France threatens to shut down far-right Generation Identity group

The French government has threatened to shut down Generation Identity (GI), a far-right group exposed in an Al Jazeera undercover investigation that seeks to expel Muslims and migrants from Europe.

Interior minister Gerald Darmanin said on Tuesday he was “outraged by the efforts of Generation Identity activists to undermine the Republic” and had asked his staff to gather evidence about the group.

“If there is enough evidence, I will not hesitate to advise closing it down,” Darmanin said in a news conference.

His comments came days after 30 GI members gathered at the Col de Portillion pass on the France-Spain border, in what they called a “surveillance operation to defend Europe”.

It was the latest of several border blockades staged by GI which have led to skirmishes with migrants and activists.

The move prompted calls by French politicians for GI to be shut down, including by Carole Delga, the socialist president of the Occitanie region who said this “violent and dangerous extreme right-wing group” must be dissolved.

Anti-racism groups on Tuesday welcomed Darmanin’s remarks, his first public condemnation of GI.

“I am delighted that the interior minister is considering the dissolution of Generation Identity which advocates hatred, the rejection of others and which has no place in our democracy,” Nicolas Nef Naf, lawyer for SOS Racisme, told newsmen.