Far-right anti-migrant rally sweeps Paris (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Hundreds of people marched through the streets of Paris waving French national flags and holding giant banners with “Generation Identitaire” and “Native Youth” written on them. They also sang the Marseillaise – the French national anthem.
According to one of the witnesses, up to 500 people joined the rally.
The protesters chanted anti-immigration and anti-islamization slogans such as “No to islamization,” "the French are angry" and "Here is our home!" They also burned flares and smoke bombs.
The demonstrators marched peacefully through the streets of the French capital, without any clashes with police reported. They eventually gathered at Place Monge not far from the Natural History Museum, were they staged a rally.
The rally, which took place under the slogan “We are home!” was organized by the French far-right youth movement Generation Identitaire formed in 2012 as the youth wing of the far-right Bloc Identitaire – a regionalist nativist French and European activist movement.
The action was aimed at calling on France and Europe to remain true to their traditions, values and identity as well as to resist what they called a “migrant invasion,” according to the protest organizers.
“Between Islamist attacks and migrant invasion, the year 2015 has marked a turning point in the contemporary history of our country. The French have been silent for too long. It is time to show our determination to continue to live on our land, under our laws, our values and with respect to our identity,” the movement said in a statement published on its official website before the event.
During the rally, the protesters also criticized the French system of integration of immigrants. The current political system has made attacks on Bataclan and other places possible, on of the rally organizers, Arnaud Delrieux, said.
"It was another threat that our politicians did not consider the threat of [Islamic State]. And the worst is that all [those], who have killed for IS, these militants, extremists and terrorists are people who are born in France (...). This means that our system of integration is bad," Delrieux told Sputnik, referring to the November 2015 Paris attacks committed by the extremists from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group.
Generation Identitaire earlier provoked public controversy with its nationalist and anti-immigrant views. In March, more than a hundred protesters that took part in the Génération Identitaire rally in Calais blocked several routes for migrants, preventing them from gaining access to the city.
In early April, the movement tried to stage a rally in Brussels’s mostly-Muslim district of Molenbeek in defiance of the authorities' ban. Two people ended up arrested with weapons and Molotov cocktails.
Before the rally, Génération Identitaire called Molenbeek a “breeding ground” for jihadists in a statement, in which it urged people to gather under the slogan “Expel the Islamists!”