A freedom fighter is a person who thinks their native ethnic group is not free, and is working to have freedom for their group. Most often this means that a freedom fighter wants their people to have own nation and independence and/or get rid of oppressors. People who think like this are said to think in a nationalist way
Freedom fighter is a relativistic term - this means a person decides by his or her point of view if he call some persons or groups freedom fighters or not. Freedom fighter is a positive term - this means that he or she calls a person "freedom fighter" only if he or she supports the goals of the freedom fighter. If people do not support his goals, they probably use more negative terms like insurgent, terrorist, rebel or criminal.
Freedom fighters are often called terrorists by their opponents if they hurt civilians. However, not all freedom fighters hurt civilians. Some freedom fighters damage the opposing military. Some freedom fighters damage property - this is called sabotage. There are also freedom fighters who do not use violence at all. For example, the Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalai Lama.
These are examples of groups who call themselves freedom fighters.
- The African National Congress, c.f. Alfred Nzo's Address to the British Trades Union Congress at its Presentation of a Gold Medal to Nelson Mandela Archived 2007-03-10 at the Wayback Machine, 1988.
- Aryan Nations
- Babbar Khalsa (Sikh separatists)
- CNRT Conselho Nacional de Resistência Timorense
- The Continuity Irish Republican Army
- Earth Liberation Front
- ETA Euskadi Ta Askatasuna - Basque nationalist organization
- GAM Gerakan Aceh Merdeka
- Hizbul Mujahideen - Kashmiri separatists
- The Irish National Liberation Army
- The Irish People's Liberation Organisation
- The Irish Republican Army
- Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Separatists)
- Mahdi Army a milita force created by and loyal to the Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr
- The New Peoples' Army
- The Real Irish Republican Army
- The Scottish National Liberation Army
- The Ulster Defence Regiment
- The Ulster Freedom Fighters
- The Ulster Volunteer Force