This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
, and it has little or nothing to do with the black bloc. Throwing a trash can through a Starbucks window may be illegal, but it is not violent. Property damage may be viewed by the public with more horror and outrage than acts of violence (at least those of the state) but we should not conflate the destruction of inanimate objects with the destruction of living flesh. Even if we disagree on tactics. That’s what the press is for. No, the “bomb-thrower” caricature has its roots elsewhere, specifically in the decades before WWI. Following the death of Bakunin and sparked by the writings of Erico Malatesta, the anarchist movement took to a strategy called “propaganda of the deed”. The idea, as demonstrated by Malatesta, was direct action: “the Italian federation believes that the insurrectional act, destined to affirm socialist principles by deed, is the most efficacious means of propaganda”. “The following year  Malatesta and other anarchists put their theory into practice. As part of an armed militia they entered two villages in Campania, Italy. Declaring an end to the reign of King Emmanuel, they burned the parish records and distributed the funds in the tax collectors’ safe to the poor. Troops soon arrived and the insurgents were captured. Although the exercise failed, the example was not missed by other anarchist revolutionaries.” Malatesta was an eloquent writer and hero to literally millions of people during his lifetime, but the sort of “direct action” he was advocating had nothing on common with what followed. Malatesta wrote: “We do not believe in the right to punish; we reject the idea of revenge as a barbarous sentiment. We have no intention of being either executioners or avengers. It seems to us that the role of liberators and peacemakers is more noble and positive”. But other anarchists were also taking up the pen, or more accurately—the sword. Johann Most wrote in his brilliant but savage polemic “The Beast of Property” that the only road to salvation was an “unrelenting, pitiless, thorough, war of extermination” against the ruling class. “The injustice-yea the idiocy-of this state of affairs is evident. The money-bags of course merely shrug their shoulders. This they will continue to do until a rope well tied over their shoulders will end all further shrugging.”
He followed up with the subtly titled pamphlet: “The Science of Revolutionary Warfare: a manual of instruction in the use and preparation of Nitro-Glycerine, Dynamite, Gun Cotton, Fulminating Mercury, Bombs, Fuses, Poisons, etc, etc.” in which he explains “In giving dynamite to the downtrodden millions of the globe, science has done its best workÉA pound of this stuff beats a bushel of ballots all hollow.” If Most were alive today and posting on Flag.blackened.net, his IP would surely be handed over to the authorities;) There’s a certain charming naivety in the writings of Most and other anarchists of the period: they literally believed that revolution was just around the corner – all that was needed was a spark – and indeed, they may well have been right (the labor movement was extremely well organized and militant at the time), had it not been for a little something called the “Great War”, also called “the war to end all wars”. By that time, unfortunately, the damage had already been done. “In 1884, August Reinsdorf attempted to blow up the Kaiser Wilhelm and his Princes as they opened the national monument at Rudesheim. In Paris, in 1892, August Vaillant threw a bomb into the chamber of deputies. Despite killing no one, he was himself executed. To avenge his death Santo Caserio killed the French president Carnot. 1897 and 1898 saw the deaths of the Spanish prime minister Del Castillo and Austrian empress Elizabeth at the hands of anarchists.” In 1886, Charles Gallo tossed a bottle of hydrocyanic acid into the Paris Stock exchange. In Japan, the cry of “Museifu Shugi Banzai!” (Long Live Anarchy!) was heard in a Japanese court as 26 anarchists were tried for “high treason” (“Taigyaku Jiken”) – in this case, for attempting to assassinate the God emperor. So maybe we agree with Most: the bastards had it coming. It’s wrong to condemn violent anarchists for “doing in a small way, what the rich do daily with impunity on a grand scale…”; it’s hypocritical for us to “heap burning coals of “moral indignation” upon [their] heads, and, with an austere visage, hand [them] over relentlessly in charge of the state, that in its prisons [they] may be fleeced the more effectively, i.e., cheaper.” And maybe we agree with George Bernard Shaw, who responded to the turning down of an appeal for the Haymarket anarchists ( later hanged) that: “If the world must lose eight of its people, it can better afford to lose the eight members of the Illinois Supreme Court.” Or maybe we don’t. Either way, terrorism doesn’t work. It achieves precisely the opposite of what (by anarchists) is intended: it strengthens the state. It does not inspire “revolutionary action”; it inspires revulsion.
The “Propaganda of the Deed” campaign culminated, at the turn of the century, in the assassination of U.S. President William McKinley by an anarchist named of Leon Czolgosz. He claimed to have been inspired by a speech by Emma Goldman.
She responded “Am I accountable because some crack-brained person put a wrong construction on my words? …I think Czolgosz was one of those down trodden men who see all the misery which the rich inflict upon the poor, who think of it, who brood over it and then, in despair, resolve to strike a great blow for the good of their fellow man!” “Goldman was labeled “the most dangerous woman in the world,” occupying the same place in the American consciousness as Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden do today. People cursed her on the street. Parents invoked her name when disciplining their children-behave, or Emma Goldman will get you. Even after she was cleared, no one in New York City would rent her an apartment.” Eventually came the sedition laws, the more honestly named forebears of today’s “Patriot Acts”. Many anarchists were deported, others imprisoned, others killed, and the movement basically fizzled out (in the US, anyway). Until today. So what’s the lesson of all this? Well, obviously we already know quite well what the lesson is, as did the anarchists of the period, who “by the turn of the century…had turned their efforts towards building revolutionary unions. Mass workers unions were built in France, Germany, Italy, Argentina, Chile, and many other countries. A minority had gone down a cul-de-sac but were now out of it, and a lot wiser too.” Thing is, anarchists weren’t the only ones discovering that terrorism, far from being a
successful tactic condusive to popular upheaval, is actually a boon to the state. The state itself, and its minions, were also picking up a few tricks. The following is an excerpt from a much longer post I made on GNN1, which Darios reproduced in full over at Upwingers, about the so-called “Strategy of Tension”. It deals with Operation Gladio. Unlike the majority of suspected false flag operations, it is extremely well documented and can therefore serve as a crash-course in the study of state-sponsored terrorism. As I will outline in the follow-up, there are extraordinary similarities between Gladio and the “War on Terra”, not the least of which is that many neocons – top policy makers who are now at the helm of battleship Amerika (Kissinger, for instance) – were actually involved in the conspiracy. One more note on anarchists and terrorism: about a year ago I happened to catch a blurb on the evening news about an alleged letter bomb sent to the head of the EU. According to the report, “anarchists” were the suspected culprits. There was no information made available as to why people with anarchist beliefs were believed to be responsible. Presumably, a note of some sort. If we pretend, as the majority of prominent “leftist” intellectuals and journalists do, that false flag operations don’t exist, we are only setting ourselves up for another catastrophe. We cannot afford to go on burying our heads in the sand. So when anarchist Bin Laden decides to blow something up and place the rest of us in the crosshairs, remember the word “Gladio”. First they came for the Muslims… PART I: EUROPE “Staying Behind” NATO’s TERROR NETWORK “As the 50th anniversary of the end of the war is celebrated, some unpleasant truths will become further buried beneath the myth of the “triumph of freedom and democracy” over fascism. For if fascism itself was the great evil that had to be stopped at any cost, how are we to explain the total failure of the British, French and American governments to do anything about the war in Spain from 1936 to 1939, when Franco’s fascist forces, openly supported with arms and troops by Hitler and Mussolini, destroyed the “democratically elected” republican government? The answer is not hard to find. For Western capitalism the real enemy was not fascism but the popular revolution inaugurated by the Spanish working class.”
“…In fact the Greek based “Operation Sheepskin” mentioned in relation to the 1967 coup was but one part of a European wide “Stay Behind” network, established by the British and Americans. Ostensibly this network existed to provide the nucleus of a guerilla army to fight on after any Soviet invasion, using arms and explosives which had already been planted. However, the evidence leaves little doubt that this network also had the intention of resisting “internal subversion”. “The Stay Behind network was conceived by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and put into operation in 1948 by the National Security Council which set up the Office of Policy Coordination to run it, staffed and funded by the CIA. Ultimately, coordination of the network took place under the auspices of NATO. It involved personnel from the “official” security services in each country and received covert funding from industry and the state. Indeed funding and support of such groups was one of the main tasks of the newly-formed CIA. However, members of the network were mainly recruited from the civilian population, notably “ex-fascists” and others whose “anti-communist” credentials were unimpeachable.” “The existence of the Stay Behind network was not a matter for public knowledge. However, the activities of the Italian branch – codenamed Operation Gladio – was exposed in a series of judicial investigations, particularly between 1990 and 1992.” “Operation Gladio was set up in 1958 with help from British Intelligence and the CIA, with funding from the latter. This assistance continued, with Gladio units being trained in Britain in the early 1970s and by US instructors at a military base in the Canary Islands from 1966 to the mid-70s. Gladio was controlled by the Italian secret services from “Office R”. It had strong links with P2, a fascist Masonic Lodge composed of most of the top military officers, political leaders, industrialists, bankers and diplomats in Italy. P2 has been described as effectively constituting a right wing parallel government in Italy. In addition, Gladio became a focal point for fascist members of “Marine Star” a veteran’s group set up after the Second World War, and was to make use of other fascist groups in the 70s and 80s.” “In fact Gladio was deeply involved in the so-called “strategy of tension” in the late 60s and 70s. The aim of the strategy, of which the principle tactic was “terrorist outrages” carried out by fascists, was to spread panic and unrest and to directly attack the Left and provoke them into an armed response, which would both justify increased state power under the pretext of a “national emergency” and isolate the Left from popular support. General Gerardo Serravalle, head of “Office R” from 1971-1974, revealed that at a Gladio meeting in 1972 at least half of the upper echelons “had the idea of attacking the communists before an invasion. They were preparing for civil war”. http://www.etext.org/Politics/Autonome.Forum/Antifa/gladio
A Strategy of Tension “Gelli’s P2 and elements within the Vatican (such as Father Krujoslav Dragonovic, a Croatian Catholic priest — one of many who had helped the CIA export Nazi war criminals out of Germany through its Rat Lines), working in conjunction with the CIA, aligned itself with criminals, corrupt police, and high government officials to discredit the emerging Left and stage a fascist coup. “The Vatican’s fear was clear: Communism posed a threat to its religious, political, and economic strength.” “God’s Bankers” “On behalf of democracy, the Mafia enlisted as their agent Salvatore Giuliano. He and his cousin Gaspere Pisciotta led their men into Portella della Ginestra. Without prejudice, they shot and killed a dozen people and wounded more than fifty others. New elections were held, and the Christian Democratic party won a resounding victory. Later, at the orders of the Mafia, Pisciotta murdered Salvatore Giuliano. At his trial, Gaspere Pisciotta said of the massacre, “We were a single body: bandits, police, and Mafia, like the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” “The covert objectives of Gladio were to spread panic and unrest through the implementation of “terrorist outrages,” and also to directly attack the Left in an attempt to provoke them into an armed response. The purpose of this strategy was to demonize the Left and isolate them from popular support, while providing an excuse to curtain civil liberties. As a 1969 memo from Aginter Press, a fascist front group, explained: “Our belief is that the first phase of political activity ought to be to create the conditions favouring the installation of chaos in all of the regime’s structures. This should necessarily begin with the undermining of the state economy so as to arrive at confusion throughout the whole legal apparatus. This leads on to a situation of strong political tension, fear in the world of industry and hostility towards the government and the political parties.… In our view the first move we should make is to destroy the structure of the democratic state, under the cover of communist and pro-Chinese activities.” “Moreover, we have people who have infiltrated these groups and obviously we will have to tailor our actions to the ethos of the milieu — propaganda and action of a sort which will seem to have emanated from our communist adversaries and pressure brought to bear on people in whom power is invested at every level. That will create a feeling of hostility towards those who threaten the people of each and every nation, and at the same time we must raise up a defender of the citizenry against the disintegration brought about by terrorism and subversion.…” As the 1969 dispatch added: “The introduction of provocateur elements into the circles of the revolutionary left is merely a reflection of the wish to push this unstable situation to breaking point and create a climate of chaos…”
from Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist “One early Gladio-precipitated incident was the December, 12, 1969 bombing of the Banca Nazionale del’ Agricultura in Milan’s Piazza Fontana. The attack killed 16 people and wounded 88. Police immediatly arrested and blamed anarchists. One anarchist leader, Giuseppe Pinelli, took the fall for the bombing, literally, when police tossed him out the window of the local precinct headquarters.”
Giuseppe Pinelli “In addition to this, the Procurator General of the Republic, De Peppo, ordered the one unexploded bomb found in the wreckage to be detonated immediately. As in Oklahoma, the destruction of this evidence destroyed the single best chance at uncovering the true perpetrators of the deadly attack.” “Nevertheless, police eventually discovered the real perpetrators — two fascists: Franco Freda and Giovanni Ventura. Ventura, it seems, was in close contact with Colonel Guido Giannettinni of the SID (part of the secret services), who was a fervent supporter of MSI. The trial of Ventura and Freda was delayed for 12 years, when they were finally given life sentences, only to be cleared on appeal.” “Former Gladio agents also attributed the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing and the 1974 [and subsequent 1980] Bologna bombings, which resulted in over 113 deaths and 185 injured, to P2. These attacks include the Mafia’s involvement in the Red Brigade’s kidnap and murder of Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978. The P2 organization was also suspected of the 1976 assassination of Italian magistrate Vittoria Occorsio. Occorsio was investigating P2 links to neo-Nazi organizations at the time. His death conveniently terminated any further investigation. Aldo Moro “This “strategy of tension,” organized around a brutal campaign of terror and murder, resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people during the decades of the 1970s and ‘80s. The wave of terror led to the severe restriction of civil rights, with the 1975 law restricting popular campaigning and radical political discussion. Many people were locked up under “anti-terrorist” legislation (sound familiar?) or expelled from the country.” “As the Left (the Red Brigades) resorted to armed struggle to defend themselves, it only strengthened Gladio/P2’s position. The Red Brigades, which had been systematically infiltrated by the secret services, were repeatedly blamed for the attacks, all the while unknowingly serving the agenda of the fascist P2 establishment.” “One unforgetable example of this wave of terror was the Bologna railway bombing in
1980, that killed 80 people and injured over 160. While reportedly masterminded by P2 members Stefano Delle Chiaie and Licio Gelli, the attack was blamed on the Red Brigades to discredit the Italian Communist party. According to author Steve Mizrach: “Some Italian political analysts believe that P2 and “Ordine Nuova” (New Order) may have cooperated with the CIA [to bomb the railway station].… There are clearly overlapping circles of membership between P2, the CIA, and the Knights of Malta, a “sovereign military order descended from the Knights of St. John-Hospitallers,” and whose membership in the U.S. has included Bill Casey, Alexander Haig, and Prescott Bush [and reportedly George Bush].” http://www.constitution.org/ocbpt/ocbpt_14.htm “As the fascists embarked on a wave of bombings and shootings, civil rights in Italy began to be severely curtailed, with a 1975 law restricting popular campaigning and radical political discussion. Many people were locked up under “anti-terrorist” legislation or expelled from the country. As expected, the Left, in the shape of the Red Brigades, resorted to armed struggle to defend themselves against this assault. This simply strengthened Gladio / P2’s hand – the Red Brigades were blamed for fascist outrages, systematically infiltrated by the secret services and used to carry out actions which supported the hidden agenda.” “Gladio was “officially disbanded” by the Italian government in December 1990 after the story broke. On January 29th, 1992 it was officially declared to have been a clandestine and illegal “armed band” involved in subversion, by an Italian parliamentary commission on terrorism.” “The 1990 revelations in Italy had a wider impact. After all, Gladio was simply the Italian branch of a European wide network. The Belgian, French, Dutch, Greek and German governments all officially acknowledged that they took part in the covert NATO network, with the Belgian prime minister revealing that a Europe wide meeting of the network had been held as recently as October 1990. Of course the respective governments were at pains to deny that the network had been intended for anything other than to enable post-invasion guerilla warfare. Intervention in domestic politics could only be the work of “uncontrollables” following their own agenda.” http://www.etext.org/Politics/Autonome.Forum/Antifa/gladio “This covertly-orchestrated “strategy of tension” would repeat itself in Belgium in the mid-80s, in a bizarre series of killings called the “Supermarket Massacres,” in which hooded gunmen walked into crowded supermarkets and began firing away. The massacres, orchestrated by a group calling itself the “Killers of Brabant,” were later discovered to be linked to Belgium’s Gladio unit.” “The Supermarket massacres occurred during the period when the U.S. was pushing a plan to base the Euro-Missiles (nuclear-tipped Cruise missiles) in different European
countries. The plan led to huge demonstrations in Europe, with certain countries threatening to break ranks with NATO. Belgium was one of those countries. The Belgian Parliament, which investigated the incidents, felt that they were another attempt to sow confusion and fear among the populace, thereby generating public outcries for a law-andorder government which would be amenable to the Euro-Missles.” “Proof surfaced when a former gendarme, Madani Bouhouche, who worked for state security and was a member of a neo-Nazi paramilitary group Westland New Post (WNP), was arrested with one of the murder weapons. The next day, Bouhouche’s friend and fellow Right-wing militant Jean Bultot fled to Paraguay (a popular respite for Nazis). While in Paraguay, Bultot admitted to Belgian journalist René Haquin that the killings were a state security destabilization operation with government participation “at every level.” http://www.constitution.org/ocbpt/ocbpt_14.htm