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 81 - 90 of 140

Page 9 of 14

Wulff

Great Article, dreams are all we have in the end and all that ever made anything real started as dream, even adam smiths theorising was dreams he had, ( later transformed into this nightmarish reality) ...

My dream is to innoculate Constructive Disobedience in everyones heart as the source of innovation

Check this out:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/56707814/Constructive-disobedience-innovation-and-rebellion

Wulff

Great Article, dreams are all we have in the end and all that ever made anything real started as dream, even adam smiths theorising was dreams he had, ( later transformed into this nightmarish reality) ...

My dream is to innoculate Constructive Disobedience in everyones heart as the source of innovation

Check this out:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/56707814/Constructive-disobedience-innovation-and-rebellion

Anonymous

Dear all, please note that this version of 'Brigades!' is abridged. For the full version, please visit: http://th-rough.eu/writers/campagna-eng/why-uk-needs-international-brigades-now

Anonymous

Dear all, please note that this version of 'Brigades!' is abridged. For the full version, please visit: http://th-rough.eu/writers/campagna-eng/why-uk-needs-international-brigades-now

Anonymous

In my country for example whenever there is a manifestation rather than being peaceful organized, protesters devastate shops, set rental cars on fire, or do other acts of violence against...more of the 99%.

Anonymous

In my country for example whenever there is a manifestation rather than being peaceful organized, protesters devastate shops, set rental cars on fire, or do other acts of violence against...more of the 99%.

Anonymous

The pix isn't helpful. True change requires citizens willing to stand up and respect themselves and each other. People who will work together regardless of age, race, gender, salary, etc., those people create strong, honorable countries. Destroying things built by workers, creating fear in families, stealing from fellow citizens...that is no way to unite a people.

Anonymous

The pix isn't helpful. True change requires citizens willing to stand up and respect themselves and each other. People who will work together regardless of age, race, gender, salary, etc., those people create strong, honorable countries. Destroying things built by workers, creating fear in families, stealing from fellow citizens...that is no way to unite a people.

Anonymous

Unlike many, I judge a publication by caliber of the comments contributed by readers. Surely, you at Adbusters must do the same. this undoubtedly gives you information on which you base your next "campaign". Have you not been even a little surprised at the imbeciles who write comments? At the mindless pap put out by "dreamers"? By the preponderance of people who complain but have not the vaguest idea of what they are complaining about? By the "just revolt and never mind why" attitude of your readers? As for your "campaigns, they seem to be well written (even if vague and pointless and without any perceived outcome good or bad), at least well written enough to impress someone without a functioning brain. (Seems you have had considerable experience writing advertising copy.) My point being, is this not just one more magazine in search of an audience to make money? Somebody supports you and if said audience is the rag tag bunch of losers who self describe as "activists" then your donations cup must be pretty meagre. So, one has to wonder which unions/political party/political wannabes are funnelling money to make you at Adbusters all rich. I am absolutely certain that you are not all "adbusters" for NOTHING!!!!!
As for the "buy nothing days", thanks very @#%$*&% much. I am a hard working artist and I depend on people to buy my work. Never ever ever ever ever had a loser buy a painting yet. Although I have had a couple of losers break in and steal my computer. Anyway Adbusters, when you get a minute, please explain to people like me, y'know, people who actually work for a living, just what is this utopia that you feed into the poor little brains of your audience. Tell me again just who the hell is going to want to go to work to pay taxes to support these losers? Because I for one, plan to take LOTS of holidays come the "revolution". Ahh screw it. Not like you actually have any answers. And besides you are probably busy with your real jobs...day trading.

Anonymous

Unlike many, I judge a publication by caliber of the comments contributed by readers. Surely, you at Adbusters must do the same. this undoubtedly gives you information on which you base your next "campaign". Have you not been even a little surprised at the imbeciles who write comments? At the mindless pap put out by "dreamers"? By the preponderance of people who complain but have not the vaguest idea of what they are complaining about? By the "just revolt and never mind why" attitude of your readers? As for your "campaigns, they seem to be well written (even if vague and pointless and without any perceived outcome good or bad), at least well written enough to impress someone without a functioning brain. (Seems you have had considerable experience writing advertising copy.) My point being, is this not just one more magazine in search of an audience to make money? Somebody supports you and if said audience is the rag tag bunch of losers who self describe as "activists" then your donations cup must be pretty meagre. So, one has to wonder which unions/political party/political wannabes are funnelling money to make you at Adbusters all rich. I am absolutely certain that you are not all "adbusters" for NOTHING!!!!!
As for the "buy nothing days", thanks very @#%$*&% much. I am a hard working artist and I depend on people to buy my work. Never ever ever ever ever had a loser buy a painting yet. Although I have had a couple of losers break in and steal my computer. Anyway Adbusters, when you get a minute, please explain to people like me, y'know, people who actually work for a living, just what is this utopia that you feed into the poor little brains of your audience. Tell me again just who the hell is going to want to go to work to pay taxes to support these losers? Because I for one, plan to take LOTS of holidays come the "revolution". Ahh screw it. Not like you actually have any answers. And besides you are probably busy with your real jobs...day trading.

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