The International Revolutionary Solidarity Movement : A study of the origins and development of the revolutionary anarchist movement in Europe 1945–73 with particular reference to the First of May Group

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(1920 - 1996) ~ British Anarcho-Syndicalist and CNT-FAI Activist during the Spanish Civil War : A lifelong trade unionist he fought Mosley's blackshirts; actively supported the Spanish revolution's anarchist communes and militias and the German anti-Nazi resistance and was a key player in the second world war Cairo mutiny. (From : Bio.)
• "If we accept the principle of a socialized society, and abolish hereditary privilege and dominant classes, the State becomes unnecessary. If the State is retained, unnecessary Government becomes tyranny since the governing body has no other way to maintain its hold." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)
• "If Government is the maintenance of privilege and exploitation and inefficiency of distribution, then Anarchy is order." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)
• "Nobody is fit to rule anybody else. It is not alleged that Mankind is perfect, or that merely through his/her natural goodness (or lack of same) he/she should (or should not) be permitted to rule. Rule as such causes abuse." (From : "Anarchism: Arguments for and against," by Albert ....)


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1900–1939 Once again in history Anarchism is singled out by every reactionary force as its main enemy. World Governments, moving closer together against the common threat of the common people, fear a socialism unfettered by government ties, a class struggle without the limitations imposed by the parliamentary game, a working class without a leadership that aims at imposing authority either by a new dictatorship or by bourgeois parliamentarianism. Before the First World War the main impetus to social revolution came from the anarchist and revolutionary syndicalist movements. However, following the defeat of the Russian Revolution with the triumph of authoritarian communism, world capitalism tended to concentrate its energies on destroying this apparent danger to its continued existence, thus giving the impression that the libertarian movement and its ideas were superfluous, or, at best, a side issue to the main struggle, so far as the organized wo... (From :

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1939–1945 During the Second World War, liberals and social-democrats (together with the Communists, once the Nazi-Soviet Pact was broken by Hitler) pushed the idea of a ‘holy war’ against fascism, since the enemy happened to be fascist, and tried to bestow a democratic aura on the Allies. After a time, Allied propagandists themselves began to use some of the anti-fascist cliches, though with diplomatic caution until the powers concerned were actually in the war. Soon there grew up the popular myth that the only reason we went to war with Germany was because it was ‘Nazi’. Two major developments took place in the anarchist movement in Europe. The Spanish Anarchists, exiled in France and treated as second-class citizens or as prisoners of war by the French Republic, were the first to take up arms after the French defeat, as a resistance movement against fascism. This movement of revolutionary defeatism spread over the Pyrene... (From :

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1945–1960 With the rise of the new Left and the collapse of Stalinism from its near-monopoly position among working class militants, there was a proliferation of Marxist groups. Some of these managed to ensure that there was carried over into a new generation, though purged of the Stalinist taint, the same mistakes of the Communist Party and the same subordination to political leadership, but even more than previously they substituted the cult of Nationalism for that of any form of socialism and thus managed to avoid the most important issue, class struggle. This nationalist cult, expressed in Marxist phraseology, has characterized the new left ever since. But despite the many struggles for national liberation which have over-clouded the issue since the 1950s, the real conflict has no longer been between state communism and fascism nor between democracy and fascism nor, as the propagandists now put it, between democracy and communism (or New Demo... (From :

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1960–1966 On January fifth, 1960, Francisco Sabate (el Quico, sometimes wrongly described as Sabater) one of the most tenacious and best known of the libertarian activists, was killed in the village of San Celoni (near Barcelona) following a gun battle with over 100 Guardia Civil the previous day, when four comrades from his group had been ambushed and killed in a Pyrenean farmhouse. Sabate, though badly wounded, managed to escape and make his way to San Celoni by hi-jacking a train, but he was recognized and brought down by the crossfire of a police patrol. The death of this man, who symbolized for many the whole of the Spanish Resistance, helped to inspire the formation of the new resistance groups, and also helped to re-unite the scattered forms of revolutionary anarchist activism, who now realized that they must break decisively from the nonresistance wings and align themselves internationally with other revolutionary activists. The Spanish r... (From :

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Grupo 1 de Mayo At the end of April 1966 Mgr. Marcos Ussia, the ecclesiastical adviser to the Spanish Embassy in the Vatican, disappeared mysteriously while returning from the Embassy to his home in the suburbs of Rome. A few days later the First of May group announced its existence in Rome, while CNT militant Luis Andres Edo, in Madrid, announced simultaneously to the world press that Ussia had been kidnapped to draw attention to the plight of Franco’s prisoners. The results of this action by the revolutionary anarchist movement became an issue of international importance and a central point of discussion in the Italian, French, Swiss, Spanish and Swedish press (the British press avoided it, perhaps for fear of imitative action). When the priest was released unharmed after fifteen days of intensive and fruitless searches by Italian, Swiss, and French police, it proved the efficiency of international anarchist solidarity, and disproved the ‘terrorist&rsq... (From :

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Some Documents To All Revolutionary Movements and Organizations in the World The ‘1st of May Group’ has, for several years now, come to support, in practice, the necessity of carrying out the struggle against dictatorship by means of revolutionary violence as the only possible way of answering the repressive violence of the regime of General Franco and of reconquering freedom for the Spanish people in accordance with the strategy drawn up by the Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth (FIJL). Being aware of the backing given to various dictatorships and national oligarchies, by reactionary imperialist governments which enables them to maintain their oppression of the people—we address ourselves to revolutionary movements throughout the world who fight for the freedom and independence of all people. Fully convinced, also, of the sterility of the so-called ‘legal and pacifist’ struggles, as a means of ending the... (From :

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Anarchist International Towards the Creation of an Anarchist International On the basis of our recent experiences, and an analysis derived from our particular situation as anarchists (organized or not) within the International politico-social context, we have arrived at the following conclusions which we consider both useful and necessary to be put before all militants who believe it still possible to adopt an efficient revolutionary position. 1. The modern states (totalitarian or democratic), private and state capitalism, all variations of political and religious ideology, trade-unionism (whether reformist or state-run), in general, all social groups which are part of the present productive society, have established as a fact, a co-existence that tends, at any cost, to ensure the present status quo for all forms of privilege, exploitation and authority. More and more the fundamental contradictions of the System... (From :

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And now... what? The ‘end’ of the war in Vietnam corresponds to the end period of international politics of the great powers which, during these last thirty years, has governed the destiny of the world. Beyond these apparent and immediate consequences (‘end’ of the most flagrant technological genocide and the practical affirmation of the principle of ‘pacific co-existence between opposing political regimes) it has its probable consequences for the future which are disturbing; the consolidation of the domination of the state under all its forms and in all the four corners of the world; entente cordiale between all powers to ensure the status quo of Power and Privilege; extension of technological rationality over all the planet, with the consequent assertion of submission by alienating work and the ‘advantage’ of the consumer society; intensive and maximum development of the structures of authoritarian society, round the two p... (From :

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Press Communique Text distributed to press agencies and periodicals. Incomplete and erroneous accounts given by the press concerning recent events have obliged us to give a few explanations as to the objectives and characteristics of the ‘1st of May Group’. During the night of the 2nd and 3rd March 1968 the 1st of May Group carried out (in various European capitals) a series of actions directed against the diplomatic and military corps of the United States and the fascist governments Greece, Spain and Portugal. Actions such as the kidnap of Mgr. Ussia in Rome, the machine-gunning of the American Embassy in London, the attacks on the embassies of Greece and Bolivia in Bonn, etc. to which the Press gave, at the time, an essentially psychological character, had two principal objectives: - to inform the public at large, through the means of the press agencies,... (From :

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Operation Durruti Report on the Arrest and Proceedings against Five Anarchists Accused by the Spanish Police of Planning to Kidnap an American VIP in Spain. On the 28th October 1966 the Spanish Press and the International Press Agencies announced the official police statement which confirmed the arrest of five Spanish anarchists: Luis EDO, 41 years old; Antonio CANETE,49; Alicia MUR, 33; Jesus RODRIGUEZ, 39; and Alfredo HERRERA, 31. The official communique published by all the Spanish press gave the following version:— ‘A group of five armed persons all members of the FIJL (Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth, youth branch of the Spanish Libertarian Movement) which planned to kidnap an important foreign personality in Madrid, has been arrested by the SIS (Servicios de Investigacion Social). The five persons and the arms have been placed at the disposal of the Madrid Public Order Tribunal. The group was headed b... (From :

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Postscript The First of May Group has been one of the best known of the anarchist activist groups of the period under review. It represents a continuation of the work of Sabate and the postwar Spanish resistance, and a bridge-head 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 were Anarchist. In many cases the Press seized on the name ‘Anarchist’ and inflated the actual participation of the Anarchists (since anarchism now is the same bogey for Right Wing extremists that fascism is for left Wing extremists) so that in Turkey, for instance, where it is a much smaller grouping than any other (though decidedly militant) it appears that all activists are anarchists and all anarchists are activists, which is by no means the case. The First... (From :

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Chronology This chronology should not be considered exhaustive, nor definitive. It will, however, give the reader a rough outline of the development of revolutionary anarchist activism in Europe over the last fourteen years. Little mention has been made in this chronology of the activities of the Italian groups. As a result of fascist provocations in Italy it would be virtually impossible to prepare a reasonable chronology of groups such as The Red Brigade and The Partizan Action Group — GAP, as we have been able to do with the Angry Brigade, Red Army Fraction, the 1st of May Group and the Autonomous Combat Groups of the Iberian Liberation Movement. 1960 January In the early hours of January 3/4th a battle took place between a 100 strong Civil Guard unit and an anarchist guerrilla group which had just crossed the Pyrenees heading for Barcelona. Four members of the group were killed as was one Civil Guard Lieuten... (From :


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