The Red Army Faction was one of the best known, and most vilified, urban guerilla organizations of the Cold War period.
Emerging from West Germany’s radical student movement in the 1960s, the RAF bombed U.S. military bases and police stations, carried out kidnappings and bank robberies, and assassinated financial, military, and government targets. Their last attack in 1993 actually demolished a new prison before it could be opened, doing almost $100 million in damage and postponing its operation by four years. The RAF was never fully defeated, but rather opted to unilaterally de-escalate and then disband following the changes in the global balance of power in the 1990s.
Despite the sensational (and sensationalistic) headlines, the RAF’s ideas – initially drawing on Marx, Lenin, and Mao – have remained largely unknown and unexamined in the English-speaking world. In an effort to remedy this state of affairs, in 2009 PM Press and Kersplebedeb Publishing released “Projectiles for the People”, the first in a series of documentary histories edited by J. Smith and André Moncourt, containing both English translations of documents by the RAF, and introductory chapters contextualizing their struggle. The second volume in this series, Dancing with Imperialism, covering the years 1979-1984, is due out later this year.
Join us on May 14 for a discussion with K. Kersplebedeb about the history of the RAF and other West German guerilla groups, the ongoing repression targeting former guerillas, and why this is relevant to radicals today:
Organized by PRAC and the RSM
Sponsored by Toronto Anarchist Black Cross and Upping the Anti
Pay what you can
For more information about the RAF: www.germanguerilla.com