You were Génération Identitaire’s spokesperson, but on March 3 the government banned your organization. What does this mean in practice?
Génération identitaire is no longer active. The ban was pronounced in the Council of Ministers and we have filed two cases against that decision with the Council of State, which is France’s highest administrative court: the first one is a petition for suspension with the aim of suspending the ban for the time it will take the Council of State to rule over our second case concerning the legality of the ban. The petition for suspension will be judged on April 30 and we will then know whether Génération Identitaire will be able to continue its activity during the proceedings, which could last at least six months to a year.
Do you have confidence in the Council of State as the highest instance of administrative justice? Many in France believe that the Council of State is not totally independent of the government.
That is a pretty hard question to answer. If the judgment is rendered based on the law, we are extremely confident. However, if politics takes precedence over the law, then we have every reason to be concerned. In theory, the Council of State is supposed to base its rulings on the law, and we will have a first look at this on April 30. The ruling on our petition for suspension procedure will be decided on collegially by three judges, which happens extremely rarely since most often there is only one judge to make such a decision. This shows that the case is taken very seriously.
What if you do not get the ban suspended, and you continue to operate informally as an association?
Firstly, we would lose any chance of winning before the Council of State. Secondly, we would be subject to new procedures and charged with the reconstitution of a dissolved organization. This would lead to fines and even prison sentences for the leaders of Génération Identitaire.
Can’t you form a new association under a new name, with the same members and the same objectives?
No, it is totally forbidden because it would also be considered as a reconstitution of a dissolved organization. There are four criteria for assessing this type of accusation: the same militant core, the same leaders, similar purposes of the association, and similar methods of action.
While French courts have always ruled that your actions were peaceful, non-violent, and have always rejected the charges of incitement to hatred filed against you, a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives wants to put Génération Identitaire, even if it has been dissolved, on the list of terrorist organizations. Can you comment on this information?
This is part of the change in the American administration with the arrival of Joe Biden and his desire to avoid targeting Islamist terrorism. They invent imaginary risks, but asking for a disbanded organization to be put on the list of terrorist organizations is completely ridiculous. It does not make sense. Moreover, as you pointed out, Génération Identitaire has always been a movement of peaceful activists. We have always claimed to be such, we have never been condemned for violence or for any comments we might have made through our spokespersons, for example, or in our videos, our articles, or our interviews. This is obviously totally absurd and, above all, totally political.
Regarding the reasons for the dissolution, the French Interior Minister [Gérald Darmanin] mentions the donation of funds to Génération Identitaire from the Christchurch terrorist. What do you have to say about that?
A donation had indeed been made by the would-be Christchurch terrorist, but this was several years before his attack. We cannot be held accountable for the actions of our donors in the future. This is something that is absolutely not in our power. What we could do, however, was to decide what we were going to do with that money when we heard about this event. And we gave all the money to an association that takes care of children who are wards of the state. This donation from the Christchurch terrorist was therefore not used to finance Génération Identitaire.
Being banned by the French government despite having won all court cases filed against your association, do you think that it is still possible in France to peacefully oppose the authorities’ leniency in favor of mass immigration, and in particular illegal immigration, without being labeled “far-right”, “fascist” or “neo-Nazi” and risking repression?
For our opponents and for the left, it is absolutely inconceivable that one can oppose mass immigration and that this can be considered a completely normal, acceptable political position. There is a desire to demonize the opponent. This has always been the left’s technique, precisely to avoid debating the substance. Since this is a constant, it is up to us not to be intimidated by these types of completely false accusations and to defend our points of view, to put forward our arguments, and to do so in a coherent and logical manner by demonstrating the false nature of their premises.
But in that case, with such an attitude of the left and of the French government, can we still say that France is a democracy governed by the rule of law? I heard your lawyer, Gilles-William Goldnadel, say that no, France is not really a democracy governed by the rule of law.
There are indeed some very disturbing facts. For example, we are accused of being a militia. This charge is based in particular on the action we did in the Alps at the Col de l’Échelle in 2018. However, for that operation, we were discharged by the courts despite the efforts of the prosecutor’s office to have us convicted. It is very peculiar to base a ban, which is a rather rare and serious decision, on charges that have been dismissed by the courts… The two charges against us to justify the ban are that we had supposedly formed a militia, and we supposedly incited hatred. This second accusation is mainly based on the occupation of the roof of the construction site of the Poitiers mosque in 2012 for which the courts have also refused to condemn us. There is a clear political will to go beyond the legal arsenal which is rather worrying for the respect of the rule of law.
Perhaps the decision to dissolve your association, which highlighted the laxity of the authorities in the face of illegal immigration, is linked with Emmanuel Macron’s desire to be re-elected in next year’s presidential elections…
Indeed, when we conducted our action in the Pyrenees, we denounced first of all the double-talk of the authorities. A prefectural decree had been issued to close the Portillon Pass because of the risk of terrorism and migration, and when our activists went there they could see that this border pass was not guarded and could be crossed on foot without any problem. Our action had a significant media resonance, and the minister of the interior, Gérald Darmanin, could not stand it, because we showed that, behind the strong speeches, the acts of the state were extremely weak and the border, at least on that side, continued to be a sieve.
So you were a bit of an embarrassment in the run-up to the next presidential election…
Since we are talking here about illegal immigration which is mostly made up of Muslims, can you tell us what you think of the April 14 decision of the French Court of Cassation concerning the lack of criminal responsibility of the Muslim killer of the retired Jewish woman Sarah Halimi? The anti-Semitic motive is recognized, but Kobili Traoré, who tortured his victim before defenestrating her while shouting “Allah u Akbar” four years ago, was a regular user of cannabis and the Court of Cassation ruled that this made him irresponsible for his actions…
It is a court decision that is once again very surprising and which is part of the culture of excuse that dominates in French courts, in particular through the [left-wing] Syndicat de la Magistrature magistrates’ union, which is well-known for this. There seems to be a systematic will to ignore the victims, but on the contrary to always find excuses for the murderers and the delinquents, and, unfortunately, the verdict of the supreme court, in this concrete case, seems to demonstrate once again what we, Génération Identitaire, have been denouncing for a long time and what others denounce on the right and even beyond, namely the absolute laxity of the judiciary which always prefers to protect the executioners rather than the victims.
Génération Identitaire have been denouncing anti-white racism. Do you also think that mass immigration is leading to a rise in anti-Semitism? The murder of Mrs. Halimi because she was Jewish is unfortunately not a unique case in France…
That seems obvious to me. It is an open secret that anti-Semitism in France today is essentially a phenomenon linked to massive Arab-Afro-Muslim immigration. That is where the danger comes from. Just look at the example of the Seine-Saint-Denis department, in the suburbs of Paris, where there used to be many Jewish inhabitants. Today there are hardly any left. Why did they leave? Why is there never any serious reporting or investigation on this subject by the media? Why not go and interview the Jews who fled those areas because of the extremely strong anti-Semitism there? A whole section of the left, and notably the far-left France Insoumise party, is turning a blind eye to this issue so as not to offend a certain Arab-Muslim electorate and the Islamists they seek to seduce in order to expand their electoral base.
In a recent interview with the weekly Valeurs Actuelles, Philippe de Villiers talks about “remigration”. It is a concept launched by Génération Identitaire that seems to be making its way into a major right-wing media, through a man known to all. Can you tell us what remigration might consist of and whether it is possible for a remigration policy not to discriminate against certain French people on the basis of their origin or perhaps even their religion or their skin color?
Remigration is indeed an option that we have been advocating for some time. This would mean the return of a majority of immigrants to their country of origin. We have published a book on this subject called “30 Measures for an Identity and Remigration Policy”. Some measures would be coercive: the expulsion of foreigners identified on the “S” list of people posing a potential threat to public security for Islamism, the expulsion of foreigners who have committed a crime or an offense, the loss of nationality for jihadists with dual nationality and their deportation to their country of origin, and some other measures of the same type which are entirely feasible and which should be implemented as a matter of urgency, such as, of course, the expulsion of all illegal immigrants. At the same time, a number of incentives are needed. For example, it would be a matter of firmly fighting against Islamization with a moratorium on the construction of mosques, an end to judicial leniency, allowances and other benefits being reserved for people of French nationality, and so on. We must send a strong signal that if certain people do not like France and do not want to abide by its laws and customs, they will be encouraged to return to the land of their ancestors.
Of course, assimilated people have their place in France, and it is not for us to choose who stays and who goes, but the question must be asked to these people: “Do you want to stay in a France that would become proud of itself again, that no longer falls into repentance, that reserves allowances for its nationals, that no longer promotes Islamization and prevents the construction of mosques, that stops immigration, etc.?”
If you prevent the construction of mosques, it means, however, that Muslims do not really have their place in France, even if they feel French…
There are already many mosques in France. In the Seine-Saint-Denis department, the ratio of the number of mosques to the number of worshipers is higher than that of Istanbul, a city in a Muslim country run by an Islamist president, and it is a ratio roughly equal to that of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia. There are already more than enough Muslim places of worship in France today.
The defense of this idea by a man like Philippe de Villiers, admittedly from the right like you but accepted by the media, is a great victory for your movement, isn’t it?
Of course, it is. We are very happy to see leading figures like Philippe de Villiers defending remigration. This is obviously something that goes in the right direction and shows the spread of this idea. Remigration is the only solution to the insoluble problem posed by mass immigration and multiculturalism. We can see today that this model of society is dysfunctional. We have tried assimilation. We have tried integration. All of this is no longer working. The only way out of the mess we are in is to implement a bold and courageous policy of remigration.