Action Directe, la révolution à tout prix
France / French
Documentary about the four prisoners of Action Directe, their actions and ideas.
|Nr of Disks/Tapes
Action directe (AD) was a French armed group which committed a series of assassinations and violent attacks in France between 1979 and 1987. Members of Action directe considered themselves libertarian communist who had formed an "urban guerrilla organisation". The French government banned the group.
Action directe was set up in 1977 by two other groups, GARI (Groupes d'Action Révolutionnaire Internationalistes, revolutionary internationalist action groups) and NAPAP (Noyaux Armés pour l'Autonomie Populaire, armed core groups for popular autonomy), as the "military-political co-ordination of the autonomous movement". In 1979 it was transformed into an "urban guerrilla organisation" and carried out violent attacks under the banner of "anti-imperialism" and "proletarian defence." The group was banned by the French government in August 1982. In 1984 Action directe allied itself with the German Red Army Faction.
Action directe carried out some fifty attacks, including a machine gun assault on the employers' federation headquarters on May 1, 1979 as well as attacks on French government buildings, property management agencies, French army buildings, companies in the military-industrial complex, and the state of Israel. They carried out robberies or "proletarian expropriation" actions, and assassinations, killing Engineer General René Audran, the manager of French arms sales, in 1985. They were also accused of Georges Besse's 1986 murder, an execution allegedly justified because he was the former head of the French automaker Renault. However, they denied it during their trial. Besse was also former president of Eurodif nuclear company, in which Iran had a 10% share.
On 21 February 1987, the main Action directe members, Jean-Marc Rouillan, Nathalie Ménigon, Joëlle Aubron, and Georges Cipriani, were arrested. They were later sentenced to life imprisonment. Régis Schleicher had already been arrested in 1984. Joëlle Aubron was released in June 2004 for health reasons and died of lung cancer on March 1, 2006. There is an ongoing campaign by some sections of the French far-left that the Action directe members still imprisoned, who consider themselves political prisoners, should be paroled.