On March 10, I gave a talk to an audience of more than 700 French nationalists in Paris. The meeting was called to oppose current proposals to let foreigners from non-European Union countries vote in local elections in France—and it certainly did that. But far more important, it was a ringing assertion of French identity in the face of massive Third-World immigration.
This was a meeting on a scale and of a quality not yet possible in the United States. The speakers were politicians, authors, academics, and corporate executives, many with national reputations, and all were united in what they want for France. Catherine Blein, president of Nationality, Identity, Citizenship (NCI) which sponsored the event, spoke for all when she declared, “French we are, and French we must remain, in a Europe that is once again European!” Nor did she shrink from explaining how this will happen: “The future of foreigners is not in France but in their native lands. That is where their loyalties lie and that is where they must return.”
The audience applauds a speaker
Of course, there was opposition. Early in the week, vandals broke the windows of the Espace Charenten, the hall where the meeting was to take place. When Michele Blumenthal, the socialst mayor of the 12th ward (Paris is divided into 20 wards, each with its own mayor), which includes the Espace Charenten, heard about the meeting she said: “This type of gathering is not just scandalous but, above all, intolerable, because it stigmatizes some of our fellow citizens . . . and contributes to a discourse that reeks of xenophobia.” She urged the police to “assign officers to attend the debates start to finish” in order to “monitor all speech that is racist, revisionist, or incites racial hatred, so that criminal charges may be brought as needed.” There was no need for that, of course, since all the talks were streamed live over the Internet.
Michele Blumenthal, Mayor of the 12th Ward of Paris
Police were, indeed, present in force, but stayed outside. Dressed in bullet-proof vests and shin guards, armed with clubs and automatic pistols, they kept a small band of scruffy protesters well away from the Espace Charenton.
So, what sort of “incitement to hatred” took place at the conference?
Jean-Yves Le Gallou (interviewed in AR, Nov. 1998), one of the founders of the prestigious intellectual circle knows as the Club de l’Horloge, listed a number of elements that define French nationality, of which this was the first:
“To be French is to be part of a lineage that stretches back into the mists of time, whose character—white and European—remained essentially unchanged until the beginning of the 1970s.”
He was one of several speakers who quoted General de Gaulle:
It is well that there be yellow Frenchmen, black Frenchmen, and brown Frenchmen, for this shows that France is open to all races and has a universal vocation—but only on condition that they remain a small minority. Otherwise France will cease to be France. We are, after all and above all, a European people of the white race with a culture that is Grecian and Latin and a religion that is Christianity.
Mr. Le Gallou also quoted Ernest Renan (1823—1892) on national identity: “We note that in order to create such a [national] spirit the following are [necessary but] not sufficient: race, language, common interests, a religious affinity, a territory, military preparedness. What else is necessary?”
Renan went on to answer:
To have shared past glories, to have a common will in the present, to have done wonderful things in the past and yearn to do yet more, these are the essential conditions to be a people. We love in proportion to the sacrifices we accept, the ills we have suffered. . . . The Spartan hymn “we are what you were and will become what you are” is, in its simplicity, the anthem of every fatherland.
Jean-Yves Le Gallou, Jared Taylor, Catherine Blein, Fabrice Robert
Popular radio personality Jean-Paul Bourre was unable to attend the conference itself, but in remarks prepared and distributed beforehand, he warned of the threat of invasion:
It is no longer an obvious enemy, identifiable by its uniform and its flags, that is massing its divisions on the frontiers of Europe. The era of straight-forward war, when men chose between honor and treason is now part of a romantic past. Today we face a new form of conquest, conquest by deceit and cynical exploitation of “human rights” sentimentalism.
Mr. Bourre quoted current French president Nicolas Sarkozy in a speech of Dec. 17, 2008: “We must face the 21st-century challenge of miscegenation. It is not a choice but an obligation, an imperative.” Mr. Bourre called this an outrage, adding that “in another era, such a declaration would have sent citizens by the tens of thousands into the streets, and the ministries and other seats of power would have been reduced to ruin and ashes.”
Marc Rousset holds an MBA from Columbia and has had a 20-year career as an executive for major French companies, such as Aventis and Carrefour, with postings in Asia and Brazil. He warned that there is no guarantee that a people will survive:
In the second millennium before Christ, what is now Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan was not ruled by Asiatics but by an Aryan people, the Scythes. They spoke an Indo-European language and were described by Herodotus as “having blond and light-colored hair.” No doubt they succumbed to what the Slavs call “the white plague” of low birth rates and its corollary: the submersion by other ethnicities of greater fecundity.
Today, he said, the crisis of immigration “threatens to produce a catastrophe as serious as the fall of Byzantium and the capture by the Turks of Constantinople in 1453.”
Guillaume de Thieulloy, editor of a magazine called Les 4 Verités (The 4 Truths), spoke movingly of what a Frenchman feels for France:
We are not attached to France because it is the land of “human rights.” It is not even because it is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with a cultural heritage virtually without peer. It is for a reason far simpler and far more profound: It is because France is where we were born. It is because France nourished and reared us. Patriotism derives, as it should, from the Fifth Commandment that requires that we honor our fathers and mothers. France, like our parents, we accept and love, entirely aside from its qualities, for the sole fact that it is our fatherland.
Guillaume de Thieulloy
Yves-Marie Laulan, who served in government under President Charles de Gaulle and in high positions in the NATO command, cited evidence for systematic lying by the French authorities about the consequences of immigration:
The secret intent of the government is clearly to hide the current catastrophic reality regarding the demographic situation in France. The goal of these lies is to present the public with a fait accompli that will be justified with the usual refrain, “it’s too late; we must resign ourselves to the inevitable.”
One of the most impassioned talks was by Pierre Cassen, a militant trade unionist and former member of Revolutionary Communist League, who proved that nationalism is not the province only of the Right. He noted that immigration hurts workers because it lowers salaries, and that Islam is a threat to French identity. He is the founder of a group called Riposte Laïque (Lay Riposte), which rejects Islam root and branch. He pointed out that Marxism calls for international solidarity of labor, “but in no case is it an apology for any religion or immigration of any kind.” He called for an end to all immigration, legal or illegal because at stake “is nothing more nor less than the survival of the most beautiful country on earth: France.”
Pierre Cassen proves that nationalism is not a monopoly of the right.
Filip Dewinter is a leader of the Vlaams Belang and spoke at the most recent American Renaissance conference (his latest book is reviewed here). He was one of the best received speakers at NCI, hammering home the need to defend the West:
If there is a challenge that Europe faces today it is none other than the combat to save our European identity. We Europeans must dare to rise up in the name of our identity. . . . As a European people, our identity can only be Occidental.
Just as AIDS destroys the human body’s resistance against disease, multiculturalism attacks our resistance against assaults on our identity, our civilization, our culture, and our existence as a people. Multiculturalism has brought us Islam: a cuckoo’s egg laid in the nest of Europe. We Europeans are warming this cuckoo’s egg, blind to the fact that we could be cast out of our own nest.
The final speaker was Fabrice Robert, founder of the group Bloc Identitaire, which was the main organizing force behind the meeting. Mr. Robert is just 40 years old, a gifted speaker, a father of three children, and was a favorite of the crowd. Calling for “a reconquista of the mind,” he argued that “territorial imperative requires that one land belong to one people,” adding that “peoples are different, ethnicities are different, and civilizations are by their very nature psychic boundaries.”
Like many others, he spoke of the love of land and nation: “We love Europe because we were born here. Our parents and our entire lineage are rooted in this promontory that juts out into the Atlantic.”
His conclusion brought the audience to its feet:
Against this new age of slavery that has laid waste to the world for 30 years, against this crime against humanity that is the denial of identity, against this mentality that would transform humanity into a uniform mush, we call for a return to reason, a return to who we are.
I spoke near the end of the program—in French—and concluded a speech about the American cult of diversity with these words:
I now speak to you from the bottom of my heart: Do not make the terrible mistakes we have made in America. Avoid at all costs the cult of diversity.
I am American to the bone, but I have lived in France and believe I understand, at least a little, the spirit and genius of France. And part of the genius of France is its regions—an authentic diversity that deserves to be cherished.
The title of this meeting is “France in Danger.” France is in danger, for if France becomes diverse it will no longer be France. It is absolutely essential that France remain French—for its own sake and that of the whole world.
You are all gathered in this room because of the deep love you have for your country. The struggle for a France that is authentic, for regions that are authentic, for an authentic Europe is the fundamental struggle of our time.
Because it is not only France that is in danger. When you fight for France and for Europe you are fighting for all the children of Europe who live overseas. You are fighting for me. You are fighting for our comrades in Canada, in Australia, and in South Africa. We are all brothers in arms.
Thanks to the efforts of people like you in this room France will be saved. Long live France! Long live France as it has always been!
Jared Taylor addresses the meeting.
This brought most of the crowd roaring to its feet. Afterwards I was warmly congratulated by men and women who said they never thought they would hear an American say Vive la France. Some said they had never before applauded an American.
These are people who see the world exactly as we do, who know what is at stake, and are prepared to fight for the nation and culture they love.
NCI can be justly proud of a wonderfully successful conference.
[Editor’s note: Here and here are examples (in French) of some of the early news coverage of the conference.]