Vitrol, five years of the National Front Laboratory – Liberation

Photographer Patrick Gerdussi covered the Megre years in Bouches-du-Rhône from 1997 to 2002. The frontist couple used their favorite FN themes. Looking back on those five years.

We are 1997. I am 23 years old. I grew up in Vitrolle (Bouches-du-Rhône), a new town built between a Provencal village and a commercial and industrial area. I am a press correspondent for Provence, coverage of the city’s community life and amateur football matches for local newspaper pages. I am studying to be a journalist and photographer at work. Since 1989 and its result in the cantonal elections, the National Front has known that it can conquer this southern city.

In 1995, Marignane, Orange and Toulon became triangles. Not Vitrol, despite having the number 2 in FN, Bruno Megre has been parachuting since 1993. The cancellation of the 1996 election calls for a new vote. Bruno Megre’s ban on running in the election for a year forces him to introduce his wife, Catherine. Then the FN invests in this single election: a whole bunch of militants come, a mixture of identities, ex-soldiers and old FN militants. This time the city defeats Catherine Megre: Vitrol will become the “laboratory” of FN.

Frontist policy will address her favorite topics. The brightest events have affected the culture. Enclosing the walls of the Su-Maren (concert hall of the punk rock alternative) or the dismissal of Regine Juen, director of the Lumiere Cinema. She was fired for programming Philip Focon’s short films about homosexuality: “If we tolerate this, we tolerate pedophilia” throws him a cultural assistant Catherine Megre. The streets have been renamed. Associations see that their municipal subsidies are melting, and the municipal police are becoming disproportionately important. National benefits are applied with a bonus at birth. We ask you to show your ID to enter several houses that are still open. FN culture takes its place between the tambourine, the troubadour and the French rock festival, which brings together neo-Nazis from all over France. In the city center, popular areas are abandoned. The city is fragmented. FN will remain for 5 years.

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