“My other motivation is the sense of urgency generated by the situation in France, which I find disturbing. I do not want my daughters to have to wear the veil one day, or my little sister to be assaulted in the street,” said 21-year-old activist, Thaïs d’Escufon
Since the arbitrary dissolution of the Génération Identitaire (Generation Identity) movement in March, the French government has been increasing the number of legal proceedings against its young activists. The state’s targeting of these activists is raising fears that anyone campaigning against mass immigration policies and illegal immigration, even by peaceful means, could face increasingly repressive legal intimidation, effectively forbidding criticism and political protest on a topic many Europeans and the French are increasingly concerned with.
The move to outright ban political groups critical of the ruling government’s policies, as well as the attitude of public prosecutors and judges, is raising troubling questions about respect for democracy and the rule of law by one of the EU’s big players, which happens to be also one of the EU countries that is most vocal about supposed violations of democracy and the rule of law in Poland and Hungary. However, in the two Central European Countries ruled by right-wing conservative governments, there exists no such example of a legally acting, non-violent opposition group being dissolved in virtue of an administrative decision and its leaders being the subject of massive judicial harassment the way Generation Identity and its leaders are in France.