The Seventies and armed struggle. A story to forget? / The origins of the Red Brigades on the basis of new documents

Author/s Monica Galfré, Andrea Saccoman
Publishing Year 2015 Issue 2015/279 Language Italian
Pages 25 P. 556-580 File size 186 KB
DOI 10.3280/IC2015-279008
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The essay focuses on the problems and limits that characterize studies of left-wing armed struggle and political violence, which have not been able to dialogue with the historiography about 1970s Italy. This is due to political and generational reasons that, along with the shifts following the end of the Cold War and of the "short century", have contributed to consolidate the image of the 1970s and 1980s as a long incubation phase. The author contends that in order to study these painful aspects of Italy’s recent past in a fruitful way and from a mature historiographical point of view, it is necessary to consider political violence and left-wing terrorism as an outcome of the complex Italian transition of the 1970s and 1980s.

This essay examines a series of documents found in the archive of the Istituto per la storia del movimento di liberazione in Italia (INSMLI), which shed new light on the origins of the Red Brigades, and on the first organization they participated in: the Collettivo Politico Metropolitano (CPM). The CPM was a small group that was in many ways similar to other Milanese groups of the extreme left. According to the archival material discussed here, it was founded before September 1969, earlier than hitherto supposed. In March 1970, the CPM started to issue a series of fogli di lotta, which were characterized by an increasingly radical point of view. In July 1970s, after confronting itself with other collectives, it changed its name to Sinistra Proletaria. The author traces the gradual drift of some of its members toward armed struggle, up to the first attack of the Red Brigades, which took place in September 1970.

Keywords: Left-wing armed struggle, political violence, the seventies, the eighties, left-wing terrorism, Italian transition, milanese Extreme Left, Collettivo Politico Metropolitano (CPM), Red Brigades, Sinistra Proletaria (SP), INSMLI Archives

Monica Galfré, Andrea Saccoman, Anni settanta e lotta armata Una storia da dimenticare? / Le origini delle Brigate rosse in base a nuove acquisizioni documentarie in "ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA" 279/2015, pp 556-580, DOI: 10.3280/IC2015-279008