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(en) Indonesia, The Anarchist Black Cross: Free all prisoners of class war! [machine translation]

Date Sun, 15 Jul 2018 15:40:24 +0300


The Anarchist Black Cross (Anarchist Black Cross-ABC, formerly the Red Cross Anarchist) is an anarchist support organization. The group is renowned for its efforts in providing prisoners with political literature, but the group also arranges material and legal support for class struggle custody around the world. The Black Cross is in general contrasted with Amnesty International, which is primarily linked to detainees and refuses to defend those accused of promoting violence. The Black Cross openly supports those who have engaged in illegal activities as a revolutionary goal that anarchists accept as legitimate. ---- The Anarchist Black Cross began as an Anarchist Red Cross, an organization that broke away from the Red Cross Politics which was organized to assist political prisoners in the Russian Tsarist regime. Over the years, the origins of the organization are being debated, but new documents have reappeared. According to Rudolph Rocker, who was once a treasurer for the Red Cross Anarchist in London, this organization was founded in Russia during the "busy periods between 1900 and 1905." Most of the material that addresses the history of ABC points to this era as the birth of this group. This group became famous after the 1905 Revolution with the increasing anarchist imprisoned in Russia. Due to the rejection of the Political Red Cross and other prisoner support groups to support anarchist political prisoners, Russian anarchists in Russia and overseas exiled people created the Anarchist Red Cross to support their colleagues held in Russian prisons. Each branch of the organization is known by the region in which they operate (Latvia, Riga, Odessa, etc.). Within a few years, the organization spread beyond the Russian border to the United States and Britain, where the exiled revolutionaries had settled.

In 1905, the group changed its name, dropping the "Red Cross" from its name. In this era, the group used a variety of names including: Chicago Aid Fund, Society for Assisting Anarchist Prisoners in Russia, Joint Committee to Help Revolutionary Imprisoned in Russia, and finally, the name to be left, the Anarchist Black Cross.

However, according to Harry Weinstein, one of the two people who started the organization, the group's activities began after his capture in July or August 1906. After being released, Weinstein and others provided clothing for anarchists who were sentenced to exile in Siberia. Weinstein alleges that the group broke away from the early Red Cross Political in late 1906 when Weinstein and the other anarchists did not receive support despite the many contributions of the anarchist community. Weinstein continued his business in Russia until his arrival in New York in May 1907. Once there, he helped create the New York Anarchist Red Cross, which included members such as the Mother Earth editor, Louise Berger. In 1911, Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania section of Anarchist Red Cross was founded by Morris Beresin and Boris Yelensky.

In 1918, Nestor Makhno organized new parts of the Anarchist Black Cross in addition to the Ukrainian anarchist Revolutionary Revolutionary Army or Black Army in the territory of Ukraine which they controlled.

It is at this point that organizational efforts shift from inmate support to emergency medical and self-defense responses. With initial attacks from the Cossacks, White Guards, pogromists, and then the Red Army, the Ukrainian Black Cross took on a unique secondary role to prepare the city's defenses and organize the first urban army in the history of Ukraine. As a city militia, the Blackslave of Ukraine worked alongside anarchist Black Army units, but never became a mobile force, which was primarily based in the city's environment. Members do not wear formal uniforms, but are identified by wearing distinctive arm bands.

For a time, the Anarchist Black Cross was tolerated in Moscow and Petrograd by the Bolshevik government, although its activities in those cities were not large-scale. Cheka (Lenin's secret police) infiltrated the informants into the Black Cross, who regularly made reports on organizational leaders and activities. Outside Moscow, Petrograd, and the regions of Ukraine controlled by the Black Army there is complete oppression; pamphlets and anarchist books are regularly confiscated, and even Black Cross aid workers should be arrested and detained.

In September 1919, a grenade attack at a meeting of the Moscow Committee of the Bolshevik Party was used as a pretext for mass arrests of anarchists throughout Russia by the Reds of Bolshevik and Cheka Army. Anarchist militants arrested; even the Black Army and its general, Nestor Makhno, hunted on the orders of Leon Trotsky, are determined to rid Russia of all anarchists with an "iron broom". It soon became apparent that some types of anarchist prisoner-relief organizations had to be recreated once again to help anarchists in Bolshevik jails. In Moscow, Kharkov, Odessa, and many other small towns, Anarchist Black Cross and similar organizations were formed like the Anarchist Prisoner Relief Society, which mainly served food for anarchists and other dissidents on the left. The work proved difficult, even where food is easy to get, as it is often confiscated by the Bolshevik Red Guards encountered on the street. In 1922, even anarchist aid workers in Moscow and Petrograd such as Senya Fleshin and Mollie Steimer themselves were arrested by the GPU on the grounds of "assisting criminal elements" that violated the Soviet state security code.

At this time, the Black Cross was formed in many countries. In the United States, intensive anarchist attacks left the Black Cross born organically in various cities, which later joined the Anarchist Black Cross Federation. The Indonesian Black Cross was formed spontaneously to respond to comrades caught in Mayday 2018 riot in Yogyakarta.

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