National Liberation Front of Corsica
Fronte di liberazione naziunale di a Corsica
Front de libération nationale corse
Dates of operationc. 1974 – active
Active regionsCorsica, France
French mainland
IdeologyCorsican nationalism
Anti-French sentiment
Anti-Imperialism
Anti-Colonialism
Secessionism
Factions:
Left-wing nationalism
Right-wing nationalism
Marxism
SloganA Francia Fora ! (France outside !)[1]
Allies
Opponents
Battles and warsCorsican conflict

The National Liberation Front of Corsica (Corsican: Fronte di liberazione naziunale di a Corsica or Fronte di liberazione naziunale corsu; French: Front de libération nationale corse, abbreviated FLNC) is a militant group that advocates an independent state on the island of Corsica, separate from France. The organisation was primarily present in Corsica and less so on the French mainland. A Conculta Naziunalista was often considered to be the political wing of the organisation.[3]

Typical militant acts by the FLNC were bombings aimed at public buildings, banks, tourist infrastructure, military buildings and other perceived French symbols, in addition to aggravated assault against civilians, armed bank robbery, and extortion against private enterprises through so-called "revolutionary taxes". The attacks were usually performed against buildings and the island's infrastructures, but it was also not uncommon for the FLNC to have individual people as targets, such as Claude Érignac who was killed in 1998.

A road sign near Bastìa with the non-Corsican place names defaced, signed by the National Liberation Front of Corsica (FLNC).
FLNC fighters

Ideology

The FLNC is based on the idea that Corsica is a nation which was a sovereign nation-state: the Corsican Republic from 1755 to 1769, the first constitutional democratic republic in the history of humanity guaranteeing universal suffrage and the right to vote for women (at least for certain women, considered heads of household, particularly widows or single women)[4] and this 200 years before France which was then an absolute monarchy by divine right. Pasquale Paoli's legacy on the FLNC is very significant, particularly through the name Ghjustizia Paolina.

The defense of the Corsican language, traditions, the re-opening of the University of Corte closed in 1769 by the French army and re-opened in 1982 following the demands of the FLNC, the fight against the concreting of the coast, against second homes, against "settlement colonization" (massive installation of continental French), the organization of a referendum on self-determination, the departure of the French army from Corsica (and in particular the dismantling of the NATO military base in Solenzara as well as the legionnaire regiment of Calvi) are central demands of the FLNC.

Ecologism and the defense of the earth (which can lead to a form of agrarianism or peasant socialism, pastoralism , defense of the mountainous, sylvan universe, of the maquis) have always been very important in the ideology of the FLNC, particularly in connection with the popular struggles of the 1970s against the pollution of red mud and the allocation of remediated lands of the Aléria plain (originally subject to malaria and now the only land on the island suitable for to intensive agriculture) to pied-noir farmers rather than Corsicans.

With the dissolution of the Canal Habituel and the formation of the FLNC-Union des Combattants (FLNC-UC), led by Charles Pieri , the FLNC returned to a hardline independence line of protest against French colonialism as well as the monopoly economy, launching for example a campaign against hypermarkets at the end of the 2000s (without adopting an explicitly Marxist discourse but declaring to be " in line with the social and union struggles of our people in the face of the multiple relays of French colonialism in Corsica" ). The FLNC of October 22 , which announced in a press release of March 21, 2023 that it would now operate in concert with the Union of Combatants, claimed in the 2000s to embody an even more radical independence line than the FLNC-UC.

At the international level, the FLNC supports the causes of Irish and Basque nationalists and supports the Palestinian national movement.[5]

History

Foundation and objectives

The FLNC was created from a merger of Ghjustizia Paolina and the Fronte Paesanu Corsu di Liberazione, the two largest Corsican armed organizations. It was an offshoot of the political party A Cuncolta Independentista which had members in the Corsican Assembly and some support among the locals.

The FLNC carried out its first attacks on the night of 4 May 1976 with 21 bombs exploding in Ajaccio, Bastia, Sartène, Porto-Vecchio and other Corsican towns.[6] The majority of the targets were public buildings and offices of civil servants. On 5 May the FLNC formally announced its existence when it issued a bilingual manifesto which also claimed responsibility for the previous night's attacks.

The manifesto contained six demands:[7]

2014 to present

In 2014,[8] the organisation announced the cessation of its armed struggle, which they confirmed again in 2016.[9] Nevertheless, a number of minor splinter groups have so far emerged and are still active.[10][11][12] The FLNC warned in 2016 that any attacks on Corsica by ISIL will be met with swift retaliation.[13]

In 2024 antisemitic and anti-French graffiti appeared in Corsica, with the FLNC being reportedly responsible.[14]

Armed campaign

See also: Corsican conflict

Notes

  1. ^ "«La France dehors» : le FLNC revendique une série d'explosions en Corse" (in French). 9 October 2023.
  2. ^ The Corsican Time-Bomb, p. 141, Robert Ramsay, UK: Manchester University Press, 1983. ISBN 0-7190-0893-X
  3. ^ Paris tightens grip on Corsican warlords, The Independent, 1 February 1997.
  4. ^ "1755, la Constitution corse accordait déjà le droit de vote aux femmes". France 3 Corse ViaStella (in French). 21 April 2014. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  5. ^ Marion Galland (26 January 2024). "Le FLNC sort du silence : " L'autonomie évoquée ne sera pas en mesure de préserver le peuple corse "". Francebleu.fr.
  6. ^ Ramsay, p. 118
  7. ^ Ramsay pgs. 118–119
  8. ^ "Corsican separatists to end military campaign". 25 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Corse: le FLNC dépose les armes". 3 May 2016.
  10. ^ http://www.corsematin.com/ta/vescovato/205162/corse-deux-membres-d-un-flnc-unifie-revendiquent-l-attentat Archived 3 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Two members of a unified FLNC claimed the attack, Corse Matin, 10 August 2009
  11. ^ "Un nouveau groupe clandestin revendique des attentats en Corse". 23 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Un groupe clandestin revendique la série d'attentats en Corse". 23 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Corsican nationalists warn jihadists of tough response - BBC News". BBC News. 28 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Anti-Semitic and anti-French graffiti condemned in Corsica". 5 January 2024.

References