When Strike One to Educate One Hundred was written, Italy’s Red Brigades were crashing out of our daily newspapers into everyone’s awareness. Yet, almost no real information about them was available here. Strike One was written for that need. It was not an academic study. It was written by people who were doing it, and read by people who wanted to do it.
Now there are many books and countless papers and articles about the Red Brigades’ history, but most are from a police and state point of view. Strike One is still a unique and practically useful work, because it tells the other side, of innovative anti-capitalism. It details how the spectre of urban guerrilla warfare grew at last out of the industrial centers of modern Italy. Showing how this was a political project of a young working class layer that was fed up with reformism’s lies. The authors, who were varied supporters who chose to remain anonymous due to Italy and NATO’s draconian “anti-terrorist” laws, tell much of this story in the militants’ own words: in translations of key political documents, news reports and communiqués.
Practical details of the BR’s innovative politics are a backbone of this book, and especially about its distinctive fighting style in the early defining battles . These working class rebels were categorically opposed to bombings—which they labeled as the indiscriminate, anti-working class tactics of fascists and right-wingers—opposing any armed violence which couldn’t precisely target the ruling class and its active servants. This writing also placed that urban guerrilla project in its context in Italy’s large, complex 1960s left. Long circulated by left circles as a photocopy, Strike One is finally published here as a book for the first time.