Red Brigades Fighting Communist Party

FormedOctober 1981
Disbanded1988
First AttackDecember 17, 1981: Members of the BR-PCC kidnapped a high-ranking NATO official and American Brigadier General James Lee Dozier. Italian police freed Dozier in a raid in January 1982.[1]
Last AttackApril 16, 1988: Members of the BR-PCC assassinated an Italian Senator (1 killed).[2]
UpdatedApril 9, 2012

Narrative Summary

The Red Brigades Fighting Communist Party (BR-PCC) was the main successor to the Red Brigades (BR), Italy's largest left-wing terrorist organization, after the BR began to split in 1980. Like the Red Brigades and its other successors, it sought the overthrow of the democratic and capitalist Italian state, but it differed with the BR's other successors over tactics and strategy. Similar to the Red Brigades and its other successors, it was dismantled by arrests and former militants' cooperation with police.

The BR-PCC, which inherited the core of the parent organization and retained much of its traditional leadership, was the most successful of the groups that split from the BR. The BR had faced a law enforcement crackdown in the wake of its most famous attack, the 1978 kidnapping and eventual murder of a former Prime Minister, and began to break apart into factions shortly afterward.[3] BR-PCC formed a few months after the Red Brigades Guerrilla Party (BR-PG) split from the BR.[4]

The BR-PCC retained much of the traditional structure and ideology of the original Red Brigades. The BR's other offshoots criticized it for this, saying the BR-PCC was too militaristic and hierarchical and had lost touch with the workers.[5]

Departing from other BR branches, the BR-PCC had international political goals in addition to a desire to instigate local class warfare.
The BR-PCC is best-known for two actions against American targets: the kidnapping of a U.S. and NATO general, and the killing of an American diplomat. These attacks differed from those of the BR and its other offshoots, whose targets were almost exclusively Italian and who focused more narrowly on fomenting revolution in Italy.

The BR-PCC proposed a "strategic retreat" in the wake of a wave of arrests following its first kidnapping in1982. The object was to reorganize the organization to better position itself for continuing its offensive against the state.[6] The BR's other offshoots opposed this, and the BR-PCC itself continued to stage attacks.[7] The BR-PCC likely formally dissolved in 1988, when the BR's traditional leaders issued a communique from jail, declaring the armed struggle finished.

Leadership

The BR-PCC was led by some of the historic leaders of the Red Brigades, many of whom guided the organization from jail.

  1. Antonio Savasta (October 1981 to 1982): Savasta was the leader of the Venice branch of the Red Brigades. He was arrested for participation in the kidnapping of an American Brigadier General and high-ranking NATO official in 1982. His cooperation with authorities led to the arrest of hundreds more members.[8]
  2. Mario Moretti (October 1981 to 1988): Moretti was a founding member of the Red Brigades and confessed to having personally fired the shots that killed Christian Democratic Leader Aldo Moro. He was arrested in 1981 and freed in 1998. He likely helped lead the BR-PCC from prison.[9]
  3. Barbara Balzerani, alias "Sara" (December 1981 to June 19, 1985): Balzerani had been a member of the student movement in Rome prior to joining the Red Brigades. She participated in some of the BR's and the BR-PCC's highest-profile attacks. She was arrested in 1985.[10]

Ideology & Goals

The Red Brigades Fighting Communist Party (BR-PCC), like the Red Brigades and all of its successors, sought to overthrow the Italian democratic capitalist state and replace it with a dictatorship of the proletariat. The BR-PCC differed with the BR's other successors over strategy, tactics, and organization, however. In particular, the BR-PCC was considered more strictly "Leninist" than the other groups in its embrace of strict hierarchy and centrally-planned, as opposed to spontaneous, attacks.[11]

Its specific demands included Italy's withdrawal from NATO, a halt to the construction of missile installations in Sicily, and the withdrawal of  a multinational peacekeeping force from Lebanon.[12]

Name Changes

High-profile attacks have been staged under the names "The New Red Brigades" and BR-PCC beginning again in 1999. It is unclear what if any connection these new groups have to the original groups.[13]

Size Estimates

Resources

The BR-PCC funded its activities primarily by robbing banks. While it engaged in kidnappings like its predecessor BR, BR-PCC did not seek ransom and instead used kidnappings as political statements without a self-financing motive.[15]

Targets & Tactics

The BR-PCC attacked traditional left-wing targets such as politicians. It appears not to have focused on law enforcement targets, though the group did kill two policemen, perhaps by accident, while robbing a bank.[16]

The BR-PCC emphasized America as a primary enemy and symbol of international capitalism and imperialism. It advocated the creation of a multinational Anti-Imperialst Fighting Front that would unite anti-American fighters, especially from Lebanon, Palestine, Iran, and Libya.[17] Domestically, the BR-PCC staged two high-profile attacks against Americans in Italy, kidnapping one and killing the other. Though other groups on the left had condemned the U.S. as a capitalist imperialist power and had demanded Italy's exit from NATO, the BR-PCC appears to be the only Italian left-wing terrorist group to have successfully attacked Americans in Italy.

Major Attacks

  1. December 17, 1981: Members of the BR-PCC kidnapped a high-ranking NATO official and American Brigadier General James Lee Dozier. Italian police freed Dozier in a raid in January 1982. (0 killed).[18]
  2. May 3, 1983: Members of the BR-PCC wounded a member of the Italian Socialist Party in Rome. (0 killed).[19]
  3. February 15, 1984: Members of the BR-PCC killed U.S. diplomat Leamon Hunt in Rome. (1 killed).[20]
  4. February 10, 1986: Members of the BR-PCC killed a former mayor, citing his investments in the defense industry, in Florence. (1 killed).[21]
  5. February 14, 1987: Members of the BR-PCC killed two policemen in the course of a robbery in Rome. (2 killed).[22]
  6. April 16, 1988: Members of the BR-PCC killed an Italian senator. (1 killed).[23]

Relationships with Other Groups

The BR-PCC was one of three main groups that split from the Red Brigades following its decline in the 1980s.   The BR-PCC was a rival of the other main splinter groups, the Red Brigades-Walter Alasia and the Red Brigades-Guerilla Party.  Those groups criticized the BR-PCC for being too orthodox and too focused on militancy over other forms of political expression. The dispute between the groups was mostly rhetorical,[24] however, and they did not attack each other.

The BR-PCC split again beginning in 1985, leading to the formation of the Union of Communist Combatants (UdCC). The UdCC, like the BR's other offshoots, advocated a less militaristic approach to the revolution, and broader participation from the masses.[25]


References

  1. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm
  2. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm
  3. ^ Weinberg, Leonard, and William Lee Eubank. The Rise and Fall of Italian Terrorism. Boulder: Westview Press, 1987. pp. 69-71
  4. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm
  5. ^ Weinberg, Leonard, and William Lee Eubank. The Rise and Fall of Italian Terrorism. Boulder: Westview Press, 1987. p. 70
  6. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm
  7. ^ Segio, Sergio. Una Vita In Prima Linea. 1. ed. Milano: Rizzoli, 2006. p. 194.
  8. ^ National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). (2011). Global Terrorism Database [Data file]. Retrieved from http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd; Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate rosse -- PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September
  9. ^ Singer, Daniel. "The Bloody Cul-de-Sac," "The Nation," October 24, 1994. Citing "Mario Moretti: Brigate Rosse. Una storia Italiana," Anabasi; National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). (2011). Global Terrorism Datab
  10. ^ http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/personaggi/BarbaraBalzerani.htm
  11. ^ Drake, Richard. The Aldo Moro Murder Case. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995. pp. 134-135.
  12. ^ Pisano, Vittorfranco S. Terrorism In Italy : an Update Report, 1983-1985 : Report of the Subcommittee On Security and Terrorism for the Use of the Committee On the Judiciary, United States Senate. Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 1985. p. 3.
  13. ^ Westcott, Kathryn. "Italy's History of Terror." BBC News Online. Last updated January 6, 2004. Available: http://newswww.bbc.net.uk/2/hi/europe/3372239.stm
  14. ^ Curcio, Renato (ed.). La Mappa Perduta. Roma: Sensibili alle foglie, 1994. p. 208.
  15. ^ Pisano, Vittorfranco S. Terrorism In Italy : an Update Report, 1983-1985 : Report of the Subcommittee On Security and Terrorism for the Use of the Committee On the Judiciary, United States Senate. Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 1985. pp. 5-6.
  16. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm
  17. ^ Drake, Richard. The Aldo Moro Murder Case. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995. p. 150
  18. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm
  19. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm
  20. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm
  21. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm
  22. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm
  23. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm
  24. ^ Drake, Richard. The Aldo Moro Murder Case. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995. p. 134
  25. ^ Brigaterosse.org. "Le Brigate Rosse - PCC (1981-1988)." Last updated September 11, 2005. Available: http://www.brigaterosse.org/brigaterosse/storia/pcc.htm and Karmon, Ely. "The Red Brigades: Cooperation with the Palestinian Terrorist Organization (1970–1990)." International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), 2001. Available: http://212.150.54.123/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=365

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