French Identitarian Activists Arrested Following ‘Defend Europe’ Mission in The Alps

Activists from the French far-right political movement Generation Identitaire (GI) and European anti-migrant group Defend Europe carry supplies during an operation titled 'Mission Alpes' to control access of migrants using the Col de l'Echelle mountain pass on April 21, 2018 in Nevache, near Briancon, on the French-Italian border. - A …
ROMAIN LAFABREGUE/AFP/Getty Images
CHRIS TOMLINSON

Several members of the French hipster-right anti-mass migration Génération Identitaire were arrested this week for their participation in last year’s “Defend Europe” mission along the French-Italian border.

The activists were arrested Tuesday morning in Lyon, including the group’s spokesman Romain Espino. Prosecutors later stated their arrests were in connection with the Defend Europe mission last year in the Col de l’Echelle area, L’Express reports.

Génération Identitaire provided a statement to Breitbart London from activist Anaïs Lignier who was among those arrested and also said to be eight months pregnant.

“This morning, along with two other Génération Identitaire members, I was placed in police custody on the order of the Gap prosecutor, for the absurd motive of ‘interference in public service,'” Ms Lignier said.

“In particular, we built a symbolic border at the Col de l’Echelle and flew over the area with helicopters. In fact, Emmanuel Macron’s government never forgave us for humiliating him on the 21st of April, when we forced him to send police and gendarmerie reinforcements to secure the Franco-Italian border,” she added.

Lignier also slammed the French authorities for waiting nearly a year to act against the activists saying, “justice, at the behest of the authorities, does not give up the matter and tries to take us down by all means, including the most fanciful on the legal level. The fact that I already have a family responsibility and that I am 8 months pregnant did not prevent the prosecutor’s office from putting me in custody.”

The activist also claimed that police were less interested in the Defend Europe mission and more curious about the group’s inner workings as well as connections to political parties and others.

“We are therefore on a clearly political and even partisan procedure. Of course, I exercised my right to silence,” Lignier said and added that the group would not back down as a result of the arrests and would “always remain at the forefront of the defence of our people and our civilisation.”

The arrests come only a year after Austrian prosecutors arrested and attempted to prosecute activists of the Austrian branch of the Identitarian movement for hate speech and forming a criminal organisation using the country’s anti-mafia laws.

Ultimately, the activists were acquitted of the charges, a decision which was later upheld earlier this month after the Graz prosecutor attempted to appeal the verdict.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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