Richmond: What Ever Happened to the RAF (Mar 30)

Come hear J. Smith, co-editor of the Red Army Faction Documentary
Histories volumes 1 and 2 (Projectiles for the People and Dancing with
Imperialism), talking about Europe’s most famous and controversial urban
guerilla organization from the 1970s and 80s, West Germay’s Red Army
Faction. Smith will also go over the history of the other main West
German guerillas from this period, the Revolutionary Cells and the 2nd
of June Movement.

We 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.

Event is jointly presented by Kersplebedeb a revolutionary left publisher based in Montreal and the Center for Marxist Leninist Maoist studies (CMLMS) a US based organization working to reconstitute the communist movement on the foundation of Maoism. Literature will be available from both organizations.

When: March 30th, 6pm

Where: William Byrd Community Center, 224 S. Cherry St. Richmond, Va.