Homophobic thugs spray-paint swastikas onto Paris gay bars in ‘extremely worrying act of hate’

Gay venues Banana Cafe and Cox were both targeted

LGBT+ campaigners have urged people to push back against hatred after two LGBT+ venues in Paris have been defaced with swastikas.

Banana Cafe and Cox, two gay venues in the French capital, were targeted with the hateful graffiti over the weekend.

The incident at Banana Cafe occurred on Friday afternoon (July 3) while the bar was closed, and was reportedly caught on security cameras.

Assistant manager Dimitri Morvan told La Parisien: “We watched the video surveillance and we saw that they were three young men. They arrived with their faces uncovered and then put on their hoods before running away again. ”

Cox was targeted in a similar incident on Monday morning (July 6).

The bar’s owner Frédéric Hervé condemned the “shameful” acts of intolerance.

He said: “First it was Banana, then it was Cox. The LGBT+ community is clearly being targeted by these ignoble acts. We have received abusive calls and threatening letters before, but we have never had swastikas.”

Politicians make clear ‘homophobia will never have a place in Paris’.

Local politician Jean-Luc Romero-Michel, a well-known LGBT+ rights activist, called out the “extremely worrying” act of symbolic hatred towards the LGBT+ community. He warned that the city has a “minority” with hateful views, challenging far-right radicalisation.

He paid a visit to Cox on Monday alongside other elected officials, adding: “Hatred will never have a place in Paris.”

Meanwhile, mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo made clear: “These messages of hatred and homophobia will never have a place in Paris. I want the perpetrators to be quickly identified and brought to justice.”

So far, no arrests have been made in connection with the two incidents. Banana Cafe says it has filed a police report, while Cox is “in the process of reviewing the videos from the surveillance cameras” before taking action but also intends to file a complaint.

The vandalism comes the same weekend that thousands of socially-distanced queer activists marched through Paris to protest against racism and demand better treatment for sex workers and migrants.

Queer activists of colour led grassroots LGBT+ groups through the French capital on Saturday (July 4) to protest police violence.

The official Pride parade in Paris has been postponed until November as part of efforts to halt the spread of coronavirus.