Anarchist Federation statement on kneecapping of nuclear executive by Informal Anarchist Federation

Logo of the Anarchist Federation (Britain and Ireland)

A statement from the Anarchist Federation on recent actions by the Informal Anarchist Federation in Italy.

On the 11th of May Roberto Adinolfi, CEO of an Italian state controlled nuclear engineering company, was shot and wounded. A cell of the insurrectionist Informal Anarchist Federation have claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, saying that it was an act of vengeance for deaths and environmental damage caused by the nuclear industry. Previous acts claimed by Informal Anarchist Federation cells include sending a letter bomb to the Italian tax collection office, almost blinding a worker at the office and risking the lives of the postal and clerical workers who unwittingly carried the bomb.

Although it adopts the same initials as our affiliated Anarchist Federation in Italy, the Informal Anarchist Federation has no affiliation whatsoever with them or with us. It is an entirely separate entity, and we consider its adopting of the same initials as a pre-existing anarchist group to be, at best, confusing and ill-judged, and at worst malicious. Whether or not the Informal Anarchist Federation intended that their actions would be associated with the Italian Anarchist Federation and other members of the International of Anarchist Federations, these organisations have now been mentioned in press reports relating to the actions of the Informals, and so we now feel it necessary that we, the UK Anarchist Federation, make our position on their actions clear.

In our aims and principles, the Anarchist Federation states that “It is not possible to abolish Capitalism without a revolution, which will arise out of class conflict. The ruling class must be completely overthrown to achieve anarchist communism. Because the ruling class will not relinquish power without their use of armed force, this revolution will be a time of violence as well as liberation”. We are not a pacifist organisation and do not condemn insurrection itself or all insurrectionist tactics; however, as Anarchist Communists we strongly criticise individualist and vanguardist tactics that do not come out of a broad-based class struggle movement. We condemn actions that put workers in danger without their knowledge and consent, and we reject elitist statements, such as that made by the Informals, which consider the working class to be too ignorant and invested in Capitalism to be relevant to struggle.

Capitalism is, fundamentally, a social relationship; it can no more be harmed by small groups who are disconnected from the wider class struggle shooting individual bosses or sending bombs through the post than it can by passively marching from one place to another or consuming “ethical” commodities. Instead, the Anarchist Federation advocates organising with other working class people to take direct action for ourselves in order to both defend ourselves against attacks by capital and the state in our everyday lives and build a culture of resistance that can seriously challenge capitalism. As well as being tactically more effective than isolated acts of violence, organising in this way allows us a glimpse of a better world, free of exploitation, alienation and oppression. By acting collectively and making ourselves accountable to others, we prepare ourselves for a world where our whole lives are really under our own control.

The statement by the Informal Anarchist Federation can be found here.

Correction: This statement makes reference to a worker at the tax office being injured, Although in other attacks workers have been injured, in this case the person who was injured was a leading official and the intended target of the attack. While the AF does not endorse the use of letter bombs in any way due to there indiscriminate nature, the original wording was misleading.

Posted By

madashell
May 20 2012 23:23

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  • Capitalism is, fundamentally, a social relationship; it can no more be harmed by small groups who are disconnected from the wider class struggle shooting individual bosses or sending bombs through the post than it can by passively marching from one place to another or consuming “ethical” commodities

    Anarchist Federation

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Comments

lettersjournal
May 21 2012 04:57
Quote:
as Anarchist Communists we strongly criticise individualist and vanguardist tactics that do not come out of a broad-based class struggle movement.

I don't understand this sentence. It either means that there are acceptable non-individualist, non-vanguardist tactics that nonetheless do not come out of "a broad-based class struggle movement" OR that all tactics that do not come out of "a broad-based class struggle movement" are individualist and vanguardist and thus bad. I assume the latter meaning is intended, because I imagine you do not think individualist/vanguardist tactics can emerge out of "a broad-based class struggle movement" or even if they could emerge, that they would be bad.

So, if tactics that do not come out of "a broad-based class struggle movement" are bad, and there is not currently "a broad-based class struggle movement"... would this not mean that all anarchist tactics are bad? The AF and Solfed together have less than 200 members after more than a decade or organizing, so they are, in themselves, not "broad-based". This essentially means that they ought not to define their own tactics, as any tactics developed within the groups would not come out of "a broad-based class struggle movement" but from small groups defined by ideology,

So the very releasing of the statement is against what's written in the statement because this statement does not come out of "a broad-based class struggle movement" and should thus denounce itself.

Apologies if I am misreading this.

no1
May 21 2012 11:11

Releasing statements is not a vanguardist tactic, it is a means to communicate with the wider class.

Apologies if I am misreading your comment and you're simply trolling.

Anyway, good statement. In my opinion it's important to criticise this kind of vanguardist tactic and promote class politics and collective action - for a start it'd be much harder for FBI informants to manipulate gullible people to get involved in stupid actions.

madashell
May 21 2012 10:22

Letters, do you expect anybody to actually give a shit that you can play nitpicky word games with little out-of-context snippets of a text?

Nowhere does the text say that anything that takes place outside of a broad-based class struggle movement is individualist and vanguardist.

Quote:
Instead, the Anarchist Federation advocates organising with other working class people to take direct action for ourselves in order to both defend ourselves against attacks by capital and the state in our everyday lives and build a culture of resistance that can seriously challenge capitalism.

So the issue is not just that the Informals are disconnected from wider struggle, but that their tactics, the secrecy necessary to carry out those tactics and their politics (which includes writing off the bulk of militant workers as "citizens indignant over some malfunctioning of a system that they want to continue to be part of") mean that their activities will also never contribute towards to development of a movement that can actually challenge capitalism.

Serge Forward
May 21 2012 13:04

So, am I right in thinking the only criticism of the AF statement is of a purely pedantic nature. If yes, that'll do pig cool

jolasmo
May 21 2012 16:22
Quote:
I don't understand this sentence. It either means that there are acceptable non-individualist, non-vanguardist tactics that nonetheless do not come out of "a broad-based class struggle movement" OR that all tactics that do not come out of "a broad-based class struggle movement" are individualist and vanguardist and thus bad.

Or option C, it means what it actually says: individualist and vanguardist tactics that don't come out of a broader working class movement, e.g. kneecapping an executive or bombing a tax office, are bad. M'kay.

Our statement does not comment on whether there are useful things that individuals and minorities can do even when disconnected from the class struggle; and it says nothing about all such tactics being bad, only specifically the ones that are individualist and vanguardist.

I don't see what's hard to understand here.

~J.

Konsequent
May 22 2012 14:39

The criticism here of individualist and vanguardist tactics is that it's in the nature of such tactics that they don't come out of a broad-based class struggle movement. Using tactics that could do, even at a point when they don't, is therefore more conducive to building such a movement.

I thought this was implicit in the rest of the statement but maybe our grammar could be better too.

Maybe we're missing a comma like "we strongly criticise individualist and vanguardist tactics, that do not come out of a broad-based class struggle movement" or maybe brackets would be clearer (I love brackets) like "we strongly criticise individualist and vanguardist tactics (that do not come out of a broad-based class struggle movement)" or maybe the wording could be improved "we strongly criticise individualist and vanguardist tactics as they can not come out of a broad-based class struggle movement".

Either lettersjournal is very easy to confuse or he should be our go-to guy for proofreading.

Serge Forward
May 22 2012 16:17

I hate brackets. If we ever start using brackets like that in the AF, I'm resigning and joining SolFed (straight off).

Arghhh!!! What have I done? (I resign.)

Nooooooooo!!!! (!)

Konsequent
May 22 2012 17:07

I love brackets like I love gaffa tape. They're useful for just tacking things on that I can't work out how to incorporate properly but I'm aware of the fact that it looks sloppy and amateur.

If I used them as liberally as I usually do in a statement like this I'd expect you to chastise me for it, Serge. Either that or run off and join Solfed. I'm sure they know how to properly structure sentences.

Uncreative
May 22 2012 17:55
Konsequent wrote:
I love brackets like I love gaffa tape. They're useful for just tacking things on that I can't work out how to incorporate properly but I'm aware of the fact that it looks sloppy and amateur.

If I used them as liberally as I usually do in a statement like this I'd expect you to chastise me for it, Serge. Either that or run off and join Solfed. I'm sure they know how to properly structure sentences.

This just highlights further differences between the AF and Solfed. Whereas Solfed would know what to leave out of their sentences, the AF just tries to cram it all in.

Konsequent
May 22 2012 18:42
Uncreative wrote:
cram it all in.

This has generally been my policy but after slanderous comments about our tightness on the other thread I might have to rethink it.

fingers malone
May 22 2012 20:24
Konsequent wrote:
Either that or run off and join Solfed. I'm sure they know how to properly structure sentences.

We are all MIND JAILERS after all.

Konsequent
May 22 2012 22:49
fingers malone wrote:

We are all MIND JAILERS after all.

Teachers are the most counter-revolutionary of grammar nazis. Shame on you.

Also half an hour after writing my last post I was suddenly overcome with panic thinking people might interpret it as a reference to my politics.

mamadou
May 23 2012 11:24
mamadou
May 23 2012 13:40

..and also, give a look to the press relase of the Italian Anarchist Federation itself on 2003 - there s the english version down the italian one:
http://federazioneanarchica.org/archivio/20031228cdc.html

Juan Conatz
May 24 2012 19:51

A reply to this

Scandalous thoughts – a few notes on civil anarchism
http://325.nostate.net/?p=5371

Battlescarred
May 24 2012 19:59

Not impressed, essentially against social anarchism and class struggle.

radicalgraffiti
May 24 2012 20:04

oh wow, that is incredible!

Juan Conatz
May 24 2012 20:11

Couple things.

1)I don't know about Europe, but in the States I would never, ever, ever use the word terrorist in reference to a left-wing/nihilist/insurrectionary/whatever armed group. I think that's a dangerous word to throw around.

2)There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding whether a worker or Chief Tax Collector person was injured by that letter bomb attack. For me, politically, it doesn't matter which it hurt, because I still think sending letter bombs is stupid, but there does seem to be disagreements about that.

3)I understand the purpose of this statement (disassociate any possible confusion that might arisen from having similar names) and think that 325 link is ridiculous, because it doesn't even acknowledge that the Informals picked a name and acronym that they had to know would cause confusion. Anyone who thinks older groups with similar names being mad about another group doing things they disagree with is a big deal is in another world.

However, I also think someone needs to critique these people on their own terms or from a revolutionary perspective. For example that 325 link mentions the UK riots and tries to relate them back to the letter bombs. I think we can mostly see the difference between these two things and even most insurrectionaries (well American ones at least) make a distinction between collective violence and violence committed by small clandestine groups. Looking at this as a battle of competing or varying politics/antipolitics I think its worth contesting them with the same effort that some put into polemics against groups with even less differences between them.

radicalgraffiti
May 24 2012 20:42
Juan Conatz wrote:
Couple things.

1)I don't know about Europe, but in the States I would never, ever, ever use the word terrorist in reference to a left-wing/nihilist/insurrectionary/whatever armed group. I think that's a dangerous word to throw around.

the title was not approved by the federation, the individual posting it made it up, it's been changed on our website and will be here when changes are approved by admins.

Juan Conatz wrote:

2)There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding whether a worker or Chief Tax Collector person was injured by that letter bomb attack. For me, politically, it doesn't matter which it hurt, because I still think sending letter bombs is stupid, but there does seem to be disagreements about that.

this was a mistake, a corection has now been added to the version on our site, hopfule it wil be added here to.

Quote:
Correction: This statement makes reference to a worker at the tax office being injured, Although in other attacks workers have been injured, in this case the person who was injured was a leading official and the intended target of the attack. While the AF does not endorse the use of letter bombs in any way due to there indiscriminate nature, the original wording was misleading.
Rob Ray
May 25 2012 14:53

Edit: Nm see it's elsewhere already.

mamadou
May 28 2012 13:13

I find that what the article from 325.nostate.net reports is an insult to Anarchy itself.