A Herstory Of The Revolutionary Cells and Rote Zora: Armed Resistance In West Germany

The Revolutionary Cells (RZ) made their first appearance on November 16th, 1973 with an attack against ITT in West Berlin to point out the participation of this multinational corporation in Pinochet’s military putsch in Chile. In 1975, the first high-explosive attack was undertaken by the wimmin of the RZ against the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, Germany, the day after it supported a new abortion law. The RZ wimmin naturally demanded the total right for every womyn to have an abortion, as a right to self-determination over their own bodies. In 1976, numerous wimmin broke with the RZ and formed their own splinter group and from 1977 onwards, the militant feminist anti-patriarchal urban guerrilla group Rote Zora (Red Zora) acted autonomously and independently, though some wimmin still participated in the Revolutionary Cells, which had by then shifted it’s focus to acts of clandestine sabotage in support of the larger anti-nuclear movement in Germany.

Red Zora attacked predominantly patriarchal institutes, companies, and persons representing and building up a male sexist society, which is oppressing and exploiting wimmin worldwide. They have conducted campaigns against porn traders, sex shops, international traders of wimmin (those who profit from importing Asian wimmin as “brides” for West German men), doctors who are carrying out forced sterilizations, the Doctors Guild (“We see the Federal Doctors Guild as exponents of rape in white trenchcoats” — RZ), as well as drug companies like Schering who produced the birth-defect causing drug Duogynon. Another popular Red Zora tactic was the illegal reprinting of bus and streetcar fares. In individual cases, the Red Zora worked to put together a critique of the peace movement in 1984. In this paper, they criticized the peace movement as a bourgeois movement with an apocalyptic vision. The Red Zora said that the major mistake of the peace movement was to concentrate their political goal only on the preservation of peace in the metropolis instead of discussing the imperialist context between armament and crisis: Third World misery and social cutbacks; sexism and racism.