By Gabriel Kuhn
The recent PM Press release Setting Sights: Histories and Reflections on Community Armed Self-Defense, edited by scott crow, includes an article by Helge Döhring, of the Institut für Syndikalismusforschung, and myself about the Schwarze Scharen, anarcho-syndicalist workers’ militias who fought the Nazis in Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
As if to confirm the relevance of crow’s book also here in Europe, a group has formed that wants to revive the Schwarze Scharen legacy. It calls itself the Anarchist Liberation Army (ALA) and is based in the rural parts of Eastern Germany, a former Schwarze Scharen stronghold. In an interview in the latest issue of the anarchist monthly Gǎidào, ALA members state: “The Schwarze Scharen are relevant for us because they were armed workers’ militias that were self-organized and fairly successful before the Nazis came to power.” With respect to growing fascist violence in Europe and the overall political shift to the right, their mission statement says: “In the same way that the Schwarze Scharen once defended neighborhoods and factories, we will meet you on the streets!”
Organizationally, the Anarchist Liberation Army is inspired by platformism and provokes the activist scene with texts such as “Discipline Does Not Mean Obedience.” It is well worth checking out their blog even if you don’t read German. The graphics are as telling as the slogans. Redneck Antifa – Village Pride!