The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism -or International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism ( LICRA ) in French-was Established in 1927 and is Opposed to intolerance, exclusion and xénophobie.
In 1927, French journalist Bernard Lecache created “The League Against Pogroms”, and launched a media campaign in support of Sholom Schwartzbard who assassinated Symon Petliura on May 25, 1926 in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Schwartzbard viewed Petliura as responsible for numerous pogroms in Ukraine. After Schwartzbard’s acquittal, the league Evolved into LICA ( International League against Antisemitism -or international league anti-semitism contre ). Schwartzbard was a prominent activist in this organization.
In 1931, LICA already counted 10,000 subscribers all over France. It was a solid power during the battle between the leagues in February 1934. After 1932, LICA evolved into LICRA, but the name was officially changed in 1979 during the long (1968-1992) presidency of Jean Pierre-Bloch .
In September 1939, the Second World War started, many LICRA subscribers mobilized, and many were members of the Resistance throughout the war. During the German occupation of France, LICRA was banned by the Vichy government and had to clandestinely to help the victims of Nazi racial measures, particularly by hiding them away from Paris, by providing them with fake IDs, and by helping them escape to Switzerland. , Spain and England.
In 1972, LICRA authorized them to counsel victims of racist acts during their short appearances. LICRA received considerable attention during the case of LICRA v. Yahoo! , in which it brought charges against Yahoo! for selling Nazi memorabilia to people in France in violation of French law, passed, and used by and for LICRA.
The LICRA keeps fighting neonazism and Holocaust denial . Klarsfeld couple ( Serge and Beate Klarsfeld ) and Klaus Barbie ‘s trial in 1987.
In the last few years, LICRA intensified its international actions by opening sections abroad, in Switzerland, in Belgium, in Luxembourg, in Germany, in Portugal, in Quebec and more recently in Congo Brazzaville and in Austria.
Since 1999, with the arrival of president Patrick Gaubert , LICRA has extended its area of action. It now addresses social issues such as work discrimination, citizenship, and youth disadvantage.
Since 2010 the new president is Alain Jakubowicz .
- The Psychological Help Commission supports victims of racism or antisemitic acts who find themselves overwhelmed.
- The Juridical Commission examines and decides whether or not to sue racist speech or writing. It can also help victims by giving them legal advice.
- The Youth Commission was created after the 2002 events, in order to fulfill its lack of young subscribers. It carries out local and national actions to make young people more sensitive to racism and antisemitism issues. This commission brings together subscribers aged 16 to 30, every second Sunday of the month.
- The Memory, History and Humans Rights Commission, created in 1986, informs and trains all the LICRA members. Its prevention actions are:
- historical information of the members,
- expertise regarding racism or antisemitism related books, photos and videos,
- spread of historical knowledge to teachers and students.
- The Sport Commission tries to keep sport as an integration tool. It leads to action against violence in stadiums. It fights against communitarism, and against those who use sport as a means of recruitment and infiltration. In Europe, the LICRA represents France in the FARE network.
- The Education Commission, led by Barbara Lefebvre and Alain Seksig, makes young people more aware of republican values.
- Bernard Lecache (1927-1968)
- Jean Pierre-Bloch (1968-1992)
- Jean-Pierre Pierre-Bloch , sound of Jean Pierre-Bloch
- Pierre Aïdenbaum (1992-1999)
- Patrick Gaubert (1999-2010)
- Alain Jakubowicz (since 2010)
Objectives and resources
The LICRA’s aim is to stay in permanent alertness regarding any kind of discrimination. It fights against everyday racism and the banalization of xenophobic acts. It helps the victims who are most of the time not aware of their rights. It pays attention to any racist speech in the media. It does not want to in any case to alter the press of freedom of speech, but only to find and correct any hate or discrimination incitement. It also makes sure that any negationist document is removed from sale.
The LICRA acts on the field thanks to its volunteers in every region. The actions program is voted by nine commissions (historical memory, legal, education, cultural, sport, Europe, integration, citizenship, youth). Since 1932, the LICRA publishes a newspaper: “the right to live”, which is an essential aid to express LICRA’s values and commitments. Given to all members, it is a great tool for internal and external communication. It allows to sum LICRA’s local, national and international actions. Depending on the actuality, many personalities (political, NGO, sport …) express themselves in its columns.
The LICRA is mainly financed by state subsidies. It receives around 500,000 euros every year from the French government.