American Autumn

Brigades!

Unemployed youth of Europe, look around! What do you have to lose?
Unemployed youth of Europe, look around! What do you have to lose?

John Kolesidis / Reuters

Audio version read by George Atherton – Right-click to download

In 1936, the whole of Europe was confronted by one, extremely threatening enemy: totalitarian fascism.

Many countries were already lost, and more were destined to succumb. Italy had already been under the fascist heel for more than a decade, Portugal for exactly ten years, Germany had been conquered by the Nazis just three years before and countries like Britain were heavily flirting with the possibility of shifting towards similar types of regimes.

In that year, general Francisco Franco launched his attack against the Spanish Republic, quickly gaining the support of Italy and Germany and threatening to impose fascism on yet another European country. Although European civil society was facing the same enemy on numerous fronts, the choice of Spain as the ultimate battlefield became immediately apparent. Having identified one specific battle as the heart of a broader struggle, thousands of anti-fascist militants, who were powerless in their own countries, joined forces and traveled to Spain. On the wave of the Communist International, they named their joint effort the International Brigades.

The example of the Spanish Civil War is a reminder that, in certain historical moments, it is necessary to identify one shared battlefield, in which radical forces from all countries converge. Where could today’s anti-austerity, anti-capitalist, anti-totalitarian International Brigades focus their forces?

Some might say Greece, the first EU country to officially join the New Third World. Already equipped with hundreds of anarchist groups, countless social movements and organizations, Greece is certainly a good candidate for the place where all our struggles could converge. Others might say Italy, where a corrupt, plutocratic government is finally crumbling under the weight of the economic crisis, while student and migrant riots are growing by the day. Italy too has a strong, historic tradition of resistance struggle, together with a widespread anarchist culture, especially in the southern regions.

To this list, I would like to add the United Kingdom: the laboratory for tomorrow’s post-crisis Europe. The UK is a pacified, normalized, First-World country and I suggest we focus our energies here because if the totalitarian capitalist project succeeds in Britain, the rest of Europe will have a “functioning” model to follow. A defeat in the UK would be an extremely dangerous step towards a general defeat across the whole continent. For this reason, I believe that just like Spain in the 1930s, the United Kingdom should become the destination for the New International Brigades.

How can we imagine International Brigades to function today? I believe that rather than armed conflict, the practice of struggle today is that of “prefigurative politics,” in the sense of an immediate implementation of models of life that are already utopian. Partly because of the Schengen Agreement for free circulation within the EU and the availability of cheap transport, it is now possible to imagine internal migrations on a scale that were once inconceivable. Any young, unemployed person in any European country could quickly and cheaply move to the UK for an indefinite period of time. We could flood the UK with masses of radicals with little to lose and “a world to win.”

Considering that youth unemployment rates in most European countries are around 20%, the numbers we are talking about are truly astonishing. Once in the UK, this wave of political migrants – aka New International Brigades – could gather around countless local projects in every area of the country from the suburbs of London to Manchester, Liverpool and Brighton. Social centers would spring up in most cities and of a strong network of cooperation would be laid across the whole island. Furthermore, the encounter of like-minded activists for an extended period of time – well over the short-termed experiences of anti-summit contestations – would spark new strategies of struggle and life, the mixing of concepts, practices and solutions and the creation of a truly grassroots alternative to the current structures of economic and social life.

Unemployed youth of Europe, look around! What do you have to lose? A miserable life? Frustration? Powerlessness? Submission? We, the people of the United Kingdom, migrants and subjects of the Crown, need your help today! Come in the thousands and flood this land! Let us, together, experience liberated lives. We shall take them by surprise!

As Sun Tzu once said, “appear at points which the enemy must hasten to defend; march swiftly to places where you are not expected.”

Federico Campagna was born in the Italian Alps and is currently pursuing an MA in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University. A version of this tactical blast was originally published at th-rough.eu

140 comments on the article “Brigades!”

Displaying 111 - 120 of 140

Page 12 of 14

Anonymous

The system that serves only the 1%.
It has destroyed our savings.
Made Uni unaffordable for our children.
Is stealing our beloved NHS
Our political elite have shown their true intentions.
If the Lords betray us as well.
Then we have nothing further to lose.
Where are the unions, for a last cavalry charge.
I fear they are not coming.
The social contract is broken, and we did not do it.
If the police choose to try and defend this broken system, then they will have to face that choice.
Take to the streets rise up, let England shake with rage.
We the people will take our country back.

Anonymous

The system that serves only the 1%.
It has destroyed our savings.
Made Uni unaffordable for our children.
Is stealing our beloved NHS
Our political elite have shown their true intentions.
If the Lords betray us as well.
Then we have nothing further to lose.
Where are the unions, for a last cavalry charge.
I fear they are not coming.
The social contract is broken, and we did not do it.
If the police choose to try and defend this broken system, then they will have to face that choice.
Take to the streets rise up, let England shake with rage.
We the people will take our country back.

Anonymous

The one percent you're talking about if applied to the U.S. includes those making about 350 thousand a year. A large percentage of those making a lot less than that are unproductive members of society who do nothing but drag down the social safety nets by having to be cared for by the state in one way or another because they spend their time aimlessly drifting from one protest to another complaining about not having been given the funds to live on without having to ever earn it.

Anonymous

The one percent you're talking about if applied to the U.S. includes those making about 350 thousand a year. A large percentage of those making a lot less than that are unproductive members of society who do nothing but drag down the social safety nets by having to be cared for by the state in one way or another because they spend their time aimlessly drifting from one protest to another complaining about not having been given the funds to live on without having to ever earn it.

moma

Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always.
Ghandi

moma

Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always.
Ghandi

Anonymous

The reason those bullies and tyrants fall is almost always through force of arms by those intent on not allowing them to continue their ways. Since the creation of the United States, it is American forces that have brought down almost all the biggest tyrants, even though the leftwingers moan and groan about it.

Anonymous

The reason those bullies and tyrants fall is almost always through force of arms by those intent on not allowing them to continue their ways. Since the creation of the United States, it is American forces that have brought down almost all the biggest tyrants, even though the leftwingers moan and groan about it.

Krishnamurthi, India

First happy to note a people's movement silently gathering momentum. Also looked at the mock-ads that are targeting the mainstream corporate ads. good. At this juncture why the people are thinking only about protests - what about the change in the system from Grass-root level. Now there is ample proof for the laissez-faire economic models created by Adam Smith and the followers have miserably failed. on the same way neither the Communist movements (they are probably worst with more blood shed).

If this movement to really grow and become a game-changing one to release the people from the clutches of the group of politicians of Democrat /Republican who are agents of with Wall St., Oil /Gun /Auto lobbies with GMO /Chemical companies a long standing solution to people's problems then it needs a leader like Gandhi - with highest personal integrity and truthfulness. Second the movement should be able to attract well educated people who have have service mentality and preferably with some social service activities to come into the forefront. With these people create a people's think-tank not the political /military think tanks who's agenda is always power. Subsequently create alternatives for everything from grassroot level - education, healthcare, jobs, money, Governance, system, etc.

I'm sure there are enough alternative ideas effectively taking a middle path and with necessary flexibility one can start a non-violent revolution. Make sure to include the ideas of Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King, Fritz Schumacher, George Washington Carver, David Suzuki, and scores of other right thinking people with out any political allegiance. Hope this movement don't die-down like the hippies movement in 60s etc.

It is good to look at the current problems like jobs, healthcare, or taxing the rich - but these are not the real issues - the real one is the system is corrupt - needs change.

The movement the economy improves and many of you get into some jobs then this movement can fizzle-out. The street protests may be lead by jobless people but the real leaders to be real social workers - not funded again by big corporates.

I'm a social worker, Anti-GM campaigner - working for small and marginal farmers in India.

Krishnamurthi, India

First happy to note a people's movement silently gathering momentum. Also looked at the mock-ads that are targeting the mainstream corporate ads. good. At this juncture why the people are thinking only about protests - what about the change in the system from Grass-root level. Now there is ample proof for the laissez-faire economic models created by Adam Smith and the followers have miserably failed. on the same way neither the Communist movements (they are probably worst with more blood shed).

If this movement to really grow and become a game-changing one to release the people from the clutches of the group of politicians of Democrat /Republican who are agents of with Wall St., Oil /Gun /Auto lobbies with GMO /Chemical companies a long standing solution to people's problems then it needs a leader like Gandhi - with highest personal integrity and truthfulness. Second the movement should be able to attract well educated people who have have service mentality and preferably with some social service activities to come into the forefront. With these people create a people's think-tank not the political /military think tanks who's agenda is always power. Subsequently create alternatives for everything from grassroot level - education, healthcare, jobs, money, Governance, system, etc.

I'm sure there are enough alternative ideas effectively taking a middle path and with necessary flexibility one can start a non-violent revolution. Make sure to include the ideas of Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King, Fritz Schumacher, George Washington Carver, David Suzuki, and scores of other right thinking people with out any political allegiance. Hope this movement don't die-down like the hippies movement in 60s etc.

It is good to look at the current problems like jobs, healthcare, or taxing the rich - but these are not the real issues - the real one is the system is corrupt - needs change.

The movement the economy improves and many of you get into some jobs then this movement can fizzle-out. The street protests may be lead by jobless people but the real leaders to be real social workers - not funded again by big corporates.

I'm a social worker, Anti-GM campaigner - working for small and marginal farmers in India.

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