AKA Autonomous Social Centre
Tuesday, May 13th at 6pm
(facebook event page)
J. Smith, co-editor of the Red Army Faction Documentary Histories volumes 1 and 2 (Projectiles for the People and Dancing with Imperialism), will be speaking in Kingston, Ontario, about Europe’s most famous and controversial urban guerilla organization from the 1970s and 80s, West Germany’s Red Army Faction.
Smith will be talking about the RAF from its prehistory in the firebombing of two department stores in Frankfurt in 1968, its inception breaking member Andreas Baader out of prison in 1970, the May 1972 Offensive, subsequent attempts to free prisoners, its reorientation in the 1980s with the rise and fall of the Front concept, and more.
Topics addressed will include:
* 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 confinement
* the 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.
Attention will be paid to the political nature of the guerilla struggle, its evolving context, and what challenges and opportunities this presented to those determined to fight imperialism with pen and paper, and guns and bombs too.
While this talk will be “in depth”, it will not assume or require any prior knowledge on the subject – in other words, we’ll be covering it all, from scratch. And from a revolutionary anti-imperialist perspective, too.
To be followed by question and answer/discussion.
There will also be a wide variety of books on sale from Kersplebedeb Publishing and other radical sources of literature.
This talk is free! (donations accepted)
AKA Autonomous Social Centre is the red house with a black stripe on Queen st. at the corner of Wellington. Entrance is up the ramp.
Snacks & coffee will be on hand! Childcare is available. contact tsutsik [at] riseup [dot] net for more information.
The Red Army Faction was an urban guerilla organization, active in West Germany from the 1970s til the 1990s. It was a communist and anti-imperialist organization that emerged from the global 60s revolt and the New Left, and yet its extensive practice and the serious attention it paid to theorizing its own experience make it a potentially rich source of lessons learned for revolutionaries today.
Projectiles for the People and Dancing with Imperialism are the first two volumes in a three-volume series of documentary histories, reproducing all of the RAF’s writings in English for the first time, accompanied by extensive background information about West Germany, the RAF’s actions, and the broader radical left.