The French state keeps trying to criminalize antifascism and French antifascists keep beating them. You’ll recall last year’s failed attempt to frame up seven Lyon antifascists on criminal charges -charges they resoundingly beat with the help of skilled legal counsel the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund helped them retain. Then just last month, the state used its extraordinary powers to “dissolve” (ban) Groupe Antifasciste Lyon et Environs – rendering their existence a criminal matter.
What had GALE done to deserve such a severe measure? They had gained the scrutiny of the state after hosting a concert where performing MCs led the crowd in a round of the (in)famous French slogan toute le monde déteste la police (everybody hates the police). Upon further investigation, authorities discovered GALE had also produced a poster with the slogan “Death To The Nazis!” (Quentin Taratino might want to avoid Cannes in case they find out about Inglorious Basterds and issue a warrant for his arrest!).
That was the basis by which the French state banished GALE from existing.
GALE did not take this dissolution order sitting down and, with the support of the Defence Fund and other allies, hired lawyers to file an appeal. On May 11th, the appeal was heard and, once again, what actually dissolved was the French state’s arguments for ordering GALE’s dissolution.
These are two major courtroom victories for Lyon antifascists in less than a year – victories that the International Anti-Fascist Defence Fund played a significant role in providing the necessary resources to ensure the outcome.
If the idea of antifascists beating the state at its own game, using its own court system, delights you as much as it does us, get in on the fun – make a contribution to the Defence Fund today!