Fifteen days after the violent death of Thomas in Romans-sur-Isère in Drôme, and despite calls for calm and bans on demonstrations particularly targeting the ultra-right, a few dozen people nevertheless gathered in a square in the popular district de la Monnaie, at the center of attention, Saturday December 2 at midday.

Some suspects in the death of the 16-year-old high school student – ​​killed on the sidelines of a village ball in Crépol on the night of November 18 to 19 – would come from there. “United against those who divide” or “No to fascist recovery”, proclaimed signs displayed by these people who say they are mobilized out of “solidarity with Thomas’ family”, but also with the inhabitants of the working-class neighborhood who feel ostracized since the tragedy.

A discreet police presence monitored the gathering which, beyond the call for harmony, is also a response to the mobilization of the ultra-right who have been crying for revenge since the death of the young rugby player. There were around two hundred of them in Paris on Friday evening, and remain mobilized in the area around Crépol, according to a police source.

Less than 20 kilometers away, in Valencia, the prefecture is under heavy police protection, but the situation is calm. Two demonstrations planned in connection with the Crépol tragedy were banned by the Drôme prefecture “due to the risk of disturbances to public order”.

“Palpable tension”, two banned conferences

The investigation into organized gang murder opened by the Valencia public prosecutor’s office after Thomas’ death resulted in the indictment of nine young people, including three minors. Photos with identity presented as those of the attackers were widely distributed by ultra-right accounts calling for revenge, particularly against the residents of La Monnaie.

The police said they received a complaint on Wednesday from a postman, a temporary worker from the neighborhood who was threatened by several individuals with a knife and subjected to racist insults, according to the SUD-PTT union. “We feel a palpable tension in the classes” and a sharp increase in absenteeism, comments Régis Roussillon, teacher and member of the SNES-FSU union, from Thomas high school.

At the heart of the discussions also at La Monnaie, the words of the mayor, Marie-Hélène Thoraval (Les Républicains), who had denounced on BFM-TV drugs and “the level of delinquency” in this priority district of the city despite the “ 150 million euros injected since 2014”, and called for “other forms of response”. The prefecture clarified on Friday that it had placed the councilor and his relatives under protection, after his complaint of death threats.

A sign of tensions in the region, two conferences planned in Lyon as part of Antifa Fest, a far-left activist festival, were banned on Friday by the Rhône prefecture. For the lawyer of the association organizing the event, Agnès Bouquin, the prefect preferred to “prevent from speaking anything that could disturb” the ultra-right movements, on the grounds that she “would be overtaken by the fascist leagues” . Requests to lift the bans have been filed and the administrative court must rule on Sunday’s conference.