- Mayor of Paris condemns attack in the LGBT+ district.
Vandals have tagged two gay bars in the LGBT+ neighborhood of Paris with Nazi swastikas and Celtic crosses.
Witnesses saw three young men in balaclavas tagging the Banana café with crosses and a swastika on 30 June.
Assistant manager of the bar, Dimitri Morvan, told French LGBT+ magazine Tetu that the incident happened in broad daylight at 2.25pm and lasted just a few seconds. The bar was closed but the haters were caught on CCTV.
‘The Banana was clearly targeted. On video surveillance, we see three people putting on ski masks near the bar. Two of them stand watch while the third tags with spray paint.
‘We then see them running away. The crowd is shocked in particular by seeing these boys in balaclavas running… Some of them must have thought there was a bomb.’
Since then the Cox bar, just a few streets away, also suffered vandalism early on Monday morning (6 July). Haters tagged it with two swastikas and a Celtic cross.
But the tags were swiftly removed. Someone called the police to tell them about the attack at 10.38am. And by 11.26am, city workers had cleaned them off.
Both bars are around the The Marais neighborhood, Paris’ popular LGBT+ district in the center of the city. The square next to the Cox is named after the Stonewall Riots.
Mayor: ‘Hate and homophobia will never have a place in Paris’
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo tweeted her support for the venues. She said:
‘I condemn with the greatest firmness the abject inscriptions tagged on the @BananaCafeParis and the #Cox. All my support to the teams.
‘These messages of hate and homophobia will never have a place in Paris. I want the perpetrators to be quickly identified and brought to justice.’
Moreover Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, deputy in charge of the fight against discrimination, has visited Banana café and will visit Cox bar.
He said: ‘Paris must be an inclusive city. The municipal police that we wish to set up will in particular be trained in LGBTphobia.’
For many people, the Celtic cross – a cross surrounded by a circle – is an innocent symbol of Christianity. It’s common in countries with Celtic heritage, like Ireland, where it also symbolizes national pride.
However, it was used by Norweigian Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s. Since then, a wide range of white supremacists have adopted it, including the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.