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In Lyon, appeals and fears after the dissolution of a group of anti-fascist activists

Two lawyers from Lyon decided to seize the Council of State, Tuesday April 5, to contest the dissolution of the antifascist group Lyon and surroundings (GALE), pronounced by decree of the Minister of the Interior, Wednesday March 30. Agnès Bouquin and Olivier Forray have chosen the summary freedom procedure, convinced that this dissolution raises “a major question of public freedom”. The supreme administrative jurisdiction has forty-eight hours to respond to the procedure.

“Something very serious is happening, worrying for the future. The purpose of GALE is to denounce the speeches and violence of the extreme right which plague our country, and it is reduced to silence. The group has expressed criticism, certainly strong and marked, in particular against the use of public force. The government wants to prevent him from speaking out,” asserts Agnès Bouquin.

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For Olivier Forray, “This dissolution announced by the government spokesman, a few weeks before the first round of the presidential election, is a political act on a calculated schedule. We are witnessing the total reversal of the 1936 law which fought against the fascist leagues. The law on separatism has modified the criteria of the anti-league law, and the Minister of the Interior has chosen to apply them against an association which precisely denounces the dangers of the far right..

The 1936 Anti-League Act provided for the dissolution of groups “who provoke armed demonstrations in the street”. The law on separatism, passed in August 2021, adds the notion “acts against persons and property”. For the two lawyers from Lyon, the dissolution of GALE would be “the disturbing illustration” the extension of the domain of repression.

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A dozen offenses listed

For the Ministry of the Interior, it would not only be a question of expression of opinion in the role of GALE in the violence observed in Lyon. The dissolution decree lists a dozen offenses attributed to GALE, the first of which dates back to December 2014, during a demonstration in response to the death of environmental activist Rémi Fraisse. The unauthorized demonstration ended in the throwing of projectiles at the police, and several damage to street furniture.

“GALE bases its strategy on the recurrence of violent actions, legitimized by an ideological discourse directed against state violence and racism”, said the Ministry of the Interior to justify the dissolution of the group. Another grievance: “His invectives and calls for hatred against the police as well as the abuses and violence committed against them. » The decree points to slogans, messages, or images against the police, relayed by the group on social networks.

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