A radical distro under the name Kersplebedeb, produces agit prop materials as well as important (if underappreciated!) political books and pamphlets. Kersplebedeb is a non-sectarian project, but attempts to explore anti-patriarchal and anti-imperialist politics within an anti-capitalist framework.
1. Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners — Edited By Matt Meyer
2. The Red Army Faction: A Documented History Volume 1: Projectiles for the People — J. Smith and Andre Monocourt
3. The Red Army Faction, A Documentary History Volume 2: Dancing with Imperialism — J. Smith and Andre Monocourt
4. Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat from Mayflower to Modern — J. Sakai
5. Prison Round Trip — Klaus Viehmann; Preface by Bill Dunne
6. Daring To Struggle, Failing To Win: The Red Army Faction's 1977 Campaign Of Desperation — J. Smith and André Moncourt
7. The Struggle Within: Prisons, Political Prisoners, and Mass Movements in the United States — Dan Berger
8. Turning Money into Rebellion: The Unlikely Story of Denmark’s Revolutionary Bank Robbers — Gabriel Kuhn
A Soldier's Story: Revolutionary Writings by a New Afrikan Anarchist, Third Edition
Author: Kuwasi Balagoon • Edited by Matt Meyer and Karl Kersplebedeb
Publisher: PM Press/ Kersplebedeb
Page count: 272
Subjects: Politics & Social Sciences/African American Studies / Memoir
Kuwasi Balagoon was a participant in the Black Liberation struggle from the 1960s until his death in prison in 1986. A member of the Black Panther Party and defendant in the infamous Panther 21 case, Balagoon went underground with the Black Liberation Army (BLA). Captured and convicted of various crimes against the State, he spent much of the 1970s in prison, escaping twice. After each escape, he went underground and resumed BLA activity.
Balagoon was unusual for his time in several ways. He combined anarchism with Black nationalism, he broke the rules of sexual and political conformity that surrounded him, he took up arms against the white-supremacist state—all the while never shying away from developing his own criticisms of the weaknesses within the movements. His eloquent trial statements and political writings, as much as his poetry and excerpts from his prison letters, are all testimony to a sharp and iconoclastic revolutionary who was willing to make hard choices and fully accept the consequences.
Balagoon was captured for the last time in December 1981, charged with participating in an armored truck expropriation in West Nyack, New York, an action in which two police officers and a money courier were killed. Convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, he died of an AIDS-related illness on December 13, 1986.
The first part of this book consists of contributions by those who knew or were touched by Balagoon. The second section consists of court statements and essays by Balagoon himself, including several documents that were absent from previous editions and have never been published before. The third consists of excerpts from letters Balagoon wrote from prison. A final fourth section consists of a historical essay by Akinyele Umoja and an extensive intergenerational roundtable discussion of the significance of Balagoon’s life and thoughts today.
“The success of the Movement for Black Lives over the last three years has demonstrated the power inherent in a challenge to white supremacy that is at once radical, nonhierarchical, intersectional, and queer-centered. But for many in today's political world, this constellation of commitments pops out of nowhere, with little articulate history. And that is a shame, because there is always a history, and to understand where we came from tells us a great deal about where we are. A conversation with our elders—whether departed or not—always deepens our understanding. This important, often-brilliant, and little-known collection from a Black anarchist political prisoner, whose struggle moves from the early ’60s Panthers to the early years of the AIDS epidemic, deserves wide discussion. The words in these papers and letters speak important truths to our current situation and will provoke heated debate on both theory and practice, as we move into a new and dangerous era, ever rekindling the hope of radical transformation.”
—Mark Lance, professor of philosophy, Program on Justice and Peace, Georgetown University
“We have to get our jewels where we can, for this is how we carry on from one generation to the next—it's revolutionary cross-pollination. To paraphrase Che, we need one, two, three, many more Kuwasi Balagoons in order to get free of the chains that bind us.”
—Sanyika Shakur, author of Stand Up, Struggle Forward
Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners
Editor: Matt Meyer
Foreword by Nobel Peace Laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel
Afterwords by Ashanti Alston and Lynne Stewart
Publisher: PM Press/Kersplebedeb
Published: September 2008
Page Count: 912
Dimensions: 6 by 9
Subjects: Politics, Prison Abolition
Let Freedom Ring presents a two-decade sweep of essays, analyses, histories, interviews, resolutions, People’s Tribunal verdicts, and poems by and about the scores of U.S. political prisoners and the campaigns to safeguard their rights and secure their freedom. In addition to an extensive section on the campaign to free death-row journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, represented here are the radical movements that have most challenged the U.S. empire from within: Black Panthers and other Black liberation fighters, Puerto Rican independentistas, Indigenous sovereignty activists, white anti-imperialists, environmental and animal rights militants, Arab and Muslim activists, Iraq war resisters, and others. Contributors in and out of prison detail the repressive methods—from long-term isolation to sensory deprivation to politically inspired parole denial—used to attack these freedom fighters, some still caged after thirty-plus years. This invaluable resource guide offers inspiring stories of the creative, and sometimes winning, strategies to bring them home.
Contributors include: Mumia Abu-Jamal, Dan Berger, Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, Bob Lederer, Terry Bisson, Laura Whitehorn, Safiya Bukhari, The San Francisco 8, Angela Davis, Bo Brown, Bill Dunne, Jalil Muntaqim, Susie Day, Luis Nieves Falcón, Ninotchka Rosca, Meg Starr, Assata Shakur, Jill Soffiyah Elijah, Jan Susler, Chrystos, Jose Lopez, Leonard Peltier, Marilyn Buck, Oscar López Rivera, Sundiata Acoli, Ramona Africa, Linda Thurston, Desmond Tutu, Mairead Corrigan Maguire and many more.
"Within every society there are people who, at great personal risk and sacrifice, stand up and fight for the most marginalized among us. We call these people of courage, spirit and love, our heroes and heroines. This book is the story of the ones in our midst. It is the story of the best we are." —asha bandele, poet and author of The Prisoner's Wife
“This extraordinary volume powerfully and eloquently brings together the voices of so many U.S. political prisoners. Taken one at a time, the stories, poems, communiqués, and analyses are not only heartbreaking in the suffering, courage and indomitable fortitude they manifest, but also paint a clear and damning picture of routine U.S. repression. When read as a whole, this book can do no other than inspire a new generation of activists and revolutionaries to free these prisoners and to bring down this whole wretched system of exploitation, theft, and murder. Thank you to the editors and to the contributors, and thank you most especially to the political prisoners themselves, who are giving their lives and are teaching us by their example how to be free men and women.” —Derrick Jensen, activist and author of How Shall I Live My Life
"As a convicted felon, I have been prevented from visiting many people in prison today. But none of us should be stopped from the vital work of prison abolition and freeing the many who the U.S. holds for political reasons. Let Freedom Ring helps make their voices heard, and presents strategies to help win their release." —Daniel Berrigan SJ, former Plowshares political prisoner and member of the FBI Top Ten Most Wanted List.
About the Editor:
Matt Meyer is an educator-activist, based in New York City. Founding PJSA Co-Chair along with USF Dean Jennifer Turpin, Meyer has long worked to bring together academics and activists for lasting social change. A former public draft registration resister and chair of the War Resisters League, he continues to serve as convener of the War Resisters International Africa Working Group. With Bill Sutherland, Meyer authored Guns and Gandhi in Africa: Pan-African Insights on Nonviolence, Armed Struggle and Liberation. He has edited the Fellowship of Reconciliation's "Puerto Rico: The Cost of Colonialism;" War in Africa and an African Peace; and the forthcoming two-volume Seeds of New Hope: African Peace Studies for the 21st Century.
The Red Army Faction, A Documentary History - Volume 1: Projectiles For the People
Edited by J. Smith and André Moncourt
Forewords by Russell "Maroon" Shoats and Bill Dunne
Published by PM Press and Kersplebedeb
Pub Date February 2009
Page Count: 736 pages
Size: 6 by 9
Subjects: Politics, Armed Struggle
The first in a two-volume series, this is by far the most in-depth political history of the Red Army Faction ever made available in English.
Projectiles for the People starts its story in the days following World War II, showing how American imperialism worked hand in glove with the old pro-Nazi ruling class, shaping West Germany into an authoritarian anti-communist bulwark and launching pad for its aggression against Third World nations. The volume also recounts the opposition that emerged from intellectuals, communists, independent leftists, and then—explosively—the radical student movement and countercultural revolt of the 1960s.
It was from this revolt that the Red Army Faction emerged, an underground organization devoted to carrying out armed attacks within the Federal Republic of Germany, in the view of establishing a tradition of illegal, guerilla resistance to imperialism and state repression. Through its bombs and manifestos the RAF confronted the state with opposition at a level many activists today might find difficult to imagine.
For the first time ever in English, this volume presents all of the manifestos and communiqués issued by the RAF between 1970 and 1977, from Andreas Baader’s prison break, through the 1972 May Offensive and the 1975 hostage-taking in Stockholm, to the desperate, and tragic, events of the “German Autumn” of 1977. The RAF’s three main manifestos—The Urban Guerilla Concept, Serve the People, and Black September—are included, as are important interviews with Spiegel and le Monde Diplomatique, and a number of communiqués and court statements explaining their actions.
Providing the background information that readers will require to understand the context in which these events occurred, separate thematic sections deal with the 1976 murder of Ulrike Meinhof in prison, the 1977 Stammheim murders, the extensive use of psychological operations and false-flag attacks to discredit the guerilla, the state’s use of sensory deprivation torture and isolation wings, and the prisoners’ resistance to this, through which they inspired their own supporters and others on the left to take the plunge into revolutionary action.
Drawing on both mainstream and movement sources, this book is intended as a contribution to the comrades of today—and to the comrades of tomorrow—both as testimony to those who struggled before and as an explanation as to how they saw the world, why they made the choices they made, and the price they were made to pay for having done so.
Of all the revolutionary organizations to have been forged by the so-called sixties generation, the German Red Army Faction has been perhaps the most mythologized and maligned. Here at last is their story, told in their own words through “official” communications, comprehensively assembled and available for the first time in English translation. This is essential material for anyone wishing to know what they did, why they did it, and to draw consequent lessons from their experience. —Ward Churchill author of On the Justice of Roosting Chickens
The Red Army Faction, A Documentary History: Volume 2: Dancing with Imperialism
Editors: J. Smith and André Moncourt
Introduction by Ward Churchill
Publisher: PM Press/Kersplebedeb
Published June 2013
Size: 9 by 6
Page count: 480 Pages
The long-awaited Volume 2 of the first-ever English-language study of the Red Army Faction—West Germany’s most notorious urban guerillas—covers the period immediately following the organization’s near-total decimation in 1977. This work includes the details of the guerilla’s operations, and its communiqués and texts, from 1978 up until the 1984 offensive.
This was a period of regrouping and reorientation for the RAF, with its previous focus on freeing its prisoners replaced by an anti-NATO orientation. This was in response to the emergence of a new radical youth movement in the Federal Republic, the Autonomen, and an attempt to renew its ties to the radical left. The possibilities and perils of an armed underground organization relating to the broader movement are examined, and the RAF’s approach is contrasted to the more fluid and flexible practice of the Revolutionary Cells. At the same time, the history of the 2nd of June Movement (2JM), an eclectic guerilla group with its roots in West Berlin, is also evaluated, especially in light of the split that led to some 2JM members officially disbanding the organization and rallying to the RAF. Finally, the RAF’s relationship to the East German Stasi is examined, as is the abortive attempt by West Germany’s liberal intelligentsia to defuse the armed struggle during Gerhard Baum’s tenure as Minister of the Interior.
Dancing with Imperialism will be required reading for students of the First World guerilla, those with interest in the history of European protest movements, and all who wish to understand the challenges of revolutionary struggle.
“This collection is not simply a documentary of the West German revolutionary Left at a particular point in the Cold War 1970s. It is more important for the insights it provides into the challenges, obstacles, and opportunities of waging armed struggle within the context of a wealthy, well-resourced, Western capitalist state. In this, the experiences and activities of the RAF are unique in the lessons they might teach organizers in Western capitalist milieus. In our own context, it is likely that future conditions of radical social change, and certainly revolutionary struggles, will more closely approximate those engaged by the RAF in 1970s West Germany than the much more influential examples of Russia in 1917 or Spain in 1936.”
—Jeff Shantz, Upping the Anti
"The editors of this work, J. Smith and André Moncourt, have created an intelligently political work that honestly discusses the politics of the Red Army Faction during its early years. Their commentary explains the theoretical writings of the RAF from a left perspective and puts their politics and actions in the context of the situation present in Germany and the world at the time. It is an extended work that is worth the commitment required to read and digest it. Not only a historical document, the fact that it is history provides us with the ability to comprehend the phenomenon that was the RAF in ways not possible thirty years ago"
—Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch (on Volume 1)
Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat from Mayflower to Modern
Author: J. Sakai
Publisher: PM Press/Kersplebedeb
Page count: 456
Subjects: History-US/Political Science-Colonialism and Post-Colonialism
Settlers is a uniquely important book in the canon of the North American revolutionary left and anticolonial movements. First published in the 1980s by activists with decades of experience organizing in grassroots anticapitalist struggles against white supremacy, the book soon established itself as an essential reference point for revolutionary nationalists and dissident currents within the predominantly colonialist Marxist-Leninist and anarchist movements at that time.
Always controversial within the establishment Left Settlers uncovers centuries of collaboration between capitalism and white workers and their organizations, as well as their neocolonial allies, showing how the United States was designed from the ground up as a parasitic and genocidal entity. Settlers exposes the fact that America’s white citizenry have never supported themselves but have always resorted to exploitation and theft, culminating in acts of genocide to maintain their culture and way of life. As recounted in painful detail by Sakai, the United States has been built on the theft of Indigenous lands and of Afrikan labor, on the robbery of the northern third of Mexico, the colonization of Puerto Rico, and the expropriation of the Asian working class, with each of these crimes being accompanied by violence.
This new edition includes “Cash & Genocide: The True Story of Japanese-American Reparations” and an interview with author J. Sakai by Ernesto Aguilar.
“Settlers is a critical analysis of the colonization of the Americas that overturns the 'official' narrative of poor and dispossessed European settlers to reveal the true nature of genocidal invasion and land theft that has occurred for over five hundred years. If you want to understand the present, you must know the past, and this book is a vital contribution to that effort.”
—Gord Hill, author of 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance
“Great works measure up, inspire higher standards of intellectual and moral honesty, and, when appreciated for what they are, serve as a guide for those among us who intend a transformation of reality. Settlers should serve as a reminder (to anyone who needs one) of the genocidal tendencies of the empire, the traitorous interplay between settler-capitalist, settler-nondescript, and colonial flunkies."
—Kuwasi Balagoon, Black Liberation Army
“When Settlers hit the tiers of San Quentin, back in 1986, it totally exploded our ideas about what we as a new class of revolutionaries thought we knew about a so-called ‘united working class’ in amerika. And what's more, it brought the actual contradictions of national oppression and imperialism into sharp focus. It was my first, and as such my truest, study of the actual mechanics behind the expertly fabricated illusion of an amerikan proletariat.”
—Sanyika Shakur, author of Monster: The Autobiography of an L.A. Gang Member
About the Author:
J. Sakai is a revolutionary intellectual with decades of experience as an activist in the United States.
Prison Round Trip
Author: Klaus Viehmann Preface by Bill Dunne and Introduction by Gabriel Kuhn
Publisher: PM Press/Kersplebedeb
Published: April 2009
Page Count: 28
Dimensions: 8.5 by 5.5
Subjects: Prison Abolition, Activism
Bang. The door to your cell is shut. You have survived the arrest, you are mad that you weren’t more careful, you worry that they will get others too, you wonder what will happen to your group and whether a lawyer has been called yet—of course you show none of this. The weapon, the fake papers, your own clothes, all gone. The prison garb and the shoes they’ve thrown at you are too big—maybe because they want to play silly games with you, maybe because they really blow “terrorists” out of proportion in their minds—and the control over your own appearance taken out of your hands. You look around, trying to get an understanding of where you’ll spend the next few years of your life.
Prison Round Trip was first published in German in 2003 as “Einmal Knast und zurück.” The essay’s author, Klaus Viehmann, had been released from prison ten years earlier, after completing a fifteen-year sentence for his involvement in urban guerilla activities in Germany in the 1970s. The essay was subsequently reprinted in various forums. It is a reflection on prison life and on how to keep one’s sanity and political integrity within the hostile and oppressive prison environment; “survival strategies” are its central theme.
“Einmal Knast und zurück” soon found an audience extending beyond Germany’s borders. Thanks to translations by comrades and radical distribution networks, it has since been eagerly discussed amongst political prisoners from Spain to Greece. This is the first time the text is available to a wider English-speaking audience.
“Klaus’s take on survival strategy tells us we can not only survive thusly but can as well continue to serve the cause of liberation—which are really the same thing. We can be captured without giving in or giving up.” —From the Preface by North American political prisoner Bill Dunne
About the Author:
Klaus Viehmann spent fifteen years in West German prisons after his arrest in 1978 for various activities carried out by the anarchist 2nd of June Movement. While in prison he wrote an essay that became the centerpiece of the book Drei zu Eins (“Three to One”), published in 1991. The book introduced the concept of “triple oppression”—the interrelations between class, gender and race in oppressive social structures—to a radical German-speaking audience, and proved highly influential, especially in autonomist circles. Since his release Viehmann has been active in various left-wing projects, including solidarity campaigns for World War II forced laborers and Colombian trade unionists. He remains involved in numerous publishing activities, as an author, translator, and a graphic designer. He is also co-editor of two extensive volumes documenting the history of autonomist political poster art in Germany: Hoch die Kampf Dem (1999) and Vorwärts bis zum Nieder Mit (2001). His home is once again Berlin—today officially undivided, but, as he puts it, “a place where a lot needs to be done."
Daring To Struggle, Failing To Win: The Red Army Faction's 1977 Campaign Of Desperation
Written by J. Smith and André Moncourt
Publisher: PM Press/Kersplebedeb
Pub Date: July 2008
Format: PDF, ePUB, Mobi
Page Count: 44 Pages
Size: 8.5 by 5.5
Subjects: Politics, Armed Struggle
In 1970 a small group of West German revolutionaries decided to go underground, to set up safe houses, and learn the skills of the urban guerilla. They were the Red Army Faction.
Seven years later, almost all of the original combatants were in prison or dead, yet, through their example, they had inspired a militant and illegal support movement, comrades willing to take up arms in defense of the prisoners.
1977 was to be a year of reckoning. Through daring attacks and devastating errors, the West German guerilla brought their society to the brink, mounting one of the most desperate and incredible campaigns of asymmetrical warfare ever waged in postwar Europe. That they failed is no excuse to not learn their story, to see who they were and what they fought for—and, most tragically, to bear witness to the lengths the state would go to silence them. This pamphlet is our very modest introduction to this story.
Buy pamphlet now | Download e-Pamphlet now
The Struggle Within: Prisons, Political Prisoners, and Mass Movements in the United States
Author: Dan Berger • Foreword by Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Afterword by dream hampton
Publisher: PM Press/Kersplebedeb
Format: PDF, ePUB, Mobi
Size: 8.5 x 5.5
Page Count: 128
Subjects: Politics-Activism/History-US/Prison Abolition
The Struggle Within is an accessible yet wide-ranging historical primer about how mass imprisonment has been a tool of repression deployed against diverse left-wing social movements over the last fifty years. Berger examines some of the most dynamic social movements across half a century: black liberation, Puerto Rican independence, Native American sovereignty, Chicano radicalism, white antiracist and working-class mobilizations, pacifist and antinuclear campaigns, and earth liberation and animal rights.
Berger’s encyclopedic knowledge of American social movements provides a rich comparative history of numerous social movements that continue to shape contemporary politics. The book also offers a little-heard voice in contemporary critiques of mass incarceration. Rather than seeing the issue of America’s prison growth as stemming solely from the war on drugs, Berger locates mass incarceration within a slew of social movements that have provided steep challenges to state power.
“The Struggle Within powerfully demonstrates that the issue of political prisoners is not about individuals but about the deep and enduring bonds of community resistance. Berger’s beautiful synthesis of more than fifty years of people’s history places the prison at the center of contemporary freedom struggles. This book is necessary reading for all who wish to revive a radical tradition in the face of the prison’s coercive attempt at erasure. The Struggle Within is a vital and moving contribution, rooted in the power of collective history.“
—Angela Y. Davis, author and former political prisoner
“Before the U.S. had today’s mass incarceration, it had political prisoners. Dan Berger’s excellent book shows how political repression produced the human rights nightmare that exists today in America’s prisons. More, the book tells the history of the hundreds of activists who have been incarcerated here—and most important of all, the stories of those who remain inside. This historical account tells the truth not only about political incarceration but also about how movements can act to dismantle the U.S. prison nation. Wherever you find your place in social justice activism, this much-needed book will help enrich your work and make it more effective.“
—Laura Whitehorn, former political prisoner and editor of The War Before
“Dan Berger has provided scholars and activists alike an untold and unfortunately too easily forgotten history of political incarceration and the struggle to free political prisoners in the U.S. Berger deftly grapples not only with the resilience of the incarcerated and the movements seeking their freedom, but more importantly with the roots of political incarceration in modern colonialism and its primary justification—racism. More than stirring our hearts and minds, this timely book should move us to action!“
—José López, executive director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center
“When the radical New Left crashed and burned, most participants resumed more or less conventional life trajectories. We too often forget that many of our brothers and sisters are still behind bars with no assurance of release. In The Struggle Within we are told about not only Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier but dozens of other political prisoners whose names we may not know. These men and women ’raised the stakes’ in confrontation with the Powers That Be and are behind bars not just for their ideas but because they were ’active participants in resistance movements.’ The author describes this book as an ’introductory and incomplete sketch,’ but it is, in fact, the most comprehensive survey of imprisoned Movement activists known to me. I deeply admire the author’s efforts to tell it like it is without excessive adjectives. While these souls are imprisoned, we are not free.“
—Staughton Lynd, author, educator, prison activist
“This vital piece connects not only an insightful academic reflection with lessons which radical movements would do well to learn, it connects past history with current realities in the service of a more just future. All intellectual pursuits should be so rooted in the service of building campaigns and organizations for the people’s liberation; Berger’s must-read book is a gift to social change activists everywhere.“
—Matt Meyer, coeditor of We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America
About Dan Berger:
Dan Berger is an assistant professor of comparative ethnic studies at the University of Washington Bothell. His work on race, prisons, media, and American social movements has appeared widely in popular and scholarly journals. He is the author of Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era, forthcoming from the University of North Carolina Press (2014). Berger is also the author or editor of three previous books: Letters From Young Activists, Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity, and The Hidden 1970s: Histories of Radicalism. A longtime activist, Berger is a cofounder of Decarcerate PA.
About Ruth Wilson Gilmore:
Ruth Wilson Gilmore is a professor of geography at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is a member of the founding collective of Critical Resistance, one of the most important national anti-prison organizations in the United States. She examined how political and economic forces produced California’s prison boom in Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California, which was recognized by ASA with its Lora Romero First Book Award.
About dream hampton:
dream hampton has written about music, culture, and politics for twenty years. Her articles and essays have appeared in The Village Voice, The Detroit News, Harper’s Bazaar, Essence, and a dozen anthologies, most recently Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic, edited by Michael Eric Dyson. A longtime member of the human rights organization Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, hampton helped to organize the Black August Hip Hop Concert Benefit to raise awareness about U.S. political prisoner for ten years. hampton directed The Black August Hip Hop Project, a film about the concert series, political prisoners, and MXGM.Buy Book now | Download e-Book now | Dan Berger's Author Page
Turning Money into Rebellion: The Unlikely Story of Denmark’s Revolutionary Bank Robbers
Editor: Gabriel Kuhn
Publisher: PM Press/Kersplebedeb
Size: 9 x 6
Page Count: 240
Blekingegade is a quiet Copenhagen street. It is also where, in May 1989, the police discovered an apartment that had served Denmark’s most notorious twentieth-century bank robbers as a hideaway for years. The Blekingegade Group members belonged to a communist organization and lived modest lives in the Danish capital. Over a period of almost two decades, they sent millions of dollars acquired in spectacular heists to Third World liberation movements, in particular the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In May 1991, seven of them were convicted and went to prison.
The story of the Blekingegade Group is one of the most puzzling and captivating chapters from the European anti-imperialist milieu of the 1970s and ’80s. Turning Money into Rebellion: The Unlikely Story of Denmark’s Revolutionary Bank Robbers is the first-ever account of the story in English, covering a fascinating journey from anti-war demonstrations in the late 1960s via travels to Middle Eastern capitals and African refugee camps to the group’s fateful last robbery that earned them a record haul and left a police officer dead.
The book includes historical documents, illustrations, and an exclusive interview with Torkil Lauesen and Jan Weimann, two of the group’s longest-standing members. It is a compelling tale of turning radical theory into action and concerns analysis and strategy as much as morality and political practice. Perhaps most importantly, it revolves around the cardinal question of revolutionary politics: What to do, and how to do it?
“This book is a fascinating and bracing account of how a group of communists in Denmark sought to aid the peoples of the Third World in their struggles against imperialism and the dire poverty that comes with it. The book contains many valuable lessons as to the practicalities of effective international solidarity, but just as importantly, it is a testament to the intellectual courage of the Blekingegade Group.“
—Zak Cope, author of Dimensions of Prejudice: Towards a Political Economy of Bigotry
“The story of how some pro-Palestinian activists become Denmark’s most successful bank robbers is more exciting than any thriller.“
—Åsa Linderborg, Aftonbladet
“I am convinced that they never even took a nickel for themselves.“
—Jørn Moos, chief investigator in the Blekingegade Case
About Gabriel Kuhn:
Gabriel Kuhn is a Swedish-based author and translator. Among his publications with PM Press are Sober Living for the Revolution: Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics (2010) and All Power to the Councils! A Documentary History of the German Revolution of 1918-1919 (2012).Buy Book now | Download e-Book now | Gabriel Kuhn's Author Page