In 2018, the anti-union repressive tactics of the Gennevilliers Mayor and elected officials finally defeated the ACORN citizens’ alliance in that city. After months of deprivation of communal public rooms, banishment, intimidation of individuals, discrimination in accessing City services public defamation, SLAPP lawsuits, an organizer went into depression and the leaders decided to put the organization on hold. Along with discourses on local democracy and citizen participation, these practices show the reality of local power and its tendency to repress dissident voices.
Following this defeat, Alliance Citoyenne (ACORN France) initiated an observatory of repression of community associations. The goal is to better understand the phenomenon and to show the reality of union busting tactics by public authorities, similar to union busting in the companies. The research was carried out by Alinsky Institute, the ACORN France research and training center, and chaired by researcher Julien Talpin and a team of nationally known social sciences researchers.