Anarchist arrest sweep in France
French Anti-Terrorism Police arrested around twenty people across France today (Nov. 11th) in connection with five incidents since October 26th (most this past weekend) in which metal bars shorted out electric train lines around France. The Minster of Justice (sic) Rachida Dati has been on a longstanding crusade against what she and the mainstream press have dubbed the "Extreme-Left" "mouvance anarcho-autonome" (Anarcho-Autonomous Movement). Editorial pages are afire against what they say is a re-birth of the Action Directe movement of the 1970s.
Mainstream press reports have focused on a small commune in Tarnac where many of the arrested lived, although arrests were made in Rouen, Paris, and elsewhere. If convicted of terrorism offenses, the suspects would face 75000 Euro fines and 3-10 years in jail.
The French Fédération Anarchiste, in a statement today, called for the release of all arrestees, and questioned how anyone without proper training and equipment could place metal bars in overhead lines carrying 25.000 volts without killing themselves.
Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire leader Olivier Besancenot came out with a statement today, condemning the tactics but questioning the timing of the sweep. While saying "we want more trains, not fewer": "Riders already have enough sabotage from the SCNF [rail company]" he asked "who benefits" from this, pointing out that leftist and labor groups have been working on a nation wide strike action for scheduled for the 13th.

Humanite: Sabotages à la SNCF : une vingtaine d'arrestations
SNCF: dix interpellations dans l'"ultra-gauche" après les actes de sabotage
Sabotages SNCF: à Tarnac, une communauté apparemment bien intégrée
le 11 novembre, la chasse aux anarchistes est ouverte Indymedia Lille

Reprint of Communiqué de la Fédération Anarchiste
Conservative Le Monde and the Government hype the MOUVANCE ANARCHO-AUTONOME, June 2008
Liberation on the attacks and La «mouvance anarcho-autonome» placée sous surveillance