Mayor pushes ‘Great Replacement’ project in rural France despite protests, refuses to hold citizen referendum on accepting migrant families

Residents of Callac point out that the region has seen underinvestment for years, but in order to relocate 70 migrants and their families, millions are now pouring in

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: John Cody

A project designed to move 70 migrants and their families to the small rural French town of Callac is being fought by local residents. Despite calls for a referendum on the issue, the mayor refuses to hold such a referendum, conceding he would lose the vote if it were to take place.

During rival protests on Sept. 17, Callac Mayor Jean-Yves Rolland stated that he would address the constituents of Callac with a letter, which was released on Oct. 14. He said the letter would bring “the official version of our project in the face of rumors and misinformation,” the Le Télégramme daily reports.

In the letter, the mayor rejected a referendum. The move comes after Sud Radio reported that one person at a meeting with the mayor, which included 12 other eyewitnesses, heard the mayor admit he would not hold a referendum because some 80 percent of residents are against the measure. He reportedly said: “I would lose it.”

At the national level, 62 percent of French say they want to hold a national referendum on continued immigration, with other polls showing that a majority of French are both opposed to further immigration into France and worried about the Great Replacement, which describes the ongoing displacement of Europeans by non-European people in the West.

‘We don’t want to be guinea pigs!”

In his letter, the mayor instead called for a “citizen governing body” to decide on the arrival of migrants.

“A citizen governance body is being created. This global project must be managed in complete transparency,” writes Rolland, arguing that “the new inhabitants are a chance for Callac, a small aging rural town,” with “many houses that remain empty” and “dozens of positions that remain to be filled.”

“All the projects will be presented later at a public meeting, open to you, Callacois. As we always agreed. Welcoming new people will revitalize our employment pool and will be beneficial for everyone: It is a bet for the future,” the letter continues.

The protests against the project were attended by various conservative activists and the Reconquest party. However, spearheading the effort is a citizens’ initiative made up of residents of Callac who are rejecting the transfer of migrants to their town. These citizens point to the already high unemployment rate in Callac; they ask where jobs will be found for the new migrants when jobs cannot even be found for the people who live in the area, which features an unemployment rate of 17.6 percent. In addition, they point to potential overcrowding in schools and daycare, and the millions of taxpayer euros that will be needed to integrate the newcomers.

migrant, France
A migrant sits in a makeshift camp in northern France, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

At the demonstration, protesters held up signs against the “African repopulation of our cities” while others pointed to the events in Callac, a peaceful town of 2,200 inhabitants in the Côtes-d’Armor, as a clear and identifiable symbol of the Great Replacement. Left-wing counter-protesters chanted against what they claimed was “fascism.” Many of those protesting both from the right and left were not from the area.

According to a report from Le Figaro newspaper, residents are saying: “We don’t want to be guinea pigs!” They point out that the “Horizon Village” project is an experiment funded by the Merci Endowment Fund, which was created in 2009 by the Cohen family.

As Remix News previously reported, Cohen family members, who are the former owners of the upscale children’s clothing brand Bonpoint, live in some of the wealthiest areas of France, all of which feature remarkably low diversity. Nevertheless, the family is focused on Callac for now but also plans to relocate refugees across the countryside. While the family has put up millions to further this goal, the French government has also pledged to back the project with taxpayers’ money. However, the Cohen family is only providing funding for 10 years, after which point, the town would be on its own.

“Convinced that refugees are an opportunity for France,” the Horizon Project chose the town, among 20 others, to “prove by example.”

Citizens protesting the project point out that the Cohen family will not have to live with the consequences of the migrant relocation effort, as they are insulated in their wealthy enclaves. In an open letter, they wrote:

“The objective would be to repopulate a small ‘aging’ town with migrants, to revitalize the town center and to develop economic activities. Migrants would therefore be supervised, housed, and trained, and 70 jobs would be found for them.

The arrival of 70 non-European families would totally upset the life of the municipality and the canton. Thirty-eight non-French-speaking children would be educated at the Callac school and divided into classes. This would further complicate the task of teachers.

How can you impose on the people of Callac such a project that calls into question the identity of our population and before the real cost of the project is determined?”

In a petition, they further argued: “We believe that the millions of euros that this project would cost should be invested as a priority for the local population, via the renovation of housing, via energy aid, via the development of the town of Callac and the surrounding municipalities, to allow locals to flourish there and those who want to come and settle there without monetary assistance to do so later.”

Despite this opposition, just last month French President Emmnaul Macron stated that his government planned to begin moving migrants out of cities and into the countryside due to the problems of crime and ethnic ghettos in the French cities. He described it as an “opportunity,” but as Remix News reported, he may have a strong political motive to move forward with such a radical plan.

Citizens of the town of Callac say that the problems of the “big cities” will now come to them.

“You are going to create in the middle of Brittany, in Argoat, a foreign community with all the issues related to these groups. You are going to move the problems of the big cities to the Breton countryside,” the citizens of Callac wrote in their open letter.

The problems of the “big cities” referred to in the letter are the levels of crime and cultural tensions reaching the point that Pierre Brochand, who served as the head of France’s top intelligence agency from 2002 to 2008, warned of civil war if France does not halt mass immigration. He pointed to attacks on police officersmurdersgrowing social tension, divisions over schooling, and cases of “urban guerilla warfare” in migrant neighborhoods as all signs that multiculturalism in France has failed.

While all multicultural societies may be “doomed” to deep rifts, the same is not necessarily true for the wealthiest in society. In Paris, where the Cohen matriarch lives, wealthy parents are racing to private schools at a record rate to escape diversity, leaving the poorest French to deal with the problems associated with multiculturalism. Another former French intelligence chief estimates that there are 1,513 “lawless neighborhoods” in France.

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