The Tarnac Nine are nine alleged anarchist saboteurs arrested in the village of Tarnac, France in November 2008 in relation to a series of instances of direct action. The gendarmerie, French police, entered Tarnac with helicopters and dogs and dragged the suspects from their beds.
Around twenty people were arrested on November 11, 2008, and nine of those were charged with "criminal association for the purposes of terrorist activity". Of those nine, Yildune Lévy was released, under review, on January 16, 2009 and Julien Coupat was released on May 28 of the same year. The nine are predominantly graduate students from middle-class backgrounds, from 22 to 34 years old. Five of the nine had been living in a farmhouse on a hill overlooking the village.
The French government accuses them of associating with a "terrorist enterprise", causing delays to the French rail network by disabling over 160 trains. Coupat has also been accused of writing The Coming Insurrection, a popular anti-capitalist text. Academics and Coupat's family have said that the threat from the "violent left" is being exaggerated, and that the Tarnac Nine are "scapegoats for a generation who have started to think for themselves about capitalism and its wrongs". Support groups have emerged across France, in Greece, Spain and in the United States.
- Chrisafis, Angelique (January 3, 2009). "Rural idyll or terrorist hub? The village that police say is a threat to the state". The Guardian. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
- "Cabbage-patch revolutionaries? The French 'grocer terrorists'". The Independent. December 18, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- Bohlen, Celestine (December 4, 2008). "Use of French terrorism law on railroad saboteurs draws criticism". International Herald Tribune. Bloomberg News. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- "U.S. Support Committee for the Tarnac 9 Formed". Infoshop News. November 30, 2008. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- Burke, Jason (January 4 2009). "France braced for 'rebirth of violent left'". The Observer. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- Tarnac 9 Support site
- Open letter from the parents of Bertrand, Mathieu, Elsa, Aria and Yldune
- Criminalising Dissent in this article at the Guardian, the famous translator Alberto Toscano points out that the case of France's Tarnac Nine shows we are losing the political literacy to distinguish between sabotage and terrorism
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