Committing crime to further struggles

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Skips
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Jun 11 2009 20:20
Committing crime to further struggles

Im thinking of the siege of sydney street. Bank robberies etc for political motives. Are these wrong?

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JoeMaguire
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Jun 11 2009 21:03

Your asking about illegalism. A potentially long discussion IMO. I think it depends on whether its a mass struggle such as third world land grabs, for example I think I heard about a tenth of the worlds population are technically squatters, if you think the MST in Brazil this obviously an important issue of survival and not about some art students dossing in West London.

Also theres the issue of whether its a tactic to support a struggle or on going struggles, such as bank robberies and industrial theft. I know I might get flak for this but Trevor Bark isnt that mad on some of this. The black market economy is a product of the uneven development of capital, and we shouldnt ignore that.

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AES
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Jun 11 2009 22:18

If you are referring to "The Siege of Sidney Street" film as a historical point - this was flawed - Malatesta had no actual part in it. In fact this film misrepresented the actual history.

Also both Durruti and Stalin robbed banks to funds each their organisations - I don't consider these to be revolutionary acts in themselves (of course Stalin was no revolutionist he is only mentioned for contrast).

Eastern Barbarian
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Jun 11 2009 23:07

Problem with robbing banks, that these days its just really difficult to do and money is not worth the risk wink (with some exceptions like Greece, where some comrades still manage to net neat sums)

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AES
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Jun 11 2009 23:15

mmm. . . I wonder sometimes where the "keep the fire of life burning" slogans will lead our comrades in Greece - I can relate to their anger though.

As for Durruti, if I remember correctly his "expropriations" were linked to funding an armed defence against the "pistoleros" (armed thugs paid by the bosses, especially in catalonia). Maybe someone else can be more clear on this.

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flaneur
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Jun 11 2009 23:34

Yeah, I don't believe Durruti ever did rob a bank.

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AES
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Jun 11 2009 23:47

here's one reference for example:

. . . Paz seamlessly weaves intimate biographical details of Durruti's life - his progression from factory worker and father to bank robber, political exile and, eventually, revolutionary leader-with extensive historical background, behind-the-scenes governmental intrigue, and blow-by-blow accounts of major battles and urban guerrilla warfare. . .

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Joseph Kay
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Jun 11 2009 23:58
molly0000000s wrote:
Yeah, I don't believe Durruti ever did rob a bank.

nah he robbed a fair few, according to Abel Paz's biography. this was during a period where he was a wanted fugitive for activities such as assassinating a Cardinal and killing pistoleros (including a raid on one of their HQs). he robbed banks and gave the money to support struggles, and developed a reputation for not robbing for personal gain, despite the state's attempts to paint him as a bandit. there was also a string of similar robberies attributed to similar robbers during Durruti's time in exile in latin america, from havana to venezuela and beyond iirc. Paz strongly suggests these were also his work, as he made donations to local anarchist/anarcho-syndicalist groups despite having little income or personal means.

however, by the time Durruti returned to Spain and was an active militant in the 30s, he argued forcefully against 'individual expropriations' which he said were detrimental to the cause of collective expropriation. when critics pointed out his own history he said his actions were a product of a particular context that had now passed, and were by no means a substitute or even supplement to collective action. Paz's unabridged biography is highly recommended by the way, just getting towards the end now.

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flaneur
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Jun 12 2009 00:11

Fair enough; I only have read briefly about his aversion to do so during the Civil War.

I want Paz's The Man Who Killed Durruti more!

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Farce
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Jun 12 2009 10:46

It depends on context. Durrutti or Stalin or whoever robbing a bank in a context where there's a high level of class consciousness and there's a reasonable-sized milieu of people who'll see it as legitimate =/= doing it now when you'd just allow the government and media to write you off further by equating anarchism with criminal hooliganism once again. I think, or maybe that's just my excuse for being too much of a pussy to rob banks. Also, I'd tend to be highly suspicious of any activity that, by its nature, can't be a mass tactic and can only be used by small groups of people. So I suppose mass shoplifting'd be more useful than armed bank robberies, altho we're still a way off from that being a realistic tactic to use here.

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Entdinglichung
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Jun 12 2009 11:06

it always depends on the particular situation ...

p.s.: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1906/gw/index.htm

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AES
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Jun 12 2009 11:28

I should be clear about "illegalism"

Quote:
I don't consider these to be revolutionary acts
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flaneur
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Jun 12 2009 11:37

Bonnet created the whole getaway car malarky with his illegalism.

Context is everything really. Whilst there's nowt wrong with robbing a bank, it'll be counter productive if it's linked to class struggle.

Skips
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Jun 12 2009 15:33
Jacque wrote:
If you are referring to "The Siege of Sidney Street" film as a historical point - this was flawed - Malatesta had no actual part in it. In fact this film misrepresented the actual history.

Also both Durruti and Stalin robbed banks to funds each their organisations - I don't consider these to be revolutionary acts in themselves (of course Stalin was no revolutionist he is only mentioned for contrast).

No im talking about the actual history. With peter the painter and his other latvian buddies who almost fucked up churchills brain.

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Jun 13 2009 09:44

The cops have posted (edited) reports on the internet about this and I've read some anarchists views on the events relating to the Siege of Sidney Street. If I recall correctly, I don't think anarchists identified an actual real link to this - in contrast the police report tried to allocate blame on anarchists and jews of east london for the casualities caused by their use of excessive force. Again, it's years since I read articles in the anarchist and jewish press or the police reports (which are somewhere on the internet).