Manifesto of the 121

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The Manifesto of the 121 (French: Manifeste des 121, full title: Déclaration sur le droit à l’insoumission dans la guerre d’Algérie or Declaration on the right of insubordination in the Algerian War) was an open letter signed by 121 intellectuals and published on 6 September 1960 in the magazine Vérité-Liberté. It called on the French government, then headed by the Gaullist Michel Debré, and public opinion to recognise the Algerian War as a legitimate struggle for independence, denouncing the use of torture by the French army, and calling for French conscientious objectors to the conflict to be respected by the authorities.

The Declaration was drafted by Dionys Mascolo, Maurice Blanchot and Jean Schuster. It stated that the cause of the Algerians was the cause of all free men, and that the struggle was striking a decisive blow to the cause of colonialism. Although the vast majority of the signatories belonged to the French Left, a few had been close in their past to the French far-right, such as Maurice Blanchot or Robert Scipion (who had been a sympathisant of the Croix-de-Feu). The signatories included figures from a variety of political and cultural movements, such as Marxism, existentialism, and a number of figures associated with the Nouveau Roman and New Wave literary and cinematic trends.

List of signatories[edit]


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