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Protests

Anti-facists clash with anti-migrant group at Paris protest

Published: Updated:

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

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An Associated Press reporter saw around 200 protesters, including journalists, at Saturday afternoon’s demonstrations, which were largely peaceful. A counter demonstration also took place in southern Paris against the controversial group.

Generation Identity has scraped through several legal battles, but is up against Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who wants to disband the controversial group. Critics contend it is a militia espousing a racist cause.

The Lyon-based group has influence throughout France and beyond. It contends its members are whistleblowers on a mission to preserve French and European civilization, seen as undermined by newcomers, notably Muslims.

Generation Identity was the backbone of a 2017 “Defend Europe” mission on the high seas with a chartered anti-migrant ship manned by European citizens.

Darmanin announced earlier this month the start of proceedings to dissolve Generation Identity. The group was given 10 days to make its case. The Interior Ministry cited France’s security code forbidding “combat or private militia groups” and groups that “provoke discrimination, hate or (racial) violence,” according to the daily Liberation which saw a copy of the seven-page justification.

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