Protesters oppose move to disband French anti-migrant group

Participants bore the flags of the movement, as well as signs reading “Stop dissolution”
Protesters oppose move to disband French anti-migrant group

Supporters of the movement Generation Identity demonstrate in Paris. Picture: AP

Dozens of people have rallied in Paris to support the anti-migrant group Generation Identity, which is fighting for survival following a government order to dissolve it.

Around 200 protesters took part in the demonstration, which was largely peaceful.

Participants bore the flags of the movement, as well as signs reading “Stop dissolution”.

A counter-demonstration against the controversial group also took place in southern Paris.

Flares were set off during the demonstration in the French capital (AP)

Generation Identity has influence throughout France and beyond.

It contends its members are whistle-blowers on a mission to preserve French and European civilisation, seen as undermined by newcomers, notably Muslims.

Critics contend it is a militia espousing a racist cause.

The Lyon-based group was the backbone of a 2017 “Defend Europe” mission on the Mediterranean Sea that used a chartered anti-migrant ship crewed by European citizens.

Generation Identity has scraped through several legal battles, but at the moment it is up against French interior minister Gerald Darmanin, who wants to disband the group.

The extreme-right, anti-migrant movement is seen by some as a racist militia (AP)

Earlier this month, Mr Darmanin announced the start of proceedings to dissolve Generation Identity.

The ministry cited France’s security code forbidding “combat or private militia groups”, and groups that “provoke discrimination, hate or (racial) violence”, according to French daily newspaper Liberation, which saw a copy of the government’s seven-page justification.

The group was given 10 days to respond, and the deadline is Monday.

Its leader Clement Gandelin said Generation Identity has the evidence it needs to refute the allegations.

He said the group will fight to the end in court to retain the right to operate and, if dissolved, “the militants will still be there”.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox