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Defend the Alps : three top members of Generation Identity sentenced to 6 months in jail

Three top members of Generation Identity France were sentenced to 6 months in jail on Thursday 29th by the criminal court of Gap, France.

They were found guilty of «  taking part in activities lead in such conditions that they create confusion in the eyes of the public with the regular activities of law enforcement » ( « activités exercées dans des conditions de nature à créer dans l’esprit du public une confusion avec l’exercice d’une fonction publique » in the French criminal code ).


Defend the Alps

The French justice opened an investigation after GI’s latest large scale operation named Defend the Alps, which took place in the French Alps at the Franco Italian border in early 2018.

This operation aimed to prove that it was possible to stop any illegal migration going through the infamous «Col de l’Echelle». Indeed, for several months this alpine pass was known to be a popular route for illegals freshly disembarked in Italy to try to make it to France and then further north.

Close to a hundred GI activists set up plastic barriers to materialize the border between France and Italy at the pass and organized patrols to report on any illegal trying to break into France. Two rented helicopters were used to facilitate their activities. GI reported than several illegals were arrested by the police thanks to their efforts.

Defend the Alps encountered a large echo in the mainstream media, drew attention from the public and forced the French government to send police reinforcements to the pass in order to deal with the immigration crisis.

The trial

The prosecutor first launched an investigation to determine whether or not any violence or acts of racism were committed during the operation. After investigating it and since nothing of value was found to incriminate GI, he then decided to charge them with impersonating law enforcement officers or creating enough confusion around their status to appear as law enforcement in the eyes of the public. The criminal court then followed his judgment and found three members of GI guilty.

These three high ranking members of GI, including Clément Galant, chairman of GI France and Damien Rieu, whistleblower who took part in the operation, were sentenced to 6 months in jail, a 2’000€ fine, and will be stripped of their civil and family rights for a duration of 5 years.

Generation Identity itself received the maximum penalty with a fine of 75’000€.

This court judgment is under heavy fire from right-wing politicians, either from the National Rally ( Lepen’s party ) or from the right-wing of the traditional conservative party LR. Most of them appear to see in this ruling a political trial and the result of a deeply biased justice system.

The three convicts and Generation Identity should be able to appeal their sentence. We will continue to report on this case in the future and will keep you informed. In the meantime, we recommend you follow Damien Rieu ( who unfortunately only tweets in French ) to be informed on any further development.

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