More than a thousand supporters of Generation Identity demonstrated on Sunday February 21 in Paris against the dissolution procedure initiated by the government against this far-right political youth movement. For supporters of the movement, this decision is purely ” Politics ” and liberticide.

But if the debate generated by this procedure is legitimate – the dissolution of an association is not a trivial fact – certain arguments put forward call to mind. Starting with those of his lawyer, Gilles-William Goldnadel.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also In Paris, members of the far-right movement Generation Identity demonstrate against its dissolution

What he said

Guest of CNews on February 17, Génération Identitaire’s lawyer, Gilles-William Goldnadel, defended the association and its members: “These are people who have never been convicted by justice, who have on the contrary been released, and who do not use violence at all, at any time. […] And we want to dissolve them. ” According to him, the association would only be questioned for its anti-illegal immigration positions: “In fact, in the very brief of the Ministry of the Interior, the fact of being radically against illegal immigration […] that would be racial discrimination. “

This argument has been echoed by many supporters of Génération identitaire, such as the MEP of the National Gathering Hélène Laporte, essayist André Bercoff or controversial journalist Eric Zemmour.


Real violence and condemnations

The association itself has not been condemned so far. But some of its members cannot say the same. For example, nineteen of them were fined for displaying a banner hostile to government policy on the roof of the Socialist Party headquarters in 2013.

In 2016, three people from the association were sentenced to prison terms following altercations with members of the security forces during an illegal demonstration in Calais, reported The voice of the North.

Two executives from Rebeyne, the Lyon branch of Generation Identity, were sentenced for stabbing attacks that were committed in 2014 following a trial followed by 89 Lyon Street in 2018. These facts have no connection with an operation organized by the association.

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Several other cases involving members of the far-right movement, listed by Release, will soon be studied by the courts. For example, for the irruption of members of the association in the premises of SOS Méditerranée in Marseille in 2018, 22 activists will be judged in correctional, for “Voluntary violence” and “Sequestration”, reported Provence at the end of January.

Contacted by The world, Gilles-William Goldnadel replies that his remarks were not aimed at the activities of Generation Identity in general, but only those which are worth today to him to be presented by the Ministry of the Interior as a group which would incite to racial hatred, starting with actions at the borders of France to prevent immigrants from entering the national territory. Otherwise, “Which political party has no member condemned by justice in its ranks?” “, he pleads.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Who are the Génération Identitaire activists who attacked the SOS Méditerranée premises?

A discourse that goes beyond just calls for the fight against illegal immigration

In his argument, the lawyer Gilles-William Goldnadel watered down the objective of Generation Identity. In reality, the far-right group does not just oppose ” illegal immigration “, he denounces the immigration of anyone who is not “European”whether it is done on legal grounds or not.

For members of Génération identitaire, being born in France and possessing French nationality is not sufficient to be a “True French”, as Romain Espino, spokesperson for the movement, declared openly in a report by the BBC in 2016: “You have young people from outside Europe who have been there for two or three generations and who do not feel French […] They are French people of paper. “

Beyond immigration, activists consider that certain cultures have no place in France. The “Pact” from the Association, on its official website, is eloquent: “White, straight, for them, you are too much”, “Kebabs, veils and mosques have nothing to do here”.

It is on this type of amalgam that the letter sent by the Ministry of the Interior to the president of the association is based, announcing its intention to dissolve it.

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The letter, which circulated online, also refers to the case of the man shot dead in Avignon on October 29, 2020 after threatening members of the police. This individual wore a Generation Identity jacket. Although the association has denied any connection with him, the ministry sees it as a sign that his rhetoric may encourage action. Just like the fact that the association received in the past a donation of 1,000 euros from Brenton Tarrant, the terrorist who claimed responsibility for the attack in two mosques in Christchurch (New Zealand) which killed 51 people in March 2019.

All of these facts show that Generation Identity goes far beyond denouncing illegal immigration. “Yes, there is no doubt that they are not looking at the migratory phenomenon through Chimène’s eyes”, recognizes the association’s lawyer. But “We can perfectly say that without essentializing people”, he argues.

However, this does not obscure the legal debate on the future of the association. The government initiated the procedure on February 13 to dissolve it, provided for by Article L. 212-1 of the Internal Security Code. But this decision is likely to be legally challenged, as recalled by the specialized site Highlighters. Then charge to justice to validate or not its dissolution.

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