Join us for a series of events in San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento in early October, where we will be examining the experiences of the RAF and other West German guerillas such as the 2nd of June Movement and the Revolutionary Cells, from the 1970s until the 1990s.
J. Smith, one of the editors of the Red Army Faction Documentary series, will be on hand to present the RAF’s history with particular attention to the following:
- the similarities and differences between the West German armed experience and similar phenomenon in Europe and North America
- the rise and fall of a certain kind of “anti-imperialism”, and its ramifications in terms of the RAF’s practice
- the ways in which the RAF’s line evolved over time, from solidarity with the struggle in Vietnam to an orientation around freeing political prisoners, to opposition to NATO’s war plans under Reagan and Thatcher, and beyond
- the group’s relationship to the prison struggle and the movement against solitary confinementthe primarily political character of urban guerilla organizations
- the consequences of these facts in terms of strategy and survival, and why all of this matters today.
For more on the Red Army Faction documentary series, see http://www.germanguerilla.com/
If you cannot make it to these events, the books can still be purchased via leftwingbooks.net:
- The Red Army Faction, A Documentary History – Volume 1: Projectiles For the People
- The Red Army Faction, A Documentary History – Volume 2: Dancing with Imperialism
Events that are part of this tour:
Wednesday, October 2nd
518 Valencia: The Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics.
Co-Sponsored by The Freedom Archives. 7:30-9:30pm
518 Valencia St San Francisco, CA 94110
Thursday, October 3rd
The Marxist School of Sacramento. 7-9pm
SMUD Customer Service Center 6301 S St Sacramento, CA 95817
Friday, October 4th
The Green Arcade. Co-Sponsored by the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). 7-9pm
The Green Arcade 1680 Market St San Francisco, CA 94120
Sunday, October 6th
The Public School. 8-10pm
The Public School 2141 Broadway Oakland, CA 94612
About The Red Army Faction, A Documentary History: Volume 2: Dancing with Imperialism
Dancing with Imperialism is the long-awaited Volume 2 of the first-ever English-language study of the Red Army Faction—West Germany’s most well known urban guerillas—covering the period immediately following the organization’s near-total decimation in 1977. This work includes the details of the guerilla’s operations, and its communiqués and texts, from 1978 up until its 1984 offensive.
The Red Army Faction emerged from the student movement in West Germany in the 1960s. Adopting anti-imperialist politics inspired by struggles occurring in the Third World, and a clarity that came from growing up under a post-Nazi successor State, the RAF engaged in bombings, bank robberies, and assassinations for over twenty years. But what made these acts of violence relevant to the left, not only in West Germany but throughout Europe, were the political manifestos and theoretical essays that accompanied them , as the RAF attempted to chart a path to revolution in a stronghold of imperialism. Ultimately, they (like the rest of the left) were unsuccessful in this endeavor, yet the RAF’s decades of struggle provide a wealth of lessons for the movements to come.
What Some Other Folks Have Said:
“A fascinating history of the German revolutionary left in the 1970s and 1980s. It powerfully situates the RAF within a broader orbit of revolutionary politics and world events. It gives us the inside story of how militants did and might engage with police, prisons, informants, media and one another in the context of struggle. It is an exciting story, a global story, and very much a story for today’s movements.”
Dan Berger, editor of The Hidden 1970s
“Of all the revolutionary organizations to have been forged by the so-called sixties generation, the German Red Army Faction has been perhaps the most mythologized and maligned. Here at last is their story, told in their own words through “official” communications, comprehensively assembled and available for the first time in English translation. This is essential material for anyone wishing to know what they did, why they did it, and to draw consequent lessons from their experience.”
Ward Churchill, author of On the Justice of Roosting Chickens