Gérald Darmanin announced on Tuesday that he had launched the procedure for the dissolution of the far-left group “Nantes révoltée”, which presents itself as “an independent and committed media” but is regularly singled out by the authorities for violence during demonstrations.
“I have decided to initiate the adversarial process which would allow the dissolution of this de facto grouping”, declared the Minister of the Interior to the National Assembly, in response to a question from the LREM deputy for Loire-Atlantique Valérie Oppelt .
“Once things are built and we are unassailable, I will propose to the President of the Republic the dissolution” of “Nantes revolted”, he continued.
The group now has fifteen days to present its arguments to the government, after which the minister will make his decision. If he demands dissolution, he will present a decree to the Council of Ministers.
“We are already surrounded by a team of lawyers who intend to defend freedom of expression. We are going to launch a petition. We are going to demonstrate the illegitimacy of this government which seeks to destroy the slightest counter-power “, said “Nantes revolted” by email to AFP, rejecting the qualifications of “small group”, “structure”, “de facto group”, and “ultra-left collective”.
“All these qualifiers are used by the media and the authorities to designate us except the only one which is essential: we are a local and independent media”, added “Nantes revolted”.
In the morning, the prefect of Loire-Atlantique Didier Martin had explained to the press that a dissolution was “not as simple as it seems” otherwise it could have been done a long time ago”.
“Nantes revolted claims to be media, so we can, for example, be confronted with respect for freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” he added.
– “aggregation of activists” –
“We assume that (Mr. Darmanin) relies on the 1936 law which had been made to obtain the dissolution of the far-right leagues because it is this law which has recently been used to dissolve the CCIF or Génération identity”, commented the lawyers of the collective Raphaël Kempf and Aïnoha Pascual. But according to them, “Nantes Révoltée does not correspond to any of the categories provided for by the text of the law”.
Accustomed to processions and presenting themselves as an “autonomous and committed media”, its members speak only on behalf of the group, via social networks.
“I would not be able to say who is Nantes revolted and how they work. We know that people are close to it but no one claims to be Nantes Revolted”, explained to AFP a journalist accustomed to Nantes demonstrations.
He defines the group as an “aggregation of activists (…) a protean and somewhat opportunistic system depending on the causes” and recalled that he had in particular “participated a lot” in the mobilizations after the death of Steve Maia Caniço in Nantes in 2019 , during a controversial police operation on the occasion of the Fête de la Musique.
The dissolution procedure was launched following incidents that occurred in Nantes on Friday evening on the sidelines of an “antifa” demonstration that brought together more than 600 people, with smoke bombs and fireworks.
“Down with the state, the cops and the fachos,” chanted the demonstrators, according to videos posted on Twitter.
Two windows had been smashed and projectiles thrown at the police. The protest then moved on to a bar known to host far-right activists. A server and a customer were hit there.
Following these incidents, “three people were arrested and one was sentenced to prison following an immediate appearance”, according to Mr. Darmanin, for whom “what happened” in Nantes is “unacceptable “.
The minister argued that “since the El Khomri law (Labour law in 2016), this de facto group constantly repeats calls for violence and this weekend against the State and the police”.