meric during the altercation.