""Sardinian separatists, Basque and Catalan nationalists, Melanesian Kanaks from New Caledonia, Occitanes from Provence and a few leaders of Sinn Fein joined locals to speechify and grumble about prisoners, debate tactics and talk cultural politics. Battles over sovereignty and independence are being waged far less often these days as violent campaigns than as hearts-and-minds political struggles over identity. And identity means culture. So said Jean-Guy Talamani, the leader of Corsica Libera, the more radical of this island’s two main nationalist parties, when buttonholed about his party’s separatist agenda. He almost sounded like a school principal: “Language and culture are the heart and soul of our political program,” he insisted. Remarking on the growing violence toward second-home buyers here, who come from elsewhere in France and abroad, he added: “We welcome all people here, but we believe that if you come to Corsica, and you want to become Corsican, you need to integrate, which means embracing our culture, our language. These are the essence of our identity.” "