Clement Meric, the French college student who died after being beaten by a group of skinheads in Paris this week, was active in the cause of LGBT rights — a video of a demonstration in April shows him marching behind a banner reading “Homophobia Kills.”
Meric was involved in a confrontation with the skinheads Wednesday night in the heart of Paris, in which he was beaten severely. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of head injuries and was pronounced dead yesterday. One far-right activist in France blamed his death on same-sex marriage, which the nation’s Parliament recently voted to legalize.
Meric was a member of an organization called Anti-Fascist Action, and he campaigned against racism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination, Reuters reports. He marched with the “Homophobia Kills” banner in an April 17 demonstration countering anti–marriage equality activists; see video below.
A crowd of hundreds gathered in tribute to Meric last night near the site of the attack, and there were also vigils at his university, Sciences Po, which is located in Paris’s Latin Quarter, and in other French cities.
In Toulouse, a city in southern France, officials rescinded permission for a rally of right-wing youth Saturday evening, with police citing a “serious risk of public disorder,” according to Reuters. Leftist youth activists plan to rally in the city during the day.