French Speaking Anarchist Federation
In 1953, the anarchist federation was born, out of a combination betwe en the followers of Sebastián Faures synthesis and working class militants, sup porters of a federal organization. Its action develops around the possibility, and the need, of gathering all existing libertarian tendencies in the organization, around the autonomy of each and every group, personal and a common responsibility, called “Le Monde publication Libertaire.”
In the seventi es these principles evolved towards a compromise between Voline’s synthesis and some platformists ideas, which took on board, mainly, class struggle.
Today, the FA defends a plural anarchism in which contemporary anarchisms can have a voice while sharing the organization al and ethic principles of federalism an d mutual aid. In this way the different t endencies are clearly less differentiated and the main part of the members do ca ll themselves simply anarchists - without branding.
The FA fights for a free s ociety, without classes or state, and ba sed on social equality, where the collective or individual possession of the means of production and distribu tion does not allow for any exploitatio n of the work of others. In this society t he same means for development and education are given from the moment of birth on every respect. The social organisation is arranged around the free federation of producers and consumers, made and modified accord ing to the will of its members, aroun d the free union of individuals and the absolute right of every individual to express his or her ideas. The FA is for the abolition of w aged labour and of every other state i nstitution, as well as any other form of oppression which contributes to the exploitation of men by men, and this implies the fight against religion and mysticism, even if they hide under the drapes of science, against patriotism and for the fraternity between all human groups and the abolition of borders.
It is the whole of society that the anarchists in the FA want to build up again, on a base of respect and solidarity, not for an individual, a class or a party, but for every individual. This social question can not be really and definitively solved unless done so on a planetary level. Following the principle of the autonom y of groups and individuals, the FA do not intervene in the strategies that are followed by each one, whether it be on a syndical-unionist area or in any other aspect of local m ilitant intervention: feminism, against patriarchy, antifascist, against nuclear power, for the environment, antimilitarist, pacifist, against religion, etc.
These actions should not be in contradiction with the aims pursued by the FA, and they can be criticised. But mainly the anarchists in FA strive to fight altogether with the dispossessed of the world against every government, in this way acknowledging the class war, the aim of which has to be the birth of an anarchist society.
It is a question of just allowing the ex ploited social classes to gain their em ancipation, as it will be them who will bring into being the anarchist society. With this in mind, it is necessary to take part in reivindicative and emancipatory struggles, so to allow individuals to reach a breaking point situation against the system. Through this a call can be made towards the workers, the exploited ones, the casualised, to fight against mendicating negotiations, to opt for direct autonomous action and to get co-ordinated on federal lines. Enemies of every dictatorship, the anarchist reject all the authoritarian theories whether they are inspired on Marx, on the church, on monarchy, fascism, liberalism, islamism or any other. Revolution will necessarily be made of stages in which oppressive institutions are destroyed and of more constructive times, in which a new society is built, managed by every one from the start, on anarchist lines. It is because of this that the FA has to be a useful revolutionary tool, until its aims are fulfilled.
How it works
A congress, the only instance in which decisions can be made is held every year and takes decisions by unanimity of all the groups taking part. Here the general orientation of the organisation is decided, as well as the propaganda campaigns to be carried out in the year, and it gives a mandate to the different secretaries and coordinators. From a few years up to now, every three months there is a meeting of the Enlarged Committee of Relations (CRE), organised so that the social situation can be analysed and it is possible to react quickly on the level of the federal campaigns.
A Relations Committee (CR) brings together, every month, the secretaries and coordinators to make sure that there is a coordination of the campaigns and to check on the work done. Every one accepts personal responsibility.
Finally there are some specific commissions made by the different groups on particular discussion and work issues (campaigns, internal work, etc.)
Right now, the French Speaking anarchist federation brings together about sixty groups , in France as well as in Belgium. Also in Morocco there are quite a few individuals and people who keep in touch. This allows the federation to cover a quite dense and regular network over this territory and makes of the specific anarchist french speaking organisation the best established and developed of them all. The anarchist federation publishes a weekly journal, Le Monde Libertaire, which sells about ten thousand issues, distributed through the traditional militant circles, through subscriptions, but also in news agents. Also, more than twenty years ago the federation did set up a local radio station, Radio Libertaire, which covers most of the Paris area, and scores quite sizeable audiences. This radio is a mean of expression for the whole of the federation, directly run by the congress, and with a similar name to the other publications. It is a similar case to the Editions du Monde Libertaire, which every year publish leaflets and books. The different groups in the federation manage their own locals, as is the case of the Monde Libertaire bookshop, at 145 rue Amelot in Paris, the bookshop La Plume Noire in Lyon, L'autodidacte in Besançon, L'insoumise in Rouen, La Commune in Rennes, the Athénée Libertaire in Bordeaux.
At the 2002 congress the FA approved a motion to open up, to relate to and to support other libertarian organisations. This unity of action of the libertarians allowed for the mobilisations which brought about the anti G8 activities at Annemasse, with the establishment of a libertarian village and a red and black block during the demonstrations.
Taking part in this were the Federation Anarchiste (FA) , Alternative Libertaire (AL), the Organisation Communiste Libertaire (OCL), the Organisation Socialiste Libertaire (OSL) - Switzerland, No Pasaran (an antifascist network) and the Confédération Nationale du Travail (CNT).
This initiative was really successful. After it, it was decided by the FA congress to make a proposal of unity towards the FSE, and set up a Libertarian Social Forum and an Anarchist Bookfair. This time as well, the libertarian organisations answered the call, and a week of debates and demonstrations was organised. Later, during a demonstration against nuclear power, libertarian unity took shape again (FA – AL – OCL – OLS, Offensive Libertaire et Sociale, a split up from the No Pasaran network). This kind of initiative had been preceded by the cooperation during the No Borders camp at Strasbourg.
This activities proof that the organised action of the anarchists is possible and that it allows for a better presentation of our ability and our ideas. In these last times, the activities of the federation have been mainly related to:
Anticapitalism ( with the CLAAAAC G8 campaign and the FSL ...) ;
The feminist struggle and against patriarchy.
The struggle against nuclear power and for the environment (campaign for capitalist decrease, décroissance, campaign for free public transport...)
Struggles against religion and for laity.
And of course on the fight to defend the public sector, of pensioners, of social security and on the rest of social struggles.
On an international point of view, the Federation anarchiste adheres to the International of Anarchist federations (IFA), since its creation in 1968. It organised the international ́s seventh congress in Besancon, on the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th of april, 2004.