After weeks of talking about cracking down on radical Islam, Emanuel Macron’s government instead wants to ban the world-famous conservative activist group Generation Identitaire [GI]. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, a member of Macron’s party that the French media depicts as a conservative, could order the group to dissolve within days.
Darmanin has declared GI to be “scandalous” because of minor acts of brief non-violent trespassing to film publicity videos. In 2019, GI briefly set up a mock border patrol in the Alps to highlight the need for a real border patrol presence. Three GI members were sentenced to six months in prison because they wore police uniforms as part of a theatrical performance. At no time did they attempt to act in the capacity of actual police officers. The prison sentences highlight the extreme double standard applied to conservatives versus the violent far-left in France.
On February 13th, Darmanin launched the attack on GI. His actions may be prompted by polls showing the national populist candidate Marine Le Pen nearly beating Emanual Macron in a theoretical presidential run-off in 2022. The potential ban appears to be nothing more than the ruling party’s desperate attempt to suppress their political opposition. GI does not officially endorse any party, but people generally perceive their views as closer to Le Pen’s National Rally Party than any other.
During the demonstration, dozens of Antifa screamed, assaulted people, and battled with police. Police surrounded the Antifa, declared an unlawful assembly, and ordered them to leave in small groups. At one point, dozens of cops, some on motorcycles, chase at least six Antifa down the road. Police corner the Antifa against a metal gate and arrest them all.
The Paris police officially estimated the GI demonstration at 1,500 people, while attendees claimed 2,000 and left-leaning media outlets downplayed it as “hundreds.” Police also say they arrested 26 people. Jérôme Rodrigues, who is being called a “yellow vest” activist in the media, was arrested with the Antifa. Police say he was released without charges 3.5 hours later. It is unclear if any supporters of GI were arrested.
The Russian Media outlet RUPTLY filmed a three-hour-long live stream of the site of the rally in Paris.
— actu Paris (@actufrparis) February 20, 2021