Les Identitaires

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Identity Bloc

Bloc identitaire
PresidentFabrice Robert
Founded6 April 2003; 16 years ago (2003-04-06)
Preceded byRadical Unity
HeadquartersBP 13
06301 Nice Cedex 04
NewspaperNovopress
Youth wingGeneration Identity/Generation Identitaire (formerly)
IdeologyFrench nationalism
Ethnopluralism
Identitarianism
Political positionRight-wing to Far-right
(or syncretic)
European affiliationNone
International affiliationNone
European Parliament groupNo MEPs
Colours          Black, Blue
National Assembly
0 / 577
Senate
0 / 348
European Parliament
0 / 74
Website
les-identitaires.com

Les Identitaires (English: The Identitarians), formerly the Bloc identitaire[1] (English: Identitarian Bloc), is a Identitarian nationalist movement in France.[2][3][4][5][6][7] Like the French New Right, scholars generally consider the movement far-right or sometimes as a syncretic mixture of multiple ideologies across the political spectrum.[2][8][9][10][11]

Les Identitaires contains a number of strains of political thought including varieties of socialism, Catholic social teaching, direct democracy, regionalist decentralisation, and Yann Fouere's concept of a Europe of 100 flags.[5] The group additionally advocates an anti-American and anti-Islamic foreign policy, calling the United States and Islam the two major imperialistic threats to Europe.[4]

It was founded in 2003 by some former members of Unité Radicale and several other anti-Zionist and National Bolshevik sympathisers. It includes Fabrice Robert [fr], former Unité Radicale member, former elected representative of the National Front (FN) and also former member of the National Republican Movement (MNR), and Guillaume Luyt, former member of the monarchist Action française, former Unité Radicale member, former director of the youth organisation of the FN, National Front Youth (FNJ). Luyt claims inspiration by Guillaume Faye's works in the Nouvelle Droite movement.

The youth wing of Bloc Identitaire, called in France Génération identitaire,[1] or Generation Identity, expanded to other European states soon after its creation in 2012, including Generazione Identitaria in Italy and Identitäre Bewegung in Germany and Austria.[12][13] Other youth wings are also present in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belgium, Slovenia, Hungary, and the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The movement has been widely considered neo-fascist, although Les Identitaires does not consider itself as such.[3][4]

Ideology[edit]

It opposes "imperialism, whether it be American or Islamic,"[4] and supports the far-right Great Replacement conspiracy theory.[14]

The Bloc Identitaire runs the agency and website Novopress, that has associates in most of Western Europe and North America.[15]

Novopress[edit]

Novopress presents itself as an "international news agency"[16] founded by Fabrice Robert, a leader of the French nationalist organization Bloc Identitaire.[17] Among its managers is Guillaume Luyt, former leader of the Front national de la jeunesse.[18] Patrick Gofman is one of the editors of Novopress.info (French section).[19]

Novopress is politically geared towards nationalist, anti-Islamist and far right themes. As of 2008 Novopress had 13 national editions in Europe and North America, including in Ireland, Italy and France.

Logo of Novopress

Controversies[edit]

The Bloc Identitaire has been accused of intentionally distributing several popular soups containing pork in order to exclude religious Jews or Muslims; in Strasbourg, Nice, Paris, and in Antwerp with the association Antwerpse Solidariteit close to the Vlaams Belang. These so-called "identity soups" ("soupes identitaires") have been forbidden by the prefecture of the Haut-Rhin in Strasbourg on 21 January 2006, and called "discriminatory and xenophobic" by MEP Catherine Trautmann (PS) in a 19 January 2006 letter to the High authority for the struggle against discrimination and for equality (HALDE).[citation needed]

This ethno-regionalist movement has also organised a campaign against the rap group Sniper in 2003, which was taken up by the conservative Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), leading to the cancellation of several concerts of the band. UMP deputy Nadine Morano interpolated Interior Minister (UMP) Nicolas Sarkozy on this theme, while 200 UMP deputies, led by François Grosdidier, tried without success to censor several hip-hop bands. Sarkozy criticized the hip-hop group as "ruffians who dishonour France."[citation needed]

In 2004, the Bloc Identitaire also organized a campaign against Italian writer Cesare Battisti, one-time member of the terrorist group Armed Proletarians for Communism, who was wanted in Italy for an assassination carried out during the Years of Lead, in which he denies responsibility. Battisti accused the "cell of the Italian embassy" of having "financed" the Bloc identitaire's campaign against him (in Ma Cavale, p. 160). Battisti was convicted to life sentence in his homeland for a total of 36 charges, including participation on four murders. The French government would subsequently decide to extradite him to Italy, but Battisti escaped to Brazil where he was granted political asylum.

In 2010, they staged a protest in "resistance to the Islamization of France" at the Arc de Triomphe (relocated from an earlier planned site in Goutte-d'Or) where people would eat pork and drink grape juice or wine.[20][21] In November 2012 the Generation Identitaire, the youth wing of the BI, occupied the mosque in Poitiers, the site where Charles Martel defeated an invading Muslim Moorish force in 732.[5] In June 2018, Facebook banned Generation Identity for violating its policies against extremist content and hate groups.[22]

In December 2018, Al Jazeera produced a documentary entitled "Generation Hate" featuring an undercover journalist who had infiltrated Generation Identitaire. The documentary included undercover footage of Generation Identitaire members in the northern French city of Lille racially abusing and assaulting migrant youths, advocating violence against Muslims, and alleged linkages between Generation Identitaire and Front National. [23] Generation Identitaire's actions were condemned by Mayor of Lille Martine Aubry and Prefect of the North Michele Lalande, who advocated prosecuting offenders for inciting hatred and closing down La Citadelle, which served as a meeting place for location Generation Identitaire members in Lille. Prosecutor Thierry Pocquet Haut-Jussé has also announced an investigation by the Central Directorate of Public Security into the activities of the Generation Identitaire members.[24][25]

On 11 July 2019, Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), the country's domestic intelligence agency, formally designated the Identitarian Movement as "a verified extreme right movement against the liberal democratic constitution." The new classification will allow the BfV to use more powerful surveillance methods against the group and its youth wing, Generation Identity. The Identitarian Movement has about 600 members in Germany.[26]

Lawsuit[edit]

In August 2019, a French court sentenced three members of Generation Identity to a six-month jail term, fines of €2,000 each and loss of civic rights for five years, and fined the pan-European organisation €75,000, over an anti-immigrant operation in the Alps. Generation Identity president Clément Gandelin, spokesman Romain Espino and Damien Lefèvre were found guilty of "exercising activities in conditions that could create confusion with a public function". The case was that the operation, involving about 100 of their members at the Col de l'Échelle in April 2018, could have been mistaken for a police action.[27][14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Génération identitaire : des militants d'extrême droite à la com' bien rodée" (in French). LCI. 22 April 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b Kleinfeld, Philip (9 January 2015). "A Close Look at the French Far Right". Vice News. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b Valencia-García, Louie Dean (22 February 2018). "Generation Identity: A Millennial Fascism for the Future?". EuropeNow Journal. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Staff (12 October 2015). "American Racists Work to Spread 'Identitarian' Ideology". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Haydn Rippon (2 November 2012), "Occupy Le Mosque: France's New Radical Nativism", The Conversation – via Boston University
  6. ^ Feder, J. Lester (4 May 2018). "Facebook Targets Major White Nationalist Group In France". Buzzfeed. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  7. ^ Beirich, Heidi (21 November 2014). "Identitarianism Worldwide". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  8. ^ « Le mouvement d'extrême droite Bloc identitaire se lance dans les régionales », Le Point, 17 octobre 2009
  9. ^ Abel Mestre et Caroline Monnot, « Du Bloc identitaire au FN, l'extrême droite française se concentre sur la peur de l'islam », Le Monde, 1 décembre 2009
  10. ^ Rémi Noyon (interviewer), Stéphane François (interviewé), « Oubliez "Game of Thrones" : les identitaires ont des théories plus folles », Rue89, 11 mai 2014.
  11. ^ Cependant, Jean-Yves Camus classe le BI non à l'extrême droite, mais « à droite de la droite » : « Oskar Freysinger et ses inquiétantes fréquentations européennes » (interview par Patricia Briel), Le Temps, 18 novembre 2010, le BI promeut l'« alter-Europe » et une certaine forme de régionalisme
  12. ^ https://iboesterreich.at
  13. ^ "Identitäre Bewegung Deutschland e.V. | Heimat-Freiheit-Tradition".
  14. ^ a b "French court jails far-right activists over anti-immigrant Alps stunt". The Guardian. 29 August 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  15. ^ Ludovic Finez, « Les "infos" xénophobes de Novopress », 27 July 2005.
  16. ^ Finez, Ludovic (22 July 2005). "Les " infos " xénophobes de Novopress (Novopress's "xenophobic "news")". Club de la Presse Nord-Pas de Calais.
  17. ^ Boucher-Lambert, Silvère; Saretta, Olivier (26 February 2009). "Comment l'antisémitisme tisse sa toile sur Internet (How anti-Semitism weaves its web on the Internet)". L'Express.
  18. ^ Duyck, Alexandre (8 June 2008). "Les Identitaires sur Google (The Identitaires on Google)". leJDD.fr.
  19. ^ Sample article: L’humeur de Patrick Gofman: J’inaugure le Salon du Livre! (The mood of Patrick Gofman: I inaugurate the Book Fair!), Society column, 20 March 2008
  20. ^ Robert Marquand (17 June 2010), "Facebook draws 7,000 to anti-Muslim pork sausage party in Paris", The Christian Science Monitor, the group sent out a press release, calling upon "all Parisians … and French" to meet at the Arc de Triomphe Friday to eat ham and drink grape juice
  21. ^ Mara Gay (17 June 2010), "Paris Facebook Group Throws Anti-Muslim Booze & Pork-Sausage Party", Politics Daily, thousands will gather to protest the presence of Muslims in France by drinking alcohol and eating sausage
  22. ^ Bailey, Luke (21 June 2018). "Far-right group Generation Identity have been banned from Facebook across Europe". i news. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  23. ^ "Generation Hate: French far right's violence and racism exposed". Al Jazeera. 10 December 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  24. ^ "Caméra cachée d'Al Jazeera dans un bar identitaire : la justice saisie pour «propos racistes»". RT France. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Cinq questions sur "Generation Hate", le documentaire polémique d'Al Jazeera sur un bar identitaire de Lille". France Info. 15 December 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  26. ^ Croucher, Shane (11 July 2019) "Identitarian Movement, Linked to Christchurch Mosque Shooter, Classified as Extremist Right-wing Group by German Intelligence Agency" Newsweek
  27. ^ "Members of far-right group Generation Identity jailed after anti-migrant operation in French Alps". The Independent. 30 August 2019. Retrieved 30 August 2019. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)

External links[edit]