In a state of shock after the attacks in Paris, the city of Nice has predictably doubled down on police and military presence, and cancelled all major city-sponsored events and shows over the weekend. But even though public gatherings this weekend were strictly forbidden by the Mayor’s office, this didn’t stop at least 200 people from spontaneously gathering Saturday evening at Place Garibaldi for a candle-lit homage to mourn the victims of the Paris attacks. Unfortunately, however, they weren’t the only ones to show up, as a well-known and rather vocal group of thirty barged on the scene, singing a loud and aggressive version of the French national anthem and brandishing signs with anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant slogans like ‘France for the French’.
It is worth noting the local Muslim community’s reaction to the Paris tragedy: immediate and unanimous condemnation, responding to the senseless spilling of innocent blood by a massive turnout to donate their own blood to the local blood bank, joining other Nicois of all faiths, in a most personal show of solidarity to help the hundreds of injured. The line at the blood bank went around the block with many waiting up to 3 hours to donate. The influx was so overwhelming that over a 120 were asked to come back Monday.