La Victoire! Local Residents Force Mayor To Drop Controversial Plans For Migrant Center In Birthplace of Joan of Arc
A passionate grassroots campaign by local residents has forced the last-minute abandonment of plans to settle some fifty migrants in an historic French village.
Domrémy-la-Pucelle could be one of a thousand villages in rural France, a tranquil settlement of 120 or so inhabitants set in the wooded Vosges countryside.
Yet this peaceful location has a claim to fame which draws deep from the well of French history; Amidst the uncertainty and chaos of the Hundred Years’ War, it was here in 1412 that Joan of Arc was born and experienced the visions which commanded her to deliver medieval France from occupying English forces – an epic tale steeped in history and the Catholic mysticism of the time which still inspires long after the 19-year-old was captured and burned alive on charges of witchcraft and heresy.
Fast forward six centuries and a more contemporary drama has been the talk of Domrémy these last days – ”les migrants” – and in particular, the revelation of plans to convert a former boarding school into accommodations for some fifty ‘’unaccompanied minors’’ – due to have been bused-into the village Wednesday from the migrant encampments regularly cleared from the streets of Paris.
Residents, fearing their peaceful village would become a ‘’mini-Calais’’, quickly mobilized and launched a spirited collective to fight the project, creating a Facebook page and organizing a packed meeting at the town hall on Monday – reportedly heated – in which the mayor and village council were made aware of public hostility to the project.
Concerns were raised over security, and the character of the historic village being lost. Angry residents demanded to know the rationale in imposing over fifty young migrant men on one of the region’s most touristic villages, itself home to just over 100, mainly retired inhabitants. With no facilities in place, what would the migrants have to do bar wander the streets? The undemocratic nature of the decision – taken without public consultation – was roundly condemned.
Yet Domrémy-la-Pucelle is but one of hundreds of villages across the country, and one of several in this rural Vosges county selected to receive migrants from central government. Nearby Saint-Dié, Epinal, Monthureux-sur-Saône, Darney and Thaon have seen bus-loads of migrants arrive as the French state zealously pursues a program anathema to traditionalists – the implantation of migrants in seemingly every corner of the country.
The controversial resettlements are part of a policy which sees asylum seekers and migrants from ‘‘saturated’’ Paris redistributed across rural France by the French Interior Ministry. Hotels, former military barracks and holiday resorts are routinely commandeered to house a constant flow of arriving migrants, with residents usually the last to find out, a mostly effective tactic designed to defeat local opposition.
Critics charge that the policy is cultural vandalism, changing forever long-established communities which are, in many ways, guardians of the national tradition. Others go further, charging that government policy is not merely to take pressure off migrant hotspots but rather a blue-print for installing hundreds of thousands, even millions over the decades to come, a ‘’great replacement’’ of the native population which most politicians scoff at as conspiracy.
And yet elements of the theory known here as ‘’le grand remplacement’’ are not without some basis in fact; In 2015, the EU’s Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, discussed plans to open legal channels for the migration of a staggering 50 million migrants into Europe over the next several decades. Similar figures have previously been proposed in relation to immigration from Africa alone, with the stated goal of importing labor to make up for collapsing birth-rates across the continent.
Earlier this year, a leaked German report revealed that there were almost 7 million migrants ready to cross from North Africa and Turkey into Europe. Other estimates circulating put the number of those on the point of embarking on the journey in the tens of millions.
At Domrémy, residents learned yesterday that their village has earned a last-minute reprieve from the local consequences of an international crisis. As the mayor convenes his municipal council today to make official the abandonment of the project, residents are breathing a sigh of relief.
Contacted by The Gateway Pundit, one opponent to the project hailed the decision as a welcome victory for local democracy and common sense. A grassroots mobilization had successfully changed the minds of the municipality and beyond according to the activist, keen to avoid the contentious and partisan politics of the wider debate and for ordinary life to resume in the otherwise tranquil village.
Nationally, however, many contend that rigorous border enforcement is the only long-term solution to a crisis with no end in sight, which some are even comparing to the great migrations which followed the fall of Rome.
Too dramatic others would argue but six centuries later the memory of a peasant girl who defied the odds to save her country is inspiring a resistance to what is increasingly seen as a ‘’migratory invasion’’, not least here in the humble village where she was born.
Photo Credits: Domremy.fr, https://www.facebook.com/domremysebouge/