The Identitarians have a historical role to play, Fabrice Robert saysJeudi 02/02/2012
In a long and complete interview, the President of the Bloc Identitaire says he is still optimistic : "The Bloc Identitaire remains, more than ever, the movement that breaks the taboos paralysing the French society."
The Bloc Identitaire has just completed a poll of its activists on the position to take in the upcoming presidential elections. What is the choice of the Identitaires' ?
First, I'd like to recall that this is a new exercise that displays a certain maturity of the Identity movement. In deciding to speak with the members rather than impose a direction to follow, the leaders of the Bloc Identitaire have proved both their respect for the activists and their willingness to uphold a real internal democracy. That said, some have questioned whether the survey was necessary. I would answer that, after the successful trial run of our own Arnaud Gouillon for a 2012 presidential candidature, it seemed logical that the movement should have a position on an electoral event that impassions millions of French people.
Let me emphasise that official endorsement-seeking campaign. With very limited material means, a twentieth of what the rich parties enjoy, with a small team – only three people – and in just a few months we came up with no fewer than seventy-six signatures. A fine achievement, reflecting the quite positive reaction our candidate got amongst elected officials in rural France.
With our having shown such interest in the presidential race, would it have been right for us to stick our heads in the sand once our candidate had withdrawn ?
As you know, the Identity movement ended up choosing, by a large majority (63%), to issue no voting recommendations. "What good is that ?", some will ask. On the contrary, through this choice, our officials and members have made it clear that the specific character of the identity movement is what matters for them. The personal vote is one thing, the official position of the movement is another.
We’ve written that our movement doesn’t identify with any of the major political parties in this country. Of course it may, occasionally hav e the same analysis, observation, or reaction as some of them. But structurally, in its political DNA, the Identity movement is something else.
We are indeed the only ones to defend an attachment to the threefold spirit of belonging: region/nation/Europe, and a project for our society that promotes localism, federalism, democracy and ecology. We are indeed the only ones to refute all improper arguments in favour of integration or false assimilation whilst defending a vision of ethno-cultural identity.
To be honest, I don’t think this election will, ultimately, change much. The presidential election will be the focus of news reports until May. Then, once the general election is over, that will be all, for another five years, for the political reality show where only the producers’ favourites ever win.
The Nissa Rebela movement, an associate of the Bloc Identitaire, has carried out its own internal survey, producing results that are the opposite of the Bloc's. Do you think these positions can be reconciled ?
The Identitaires' are not dogmatic but rather pragmatic. We reject any attitude that might be equated with sectarianism. In a fairly recent past we did not hesitate to create alliances or ad hoc agreements on certain points with structures that were far removed from us, in order to get things moving ahead. I think, for example, of the discussions with some MPs of the Droite Populaire who supported our mobilisation for René Galinier, the grand-dad mercilessly imprisoned for having shot and wounded two foreign burglars in his house. I also think of our collaboration with Riposte Laïque that made possible the great success of the Assembly on Islamisation.
With regard to Nissa Rebela and its call to support Marine Le Pen, I would simply say that the local context may promote conditions for an ad hoc alliance of patriots to face Estrosi, the current mayor of Nice. If that local alliance can enable the Identitaires' to make their voice heard and have influence locally, why not ? But there should be a quite clear distinction between a very local state of strategic orientations and the movement at the national level. The Bloc Identitaire must show flexibility when needed, and know how to adapt to given circumstances.
Finally, I think it’s worth clarifying that we do not consider the Front National and Le Pen as enemies. We are different political entities with different political purposes. We are not active on the same fronts and our ideas can, at times, diverge greatly.
Let's be flexible, but let’s stay who we are. What I want to do today is bring together all the factors that will assure the Bloc Identitaire’s development.
Aren’t you worried that some patriots may criticise the identity movement for not calling to vote Le Pen in the upcoming presidential elections ? It’s said, nonetheless, that a few months ago you met the head of the Front National.
As leader of the Bloc Identitaire I meet a lot of people. Journalists, writers, economists, philosophers and politicians, amongst whom Marine Le Pen. With her the dialogue has always been open and frank. Of course, we found areas of agreement but, above all, noted with regret some profound differences. However, since she seemed to want to work with a view to broad unity, I took her at her word and suggested she send some strong signals in the Identitaires’ direction. But those signals haven’t been sent. Probably because Marine Le Pen must also contend with a current – within her party – that is strongly hostile to Identity ideas. Duly noted.
What role should be ascribed to the Bloc Identitaire today ?
Identitaire activists aren’t content to respond to journalists in the hushed comfort of television studios, or to sense the aromas of the home soil once again just for the duration of a leafleting in a market at election time.
The hallmark of the Identitaires' is the street, permanent action, the agitation of ideas.
I’ll recall that our first success is one of semantics. Who employed – just nine years ago – the term Identitaire ( “ identitarian”) ? Hardly anyone. Today everybody recognises the concept. Either to denounce it or appropriate it.
Today we play a role of ideological stimulus which, undeniably, is influencing French political debate. I believe, in fact, much more in the strength of influence strategies than in the deployment of a solely electoral approach.
Let’s take one example. The Saucisson-pinard («Salami and wine ») street party of June 18, 2010 had more impact in popularising our ideas than the election of a few opposition councillors.
Our mobilisation to secure the release of René Galinier did more to advance the debate on the issue of self-defence than a mere motion put at a town council meeting.
And I prefer to succeed in preventing the construction of a mosque or to cause the closure of a halal slaughterhouse rather than go to great pains to get 1% of the vote in a local election.
Does that mean you rule out the electoral path ?
No, we don’t rule out anything. We are pragmatic and tailor our initiatives to the ever-changing political situation and to our financial resources.
We are activists in the concrete sense, activists committed to achieving tangible results and able to offer victories to our people.
Far from false promises and hollow rhetoric, we want to hit the opponent where it hurts, get concrete results for the survival of our people. We know the situation is serious, but it’s possible to win back – with chisel blows if necessary – parcels of freedom.
Our goal must indeed be to develop zones of liberation, identity areas that enable us to show that another society is possible. This can be achieved through neighbourhood centres, schools, a publishing house, re-information websites, mobilisations that awaken people and force politicians to take a position.
Let’s imagine a city in France where parents no longer tolerated assaults on their children at school, had had enough of their being brainwashed by militant far-left teachers and wanted a real quality education for them. Imagine further that those parents joined efforts to create an academy. And yes, the Bloc Identitaire can mobilise to help that project succeed.
The struggle must be total. We must be active on a maximum of fronts, not ruling out any means, using all the tools and channels available to advance our ideas.
Taking a quick overview of the past few years, we can state that the Identitaires' have advanced the debate on critical issues such as the Islamisation of France, anti-white racism, the trivialisation of halal, localism, the anti-globalisation discourse or even self-defence. We must carry on with our efforts to foster a true “identitarisation” of minds.
I am confident because the ideas we develop are in line with the thinking of a majority of the French people. I think, for example, of that Ifop/ Paris Match / Europe 1 study (November 2011) which found that for 76% of people, Islam is gaining too much ground in our country.
The awakening of the inhabitants of the town of Montluçon by recorded calls of a muezzin, broadcast by M6 on January 15, allowed hundreds of thousands of French people to become aware of the Identitaires’ actions. The next day we were flooded with membership applications and requests for contact.
What now best characterises the Bloc Identitaire in its grasp of the political struggle ?
The Bloc Identitaire is reflection coupled with action. At the risk of causing some surprise, I’ll say that we draw on models as diverse as the Grece and and Greenpeace.
From 1968 the GRECE («Group for Research and study of European Civilisation») helped forge intellectual weapons to combat the poison of egalitarianism that has played so great a part in destroying our societies’ immune systems. Intellectuals of this group, first and foremost Alain de Benoist, developed a critique of the homogenisation of the world and the commercialist society, critique on which we draw in order to conceive a political model grounded in our identity.
For its part, Greenpeace has devised methods of spectacular action with high media impact, which for us are a source of constant inspiration.
It’s this work on ideas, combined with extraordinary operations, that characterises Identity activists. This formula is, in my opinion, an important strategic through which to weigh on and attempt to deeply influence French society.
The media denounce what they see as a strategy of provocation.
The Bloc Identitaire remains, more than ever, the movement that breaks the taboos paralysing the French society.
We’ve denounced the unlawful prayer sessions of the Mohammedans in the streets of our cities, the building of illegal mosques and the cruel slaughter of animals done in accordance with Islamic law.
By uniting forces with other groups, we were able to organise the salami and wine street party and the Assembly on Islamisation that forced the media to inform the French people of the extent and severity of the influence of Islam in our land.
Recently, our initiatives have succeeded in mobilising people in cities such as Fayence and Montluçon, informing them that their councils were considering approving the construction of mosques, some with a giant minaret, without letting the voters know. Such initiatives have not failed to get results.
Daniel Dugléry, mayor of Montluçon, was forced to make a u-turn on the minaret, whilst the mosque project in Fayence has been buried outright.
But these actions are not without risks. So it was that, after protesting – for a few moments before the start of a meeting of Angers Council – against the public financing of a “cathedral”-mosque towering above the city, Benoît Couëtoux, an Identity movement official of the Anjou region, faced criminal proceedings, with the prosecution asking for a four-month prison sentence, 105 hours of community service and a year’s suspension of his civil rights.
The Identitaires’ mobilisation, the quality of our legal professionals, the media ruckus we raised, carried a lot of weight. The court in the end sentenced Benoît Couëtoux to a 1500 euro fine.
It thus dismissed the claims and charges of the Muslim Association of Angers, whose solicitor, Bertrand Salquain, stressed that the Islamic community was "shocked and disappointed" by the ruling. "What was the point in conducting an investigation for incitement to racial hatred only to find the accused guilty of just a minor offence ? ", he asked.
Through strong operations on the ground – about Islam, but also about other important issues like immigration-invasion and the ethnic divide – we make the media speak of the dangers threatening our country.
We make ourselves the spokesmen for those Whites who today seem abandoned and insulted in their own country. We have recently show this again by demonstrating in Toulouse during the trial of Houria Bouteldja, prosecuted for having called the French of real French origin “lower than dogs”.
The year 2012 seems to have got off to a good start, what with the indictment of Bernard-Henri Levy on charges brought by the Identitaires. Can you tell us more about this ?
Yes, it was a nice Christmas present for all the Identitaires'. In an article published in late 2010, Bernard-Henri Levy claimed to defend "the honour of Muslims" supposedly threatened by the holding of the Assembly on the Islamisation of France. Whilst doing so, he termed the Bloc Identitaire a "neo-Nazi splinter group."
The case was under examination for a year, and now Bernard-Henri Lévy has finally been indicted. He will appear in criminal court in a few months’ time to answer charges of public defamation of the Bloc Identitaire .
This is good news, which should please many people beyond the Identitaire sphere. It’s also evidence that Identity activists do not give up, and that they should be supported in their efforts to build up the movement. The stronger we are, the more we’ll make the gravediggers of our civilisation bite the dust.
What are your plans for the next few months ?
During the 2011 “back to school” Identity seminar I already outlined a few areas allowing us to establish a roadmap for the year 2012.
It seems important to me, first of all, to launch broad new initiatives to make ourselves more well known amongst the general public. Let me stress this point : a salami and wine street party has done more for us than the distribution of a million leaflets. It’s up to us to work on other initiatives of this kind, but on various themes. I’m thinking especially of social or ecological topics.
We must also increase our financial firepower in order to advance towards a professionalisation of our activities. We’ve taken some steps to achieve this goal. To be optimistic, I would say the best is yet to come. We are only at the beginning of a process that could bear fruit in the medium term.
We need to develop the activist community. Not only in increasing the number of our members, but also in boosting our presence in various sectors of French society.
We need to invest in a maximum number of projects and spaces that will allow us to disseminate our worldview. I’m thinking, for example, of the Identity Houses, of the inauguration of two new branches – Bordeaux and Toulouse – in the coming weeks. They’re in addition to those of Nice, Paris, Lyon and Brittany.
I’m also thinking of the Bloc Identitaire federations whose membership has been soaring recent months. We must take advantage of 2012 to strengthen and structure the movement, find new leaders amongst the members, open new sections and thus provide the Bloc Identitaire with the means for exponential growth.
Right now, the Bloc Identitaire is launching a new activist campaign around the question of nationality and the identity of France. It will be a way to mark our opposition to the machinations of those wishing to introduce voting rights for foreigners. It will also be an opportunity to remind people that being French is a question of identity, not paper!
This information campaign will materialise in three components: posters, flyers, stickers. But, of course, we also have in mind some special feats to make our voice heard in the political debate in France.
One last word, please, on your valuation of the presidential campaign.
In conclusion, we indeed expect to remain in the front line defending our identity, before, during and after these presidential elections which – in the end – aren’t going to change anything for the future of our people.
I sincerely believe that the media-political spectacle we’re witnessing validates the Bloc Identitaire’s strategy.
A political battle is won in the minds of the people and in the streets before being won at the polls. Elections conclude a process, they don’t start it. For example, Mitterrand's victory in 1981 did not signify the beginning of France’s shift to the left, but was rather the logical outcome of a process begun well before 1968.
The Identitaires' have a historical role to play. We must keep on being the ones who awaken the people, who put the issue of identity at the centre of a political landscape facing the prospect of future upheavals.