The Horizon project, aimed at welcoming refugees to revitalize the town of Callac (Côtes-d’Armor), opposed two groups of demonstrators on Saturday in this town of just over 2,200 inhabitants.
This Saturday, in Callac (Côtes-d’Armor), the same initiative mobilized several hundred people, both pro and against, in this town of just over 2,200 inhabitants.
At the heart of the debate, the Horizon project, led by the town hall and the Merci endowment fund, consisting “in renovating or building a village with refugees and non-refugees who, thanks to their know-how, will participate in the development of economic, social and cultural activities, meeting the needs of a territory”, explains the fund on its website.
“The idea was to choose a territory that is depopulated, whose businesses are closing, to bring in people from all walks of life, including refugees, to fill the gaps”, summarized on BFMTV Benoît Cohen, co-founder of the Association Endowment Fund. Thanks.
“Living together is threatened by this project”
The Horizon project was presented on April 15 during an information meeting in the Callac village hall, reports The Telegram. The same evening, a petition of opponents was launched to say “no to the Horizon project and the reception of 100 migrants”, a figure which was not put forward by the town hall or the Endowment Fund. Gathering just over 9,500 signatures today, she says that “living together in Callac is threatened by this project” and asks that the municipal team “implement other projects that will really serve Callacois and residents. of the township”.
This opposition took the form of a rally on Saturday, in front of the town hall, of around 300 people and at the initiative of Reconquête, the political party launched by Éric Zemmour, indicates The Telegram. Other far-right organizations supported this demonstration, such as the National Rally and the Patriots, the daily underlines.
The site of the same political movement Secular response also shared this call to mobilize. In the press release, the organizers explain that “Callac is the example of what awaits our country”, arguing that it is about the theory of the “great replacement in the concrete”. A theory widely taken up by Éric Zemmour during the presidential campaign and according to which the French population will be replaced little by little by another population.
“We do not understand why suddenly there is money for the immigrants who come to repopulate the village, and there is no money for the natives who are brought to leave. It is incredible”, explained Saturday on BFMTV Bernard Germain, responsible for the reconquest of Côtes-d’Armor and organizer of the event.
“A godsend” for Callac
A counter-rally of around 400 people, on the initiative of citizens and joined by parties, unions and associations (CGT, LFI, NPA, League of Human Rights), was also held, indicates The Telegram. Among the politicians present, the mayor of the commune Jean-Yves Rolland, the senators Annie Le Houérou (PS) and Gérard Lahellec (PC), as well as the deputy Murielle Lepvraud (LFI).
“It’s a long-term project, lasting twenty or thirty years. It’s the future of Callac that we are charting today”, explained Jean-Yves Rolland at the time of the information meeting, the city having suffered from the rural exodus. “It is certainly political refugees who will come to Callac, some, to work and integrate. We have neither the nationality nor the number, the project will be built together”, he specified at the microphone of BFMTV Saturday.
Guillaume Robic, mayor of Rostrenen, a nearby town, present on Saturday, also supported the initiative with BFMTV: “It consists of matching the territory’s reception policy with the policy of revitalizing the city center. We find this project that is both humanistic and relevant.”
“We still have a lot of work to do, it’s a long-term project. We’re going to continue by listening even more, going even more to meet people. Hoping that the result proves to all those people who are afraid that solidarity is the solution”, said Benoît Cohen, co-founder of the Merci association endowment fund, on our antenna.
In recent months, Jean-Yves Rolland and several of his assistants have been threatened with death, according to The Telegram. Chloé Freoa, director of the Merci Endowment Fund, also told the Sunday newspaper that his organization received “hate messages with a racist character”, during which the theory of the great replacement “comes up all the time”. Despite everything, the mayor assured Release that the project would continue. He intends, once the initiative is better defined, to send a letter to the inhabitants “to explain everything” and “to invite them to come and discuss calmly”.