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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #289 - Autobiography, Read: Rouillan, "Ten Years of Direct Action" (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 29 Dec 2018 13:13:14 +0200

For ten years, the Direct Action group has been evolving between clandestinity and legal activity, between prison and guerrilla warfare. Jean-Marc Rouillan delivers a precious testimony. ---- The assassination of the young Maoist Pierre Overney, in February 1972, by a Renault vigil, marks a turning point for the French revolutionary left. The spirit of 68 fades. Activists then ask the question of the transition to armed struggle. Some groups have already taken the plunge, lulled by antifranquism, anti-imperialist struggles, anti-imperialism and a new political experience: workers' autonomy. It is in this context that Direct Action (AD) is born, whose name is a reference to the revolutionary syndicalism of the CGT before 1914. This is the story told by Jean-Marc Rouillan in Ten Years of Action. direct. A testimony 1977-1987. From the strafing of the CNPF (ancestor of the Medef) on the 1st May 1979 until the arrests of Vitry-aux-Loges in February 1987, the author runs a breathtaking decade, during which AD, between prison and clandestinity, multiplies expropriations and robberies of banks, attacks against the military authorities of the NATO or the representations in France of the IMF and the World Bank. Connections with the German RAF, the Belgian CGBs, the Italian Red Brigades and other Turkish and Palestinian organizations, inscribe AD's action in an international setting, which tries to move the lines and shake the heart of imperialism.

An armed struggle cut off from the masses
Nevertheless, the story of AD is not limited to guerrilla warfare and the grueling life of illegal immigrants. Its activists, before their big jump in the armed struggle, were active and active in the autonomous and libertarian movement, as well as in trade union action. In 1981, with the election of Mitterrand, Rouillan and his comrades are amnestied and recover freedom. Then opens a new period with the establishment of " red bases ". In the district of Goutte-d'Or, a former brothel, doomed to destruction, is squatted. It hosts Turkish families, Arab or Egyptian workers dismissed and thrown to the street by their boss. On the model of the Italian-style social centers, the Workers 'and Peasants' Commune of the 18th centuryoffers literacy classes, carries out requisitions in supermarkets and then distributes food to the people of Barbès. It sets up a self-managed clothing workshop, offers offices for Turkish organizations fighting against the dictatorship of Ankara. A meaningful experience, which will end under the blows of the police state.

Closed this " legal " parenthesis , AD goes back to hiding. Choice that will prove a stalemate with, a few years later, the final dismantling of the group and the prison. Rouillan recognizes the long-term failure of the armed struggle, when it is finally revealed avant-garde and cut off from the masses. However, he concedes an achievement in this epic: " the tenors of institutional politics criticized not only AD for armed action, but because guerrilla warfare materialized revolutionary class counter-violence that endangered their positions. AD prevented them from voting in peace, to protest kindly with the family. "

With the sometimes harsh reading, the very militant writing, imprinted Marxist-Leninist prose, the testimony of Rouillan, is nonetheless indispensable to those who dream, yesterday as today and tomorrow, of a world free from barbarism and social injustice.

Jérémie (AL Gard)

Jann Marc Rouillan, 10 years of Direct Action, A testimony 1977-1987 , Editions Agone, 2018, 408 pages, 22 euros.

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