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Time Magazine on the Growing Popularity of Left-Wing Violence

John on January 3, 2011 at 7:43 am

I could swear that just last week Time had an article saying this was nothing to worry about. Perhaps it was the bomb that went off over the weekend that has them rethinking things:

Two urban guerrilla groups which continue to vex authorities are the Sect of Revolutionaries, who were responsible for the mob-style shooting of journalist Socratis Giolias outside his home on July 19, and the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, who in November sent parcel bombs to several foreign embassies in Athens and to prominent European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Greece has a long history of anti-establishment violence from far-left or extreme anarchist groups, especially since 1975, when the Marxist guerrilla group Revolutionary Organization 17 November gunned down the CIA’s station chief in Athens, Richard Welch. Greek authorities finally shut down 17 November in 2002, and most of today’s groups have only been around for a few years. Revolutionary Struggle, which emerged in 2003 and tried to attack the U.S. Embassy in Athens in 2007, has written in its communiques that it opposes imperialism and globalization. But other groups like Sect of Revolutionaries and Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, which have emerged in the last couple of years, are not as focused. “They are at war, but it’s not clear with whom,” Bossis says.

So far, this brand of politics by violence doesn’t appeal to the majority of Europeans. Then again, we did just see similar violence in the UK, Spain and elsewhere. I’m not as convinced as Time seems to be that anarchist violence isn’t the new normal in Europe.

Time had another article on the subject Friday with some salient reminders:

Yet, anarchism also had a strong violent streak, with many radicals arguing for direct confrontation with the oppressive state — what could incite revolution better than the “propaganda of the deed” itself? An anarchist assassinated Russia’s Czar Alexander I in 1881; in 1896, a Polish-American anarchist shot U.S. President William McKinley. Not surprisingly, governments spied and loudly denounced lurking anarchist threats in all sorts of cases, from the controversial Sacco and Vanzetti trials in 1920s Massachusetts to unrest in colonial India.

Given that anarchists see themselves as anti-fascists fighting corporatism, I’m only a little surprised we haven’t seen more of it here. Where did all those anti-war protesters with the Hitler signs go?

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