This third volume of Christie’s memoirs provides the historical and political context for the international anti-Franco resistance of the anarchist ‘First of May Group’, from 1967 to the dictator’s death in 1975. It is a first-hand account — by someone accused but acquitted — of the campaign of anti-state and anti-capitalist bombings by diverse groups of libertarian militants who came together as the ‘Angry Brigade’ to challenge the aggressively anti-working class policies of the Tory government of Edward Heath.
anarchism, Anarchist activism, Spanish anarchismComments Off on THE INTERNATIONAL REVOLUTIONARY SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT A study of the origins and development of the revolutionary anarchist movement in Europe 1945-’73 Edited by Albert Meltzer [Kindle Edition, £2.02]
A concise study of the origins and development of the revolutionary anarchist movement in Europe 1945-73, with particular reference to the First of May Group. Formed in 1966 by the post-war generation of (largely Spanish) anarchist militants this group took up arms against Franco and US imperialism was the best known anarchist activist group of the period, representing a continuation of the work of Francisco Sabaté (el Quico) and the immediate post-war Spanish urban and rural guerrilla resistance, and a bridgehead into the next period when revolutionary activism in many countries (Germany, USA, Italy, and South America) consisted of many strands, some of which were authoritarian Marxist—usually Maoist, sometimes Council-Communist, occasionally Trotskyist, others Anarchist. Includes background, a chronology, and documents from The First of May Group, (search for El Grupo Primero de Mayo) the International Revolutionary Solidarity Movement and the Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias. LOOK INSIDE
‘You can’t reform profit capitalism and inhumanity. Just kick it till it breaks.’
— Angry Brigade, communiqué 8.
Between 1970 and 1972 the Angry Brigade used guns and bombs in a series of symbolic attacks against property. A series of communiqués accompanied the actions, explaining the choice of targets and the Angry Brigade philosophy: autonomous organisation and attacks on property alongside other forms of militant working class action. Targets included the embassies of repressive regimes, police stations and army barracks, boutiques and factories, government departments and the homes of Cabinet ministers, the Attorney General and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.
These attacks on the homes of senior political figures increased the pressure for results and brought an avalanche of police raids. From the start the police were faced with the difficulty of getting to grips with a section of society they found totally alien. And were they facing an organisation — or an idea?
This book covers the roots of the Angry Brigade in the revolutionary ferment of the 1960s, and follows their campaign and the police investigation to its culmination in the ‘Stoke Newington 8’ conspiracy trial at the Old Bailey — the longest criminal trial in British legal history.
Gordon Carr produced the BBC documentary on the Angry Brigade and followed it up with this book. Written after extensive research — among both the libertarian opposition and the police — it remains the essential study of Britain’s first urban guerrilla group. This expanded edition contains a comprehensive chronology of the ‘Angry Decade’, extra illustrations and a police view of the Angry Brigade. Introductions by Stuart Christie and John Barker (two of the ‘Stoke Newington 8’ defendants) discuss the Angry Brigade in the political and social context of its times — and its longer-term significance.
The First Of May Group (International Revolutionary Solidarity Movement), an action group formed in 1966 by former members of the anti-Francoist ‘Defensa Interior’, consisted mainly of Spanish, French, Italian and British resistants against Francoist, Salazarist and US imperialism. The first action undertaken by the group was the kidnapping, on 1 May 1966, of Mgr Marcos Ussia, the Ecclesiastical Advisor in Franco’s Embassy in the Vatican. The object of the kidnapping was to focus the attention of the world’s media on the plight of Franco’s political prisoners. In 2005, two of the principal members of the group, Luis Andrés Edo and Octavio Alberola, were interviewed by Chloe Rosell about their recollections of that particular action…
Produced by Peter Kavanagh (Broadcast August 9, 2002). The Angry Brigade. Britain’s own urban guerillas. Libertarian socialists. Genteel by comparison with Italy’s Red Brigades and West Germany’s Red Army Faction (Baader-Meinhof Group). Active in the late 60s/early 70s. Made symbolic attacks on property (not people) – embassies of repressive regimes, boutiques (including Biba), police stations, army barracks, government departments, and the homes of Cabinet ministers, the Attorney General & the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. It’s not publicly known how many attacks they made – for a while their activities were concealed. Research implies that there were about 200. They took direct action because – in their view – the old left had failed to bring change. But this view was transformed when the 1974 strikes brought down Heath’s government. In light of what happened under Thatcher, they were mistaken. But one thing’s for certain though, their analysis of the growing damage consumerism was doing – would continue to do – to society and the planet was spot on. Eight people were selected for trial from two branches of a much larger ‘community’. Four were acquitted. The others each got ten years. Their trial was the longest in British criminal history. And it still looked like a fit-up. This is a reconstruction of the trial combined with other background information. Cast Includes Kenneth Cranham, Juliette Stevenson Mark Strong