Above all the baader-meinhof group represented the ideals of most of their peers, the most important one being that the USA represented an Imperialist
war machine that would stop at nothing short of murder, genocide, and state sponsored terror to achieve control of the world oil supply, and financial
In short, they were saying what most people of the entire world, and at least half of all Americans are saying today: that the administration we have
now, as in that time, is not for the people, but rather for the profit, and cares nothing of freedom liberty or the pursuit of happiness, but rather
uses these noble ideals as labels stuck onto terrorist acts against domestic innocents in vietnam, cambodia, kuwait, iraq, afghanistan, and slightly
more covertly in latin america, and the list goes on.
While I agree with the ideal of an end to capitalist imperialism , where I disagree with the group is that socialism is the answer, and i also
disagree that violence is the answer. There is an excellent article i quote to show why violence eventually begets violence against itself and thus no
change. We do however need extremist acts, but peaceful and perhaps highly visual acts of protest, such as pranks, propaganda, citizen blockades,
citizens arrests, marches and sit downs.
I am all for joining or organising such activities to end Western imperialist invasions, which Her own citizens do not even support any more for they
finally see them for what they are, crimes.
Here is the article: The Limits of Violence
Originally appeared in Satya magazine in March 2004
read original article from Satya web site
By Richard Huffman
When I marched in the November 30, 1999 anti-WTO rally here in my hometown of Seattle, the brutal tactics and sporadic yet stunning violence by the
Seattle Police felt eerily similar to a catastrophic Berlin protest a generation ago. On June 2, 1967 tens of thousands of young Germans, many of them
students at Berlin’s Free University, lined up on Kaiser Wilhelm Strasse early in the evening to protest a visit by the Shah of Iran. By the end of
the night, a young pacifist lay dead in an alley, shot by an accidental discharge from a cop who had trained his gun at the student’s head. Benno
Ohnesorg’s death would be the unfortunate catalyst for a distressing movement that offers powerful relevance for young Americans today who are
considering violent means to effect social change.
After the rally, thousands of angry, frustrated students converged at the Berlin offices of the Socialist German Student Union, which was the leading
student organization at the time. Gudrun Ensslin, a young woman with an intense demeanor, screamed to the crowd, “This fascist state means to kill
us all! We must organize resistance. Violence is the only way to answer violence. This is the Auschwitz Generation, and there’s no arguing with
them!” The leader of the Student Union, firebrand organizer “Red” Rudi Dutschke, was sympathetic to Ensslin’s goals but proposed decidedly
different tactics to achieve them. Instead of violence, he advocated for “a long march through the institutions” of power, to create radical
change from within government and society by becoming an integral part of the machinery.
Students of modern German history know how these twin philosophies played out over the coming decades. Ensslin helped to form the Red Army Faction,
popularly know as the “Baader-Meinhof Gang” (see preceding article). During the next decade Ensslin, intent on bringing a form of Socialist
Revolution to Germany, and the 50 or so young Germans who joined her and her boyfriend Andreas Baader, left a trail of destruction through Germany
unmatched since the Soviet Army paid a visit in 1945. They blew up buildings and killed American soldiers. They killed the leading justice on the West
German Supreme Court. They kidnapped and later murdered Germany’s most noted industrialist, a man who roughly occupied the place Bill Gates holds in
the U.S. today. They helped highjack a Lufthansa jet. They blew up the German embassy in Stockholm.
A whole other generation of young Germans chose to take up Rudi Dutschke’s call to action instead. They would be instrumental in the rise of
Greenpeace and environmental consciousness in Germany, and would go on to found the progressive Green Party in 1979. Twenty years later the Green
Party would be sharing control of the German government.
It’s clear that the Baader-Meinhof Gang and their adherence to violence made a considerable impact on German society; but for a socially-concerned
citizenry this impact was wholly negative. Prior to the Baader-Meinhof era, West Germany didn’t even have a true national police force. In response
to their terror campaign, the BKA, which later became the German equivalent of the FBI, was built up to massive proportions, with the full power to
investigate citizens in ways that John Ashcroft can only dream about. The German government passed sweeping laws that restricted the rights of average
citizens, and instituted loyalty oaths for all civil service jobs. Random general searches of citizens’ homes on a block by block basis became
In many ways this was exactly what Gudrun Ensslin, Andreas Baader, and their fellow Revolutionaries hoped would happen. They expected that the German
state would respond with disproportionate violence and repression; they believed the proletariat population would be shocked from their complacency
and would spontaneously rise up, following their lead into glorious Revolution. It didn’t quite work out that way. Rather the German population,
angered and frightened by the violence, applauded their government’s repressive response. Seeing the ease in recent years in which President Bush
and John Ashcroft were able to pass the Patriot Act and implement repressive programs such as CAPPS II in the wake of the violent shock of the events
of September 11 leads me to the unavoidable conclusion that cause-based violence only begets widespread government repression. And this repression
invariably is supported by the very population being repressed.
But if that violent subset of the German generation, which found its voice after that tragic 1967 Berlin protest, offers an effective primer on the
limits of violence as an effective means of social change, other members of this same generation have shown how a steady, committed “long march
through the institutions” can bear fruit.
Last February, when thousands of people were marching in streets across the U.S. against President Bush’s headlong rush towards war, similar
protests were held across the globe. Perhaps the most remarkable march was held in Berlin. Nearly one million Germans took to the streets, not to
condemn their government, but to praise it for choosing to not participate in an unjust war.
So how did it come to be that one of America’s most powerful allies and one of the world’s leading democracies chose to suffer the wrath of
America by staying out of the war? Because a generation of people chose to heed Rudi Dutschke’s call three decades ago. They became civil servants.
They got elected to local offices. They became involved in socially progressive causes. They founded and guided the Green Party into becoming a true
force in German politics, eventually putting the party in the position to share power with the SPD (Germany’s equivalent of the Democrats) in a
coalition government. They took positions of power in the upper echelons of German government, like Joshka Fischer, who became Germany’s Foreign
Minister (the equivalent of Colin Powell). And when the opportunity came for a bold choice to stand up to oppressive American pressure to support the
coming war, Germany’s government was well represented with members of Rudi Dutschke’s generation, ready to fulfill his legacy, and take a strong
stand on behalf of social justice and against unjust aggression.
please post your suggestions and if you are in the neighbourhood lets meet up. i really respect the love police