From Dax to Béziers via Auch or Bayonne, towns with a bullfighting tradition, supporters of bullfighting, supported by many elected officials from all sides, have made themselves heard to defend their "heritage" and their "cultural wealth" in the face of the bill carried by Aymeric Caron, deputy for Paris of the Ecological Revolution for the Living (REV) party affiliated with LFI.
Its examination is scheduled for Thursday in the hemicycle after its rejection on Wednesday in committee.
Under umbrellas pasted with posters "
"There is no one way of life in Paris that must prevail everywhere. France is a mosaic of cultures that must be respected," said Senator Éric Kerrouche (PS) in front of local peñas (bullfighting associations). .
"Nobody forces anyone to go see a bullfight," added Lionel Pinsolle, president of the Bullfighting Circle of Tyrosse, for whom after bullfighting, "they will want to tackle hunting, fishing, force-feeding (of ducks with foie gras, note)".
- "Animalist totalitarianism" -
“Stop animalistic totalitarianism,” read a sign in the crowd.
In Mont-de-Marsan, where around 300 people were gathered, the mayor of the Landes village of Saint-Perdon (1,700 inhabitants) Jean-Louis Darrieutort explained that "bullfighting maintains a real social, intergenerational bond in the villages".
"I was born in the bullring, I've always been in the bullring, and it's a way of life. We need that. We also need to be united. We are a region where we are very close each other and defending our traditions, I think it's more important for us", added Céline, 50-year-old secretary, who did not wish to give her last name.
In Auch (Gers), they were 250 in front of the statue of d'Artagnan, including the deputies Jean-René Cazeneuve (Renaissance) and David Taupiac (PS).
Present in the rally in Bayonne, with some 350 aficionados, the French bullfighter Julien Lescarret denounced "an obscurantism of the extremes" and launched a scathing "Leave us alone" under cheers.
Aymeric Caron crystallized the discontent: "Parisian deputy bobo disinterested in our local identities" for the mayor of Dax Julien Dubois, or "great defender of mosquitoes and rats" for Bernard Mula, president of the Biterrois bullfighting clubs, present in Béziers.
Demonstrations by opponents were also announced this weekend in around forty cities.
In several of them, opponents of bullfighting have recreated a spectacle linked to death to say, as in Lyon where they were around fifty according to the prefecture, that "one cannot have fun around a grave ".
In Paris, in front of nearly 200 activists from a dozen animalist associations and parties, four activists carrying horns, squatting and head bowed, framed a young woman disguised as a bullfighter and carrying real banderillas.
In Montpellier, around twenty members of the Radical Anti-Bullfighting Committee (CRAC) set up a crime scene, surrounded by yellow tape, with fake blood, harpoons, banderillas and three fake bags of corpses on the ground.
"I don't need to see a bullfight to know what's going on there, just as you don't need to rape to know that it causes victims," said Cyril Vaucelle, project manager at CRAC. .
"The animal feels pain and is having a terrible time. It's not moral," Alexandre Godard, president of the local collective for animal protection (CPA), told AFP in Lyon, denouncing the fact that " 63 French cities" still organize bullfights.
In Lille, there were around sixty opponents, including Margaux Verdier, "vegan and anti-speciesist" wearing a "fuck bullfighting" T-shirt. "Many of us think it's crazy to believe that bullfighting is a culture, it's barbarism, torture," said this teleconsultant indignantly.