They were thousands of people marching all over France for Freedom of Speech, chanting JE SUIS CHARLIE, after the killing of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.
No surprise there.
Arguing in France is a national sport, the French just love to discuss the pros and cons of such and such ideas and to defend their point of view in discussions that can last forever.
However, some had doubts about the political exploitation of such a massive rally.
It looks like they were right.
First, there was a political and mediatic outcry against whoever considered to be an anti-Charlie. That led to a string of arrests on the vague charge of “defending terrorism”.
But that was just the beginning. What we are seeing now, is the start of a smear campaign to denounce all “conspirationists” who dare to disagree with the official policy of the French government.
It started when president Hollande has assimilated what he calls “conspiracy theories“ to Nazism and called to prevent their dissemination on the Internet and social networks.
His speech at the Shoah Memorial on January 27, 2015 is crystal clear:
“[Anti-Semitism] maintains conspiracy theories that spread without limits. Conspiracy theories that have, in the past, led to the worst “(…)” [The] answer is to realize that conspiracy theories are disseminated through the Internet and social networks. Moreover, we must remember that it is words that have in the past prepared extermination. We need to act at the European level, and even internationally, so that a legal framework can be defined, and so that Internet platforms that manage social networks are held to account and that sanctions be imposed for failure to enforce” (source: Voltairenet.org)
He then asked the French Socialist Party to prepare new legislation to repress all dissident voices.
French presstitutes wasted no time to join in the dance.
The leftish weekly Marianne (that self-proclaim itself as fighting one track thinking) has published an in-depth review under the title “Conspiracy nuts”.
L’Express, another weekly, has created its own directory of “sites d’infaux” (literally “false news sites”), listing their name, their category (blogs, alternative info, parody) and what kind of “false news” they spread.
Even worse, they invite their readers to submit their links, which is nothing less than encouraging them to act as stool pigeons (they’re bragging that they added 30 new sites thanks to their readers).
Just imagine Newsweek doing the same in the US.
Left leaning Libération had less chance with its list of evil pro-russian sites, that was removed after howls of protest among its readers.
A full fledged media campaign against “conspiracy theories” has just started, telling the good people of France that all Websites challenging the single worldview the French government want to impose are all nests of fascists, Nazis, terrorists, lunatics and anti-semitics.
All this in the name of Freedom of Thought.
Next will come a law prohibiting all those sites, that could lead to forced closure and arrest of those who just question the official thinking.
In the meantime, many French are thanking those magazines for the opportunity to introduce them to informative Websites they were longing for. An eloquent proof that the French still believe in the plurality of views.