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 eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

 anarchism, Anarchist activism, Spanish anarchism  Comments 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 eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)
Aug 072013

IRSM coversmallA 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

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Agustín García Calvo, Comrade! by Octavio Alberola

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Nov 032012

Agustín García Calvo (Zamora, Spain, Oct. 15, 1926 — Zamora, Spain, 1 Nov. 2012)

Agustín García Calvo, Paris, Belleville, 2002 (portrait by Ariane Gransac)

Philologist, philosopher, writer, lifelong rebel, revolutionary and comrade, Agustín García Calvo was expelled by the Francoist authorities from his chair of Classical Languages at Madrid University for his support of the nascent student anti-Francoist movement in 1964-1965. In 1967 he was, perhaps, the leading light in the formation of the ‘Acratas’, an important Spanish anarchist student grouping that was part of the Europe-wide radical and revolutionary movement of the time. Nor did Garcia Calvo confine himself to the role of thinker, speaker and writer — he was also an activist prepared to put himself on the line. In the early 1970s he was an important liaison between the ‘Angry Brigade’, the ‘First of May Group’ (Grupo Primero de Mayo) and other European anti-Francoist/anti-capitalist action groups operating at the time and in this role was investigated as a ‘revolutionary facilitator’ by both the Metropolitan Police Special Branch (as it then was) and the French Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST). In 1971 our imprint ‘Simian’ published his reflections and speculations on the nature of the 1960s/’70s’ student revolt under the title ‘On How The Student Movement Is Re-Absorbed’ (original title ‘De los modos de integración del pronunciamento estudantil’).  (A fuller appreciation by Octavio Alberola follows)

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May 272012

Press clippings relating to First of May Group (Grupo Primero de Mayo) actions

Spanish anarchism and revolutionary action – 1961-1974 by Octavio Alberola and Ariane Gransac with Prologue by Luis Andrés Edo, ChristieBooks:

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This account of the role of anarchist activism in Europe between 1961 and 1974 (by two of the principal protagonists in the events they describe) was first published in Spanish and French in 1975, shortly after the authors’ release from prison following the kidnapping Francoist banker Baltasar Suárez. To this day it remains  essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the history and development of the libertarian opposition to the Franco Dictatorship subsequent to the urban and rural guerrilla tactics as practised by Sabaté, Facerías, and Caraquemada, etc. It examines the birth of the clandestine ‘Defensa Interior’ Section of the Spanish Libertarian Movement (MLE – CNT-FAI-FIJL) through to ‘The First of May Group‘ and its influence on — and links with — other European action groups of the later 1960s and early 1970s, groups such as ‘The Angry Brigade‘, the ‘Grupos Autonomos de Combate — GAC‘, 2nd June Group, the Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación — ‘MIL‘, Gruppo d’Azione Partigiano – GAP, Grupos de Acción Revolucionaria Internacional — ‘GARI‘, etc.

The authors: Ariane Gransac and Octavio Alberola, Bruges April 1968. The photo was taken soon after their release from their respective Belgian prisons. Ariane had been subsequently expelled but had returned clandestinely with other comrades to meet with Octavio.

The story begins in late 1961 with the creation of Sección DEFENSA INTERIOR (DI), the clandestine planning and action organisation set up at the Limoges Congress in France by the Defence Commission of the recently reunited three wings of the exiled Spanish libertarian movement (MLE — Movimiento Libertario Español) — the CNT, the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist trade union; the FAI, the Iberian Anarchist Federation, and the FIJL, the Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth. One of the DI’s principal objectives was to organise and carry out attempts on the life of General Franco. Its other role was to generate examples of resistance by means of propaganda by deed. The DI’s short-term objectives were: to remind the world, unremittingly, that Franco’s brutal and repressive dictatorship had not only survived WWII but was now flourishing through tourism and US financial and diplomatic support; to provide solidarity for those continuining the struggle within Spain; to polarise public opinion and focus attention on the plight of the steadily increasing number of political prisoners in Franco’s jails; to interrupt the conduct of Francoist commercial and diplomatic life; undermine its financial basis — tourism; to take the struggle against Franco into the international sphere by showing the world that Franco did not enjoy unchallenged power and that there was resistance to the regime within and beyond Spain’s borders.

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Oct 022011

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…

BBC R4 – Graham White’s ‘The Trial Of The Angry Brigade’

 Drama, Historical, Radio  Comments Off on BBC R4 – Graham White’s ‘The Trial Of The Angry Brigade’
Jun 082010

Stoke Newington Eight Trial (No. 1 Court, Old Bailey 30 May – 7 Dec 1972)
Click here to listen

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

A selection of new films …

 Films, Historical, Interviews  Comments Off on A selection of new films …
Feb 212010
MalaMilano  (1997 – Tonino Curagi e Anna Gorio)
Dalla liggera alla criminalità organizzata. Milano, inizio anni ’50, la guerra è ormai alle spalle, la ricostruzione avviata verso il boom economico. Ai margini di una contrapposizione di classe ancora ben definita, dei giovani di estrazione proletaria non accettano più le dinamiche delle conflittualità sociali dell’epoca. Non seguono più l’esempio della militanza politica, rifiutano la logica del lavoro salariato in fabbrica e si arrangiano come possono con piccoli furti rispettando però codici, regole e valori precisi. E’ una malavita un po’ romantica, molto legata al territorio e alla gente comune, figlia di una povertà vissuta dignitosamente, infatuata e sedotta però dalle figure cinematografiche francesi e americane che raccontano “il grande colpo che ti può risolvere la vita”. Su questo “milieu” l’esplodere del “boom economico” dei primi anni ’60 ha effetti dirompenti e sconvolgenti. I giovani malavitosi incominciano una gestione più redditizia degli affari con il controllo della prostituzione, delle bische e delle sale da gioco, con il moltiplicarsi delle rapine e soprattutto con lo sviluppo di un’organizzazione armata sempre più violenta. A ciò si deve aggiungere il progressivo inserimento di delinquenti di origine meridionale provenienti dal grande flusso migratorio di quegli anni, portatori di una pratica e di una cultura malavitosa differente. Dalla logica del bisogno si passa progressivamente alla logica del profitto. E’ un processo irreversibile e implacabile che all’inizio degli anni ’70 degenera verso una nuova criminalità sempre più feroce e mafiosa
Acto en recuerdo de Luis Andrés Edo
Sabado, 28 de Marzo de 2009. Cebtre Cultura Contemporania, Barcelona
En recuerdo de Luis Andrés Edo
Febrero 2010, Barcelona
Detour (2001 — G8 in Genova – Black Bloc) (Italian)
Film of the anti-capitalist riots at the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, Italy, including footage of attack on Marassi prison, Genoa, Italy, 2001. “FINALMENTE “L’AREA BLACK BLOC ITALIANA” PRENDE LA PAROLA E FORNISCE IMMAGINI E INTERPRETAZIONE DI QUANTO SUCCESSE DURANTE LE MANIFESTAZIONI ANTI G8 DEL 2001 A GENOVA. UN FILM ECCEZIONALE…NON ADATTO AI DEBOLI DI CUORE!” (DDE CINE) “…tempo fa avevo tirato giù a mano un elenco di video sul G8, una valanga di titoli, una trentina come minimo (ma ne mancano ancora). fuori orario ha trasmesso molte ore di video sul G8…il più curioso di tutti è il video situazionista “Detour”…” (dalla rete) “Il miglior film su G8-Genova: ha una tesi e la dimostra” (dalla rete)
A Forza Di Essere Vento. Lo sterminio nazista degli Zingari
Seven short films (in Italian) produced by Revista “A” on the Nazi (and others) persecution of the Gypsies (Zingari): Revista “A”’s homage to Fabrizio De André: ‘un Fabrizio apparentemente sempre più lontano, ora che non abbiamo più né discorse né canzoni ne immagini sue da riproporre. In realta si tratta di un Fabrizio ben presente, perché il soggetto che abbiamo scelto sono gli Zingari, un popolo a lui caro anche perche dai più , dalla maggioranza, odiato e criminalizzato. Di quel popoplo Fabrizio si è occupato con simpatia e profonda conoscenza in un sola canzone, realizzata con Ivano Fossati, eseguita con Don Ghezzi, sotto la direzione artistica di Piero Milesi. Una canzone, una sola poesia, che resta un omaggio struggente alla misconosciuta dignità dei Rom e dei Sinti. Della lunga e sofferta storia di questo popolo nomade abbiamo scelto la pagina più tragica: lo sterminio da parte nazisti. DVD + Libretto available from Editrice A –

1. Hai mai avuto un amico zingaro? (Moni Ovadia)
2. Zigeunerlager (Intervista a Marceloo Pezzetti sul ‘campo nel campo’)
3. Porrajmos (Documentario del’Opera Nomadi sulle persecuzioni da parte dei fascisti deil nazisti e deglo ustascia e sui drammi attuali
4. Hugo (La testimonianza del sinto tedesco Hugo Hollenreimer, torturato da Josef Mengele)
5. Senza confinim senza barriere (Canzioni zingare e yiddish con Moni Ovadia e i Taraf da Metropulitana)
6. Un rom italiano ad Auschwitz (Intervista a Mirko Levak)
7. Porrajmos, Lettura e spettacolo (Una serata multimediale sullo sterminio zingaro)