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France: Autonomous (extreme-leftist) movements

Last modified: 2020-02-03 by ivan sache
Keywords: action antifasciste | coup pour coup 31 |
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Action antifasciste

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Antifas' flags - Images by Tomislav Todorović, 4 August 2018

Action antifasciste, founded in 2008, is a network of French autonomous (extreme-leftist) antifascist groups. These groups and their members are known as antifas. The French antifas are "affiliated" to an informal group of similar movements that emerged all over Europe in the 1990s, starting from Germany. Their main goal is to get rid of extreme-rightist and neo-nazi movements, stopping at nothing, including street violence and illegal acts. Often criticized for their immoderate use of violence in street clashes with extreme- rightist groups (and with the police), the antifas have often been accused to lead astray the Communist principles.

The common inspiration of the antifascist movements is the German movement Antifaschistiche Aktion, which held its first congress on 10 July 1932, succeeding different less-organized groups. The movement was an outfit of the German Communist Party but joining it did not require party's membership. Antifaschistiche Aktion was crushed by the Nazis after they got the power in 1933; the general strike organized in the small town of Mössingen was their last public action. Most of its members joined the clandestine resistance or the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War.
Antifascist groups reemerged in Germany in the 1990s. Two main groups, Autonome Antifa [M] and Antifaschistische Aktion Berlin, reorganized the movement at the federal level as Antifaschistische Aktion. Similar movements were established in different European countries (Denmark, 1992; Netherlands, 1992; Sweden, 1993; Czech Republic, 1996; Slovakia, 2001; Spain). These groups were more or less organized and centralized. The German federal groups was disbanded in 2001 while its two main components disappeared in 2004, being succeeded by local branches.

The flag of Action antifasciste (photo, photo, photo, photo) is red with the movement's logo, a red and a black flag placed on a white disk surrounded by a black ring charged with the name of the organization, written in white letters.
Most European antifas' movements use a same emblem / flag, with appropriate writing.
The emblem is a modernisation of the emblem used by the German Antifaschistische Aktion in the 1930s, originally displaying two red flags and a red ring. The black color was added by the modern antifas' movements, symbolizing the union of communists and anarchists against fascists.

The flag is also used with a black field (photo), sometimes with the lgo with the colors of the two flags reversed (photos).


Antifas' flag - Image by I>Tomislav Todorović, 5 November 2019

The antifas group based in La Rochelle uses a flag (photo, photo) diagonally divided red-black from the lower hoist to the upper fly, charged with the generic antifas' emblem (version with the black flag in front of the red one) in the center.<+P>

Ivan Sache & Tomislav Todorović, 1 November 2019

Action antifasciste Paris-Banlieue

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Flag of Action antifasciste Paris-Banlieue, two versions - Images by Tomislav Todorović and Ivan Sache, respectively, 30 November 2018

Action antifasciste Paris-Banlieue (AFA) is a main antifas' branch, representing Paris and its suburban area (banlieue).
Clément Méric, a student member of AFA, was killed on 5 June 2013 during a brawl that opposed two groups of antifas and skinheads in a Fred Perry shop. Two skinheads were sentenced on 14 September 2018 to 11 and 7 years in jail, respectively.

The flag of AFA photo, photo) is the Action antifasciste flag, here black, with the movement's generic emblem with appropriate wording in the ring.
AFA also use a black flag with their specific emblem, portraying an antifa operating a sling (photo). Here the movement's generic emblem is placed within a smaller white circle and the appropriate wording in the ring is written in red letters.

Ivan Sache, 30 November 2018

Breizh Antifa

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Breizh Antifa flag, two versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 14 July 2013, and Tomislav Todorović, 17 June 2018, respectively

The Breton branch of Action antifasciste has its own flag, red with an emblem derived from the mother group's emblem. The upper, red flag is replaced by a Breton flag while the lower, black flag is replaced by a red flag. The ring around the emblem is inscribed with the name of the group, "Breizh Antifa".

Ivan Sache, 14 July 2013

A newer variant of the flag has different inscription in the black ring, in Breton and French languages - BREIZH ENEPFASKOUR in the top and BRETAGNE ANTIFASCISTE in the bottom. The dates of its photos found online, as well as other images which use that design (phots, reveal that the flag has appeared in 2016; they also reveal that the logo is very large (about 7/8 of the flag width) and shade of red is R+ of very close (compare with other flags in the same photos, most notably that of Sardinia).
The Breton Anarchist organization Disuj ! also uses this flag (photo) and sells it online as well (online shop).

Tomislav Todorović, 17 June 2018

Action antifasciste Marseille

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Flag of Action antifasciste Marseille, two versions - Images by Tomislav Todorović, 6 November 2019

The flag of Action antifasciste Marseille is the Action antifasciste flag, either red (photo, photo, photo) or black (photo, photo, photo), with the movement's generic emblem with appropriate wording in the ring.

Ivan Sache, 25 January 2019

IpEH antifaxista

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Flags of IpEH antifaxista - Images by Tomislav Todorović, 13 January 2019

IpEH antifaxista, the branch of Action antifasciste active in Northern (French) Pays Basque (IpEH stands for Iparreko Euskal Herria, Northern Basque Country) and also in (Spanish) Pais Vasco, uses different flags:
- the Action antifasciste red flag, with the movement's generic emblem and appropriate name in the ring (photo, photo, photo); on some flags, the red flag featured in the emblem is replaced by the Basque flag (photos, photo);
- the Basque flag with the movement's generic emblem and with appropriate wording in the ring (photos, photo).
- the Action antifasciste black flag, with the movement's generic emblem surrounded by a red branch (left) and a black cog-wheel (right) and with appropriate wording outside the emblem (ring omitted) (photos); on some flags the branch is green.

Tomislav Todorović, 13 January 2019

Prouvénço Antifascista


Flag of Prouvénço Antifascista - Image by Ivan Sache, 1 December 2018

The flag of Prouvénço Antifascista (Occitan: Provence Antifascists) (photo) is the Action antifasciste, black flag, with the movement's generic emblem revamped with the Provencal / Occitan colors and symbols. The upper flag is vertically striped red and yellow, as the Provencal flag, and charged in the center with a red star outlined in yellow. The lower flag, similar to the modern Occitan flag, is red, charged with the Cross of Toulouse and the Félibrige star. The ring is red with yellow writing.

Ivan Sache, 1 December 2018

Union antifasciste toulousaine

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Flag of the Union antifasciste toulousaine, two versions - Images by Tomislav Todorović and Ivan Sache, respectuvely, 2 December 2018

The Union antifasciste toulousaine (UAT) uses the Action antifasciste flag, either red or black, with the movement's generic emblem with appropriate wording in the ring (photo, photos).

Ivan Sache & Tomislav Todorović, 2 December 2018

Brigade antifasciste de Strasbourg


Flag of the Brigade antifasciste de Strasbourg - Image by Tomislav Todorović, 1 December 2018

The flag of the Brigade antifasciste de Strasbourg (photo, photo photo) is red with the white letters "BAF", a golden yellow star and the full name of the group in white letters.

Ivan Sache & Tomislav Todorović, 1 December 2018

Coup Pour Coup 31


Flag of Coup Pour Cop 31 - Image by Ivan Sache, 4 May 2017

Coup Pour Coup 31 (Blow for Blow 31; website) is an anti-imperialist collective established in 2009 in Toulouse (Department of Haute-Garonne, No. 31).
The collective fights imperialism as a system of domination and exploitation, any kind of imperialist intervention, mostly French, in the world, would it be political, economical, military or cultural, any form of racism and chauvinism.
The collective supports the people's struggle for national and social liberation, especially progressivist and revolutionary organizations pushing a project of emancipation for all, the Palestinian resistance fighting for a single, democratic, secular and multicultural state on the historical territory, the right of independence and self- determination for the peoples of the French colonies: Caribbean islands, Guyane, Kanaky, etc., the progressivist and/or revolutionary victims of repression, whatever their tactical and/or strategical options.

The flag of Coup Pour Coup 31 (photos, photo) is white with the group's logo.
The logo features a red star superimposed with a black fist and the collective's name, in black letters, except "POUR", in red. On the flag, the fist is lined white and the star is shaded in black

Ivan Sache, Jaume Ollé & Esteban Rivera, 3 June 2017