Detroit Anarchist Black Cross Formed


Fifth Estate # The Rumble, Issue 1

The Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) is an international network of autonomous groups working to ensure the imprisoned faction of our movement is not forgotten.

The origins of the ABC date back prior to the Russian Revolution. An Anarchist Red Cross was formed in Tsarist Russia to organize aid for political prisoners and their families and as defense against political raids by the Cossack army. During the Russian Civil War, the organization changed its name to the Black Cross to avoid confusion with the Red Cross who were organizing relief in the country.

After the Bolsheviks seized power, the Black Cross moved to Berlin. It continued to aid prisoners of the Leninist regime, as well as victims of Italian fascism and others. Despite the increasing demand for its services, the Black Cross folded in the 40’s due to a decline in available finances. In the late 1960s, the organization resurfaced in England where it initially worked to aid prisoners of the Spanish resistance to Franco’s fascist regime. In the 80’s, the ABC expanded and now has groups in many different regions of the world, including the U.S. and Canada.

Recently, a new chapter was formed in Detroit. This chapter will support the struggles of prisoners in general and of political prisoners/prisoners of war in particular. We believe prisons serve no function but to preserve the ruling elite. We also believe that a free society must find an alternative, effective way to deal with anti-social behavior.

But a decrease in crime is only likely to happen (and therefore prison abolition can only be a realistic option) accompanied by a dramatic change in our economic, social and political system. These conditions lie at the root of both anti-social crime and the reasons for a prison system. We work as anarchists for a stateless, cooperative society free from privilege or domination. But it’s not enough to build the grassroots movement necessary to bring about these changes in society. We must also be able to defend. ABC aides those who are captured and persecuted for carrying out acts on behalf of our movements.

If you want to get involved, donate some time or resources to support this important work, please contact:

Detroit ABC c/o Fifth Estate 4632 Second Ave. Detroit MI 48201