As the gilets jaunes continue to protest throughout France, other anti-Macron forces are planning a revolution from the shadows.
A violent far-right group called Generation Identity (GI) has recently broken onto the political map, thanks to the televising of their brutal assaults on Muslims and Arabs, usually accompanied by Nazi salutes. GI members were caught on camera by an undercover Al Jazeera field reporter at the bar Citadelle in Lille, which functions as their headquarters, mingling with members of the National Rally. The Rassemblement National is the recent iteration of far-right political party the National Front (Front National), which changed its name earlier this year in order to appeal to a new generation of voters.
National Rally Member of the European Parliament Christelle Lechevalier was recorded claiming that most National Rally members are vehemently anti-immigration, which they can’t say publicly, but which will become the norm once they are in power. And prominent National Rally member Nicolas Crochet was heard calling migrants, “pieces of s***,” as well as threatening a process of “remigration” after his party rises to power.
Though these reports are shocking, they aren’t exactly surprising. Open nationalism is gaining more and more acceptance worldwide. Even Crochet’s comments seem to mimic those of the American president just months ago. Which is why gilets jaunes protesters in France should heed caution — because you might know who you’re fighting against, but you don’t necessarily know who you’re inadvertently fighting for.