Launched in February 2021, to "get ahead" of the future candidate, the "GZ" are first embodied by their leader Stanislas Rigault.

At 22, this Vendéen scours the TV sets with the aplomb of an old politician.

Military father and mother who works with the elderly, for the occasion he put his law studies on hold at the Catholic Institute of La-Roche-sur-Yon, where he had founded L'Etudiant libre, a magazine " patriot ", promoter of" the union of the rights ".

Stanislas Rigault, president of "Generation Z", December 2, 2021 in Paris JOEL SAGET AFP / Archives

On November 25, five days before Eric Zemmour's candidacy, the boss of the "GZ" hosts the "network" evening at Brasil Tropical, a Parisian club at the foot of the Montparnasse Tower, alongside Hilaire Bouyé, a former UNI, a right-wing student union.

"Rally"

Speech in front of 600 people, French flags, Marseillaise, then an evening of rock dance, reports a participant, who evokes an atmosphere of "rally", chic evening of "the west of Paris".

At the entrance of the box, the control of the sanitary pass in tension more than one.

Some exchange QR codes, continues this source, interviewed by AFP.

Supporters of presidential candidate Eric Zemmour gathered for his first campaign meeting, December 5, 2021 in Villepinte JULIEN DE ROSA AFP / Archives

"We have a small base of people opposed to vaccination. It is a minority but it is noisy", relativizes Stanislas Rigault.

Ten days later, at the meeting in Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis), one of the speakers, Jean-Frédéric Poisson, at the head of the small conservative and Christian party VIA-La Voie du Peuple, will be warmly applauded for his words. on the "freedom to be or not to be vaccinated" against the Covid.

This December 5, at the Parc des Expositions, the "GZ", 900 on the spot, according to the movement, are at the heart of the meeting of more than 10,000 people.

They applaud their champion, sell T-shirts made in Bangladesh "Zemmour 2022" or "Ben Voyons", a favorite expression of Eric Zemmour.

And make human chains to try to restore calm when scenes of violence parasitize the meeting.

Eric Zemmour, presidential candidate, during his first campaign meeting, December 5, 2021 in Villepinte JULIEN DE ROSA AFP

Some come from major schools, such as three boys from Sciences Po Paris and one from the Ecole normale supérieure (ENS), met by AFP.

But it would be wrong to reduce the youth movement to the affluent Parisian audience of Brasil Tropical at the end of November.

Beret on the head, "Bauduch" (his nickname) made the trip to Picardy with a group of friends.

He "shares Zemmour's concerns about immigration and insecurity" and talks about his personal "royalist, traditionalist" commitment.

Seduced by the radicalism of the far-right candidate, several young people explain having "discovered" politics thanks to the polemicist's broadcasts on CNews.

Polls show that Eric Zemmour struggles to seduce the young electorate, but "GZ" claims 6,500 members, mostly men.

"It is 70% boys and 30% girls like other political youth movements", nuance Stanislas Rigault.

Sympathizers of presidential candidate Eric Zemmour gathered for his first campaign meeting on December 5, 2021 in Villepinte JULIEN DE ROSA AFP

- "Scandalous" -

At the heart of his organization, the loops of the Telegram messaging application to which AFP had access.

They bring together thousands of people on "Operation Z", local groups like "GZ Paris 16th" or "GZ Ile-de-France" for the collages of nocturnal posters and a "Discussion group", with a much more tonality. controversy.

Several skids took place on the latter.

Insults fly against traditional media or public figures deemed hostile to Eric Zemmour.

Some recommend reading the far-right weekly Rivarol, while others warn against this publication, whose editor was recently convicted of challenging crimes against humanity and inciting hatred against Jews after comments made on YouTube.

Supporters of the far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour gathered for his first campaign meeting on December 5, 2021 in Villepinte JULIEN DE ROSA AFP

"It is particularly annoying and scandalous", reacts Stanislas Rigault, for whom "Rivarol is a rag".

But this discussion group is a "space of free speech of sympathizers" which is "not administered by executives. There are thousands of messages a day, we cannot moderate everything," he assures us.

A charter of good conduct has been returned since the interview conducted on Monday.

© 2021 AFP

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