Anarchist Black Cross is affiliated to the International Black Cross (IBC) and the Anarchist International. The secretariate of both the ABC and IBC is located in Norway, i.e. the Anarchist Black Cross International, ABC-I. Unless special cases all anarchists and organizations of the Anarchist International are collectively members of the ABC. Solidarity work for libertarian political prisoners, i.e. the main purpose of ABC, is a must for all anarchists. While the IBC has a more general solidarity program, among other things co-operating with other human rights and solidarity groups, the ABC in general only supports anarchist political prisoners.
The above linked logo, is the only and original ABC, IBC and ABC-I logo, and it is copyrighted and trademarked material of the Anarchist International – IJ@/Fb, see (click on) “Links” below.
The program of the ABC is consistent with the resolutions of the Anarchist International in general, i.e. , say, authoritarian tendencies – as terrorists, mafia, ochlarchy (mob rule broadly defined) and chaos groups, etc., including such persons falsely posing as and/or called “anarchists” in the newsmedia are not supported.
The title “Black Flag” as the organ of the Anarchist Black Cross, is among the copyrighted material of AI. As an organ of the ABC, this webpage is also an updated issue of the Black Flag – Organ of the Anarchist Black Cross. It may be mentioned that the cross here is used as a symbol of anarchist human rights, i.e. secular libertarian law and order as well as solidarity, and has principally no divine or religious meaning. In addition to the cross the logo also includes an outline of a star with similar meaning as the Black Star of the International Anarchist Tribunal, and the @-sign of anarchist youth, indicating both that libertarian youths should participate enthusiastic in the ABC solidarity work, as well as an understanding and solidarity for the typical rebellion of a new libertarian generation. The veteran militants of the anarchist movement should never forget that they once were young….
Sorry to say, the ABC has from time to time got ‘competition’ from marxians, mainly communist, and other authoritarian groups falsely posing as ABC, to provoke and let the ABC look like idiots. Other papers and websites a.s.o. calling themselves “Black Flag”, “Flag Blackened”, “Black Panther”, “Black Hammer”, “Black Halfmoon”, “CNA” and similar, have occured, i.e. they have nothing to do with the ABC etc. although sometimes falsely posing as a part of the organization.
Especially we must give a warning about a false “anarchist black cross network” mainly put up by the marxist ‘autonomus’ communist and ochlarchy group “Blitz” in Oslo. The marxian communist Blitz is well known for making ochlarchy and falsely pose as ‘anarchist’ to provoke and put the blame on anarchists. Several other microscopic groups here and there, i.e. marxist and communist provocateurs, are also connected to this false “Blitz-abc” network. They are also using a false “abc-logo”, i.e. the typical marxian fist logo of Blitz placed on the top of a black cross. Anyone using this false “abc-logo” may in general be looked upon as false!
This false “Blitz-abc” of course has no connection to the ABC or the original logo linked above. The “Blitz-abc” has also made a typical marxian provocation of a false “anarchist” program, a) stating the “autonomous” right to “freedom” to do ochlarchy (mob rule, mafia) – for they who might feel like doing so, b) supporting marxian/ochlarchist “comrades” in jail and similar – there are lists of marxian and other ochlarchical jailbirds falsely presented as “anarchists”, c) demanding release of mainly all criminals from prison right away, d) and similar provocative crackpot ideas, say total abolishing of prisons and punishment, making anarchists and anarchism look totally stupid.
Some of these false ‘Blitz-abc” type groups are also promoting lies that ‘anarchists are against democracy’ and so on, a false statement because anarchy and anarchism are democracy, i.e. real democracy, and vice versa. These false “Blitz-abc” groups have got Brown Cards by the International Anarchist Tribunal according to the Oslo Convention, and are thus expulsed from the anarchist movement. NB! They are thus not anarchists. Another problem is that these false abc-groups and provocateurs often put up links to real ABC-groups and this official ABC-website and quote some sound ABC-texts etc., on their marxian and ochlarchical websites and blogs to falsely get credibility.
Anarchists, for the situation today, look upon prisons as a necessity to fight crime, criminality is in general authoritarian, but at the same time are for human treatment of prisoners, against capital punishment, physical punishment and torture in any form. In a society close to the anarchist ideal, prisons may however not be necessary, because people have changed and devoloped to peaceful, non-ochlarchical, anarchists. This is however far from certain and only possible in a very far future. For today and in the near future prisons are a necessity.h
As anarchy is freedom, i.e. without harming others’ freedom; and ochlarchy is the opposite of this, these “autonomous” marxian ochlarchy false “ABC” groups clearly demonstrate that they are not a part of the anarchist movement.
It is directly opposed to the ABC program to support ochlarchists and terrorists in prison. ABC only supports anarchist, i.e. not ochlarchist, political prisoners! Support for non-anarchist political prisoners and prisoners in general are the tasks of International Black Cross, not the Anarchist Black Cross, – and ochlarchs and terrorists do not have the highest priority for support anyway.
The reason for this divided policy between ABC and IBC is a) that anarchists wrongly often are mixed up with ochlarchy, say, in the newsmedia, and that is harmful to our movement, and thus b) ochlarchical persons from marxian small group vanguard pseudo-“class war” activities, chaos-punks, a.s.o, that end up in jail must never be called ‘anarchists’ to avoid such misunderstandings. Furthermore the marxian parties etc. should support their comrades themselves, relatively poor anarchists should not work and pay to support marxian and similar ochlarchs. If the marxians come to power, they would probably bully us anarchists and/or do worse, as have happened several times throughout history. To work for the release of bullies that may attack us if they get out of jail, and even falsely pose as “anarchists” to provoke and compromise our movemement, is certainly not of high priority for the anarchists. Hell no!
Above is the original ABC logo
A BRIEF HISTORY OF BC, ABC, IBC AND ABC-I
The ABC is rooted back to an “Anarchist Red Cross” organization in Tsarist Russia, which was later financed and organized by Russian emigres in the USA. During and after the Russian Revolution, the name was changed to “Black Cross” to avoid confusion with the Red Cross, which was also active in the war-stricken Russia. It carried on, chiefly from Chicago and Berlin, looking after first Russian political prisoners – who were now those of the Bolsheviks and not of the Tsar – and then the victims of Italian fascism. But the numbers of anarchists who were attacked by reaction in country after country became too vast for the organization – especially when the depression in the USA made it difficult to raise funds in the last bastion of support for them – the foreign language speaking trade unions in America. So the “Black Cross” faded out as an active organization.
The British Anarchist Federation had been reorganized in the early 1960s. At that time this was a broad based federation including both anarchists and semilibertarian marxists and liberals, so it hardly deserved the name anarchist. However at the same time there were a lot of political prisoners in the Spanish fascist state of Franco, many of them anarchists, and they were mainly forgotten by the international media as well as Amnesty International a.s.o.. Mainly some of the semilibertarian marxists, sometimes wrongly called “anarcho-marxists”, related to this federation, among them Stuart Christie and Albert Meltzer, proposed to do political prisoner support at one of the yearly meetings of the British Anarchist Federation, and soon after a preliminary “Black Cross” appeared, however not called anarchist.
In 1968 – at the International Anarchist Congress, i.e. the reorganizing congress of the Anarchist International IFA, in Carrara, Italy, the delegates from the British Anarchist Federation had hoped to form and international “Black Cross” within the framework of IFA. However because they were not anarchists, but semilibertarian marxians, they were of course not allowed to participate fully at the 1st IFA congress, only join as observers, so the project was at first rejected as an IFA campaign.
Instead Stuart Christie, toghether with other semilibertarian marxists, as, say, Daniel Cohn Bendit, that also were observers at the International Anarchist Congress, formed a small alternative congress near by, where the International Black Cross was launched, i.e. it was not considered anarchist, but mainly semilibertarian marxian, but anarchists could also participate. Later on an anarchist section of the International Black Cross, called the Anarchist Black Cross affiliated to Internationa Black Cross, appeared. However the secretariate of the IBC, mainly Christie and Meltzer, at first continued also as the secretariate of the ABC, and this sometimes lead to misunderstandings with respect to the political tendency of the Anarchist Black Cross on the one hand, and the broader more or less semilibertarian International Black Cross, that had a marxian and sometimes also liberal tendency – on the other.
Furthermore, as in the early days just a loose network of a few microscopic and random groups, easy to infiltrate by provokers and ochlarchs occured, the organization was for several years insignificant in many ways, and mainly semilibertarian, not anarchist. This was about to change when AFIN/ANORG joined the ABC in 1979, with a more firm organizational approach, and a clear cut anarchist ABC-section.
In 1979, the Anarchist Federation of Norway (AFIN/ANORG), at about the same time as it affiliated to IFA and CAN, also joined the Anarchist Black Cross, collectively. In a letter to ABC later on the following was stated: “On the 15. january 1979 the ANORG collectively joined the Anarchist Black Cross by an unanimous voting throughout the country.” The affiliation to the Anarchist Black Cross was first confirmed in a personally signed letter from Albert Meltzer, and later also confirmed publicly in the paper “Black Flag – organ of the Anarchist Black Cross” No 6 (1981), also stating “Folkebladet” (The Peoples’ Journal) as an organ of the ABC/IBC: “The main anarchist paper is Folkebladet (The People’s Journal)… A new activist anarchist group with monthly action campaignes has emerged. The ANORG (AFIN) has collectively joined the Anarchist Black Cross”. A campaign for an imprisoned fellow – a total draft rejector – Kjell Vesje [in 2002 working as a journalist in the NRK – The Norwegian general public broadcasting] was also launched internationally. Also other total total draft rejectors have been supported. The note in the Black Flag No 6 (1981) also declared that doing military service (mainly in the local militia, HV) was “a useful way to get knowledge of arms” for the anarchists.
In 1982-83 the collective membership of AFIN/ANORG to the ABC/IBC was passed on to the Northern sections of IFA. The 1st Northern IFA-congress in Oslo 1982 decided a.o.t. the following: “Political, economic and cultural co-operation was mentioned, in unions, co-operative and collective movement, ecology and environmental protection, feminism, youth movement, political solidarity work (for instance the Anarchist Black Cross)… The aim should be an organizational integration of all anarchists …as one nordic IFA section with national federations. To promote such a development the congress decided uninamously to establish a nordic IFA secretariate, which for the time being is to be adjoined to the expeditionary group of ANORG. Anarchists … who are not associated to any national IFA federation adjoin to IFA directly through this nordic secretariate. If nothing else is agreed upon, these members will have the same connection to IFA as ANORG members, with the same rights, paying the same fee, etc” (i.e. also to be collectively members of ABC-IBC). This is a.o.t. documented in the Bulletin C.R.I.F.A. no 42 novembre 1982 p. 5. and Folkebladet No 4/1983 and IFA-Solidaritet No 8/1983. Thus in 1982 the Northern Anarchist Black Cross network was established with national sections for Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
A letter signed by Stuart Christie also confirmed the collective membership of the Northern sections of IFA to ABC-IBC, and Folkebladet as an organ of the Northern sections of ABC-IBC. In the early 1980s, say, the ABC-campaigns for Solidarity in Poland were among the most important. This is documented a.o.t. in Folkebladet No 1/1982. ABC-IBC was also involved in solidarity actions for the French anarchist radio “Radio Libertaire” in its fight for free speech and against repression from the authorities, see, say, Folkebladet No 4/1983.
In 1983 the Northern sections became national IFA-federations, and the collective affiliation to ABC and IBC passed on as well. At the same time the IFA secretariate in Oslo also became the secretariate of the Anarchist Black Cross and the International Black Cross in the North in general. The semilibertarian marxian faction of IBC declined slowly, and the anarchistic ABC and IBC in the North, with secretariate in Oslo, became the main basis for the activity and organization. Folkebladet/International Journal of Anarchism continued as the main organ of the ABC-IBC when the British organ of the Anarchist Black Cross finished later on in the 1980s. This continued when the International Journal of Anarchism appeared on Internet in 1996 and later.
In 1998 when the broader network confederation called the Anarchist International world wide (AI/IFA) was confirmed, a) the collective ABC membership of the AI-sections in general was acknowledged, b) the IFA/AI secretariate in Oslo with the ABC and IBC secretariates called ABC-I was unanimously decided upon – c) the IJ@ was confirmed as a general organ of the ABC, IBC, ABC-I and AI/IFA, d) the “Black Flag – organ of the Anarchist Black Cross” was confirmed as a special organ of the ABC and ABC-I, and c) the logo and names linked above trademarked and copyrighted material of IJ@/FB. This was also confirmed at the International Anarchist Congress of AI/IFA in Oslo medio December 2000 and later.
The large problem of anarchist political prisoners, say, in Spain during Franco’s rule, is no longer there, and the ABC at the moment is mainly involved in preventive solidarity work, i.e. doing actions to avoid that anarchists should once more be exposed to heavy repression and be political prisoners (and/or mobbed, tortured and/or be murdered) in different connections – now and in the future. The IBC has a somewhat broader approach, and mainly works in co-operation with other human rights and solidarity organizations. Non-ochlarchical political prisoners are of course not criminal, from libertarian perspective.
In 2002 the Anarchist Black Cross and International Black Cross have a.o.t. been active in the solidarity campaign for Edgar Rodrigues and work for more court security and quality, as well as more human treatment of prisoners and better rehabilitation programs. In 2006 the ABC a.o.t. has been supporting Polish anarchists. In 2009/10/11 there are no reports of anarchist political prisoners. A few ochlarchists falsey posing as anarchists and /or falsely called anarchists by the newsmedia, face trial or are in jail, but they have of course no support from ABC. The ABC condemns all criminal ochlarchists and ochlarchy in general. The ABC continues preventive solidarity work, against all forms of ochlarchy!
Anarchist, solidaric greetings – G. Johnson – Secretary of ABC-I