The damage to a Masonic temple in Tarbes in which “yellow vests” had been introduced during the night from Saturday to Sunday, constitutes an “aggression against the Republic”, the Prefect of the Hautes-Pyrénées stressed today.
A judicial inquiry was opened by the public prosecutor’s office in Tarbes. It is an “act of vandalism” and “everything will be done to find the perpetrators of these acts and punish them as strictly as possible”, insisted the prefect, Brice Blondel, on his way to the temple today, with local officials, to deliver a “message of support and sympathy”.
“This is an aggression against the Republic. By attacking an institution like this, we are attacking the very foundation of the Republic, we cannot remain passive,” he told journalists. He recalled that the main debate was aimed at responding to the yellow vest crisis and that “it is not with stones, crowbars or kicking in the very foundations of the Republic” that we participate.According to La Dépêche du Midi, around midnight “with only a few hundred “yellow vests” left in the city centre of Tarbes, a masked individual ripped the intercom from the Masonic lodge of the Grand Orient de France, before entering the building whose gate he opened.”
“Several people rushed into the area with the sound of broken windows for a ransacking that lasted only a few minutes,” according to the regional daily newspaper, while Gérard Trémège, Mayor of Tarbes, “it is a symbolic place like Jewish cemeteries or like the Arc de Triomphe”. Saturday night’s damage is “kicking the Republic”, he noted. “After the Jews, the Freemasons… When stupidity competes with the most filthy intolerance,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner reacted on Sunday in a tweet.
Après les juifs, les francs-maçons…
Quand la bêtise rivalise avec l’intolérance la plus crasse.
Je salue l’intervention rapide de la @PoliceNationale qui a mis fin aux exactions de ces individus qui n’ont d’autre projet que la haine.
Ne lâchons rien.https://t.co/ytr2YGqfZ0
— Christophe Castaner (@CCastaner) March 10, 2019