Six days after he made about him by deploying a banner against the “racism anti-white” during the event in paris organized by the committee “The truth to Adama,” the right-wing group Generation identity (GI) is back on the front of the stage. This Friday, June 19, the court of appeal of Poitiers has acquitted five activists who had participated in the occupation of the roof of a mosque under construction in the fall of 2012. A decision is due in large part to a failure of procedural public ministry. “Total victory at Poitiers!”welcomed the lawyer of one of defendants from the Figaro.
Early in the morning of October 20, 2012, 73 activists of Generation identity to invest the construction site of the future mosque of Poitiers (Vienna). For several hours, the young people are appropriating the roof of the building, on which they hang three banners : one in the name of their movement, another indicating “Construction of mosques – Immigration – Referendum“, the last two bearing the inscriptions “732“and “Remember, Charles Martel“in reference to the battle which stopped the advance of the armies of the umayyad caliphate in the Eighth century.
Activists chant also slogans “advocating confrontation with the arab or muslim”, among which “2012, Poitiers, we are the heirs”, “The gauls, wake up, no mosque for you” or “At Poitiers, or kebab or mosque”. During the action, the prayer rug, and devices for protection of the roof would have been damaged, according to Gérald Froidefond, the lawyer of the muslim community. What contending for the defence of the accused.
A one-year suspended prison sentence in the first instance
On October 20, 2017, five years to the day after the incident, five activists as well as the movement Generation’s identity as a legal entity to appear before the criminal court of Poitiers for “incitement to racial or religious discrimination” and “degradation of the property of others in a meeting”. On December 7, 2017, the court will order the five activists to one year in prison with probation, and the movement Generation identity, to a fine of 10,000 euros. An appeal is lodged by the defence.
After a reference to the 22 January because of the strike of lawyers against the pension reform, the appeal trial is held on the 20 may. At the hearing, the general counsel was forced to discard the qualification of “incitement to racial or religious discrimination” because of an omission from a procedural, a forgetting of interruption of the limitation period. He claims, therefore, six-month suspended prison sentence against four of five defendants for the “damage” alleged to have been committed on the mosque.
The activists are not “vandals”
Finally, this Friday, June 19, it is a relaxed general is pronounced. “For the ‘incitement to discrimination’, the period of limitation is one year. However, after the appeal of the defendants, it has passed one year without any act interrupting this prescription”explain to Me Francis Mining, lawyer of one of defendants. “Regarding damage, the court considered that they were ‘light’. It is changing from the criminal to the contraventionnel, the period of limitation therefore goes to a year, and it will return to the same position as for the ‘incitement to discrimination’“.
The lawyer believes that this reclassification in damage “mild” shows that the activists of Generation identity “are not the vandals that the prosecution wanted to present to discredit their message”. “This judgment has the merit of recognizing the status of political activists and non-vulgar rogue”, he insists. “Their victory is two-fold : legally, they are not condemned, and the message they wanted to transmit has been heard.”
On the side of the plaintiff, that judgment is to the contrary “very bad news”, “a great disappointment” even “a nightmare”stresses Me Gérald Froidefond, council of the muslim community of Poitiers. Before the decision is made, the lawyer confided to the Figaro : “The public authorities have not yet found the solution to these actions. Given their recurrence, he would yet make a criminal response !”
The banners shock, a specialty of IM
The operation of Poitiers has in effect inaugurated a series of spectacular actions carried out by Generation identity, which has gradually made the deployment of banners shock his trademark. In may 2013, during the “Manif for all”, activists hang a banner “Holland resignation” at the headquarters of the PS, in Paris. May 23, 2015, also in Paris, other members of IM install a banner claiming “Immigration kills, in Africa, immigration kills Europe” on the balcony of the first floor of the european Commission representation in France.
In April 2018, a hundred young people move to the neck of the Scale (Hautes-Alpes) to “stand in the way of illegal migrants”. Until the end of June 2018, small groups patrol along the franco-Italian border. On march 29, 2019, Generation Identity invests the roof of the CAF Seine-Saint-Denis and waves a banner that calls for “the money for the French, not for strangers !”.
The last coup to date : the deployment of a banner “Justice for the victims of racism anti-white – white Lives Matter” on June 14, 2020 during an event organized by the committee “The truth to Adama”. And the movement does not stop there. “We look forward to seeing you for the next action !“declared as one of the activists out of the office, on 14 June in the evening.
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