“Racized Same-Sex” Meetings, Allegations of Discrimination … Why the UNEF is in an uproar

The main L’Unf (National Student Union of France) has been criticized for a week. Part of the political class is offended by the organization of “same-sex” meetings.

Demands for the dissolution of the UNEF have multiplied since Thursday, March 18th. In question, an interview with the President of the Student Union, Mélanie Luce, by Sonia Mabrouk on the morning of Europe 1. The union president therefore stated “to organize meetings so that women can express the discrimination they may suffer”. “and” Meetings so that people affected by racism can express what they are going through “.

“Things That Look Like Fascism”

Meetings “forbidden for whites”, which particularly disturb the political class resulting from the right and the majority, some even call for a dissolution. Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer expressed his indignation on BFMTV: “People who claim to be progressive and who differentiate people according to their skin lead us to things that are similar to fascism, it is extremely serious.”

On the left, it’s time to rally and defend the UNEF. On the world website, 250 former student union leaders, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Benoît Hamon, condemn the words of the Minister of Education: “Signatories of this text for some and some with sometimes profound disagreements with practices and unions, and Aligning the UNEF with its place in the public debate based on its history and the values ​​stemming from the Grenoble Charter it embodies, “they insist.

After numerous allegations of discrimination, the UNEF explained the purpose of same-sex meetings as follows: “These support groups deal with different issues: sexism, racism (both skin-color and skin-color-related).” Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia), LGBTI + phobias … They happen twice a year and anyone who feels concerned is welcome. No ‘sorting’ is carried out. “

https://publish.twitter.com/?query=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FUNEF%2Fstatus%2F1372539366984331265&widget=Tweet

Series slides

If the aim of the UNEF is to give students the opportunity to assert their rights and improve their living and study conditions, certain controversies have also tarnished the union’s image in recent years.

While the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral is on fire in 2019, some members are perceived unfavorably on social networks. The Vice-President of Unef-Lille, Hafsa Askar, published a tweet on Monday April 15th: “I don’t care about Notre-Dame de Paris because I don’t care about the history of France, I don’t know what, go ahead and mention me . “

Another person who is responsible for the UNEF this time in Rennes is mentioned for a tasteless post: “This is a national drama, a cathedral frame is on fire.”

Is a dissolution possible?

Last controversy: On March 4th, the Unef de Grenoble published a photo on its Twitter account with collages addressed to two teachers from Sciences Po Grenoble: “Fascists in our lecture halls T. […] and Kinzler’s resignation. Islamophobia kills. “After the controversy and calls for dissolution, the UNEF assured that it was not the origin of the collages.

ud83d udce3 Press release from UNEF and its locals on the events in Grenoble.

We reaffirm our opposition to all hatred and all public lynching! pic.twitter.com/r8O5mrESPg

– UNEF (@UNEF) March 7, 2021

Could this controversy warrant a resolution? To obtain such a decision, made in the Council of Ministers, the government must rely on one of the seven grounds set out in Article L212-1 of the Code of Homeland Security. In particular, this text provides for the resolution of any group that “causes discrimination, hatred or violence against a person or group of people based on their origin, membership or non-membership. A particular ethnicity, nation, race or religion to spread either ideas or theories that tend to justify or encourage this discrimination, hatred or violence. “

The lawyer questioned by Le Figaro, Thomas Loncle, does not believe in a resolution: “The possible provocations, if they are actually proven, would probably not constitute a criminal offense.”