Today, the Conseil d’État’s urgent applications judges suspended the dissolution of GALE (Groupe Antifasciste Lyon et Environs [Greater Lyon Antifascist Group) that had been imposed by the Government on 30 March. They judged that the information put forward by the Ministry of the Interior did not provide evidence that GALE had incited acts of violence or committed serious disorderly conduct.
On 30 March 2022, the Government ruled to dissolve the Greater Lyon Antifascist Group (GALE) on the basis of the Internal Security Code (Article L. 212-11). The group and one of its members applied to the Conseil d’État’s judge to suspend this dissolution as a matter of urgency, calling it an attack on their freedoms of assembly and association, opinion and expression.
Groups can be dissolved for serious disorderly conduct
The Internal Security Code states that groups who incite acts of violence towards people or property2 and cause serious disorderly conduct can be dissolved by the Government.
The Conseil d’État’s three urgent applications judges convened to examine the case put forward by the Ministry of the Interior to justify the dissolution of this group, which included acts of violence, violent posts on social media, and incitement to hatred and violence against the forces of law and order.
The allegations against GALE did not justify dissolution
Today they ruled that the allegations against the group did not, individually or collectively, justify its dissolution under the Internal Security Code.
Although GALE did share calls on social media to participate in protests (as part of the so-called “Yellow Vest” movement and against Covid-19 vaccine passes), and although some of these protests were not reported to the authorities beforehand and could have caused disorderly conduct, the group was not the origin of these calls. Also, it was not proven that the acts of violence that had been committed were linked to GALE’s activities.
The Conseil d’État’s urgent applications judges noted that the group’s posts on social media could not in themselves be considered as legitimising the use of violence. Although the group made radical, sometimes brutal statements, and shared news about violence against the forces of law and order such that one could question their sympathies, it could not be considered that the group had incited acts of violence.
For these reasons, the Conseil d’État’s urgent applications judges today ruled to suspend the government’s dissolution decree.
1 Decree of 30 March 2022
2 Article L. 212-1 of the Internal Security Code