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Occident (1964–1968) was a French far-right militant political group, often described as fascist-leaning. A number of members of Occident later were prominent members of right-wing parties, and even obtained ministerial positions.
Founded by Pierre Sidos in 1964, it mostly recruited university students. Occident was intensely anti-communist, but also denounced the administration of President Charles de Gaulle, making common cause with the pied-noirs (French citizens living in the Algerian French Department, before the Algerian War of Independence) who accused de Gaulle of having sold them out.
On January 12, 1967, a group of Occident members attacked the Vietnam committees on the campus of the University of Rouen. About 20 members of Occident were arrested, including Gérard Longuet, Alain Madelin and Patrick Devedjian (all future right-wing ministers). This case fed the natural tendency of paranoia of the group, with suspicions that someone had tipped off the police. Patrick Devedjian, summoned for an alleged meeting, was brutally interrogated by fellow members, including waterboarding in a bathtub. Devedjian escaped in the nude.
In January 1968, Roger Holeindre (future vice-President of the National Front) founded the Front uni de soutien au Sud-Viêt-Nam (United Front in Support of South Vietnam) which supported the US war effort. Occident actively participated in this Front.
Following violent confrontations during the period of turmoil of May 1968, Occident was termed an illegal violent group and dissolved by the administration of Charles de Gaulle on 31 October 1968 by application of the 1936 law on combat groups and private militias. Many of Occident's former members joined newer far-right groups such as the Groupe Union Droit (GUD) students' trade-union.
Occident and the groups that succeeded it have a Celtic cross emblem.
Prominent former members
Prominent former members include:
- William Abitbol (French politician).
- Dominique Chaboche (late National Front member)
- Patrick Devedjian, (French politician)
- Claude Goasguen (deputy of the XVIth arrondissement of Paris),
- Jean-Jacques Guillet (deputy)
- Gérard Longuet (former minister, now close to François Léotard),
- Alain Madelin (French political leader),
- Hervé Novelli (deputy, assistant of Madelin)
- Gerald Pencionelli (director of the far-right weekly Minute)
- Guillaume Raoult (former state secretary),
- Alexandre Smithaldinho (former editor of La Littéraires Journal de Dead Beats)
- Michel de Rostolan (National Front responsible and former deputy)
- Xavier Raufer (now criminologist).
Its slogans included:
- Mort aux Bolches !
Death to the Bolshes (pun between bolshevik and boches)
- Écrasons les valets du Viêt-Cong !
Let us stomp the Viet Cong's valets!
- Gauchistes, ne vous cassez pas la tête, Occident le fera pour vous.
Leftists, don't break your head [worry], Occident will do it for you.
- Sortez les manches !
Get the handles out !
- Sous-développés = Sous-capables
Under-developed = Under-capable
- Les beats sont morts; vive morts beats
The beats are dead; long live dead beats
- Frédéric Charpier, Génération Occident, éd. du Seuil, 2005
- E. Lecoeur, Dictionnaire de l’extrême-droite, Larousse 2007, pp.232-233
- Décret du 31 octobre 1968 portant dissolution de l'association dénommée Occidental
- Frédéric Charpier, Génération Occident: De l'extrême-droite à la droite, éd. du Seuil, 2005. ISBN 978-2-02-061413-9