Traditional Anarchist revolutionary movements have included bandits, assassins, schemers, shoplifters, squatters, freighthoppers and others willing to do what they can get away with now, without waiting for some pie-in-the-sky “revolutionary situation” or permission from anyone. Below are some articles about Illegalism.
Spain was a country on the brink of outright revolution for several generations. Anarchist uprisings brought about the fall of a few governments. Sensing that they would soon lose control, the established powers – the Catholic Church, the businessmen, aristocracy, and politicians began to hire armed thugs to assasinate “troublemakers,” often Anarchists, unionists and other socialists. The anarchists were not intimidated, though, and fought back with their own gunmen. These pistoleros were given much support amongst the Anarchists. They carried out spectacular crimes, including the daytime assasination of a arch-bishop – who was known to have paid for a number of murders of anarchists – and blasting the car of a much-hated public official with enough explosives that his car was thrown over the steeple of a church. The greatest period of gunmen was between 1934-36, where attacks and retaliatory attacks were a daily affair in cities across Spain, but particularly in Barcelona and Madrid.
Before he became a reknowned revolutionary Militaman, Buenaventura Durrutti had been an exile, first in France (where he was imprisoned and deported for armed robberies) and later on the run from Spanish authorities in the Carribean and South America. Calling themselves the Wanderers Durrutti and his travelling companions went from one menial job to another, leaving a trail of assassinated bosses, landowners, priests and other tyrants, in their wake. Once established in Argetina, they – along with many exiled Italian and Spanish anrchists – robbed banks and carried out selected attenants against the ruling class and their lackeys. Finally arriving back in Spain, Durrutti was involved in more of the same, and became a celebrated pistolero. Due to his cunning and experience with explosives, firearms and street-fighting, Durrutti quickly became a militia leader, respected by friends and foes alike. The Durrutti Column, the anarchist milita which had elected him as their field commander was the only anarchist or republican milita which proved itself time and again able to defeat the Fascist armies, and once saved Madrid from certain defeat.
After the defeat of the Revolution in Spain, many armed militants scrapped for their very existence, not only in Spain, but also in Italy and France. One of the outstanding examples of the anarchist revolutionary-turned-bandit was el Sabate, a legendary figure so feared throughout Spain that many people were
able to pull off robberies merely by suggesting that they were el Sabate. An almost tireless fighter, Sabate helped other former revolutionaries flee from Francos Spain, and often sent them on their way with a small bankroll taken from some wealthy businessman. Quick to use his gun when threatened, el Sabate shot his way out of many desperate situations. Not content to just rob the wealthy, he sometimes would rid some community of an overly zaelous policeman or member of the Guardia. And, in remeberance of his fallen comrades who were betrayed and murdered by lowlife Communists scum, he would kneecap or kill Comminists whenever he confronted them. The life of el Sabate sets an example for Revolutionary Anarchists everywhere!
this entry, along with the preceding one (see below) were part of my original anarchy and chaos website. i believe this was originally an entry in a zine i did in the early 90′s – likely imminent strike #3