Occident (movement)

Occident (movement)

Occident (1964-1968) was a French far-right militant political group, often described as fascist-leaning. A number of members of Occident later were prominent members of right-wing parties, and even obtained ministerial positions. The movement never had more than 550 members .

Foundation and activities

Founded by Pierre Sidos in 1964, it mostly recruited university students. Occident was intensely anti-communist, but also denounced the administration of President Charles de Gaulle, making common cause with the pied-noirs (French citizens living in the Algerian French Department, before the Algerian War of Independence) who accused de Gaulle of having sold them out.

On January 12, 1967, a group of Occident members attacked the Vietnam committees on the campus of the University of Rouen. About 20 members of Occident were arrested, including Gérard Longuet, Alain Madelin and Patrick Devedjian (all future right-wing ministers). This case fed the natural tendency of paranoia of the group, with suspicions that someone had tipped off the police. Patrick Devedjian, summoned for an alleged meeting, was brutally interrogated by fellow members, including waterboarding in a bathtub. Devedjian escaped in the nude .

In January 1968, Roger Holeindre (future vice-President of the National Front) founded the Front uni de soutien au Sud-Viêt-Nam (United Front in Support of South Vietnam) which supported the US war effort . Occident actively participated to this Front .

Following violent confrontations during the period of turmoil of May 1968, Occident was termed an illegal violent group and dissolved by the administration. Many of its former members joined newer far-right groups such as the Groupe Union Droit (GUD) students' trade-union.

Occident and the groups that succeeded it have a Celtic cross emblem.

Former members

Former members include:

Slogans

Its slogans included:

  • Mort aux Bolches !
    Death to the Bolshes (slang for bolsheviks)
  • Écrasons les valets du Viêt-Cong !
    Let us stomp the Viet Cong's valets!
  • Gauchistes, ne vous cassez pas la tête, Occident le fera pour vous.
    Leftists, don't break your head [worry], Occident will do it for you.
  • Sortez les manches !
    Get the handles out !
  • Sous-développés = Sous-capables
    Under-developed = Under-capable

References

Bibliography

  • Frédéric Charpier, Génération Occident: De l'extrême-droite à la droite, éd. du Seuil, 2005. ISBN 978-2020614139

See also

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