Haute-Garonne: Is the National Rally the wrong nose for Generation Identity?

The decisive two candidates in the departmental elections of the Haute-Garonne, who run under the label of the National Rallye, campaigned for Generation Identity, the nationalist movement disbanded last March. The RN defends them, but their opponents rise.

Right-wing extremist group Génération Identitaire was disbanded in March after a series of violent acts, in particular an operation to hunt migrants at the Col du Portillon in Haute-Garonne. But that doesn’t mean its former members have disappeared from the radar.

Two of them, Romain Carrière and Claire-Lise Bouton, are candidates for the departmental elections of Haute-Garonne under the label of the National Rally. Romain Carrière, a figure of the Toulouse identity movement, was invested by the party of Marine Le Pen in the canton of Castelginest. This is not to the taste of his political opponents, who are outraged by his militant past.

As of April 26, the President of the Occitania Region, Carole Delga, asked for explanations from the President of the RN group of the Regional Council, Julien Sanchez, who employs the former member of the Bloc Identitaire as a collaborator. Carole Delga’s intervention followed the presence of several identity activists in the walls of the regional hotel at the invitation of Romain Carrière.

Romain Carrière (left) Toulouse identity figure and candidate for the Castelginest canton.

The young man does not deny his past. “Except that it’s actually a matter of the past, not the present. I’m not denying anything, but I’ve moved on to something else, ”he says. The candidate answers bluntly and takes the opportunity to explain his accompanied visit to the regional council: “In April there was a break-in at this institution, the Action Française, with which I have nothing to do. For my part, I showed the page to friends… ““ My preoccupation with Génération Identitaire was during my youth. I turned a page and chose a different path, ”assures the candidate lepéniste. Romain Carrière says today that he wants to “dedicate himself fully to politics in order to convey his ideas in defense of France and the French” and continues to insist on “fighting Islamism and mass immigration”.

He assures us that his campaign “is going well. Not everyone agrees with us, but we still receive a warm welcome. We are no longer demonized in the RN. “

“I turned the page”

Claire-Lise-Knopf (right) candidate for the canton of Toulouse 3.

Claire-Lise Bouton is also close to identity circles in the canton of Toulouse 3. But this student of opera singing at the Toulouse Conservatory says she turned the page: “My past is that of a sympathizer in 2020. But I am very pleased with my studies and do not participate anymore.” She says she came into contact with Generation Identity through Romain Carrière’s self-defense courses. And says that he no longer has any relation to the identity environment, except for a drink with friends, “where everything is at stake, except politics”.

The delegate of the National Rally, Julien Leonardelli, defends his candidates. For him it is inexorable. “Then it would be fair if we search the past of all candidates. Romain Carrière chose to convey his ideas through other means than activism. I don’t see what the problem is. He is a very good candidate for us ”.

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