Groupe Union Défense
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|Type||Far-right students' union|
Groupe Union Défense or Groupe Unité Défense (originally named Groupe Union Droit), better known as GUD, is the name of a succession of violent French far-right student political groups. Regularly dissolved, it keeps surfacing under altered names. It was founded in 1968 under the name Union Droit at Panthéon-Assas University by Gérard Longuet, Gérard Ecorcheville and Alain Robert, after the dissolving of the Fédération des étudiants nationalistes and some members of the group Occident. In 1970, it became the Groupe d'union et de défense in an attempt to extend its reach outward from Assas, which is a law university. GUD took as symbol the Celtic cross and the black rat, and participated in the 1969 founding of Ordre Nouveau. In the mid-1980s, the GUD turned toward support of the Third Position movements and "national revolutionary" theories related to neo-fascism.
The GUD is barely existent outside of Panthéon-Assas University, a renowned law school in Paris. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, members of the GUD came into association with UNI, a right-wing student union , which has since severed the ties with the extremists. During the 1970s and early 1980s, linked to the Parti des forces nouvelles (PFN), the GUD published the satiric monthly Alternative with the Front de la Jeunesse (youth organization of the PFN). Mainly for financial reasons, the GUD participated in 1974 and 1981 to the security of demonstrations and activists during the presidential campaign of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, as well as of Edouard Balladur's 1995 campaign. In 1988, the group united itself with Jeune Résistance and the Union des cercles résistance, offshoots of Nouvelle Résistance National Bolshevist group, under the name Unité Radicale, dissolved after Maxime Brunerie's failed assassination attempt on president Jacques Chirac. In 2004, the GUD reformed under the name Rassemblement des Etudiants de Droite (Rally of the right-wing students). Its publication is Le Dissident.
Personalities who have been part of the GUD include Claude Goasguen, former vice-president of Liberal Democracy (DL), a classical liberal party, and current member of the UMP conservative party, Anne Méaux head of the PR firm Image 7, Michel Calzaroni director of the PR firm DGM Conseil as well as Basile de Koch.
Hate speech and violence
GUD has in the past engaged in various criminal activities, ranging from defacing property with slogans to beating political opponents with baseball bats (see UNEF). The GUD is also regularly censored by the head of the Assas university because of racist hate speech, in particular following provocations towards the Union des étudiants juifs de France, the French Jewish Students Union.
Some GUD members have fought in Lebanon in 1976, Croatia in the 1990s or in Burma along with the Karens. They have had links with French mercenaries and the Department of Protection-Security, which is the security organization of the far-right Front national.
Successive leaders of the GUD were: Jack Marchal, Jean-François Santacroce, Serge Rep, Philippe Cuignache, Charles-Henri Varaut, Frédéric Chatillon, William Bonnefoy, Benoît Fleury (from 1995 to 2000; now a professor at the law school of the University of Poitiers).
- Frédéric Chatillon, Thomas Lagane et Jack Marchal (dir.), Les Rats maudits. Histoire des étudiants nationalistes 1965-1995, Éditions des Monts d'Arrée, 1995, ISBN 2-911387-00-7.
- Roger Griffin: “Net gains and GUD reactions: patterns of prejudice in a Neo-fascist groupuscule” in Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 33, n°2, 1999, p. 31-50.
- Collectif, Bêtes et méchants. – Petite histoire des jeunes fascistes français, Paris, Éditions Reflex, 2002, ISBN 2-914519-01-X.