… a few more GRAPO communiques / statements / interviews … some of this material was, admittedly, stolen from the book “Europe’s Red Terrorists” ( we typed it all into the computer back in the day hoping to use it down the road ) and some of it was translated by Arm The Spirit for inclusion in our magazine or on our list-serve …
… graphics are for the most part taken from Resistencia, magazine of the PCE(r) …
… see also GRAPO / PCE(r) Dossier for a history of GRAPO and lots more …
Communiqué Claiming Credit for the Bombings of Spanish Government and Business Offices on 29 September 1982
To all peoples oppressed by the fascist Spanish State:
In the early morning of 29 September, combat groups from our organization conducted sabotage operations in various cities in the State against the following official organs and capitalist enterprises:
• Alicante – electric transformer belonging to the Compania Hidroelectrica Espanola [Spanish Hydroelectric Company];
• Barcelona – offices of Standard Electric; warehouses of Lipidos Ibericos;
• Castellon – courthouse; electric transformer belonging to the Compaiiia Hidroelectrica Espanola;
• Cordoba – National Employment Institute office;
• Leon – local office of the Ministry of Public Works and City Planning; local office of the Ministry of Health;
• Madrid – National Identity Document offices; tax collection office on Calle Matilde Hernandez; local office of INSALUD; local office of the Ministry of Labor;
• Mataro – court building; office of the Urban Property Chamber;
• Oviedo – local office of the Ministry of Labor;
• Pontevedra – provincial local office building;
• Huelva – local office of the Ministry of Education and Science;
• Tarragona – Treasury tax collection offices;
– Employment office;
• Valencia – offices of the Compania Hidroelectrica Espanola; Police station;
• Vugi – Employment office; El Troncal electric substation belonging to FENOSA;
• Seville – local office of the Ministry of Finance; provincial office of the Junta Social Services.
All these operations, as well as those conducted in the last month by our organisations, are part of the struggle for victory of the Five Point Program:
1. Complete amnesty. Repeal of all repressive laws;
2. Purging of all fascist members of the repressive forces and other State institutions;
3. Bread and work for everyone. Down with unemployment and misery among the people.
4. Removal of NATO. Removal of Yankee bases from our country;
5. Full political and union rights. Dissolution of the fascist Parliament. New elections and the drafting of a truly democratic constitution. Right of self-determination for Galicia, Euskadi and Catalonia.
For four years, our organization has been reiterating this program as an alternative to the serious crisis being experienced by the people. Yet the government’s response has always been assassination and the cruelest repression against our guerrilla warriors, the communists and anti-fascists, and all the people, and the implementation by fire and sword of their plans of over-exploitation and misery.
This repression has reached the most savage levels in the past year and a half: many fighters have been murdered at police stations and barracks, in prison, or in ambushes planned by the police and the civil guard; worker and popular demonstrations have been savagely attacked and, on numerous occasions, shot at; unemployment and misery among the people have increased unceasingly, having reached 2.5 million unemployed and, with the new reorganization plans, hundreds of thousands of people are condemned to join the list; thousands of people have been indiscriminately arrested and savagely tortured. In the meantime, the government, with the consent and active support of the domesticated parties, spends many millions on weapons and on providing their repressive forces with more technical and human resources or, as now, on a propaganda campaign of poison to assist the new electoral charade.
Under these conditions of over-exploitation and terror, the objective of the electoral charade of 28 October is nothing more than to replace some names with others at the head of the government to create certain illusions and be able to continue with the same criminal plans as always, increasing even more their policy of terror and misery against the people. But, once again, the oligarchic classes are mistaken. The people demand a real change and, for this reason, any solution to the present situation is tolerated so that the government will agree to the just popular claims. Either that, or there will be open confrontation with the popular forces.
The government and its lackeys and supporters should pay attention: neither our organization nor the people oppressed by the exploiting and murdering State will allow our popular rights and freedoms to continue to be trampled. If there is no amnesty, if our country does not leave NATO, if the living conditions of the people are not improved, if the fascist members of the repressive forces, the Army, and the institutions of the State are not purged, if the right of self-determination of the nationalities is not granted … the popular resistance struggle will continue to increase every day and our organization will continue to strike relentlessly against the monopolies, the institutions of the State and its forces of repression, and all those who are part of it and support it.
We have chosen this moment to undertake an operation of such magnitude because it is the seventh anniversary of the execution of five revolutionaries and patriots, which occurred on 27 September 1975, and also because it is the seventh anniversary of the creation of GRAPO, and, finally, because the regime is beginning its campaign of poison in preparation for the electoral farce of 28 October, not only without changing anything, but by murdering the best children of the people, such as ETA(m) militant Fernando Barrio Olano, who was foully murdered in San Sebastian last 26 September.
Our organization is calling on all peoples oppressed by the fascist Spanish State, all democrats and anti-fascists, young people, women, intellectuals, to conduct a widespread boycott of the electoral farce of 28 October.
JOIN OUR STRUGGLE TO GAIN AUTHENTIC FREEDOMS!
NOT ONE VOTE BY THE PEOPLE FOR FASCISM AND ITS LACKEYS! ACTIVE BOYCOTT OF THE ELECTORAL FARCE!
LONG LIVE THE ARMED STRUGGLE!
WE SHALL BE VICTORIOUS!
Grupos de Resistencia Antifascista
Primero de Octobre (GRAPO)
[First of October Anti-Fascist Resistance Groups.]
Communiqué on the Bombing of a Government Building in Valencia, the Assassination of a National Policeman in Valencia and of a Member of the Guardia Civil in Corogna in April 1983
To the working class, to all peoples oppressed by the Spanish fascist state:
our armed people’s resistance organization takes responsibility for the following operations:
13 April: Bombing of the Valencia city administration building
19 April: Execution of Emilio Garcia Martinez, lieutenant in the National Police in Valencia
29 April: Execution of Placido Pedreira of the Guardia Civil in Corogna.
These operations were undertaken in response to the terrorist campaign by the Government of the PSOE [Socialist Party of Spain]. Within a single month, it has killed six persons in the town halls [prisons] of Sevilla and Valencia and has militarily occupied whole city districts and villages, terrorizing the population by their usual practices, operations which they have been conducting under the protection of the anti-terror law especially in Euskadi [Basque region] and Madrid.
Massive raids in the individual city districts and towns, innumerable murders, horrible torture, `PSOE style’, in the commissariats and barracks, the merciless hunting down of revolutionary men and women, encouragement of informers through offers of money, the law on penitents, the development of the most sophisticated methods of torture at the posts with the greatest responsibility for oppression, long prison terms for anti-fascists, democrats and revolutionaries, giving free rein to the fascist murderers and to the hysterical screams of Barrionuevo and company, praise for the mercenaries (paid oppressors) at wild demonstrations by the masses which participate in large demonstrations. This is, by and large, the ‘new’ terrorist policy of the government, this is the solution which the PSOE — like all its predecessors — wants to impose in order to silence all those voices which cry for freedom and social improvement for our people and proclaim exploitation as the greatest inhumanity.
In this whole campaign, we must stress the even more unlimited use of the mass media, which this government abuses to an even worse extent than its predeces¬sors; with few exceptions, they do not hesitate to spread the biggest lies and calumny about the revolutionary organizations; by their way of writing, they encourage the torturers and active co-operation with reactionaries by their false representation of the facts, and thus they are also enemies of our people. They speak of the collaboration of the citizenry and cover up the perversions of the forces of repression; they speak of freedom and democracy, while ignoring as best they can the fact that more than 700 political antifascist prisoners continue to be held and oppressed under inhuman conditions. They speak of the ‘dirty goals’ of the armed organizations of the people and keep silent on these organizations’ democratic and social concerns and the obviously anti-fascist character of their struggle.
But in spite of the demagoguery and blather of the Socialists and scribblers, they will not achieve anything. If the government continues to intensify its terrorist policy, if it continues to cause thousands to become unemployed every month, if it refuses the most minimal political freedoms, all that the government and its party, the PSOE, will achieve by that will be an even greater crisis and open revolutionary warfare in this country. And this is indeed what will happen, for the people will join the guerrilla en masse in order to fight the reactionary forces in the only possible way, and thus to gain real freedom.
When our organization declared a total cease-fire on the basis of the electoral promises of the PSOE, we showed our good faith for achieving a political solution of the acute crisis in the country. Since then, and after several tries in the course of these last six months, we have repeated that the only possible solution for the pacification of the country is AMNESTY AND POLITICAL FREEDOM FOR ALL, and, in spite of all the lies spread by the press, we have shown our determination and our willingness for dialog and have proved the populist nature of our goals.
As always, it is the government which, by answering our call with murder, torture and exploitation, has once more broken its electoral promises. Therefore, we, the GRAPO, repeat that we will continue to attack fiercely, because there will not be any real changes. Our targets will be the repressive apparatus of the state, the monopolies and their highest representatives. We repeat once more: Real change, the solution of the problems of our society lies in the concretization of the points of the KAS alternative for Euskadi and the five-point program for the rest of the state.
1. Total amnesty, lifting of all repressive laws.
2. Purge of the state institutions and the repressive forces of their fascist elements.
3. Bread and work for all. Down with unemployment and the misery of the people.
4. Getting out of NATO, no Yankee bases in our country.
5. Full political and union freedom. Dissolution of the fascist parliament. New elections and creation of a new, truly democratic constitution. The right for self-determination for Galicia, Euskadi, and Catalonia.
REVOLUTIONARY VIOLENCE AGAINST STATE TERRORISM!! LONG LIVE THE ARMED REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE!!
THERE WILL BE NO PEACE WITHOUT AMNESTY AND POLITICAL FREEDOM FOR ALL!!
FREEDOM OR DEATH!! WE SHALL BE VICTORIOUS!!
GRAPO May 1983
Communiqué on the armed propaganda actions in Madrid, Seville, Sabadell and La Coruna on 16 February 1984
To the working class and all peoples oppressed by the Spanish fascist state:
Today, 16 February, some of our operational commandos executed a series of actions of a mainly propaganda character, i.e. flags of the People’s Republic were hoisted, and objects designed for the exploitation and repression of the masses of the people were bombed:
Madrid — bombing of an employment office and putting up flags and banners.
Seville — bombing of the city transportation authority which has just raised
Metro and bus fares; five buses were partially destroyed! Sabadell — bombing of a torturer of the cuerpo superior de policia [senior police officer corps]
La Coruna — putting up flags
Through these operations on this particular day, which has such great political significance for all the peoples of Spain, we want to denounce the continuity of the unchanged fascist and criminal regime, which by force of arms and terror has prevailed against the will of the people which had expressed itself on 16 February 1936 in the triumph of the FRENTE POPULAR. after the death of the murderer Franco, the ‘reforms’, ‘changes’, and other political maneuvers had no other purpose than to clean up the regime’s image and to cover it with a ‘democratic’ or ‘socialist’ mantle; and all that for the sole purpose of further increasing the exploitation of the masses.
… but the demagoguery could not deliver much. Thus, when their mask was torn off, they threw themselves without any scruples into this most exploitative, repressive, militaristic and reactionary policy, closing off any political way out which could initiate a period of peaceful struggle that might take place on the basis of the KAS program and the five-point program. On the contrary, the norm which has been established is that of arbitrary drastic changes, unemployment, taxes, NATO, torture, the dirty war …
Therefore we must see clearly from now on that any further insistence on democratic forms which [they] have already chucked aside is tantamount to encouraging false illusions and to leaving the initiative to them …
… Thus there is no other way out than the destruction of the fascist regime and the expropriation of the monopolies. Only then will the people be able to enjoy real freedom, and only in that way can the economic, political, social, cultural, national and other problems be solved. Only in that way will we be able to re-establish the REPUBLICA POPULAR and move in the direction towards socialism.
… our operations were intended to show that this is the only remaining alternative today because the reactionary forces have closed all doors.
… and we can’t even dream of achieving this through elections …
… instead, we must strengthen and develop the guerrilla until it transforms itself into the people’s army, which, together with the political resistance movement, will at last crush the reactionary forces like an iron fist forever, regardless of what disguise they are wearing.
Today more than ever, every worker, every working woman, every unemployed person and every young person must take up arms against the monopolistic police state and must support the guerrilla.
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC!
ETERNAL HONOR TO THOSE WHO DIED IN THE ANTI-FASCIST STRUGGLE!
LONG LIVE THE ARMED REVOLUTIONARY STRUGGLE! WE SHALL BE VICTORIOUS!
16 February 1984
Communiqué, dated 12 January 1985, from GRAPO prisoners on the hunger strike by imprisoned RAF members
The militants from the (reconstituted) Communist Party of Spain (PCE-r) and the antifascist resistance groups First of October (GRAPO), as well as prisoners in various prisons of the Spanish fascist regime, in support of and in solidarity with the 41 fighters from the German Red Army Faction and the anti-imperialist resistance movement who have been on a hunger strike since December, which has even brought communist fighter Christian Klar to the brink of death, declare the following:
We denounce the extermination plans which the German monopolistic oligarchy has been pursuing for years with the support of the social-fascist parties, whose objectives go as far as the physical and moral annihilation of all political prisoners belonging to the revolutionary vanguard of the German people. These plans are part of a terrorist policy of the state aimed at suppressing any attempt at resistance to the interests of big capitalism and imperialism.
The revolutionary upswing of the European proletariat has developed within the framework of the deepest economic and political crisis which capitalism has experienced in all of its history. In order to slow down this openly revolutionary process, the European oligarchies have turned the territory of their states into veritable penitentiaries in which the political control of the population, the emergency laws, anti-terror laws, and the militarization of the entire society are reaching their culmination in the extermination prisons, the number of which has grown in all European countries. This whole international repressive strategy which is supported by Yankee imperialism, is being upheld in veritable police states and through the complete demolition of freedoms.
A reflection of this situation are the destructive conditions (isolation, torture, and inhuman harassment) to which the German prisoners are subjected, some of whom have died in the course of the last few years, murdered in their cells, while most of them have suffered massive damage to their health. Stammheim, Liibeck, Celle, and other prisons in which about 100 communists and revolutionaries are interned, have not been able to break their resistance.
The numerous hunger strikes and other forms of rejection which have been carried out in the last few years have created a movement of solidarity within the working class and other German democrats which has spread to different countries in Europe including Spain.
In our country, the resistance movements and the vanguard organizations have decided to support the struggle carried on by the German revolutionaries in the prisons, they have denounced the terrorist policy of the German police state and have come to approve all armed and other actions developed by the fighters of the Red Army Faction and other organizations against the monopolistic regime and against imperialism.
At the same time as we are encouraging the continuation of the hunger strike until humane conditions have been achieved, we express our internationalist solidarity with all German revolutionaries who are resisting inside and outside the prisons.
The memory of our comrade Crespo, who died during the hunger strike of 1981, combines with the memory of Holger Meins and Sigurd Debus, who died in the same struggle. And thus we also declare that neither the whole repressive machinery of the European states nor all the special legislation, the murders, tortures, and extermination prisons used against the nations and their revolutionary organizations can slow down the development of a broad-based resistance movement, nor can they prevent new decisive victories over monopolism and imperialism.
After all, we Spanish Communists are aware of the fact that the resurgence of proletarian internationalism in Europe will be possible only through promoting revolution in each country, and on that basis, any kind of support and assistance for the revolution of other peoples must be provided. Therefore it is necessary to achieve closer connections and exchanges of opinions between all European communists and revolutionaries.
Either pig or human being either survival at any cost or fighting to the death either problem or solution there is no in-between.
Holger Meins (murdered on 9 November 1974)
FOR ULTIMATE COMMUNISM!
LONG LIVE PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM! WE SHALL BE VICTORIOUS!
In the prison of Soria, 12 January 1985
Communiqué on the assassination of Dr. Jose Ramon Munoz in Zaragoza on 27 March 1990
28 March 1990
On 27 March 1990, at Zaragoza, the Juan Jose Crespo Galende Combat Group of our organization executed one of the medical leaders who has been most involved in the application of force-feeding to political prisoners of the PCE-r and GRAPO, on hunger strike since 30 November 1989.
Since that date, the socio-fascist government swine have not shrunk from applying any means to undermine the prisoners’ will to resist, including force-feeding to make them abandon the struggle for their just demands. Dr. Jose Ramon Munoz Fernandez was one of the instruments used, not only in attempting to break the strike, but also in forcing other professionals to accept this criminal policy that, hypocritically, they have portrayed as ‘respect for life’.
Those who speak of respect for life are the very ones who have turned this hunger strike into the longest torture session in history. Those who say this are the ones who have crafted this sinister plan, designed to push the strikers to the limit, into a situation in which, having had their health broken, only the threat of certain death can be used to blackmail them, forcing them to yield and submit to isolation and dispersal. But when not even an atrocity of this kind has proven successful for them, faced with the resolve of men and women possessing a moral integrity that cannot compare with that professed by these axmen, they turn to force-feeding, with the ,obvious intent of smashing their will, prolonging their death struggle indefinitely in a macabre spiral that makes the medical experiments of the Nazis pale by comparison.
All those who have performed the torture of force-feeding under the pretext of special ethical codes were aware that they were actively and directly collaborating with the terroristic policy of the government against political prisoners and the revolutionary movement. We are not lumping these collaborationist elements together with the entire medical and professional community, some members of which have been targets of reprisals for having honestly opposed, in the true spirit of humanity, aberrant practices that violate their own Deontological Code, adopted by the International Medical Association, which, at its 29th World Medical Assembly, stated: When a prisoner rejects all nourishment and the doctor deems that he is capable of formulating a conscious and rational judgment as to the consequences involved in his refusal to feed himself, he shall not be fed artificially.’
In order to justify their repressive policy and not accede to the demands of our imprisoned comrades, government spokesmen have attempted to portray the hunger strike as a ‘political tug-of-war’ between the political and military organizations of the resistance. This is an extremely erroneous approach. Insofar as our organization is concerned, it is obvious and generally known that it has never `played politics’ with the suffering of prisoners or other victims of state repression. In all cases, insofar as circumstances have permitted, we have limited ourselves to denouncing and countering the assaults that the government has directed against us and other people’s organizations. This is particularly obvious with respect to the conditions to which all political prisoners are subjected. As is well known, at no time have we promoted in the prisons anything beyond preserving minimally acceptable living conditions. The prisoners of the PCE-r and GRAPO have never created situations that could be used by government officials and jailers to justify dispersal or any other type of reprisal against them.
Furthermore, we wish to state for the record that no one is better able than us to appreciate the value of the lives of these men and women prisoners, and that we empathize as much as anyone else with the plight to which they have been subjected by the torturers, who are following the orders of the government. Nevertheless, the pain does not dim our judgment or cloud our understanding. Consequently, we state that there is no alternative to this situation but to continue the strike to the end, until reunification is achieved. Otherwise, we would have to resign ourselves to seeing them die slowly, isolated in a filthy hole, murdered in silence. We do not believe that the latter alternative is acceptable to any honorable and sensible person.
Since the background of the strike, still under way, is familiar to all, we will not examine the details. This is not the first time that political prisoners have mounted such a strike. Indeed, one might say that the present strike is merely the continuation of the one that began at Almeria Prison last summer. On that occasion, too, everything possible was done to avoid aggravating the conflict. Nevertheless, this stance cannot be maintained for very long, owing to the overbearing and domineering attitude of the government. What was to be done, then? Were we simply to submit to the telltale atrocities of the new acts of savagery that are being committed?
It was obvious all along that the felipista’ [a derisive term for the government of Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez Marquez] clique was forcing the situation in order to divide the prisoners and, at the same time, to prevent the development of the organized resistance movement. They sought, by every means, to abort a genuine democratic — revolutionary alternative to their criminal and deceitful policy. It is obvious that they will not achieve it through any means. But what is certain is that they have managed to make the prisoners themselves bear most of the burden of this strike, so much so that, given the prevailing conditions, the people’s organized movement has been unable to re-occupy their position in this fierce fight. The essence of the criminal, socio-fascist policy of `felipismo’ is the use of political prisoners as actual hostages in the hands of the state, in order to weaken the people’s movement and attempt to blackmail it.
Insofar as our organization is concerned, this policy is reflected, among other things, in attempts to provoke us to the level of ‘immediate responses’, thereby distracting our forces, cornering them, and destroying them easily. But we shall not fall into this trap, and they are really quite stupid if they still harbor any hopes in that regard.
Consequently, during the strike, we are armed with patience, in the hope for a fair solution that might put an end to this painful conflict. But everyone has been able to note that good reasons are worthless to this government. They are so uncouth and so fascist that, as always, only guerrilla strikes make them stop to think.
In the face of every ethical principle and every popular interest, not only have they turned a deaf ear to the thousands of voices that have risen up to demand a fair settlement of the strike, but they have also continued to wallow in a pool of deceit and calumny. If it is a question of a humanitarian attitude, things are quite simple. They need only reunite the prisoners and respect their physical and moral integrity and their political identity. Is there any other solution that is more humane?
Furthermore, if, as they do not cease to repeat, they feel so much love for life and they truly wish to settle the problem ‘of violence’ as they call it, why do they not begin by releasing the prisoners who have suffered the most from the blows of institutional violence? Free those who have suffered serious and irreversible effects from torture and repeated hunger strikes. Release these men and women. This would demonstrate a true interest in settling the problem.
There is no other solution than this. They could continue on the same old course, one of torture and state terrorism. But, in that event, they should take into account that the struggle will be long and that although they may hide behind a wall of uniforms and machine-guns, we are going to go after them, we are going to confront them, and we are going to see to it that justice is served.
REUNIFICATION OR DEATH! DOWN WITH STATE TERRORISM! ARMED RESISTANCE!
WE SHALL BE VICTORIOUS!
Interview with GRAPO
An interview completely elaborated by GRAPO, with its own questions and answers, has reached various Basque media outlets. Its authenticity has been verified by various photographs which depict hooded persons carrying weapons habitually used by that organization. In the interview they set out various themes related to their political posture and diverse appraisals on their future intentions, as well as some comments on the general political situation.
The document has not been made public through the receiving political media means, but it can have a useful and interesting value to our readers which we want to leave to their discretion.
Why groups of resistance?
Because groups of resistance are necessary. The situation in the Spanish state makes the armed struggle necessary. You only need to look at our environment. The popular masses are oppressed by multiple problems. Each day unemployment, misery and corruption grows and nobody stops the abuse. On the other hand, the non-violent means of protest don’t work for anything, you are not allowed to organize to give a real solution to your problems, a little movement on your part and they put you in jail. What to do? The only avenue left is direct confrontation with the regime, and the armed struggle is the highest expression of this confrontation. That’s the way it is. Our rulers only see the light when they are hit. That is why the resistance is necessary. We say resistance because, naturally, we aren’t going to finish with them in a day. Our struggle is marked by a process of prolonged war. Which is defined by its offensive character, to resist the enemy’s blows. If everything were going well our struggle wouldn’t be justified, but unfortunately, it isn’t that way. Naturally we talk about the problems of the workers, the students… which for the bourgeoisie aren’t problems. What are we going to do?! Perhaps that’s why they don’t stop lamenting that there’s a few crazies dedicated to souring their existence, returning the blows they unleash on the people.
It may be a common question but why are there so many reappearances of GRAPO? Someone has compared you to the Guadiana River, you disappear and then reappear.
The comparison isn’t bad. We, like that river, are a living force within our society. We are in permanent combat against the enemy and some-times they are able to hit us and reduce our armed activity. When this happens, we go back to our roots , that is to say, to the most combative men and women of our people, we regroup and…
Pretty poetic isn’t it?
That’s how it is. That could explain our history. Since 1975 until around 1978 we formed a new type of armed organization, without experience and few means. In combat we acquired both. We had surprise in our favour: the state’s repressive forces knew nothing of our functioning and little about our militants. That made the organization’s activity easier in actions like the kidnapping of Oriol and Villaescuela and other operations carried out during that time period. But even though their repression wasn’t easy, the police relied extensively on their traditional methods: massive detentions, systematic torture… They accumulated information and little by little began detaining some combat groups and important leaders.
And that started the hardships of GRAPO?
We can’t say that. Suffering and defeat temper and harden the combatants. But it’s not about that. What happens is that around that time is when the regime’s political manoeuvre began to take on a clear shape. The “reform” operation so that nothing would change you could say. In that situation there was a recession of the revolutionary movement. Certain expectations were created in the masses in the sense that perhaps with democracy they could solve their problems, perhaps with autonomy… It is not about a particular problem with our organization, but of the entire popular movement. That notwithstanding and despite the setbacks suffered, there were some initial successes on the military level and the attempt to mask a fascist regime failed.
But the reforms were consolidated.
A: The fact that some political reforms were imposed within the state apparatus does not imply its consolidation. The democratic mask has neither legitimized the regime nor taken it out of the isolation it suffered before the reform. But any ways following the thread of what we were saying earlier, it is in that situation when the repressive forces accumulate sufficient in-formation on our movement, they go on the offensive and go on a real hunt against our combatants. It mattered little that the “democracy” would be forever stained with murder and torture, the important thing for them was to finish with our organization by any means. They murdered Collazo and Cerdan and other frontline combatants.
And then the PSOE arrives.
With the PSOE in government the state’s repressive machinery developed and perfected itself in the most beastly form. With this they took advantage of the confusion that their demagogic politics had created among the masses. Without the Felipistas in the government and the famous 10 million votes they got, the state powers would not have dared carry out the dirty war across the country. The PSOE gave them this option on a silver platter.
From another point of view, this assumes something very important: with the PSOE the regime was out of political responses. We don’t want to say that the dominant classes can’t stay in power much longer, what happens is that they no longer fool anyone and their room for manoeuvre is considerably reduced. They are on the defensive again. This is a favourable factor for the resistance and it will allow us to regroup our forces and develop our strategy.
What are GRAPO’s objectives? In one of your documents you set forth your theory of prolonged people’s war, but that doesn’t clarify anything. War is made for a purpose…
Evidently, war is made for a purpose. We make it to finish with the imperial political-economic system in Spain, to finish with all the yokes that this system generates. We know that this isn’t a one day thing. Our struggle, which is that of the working masses, for their liberation, will be long, and in the course of which we hope to convert ourselves into the people’s army. In the first phase of this war we defend ourselves, we resist the enemy’s blows, hitting them when it will benefit us the most politically and supporting the popular struggles. We consider this struggle to be essentially “defensive” which is to say that even though the state and Spanish dominant class present themselves as “victims of terrorist violence”, in reality, we are the victims along with the popular masses and they are the victimizers.
For our part, all we do is confront the diverse forms of violence which they exercise on the people. It is a resistance struggle and as such does not limit itself to stopping blows and returning them, but rather has as its main objective in this phase of the struggle to accumulate revolutionary forces to finish the system in the future. It is very clear that we by ourselves are not going to finish with it. From there, as we say in the Guerrilla’s Manual, which sums up the experiences and political-military theories of organization, the strategy of GRAPO continues to be “free the workers revolutionary energies” who will, ultimately, be the ones who make the revolution.
But your strategy is based on the PCE(r)- GRAPO complex…
That story about the complex! What we don’t have is any complex in showing our relationship with the PCE(r). We have stated many times that we are not the armed wing of any party nor of any force that is not that of the popular resistance movement, of all that movement of independent and radical struggle confronting the regime. Now too, we have always maintained that the PCE(r) is the party that expresses the best political strategy for the liberation of our people.
In Euskadi things appear in a different manner, because even if it’s just to make an example, why don’t you carry out any operations in their territory?
A: It is evident that Euskadi, Catalonia and Galicia have a very specific goal: gaining self-determination. We support the struggle for re-vindication without reservation. And those aren’t just words. On various occasions our operational commandos have carried out actions in support of the struggle of the Basque people and other nationalities for their national rights. But we must also take into account that Euskadi is immersed in a more advanced process. They have developed a powerful national liberation movement and armed organization. How could we hope to substitute it?
Then, do you think the ETA’s struggle is correct?
It’s an inadequate term, one thing is the justness of a cause, of a struggle, and another is the political or military theory chosen for its execution. We differ on this point.
As to the strategy for national liberation, as it is carried out in the developed countries, is it correct?
This struggle has acquired a term which defines its situation. This term is “ulsterization”. Or rather, a situation of strategic equilibrium: I can’t destroy you but you can’t destroy me either. Which results in the principal or dominant factor, which keeps this contradiction alive, will always dominate, regardless of the losses that it causes.
How do you break this equilibrium?
To finish with that situation, we believe that what is lacking is a unity of all the forces that oppose and resolutely struggle against the state, and in particular, the unity of the working class of all nationalities. Only the working class has within it the necessary strength to put an end to national oppression and to many other problems. Of course for that we would have to introduce other theories, a clear program of socialist resolution which would entail, as an essential point for the nationalities, the plain exercise of national rights.
Like in Lithuania more or less?
And why not like Lithuania? A referendum to decide union or separation sounds like a good solution to us, even though, naturally, there may be others. What happens first is that said referendum would be impossible in Spain as long as the state of the Spanish oligarchy is still standing. And secondly, well, in Lithuania the reactionary and pro-imperialist bourgeoisie is not interested in it because they know perfectly well it would lose. In other words, the Lithuania people would choose socialism and that’s why they don’t want it.
We’re going to talk about a subject that is very current: the hungerstrike by the PCE(r) and GRAPO prisoners for reunification. Lately you have carried out actions in support of them, such as the case of the doctor in Zaragoza.
At the hour of carrying out specific operations, our central command analyzes the situation in its entirety and chooses the most adequate objective for each moment. In the dynamic of the struggle against the oppressing state, people and classes take positions. Some are neutral, some oppose them and others put themselves at their service. We direct our arms against these latter. It is the real dynamic of the class struggle. Force feeding, torturing a person tied hand and foot like that, is to put yourself at the side of a government which has shown its executioners’ face. All the other discourses only try to justify the torturers. That’s our way of looking at things.
But that hunger-strike, doesn’t it look like an unequal struggle to you?
It is from a certain point of view. Evidently it is the prisoners who carry the suffering, the ones who undergo the turnscrew torture, but they are not the only ones who struggle. In reality all the healthy forces of our society have risen up against the government’s barbarism and intransigence. From corner to corner of our country voices have been raised seeking a just solution to the problem. As is well known, we have also supported them with our actions. But definitely, the most important thing is that this struggle which started with a handful of men and women has become a struggle that has moved the country and put the government against the ropes demonstrating weakness.
Man, they’ve been left with their ass in the air. All of its miseries and with it their true character have been left uncovered. What better thing than to solve a problem with such an easy solution? Only their attitude has impeded resolution of these things before they reached the magnitude they have acquired. If we were really facing a politically strong government, sustained by an ample social base, it can be reasoned that a solution to this conflict would have been relatively easy. With that they would have avoided the political unmasking they are now suffering. But it is clear that without their thugs and dirty war they have nothing to rest on, which evidently greatly limits any political initiative they may wish to take, no matter how small it may be.
How do you explain the measures against the political prisoners?
A: The political prisoners have become true hostages in the hands of the state, into a ball to taunt the revolutionary movement. The forms this taunting can take are very diverse, but the main thing is they try to obligate you to make the struggle depend solely on the problems the prisoners may have, or rather, to make you intervene militarily each time they launch a provocation. If you fall for this you are forced to abandon other forms of struggle, to abandon support for other popular sectors and the combat against other objectives that are of vital importance for the interests of the bourgeoisie or the state apparatus, and finally, when you notice you have lost the initiative, they isolate you, corner you and BAMM!
Falling into the trap also supposes deauthorizing (? – trans.) the very prisoners. They are not in prison for defending their own personal or group interests, but for struggling for a cause which transcends all personal interest and individual attitude. On the street we continue this struggle and set ourselves another goal: their liberation. But we insist on not entering a dynamic of “immediate response” to the government’s provocations. As much in this case as in others, because that is where we will have already lost the match. We have our plans and we will accomplish them independently of what they do.
Are these plans secret?
Not really. They are very simple, support the struggle of the workers and all the other popular sectors that confront the state and, of course, hit the bourgeoisie when and where we can cause damage. These plans are nothing new. They serve the objectives we have fixed for the actual stage: the accumulation of forces and the preparation of conditions which make possible the extension and strengthening of the organized revolutionary movement.
And if a possibility for negotiation comes up?
The questions of negotiation actually appears as an obligatory reference for every revolutionary movement. To put things like that, as if a solution to problems depends on a future negotiation is to choose a path that leads nowhere. But look, that doesn’t mean we reject negotiation as a political weapon to be used at the given time. We’ll see. We hope to finish with the reactionary state in the context of a prolonged struggle in which there can be complex situations which allow us to make propositions for a peaceful solution to determined problems. All wars have these situations. Now then, we look at that hypothetical negotiation in a manner which would serve the consolidation of our positions and favours the political education and organization of the masses. Never to get sidetracked from our final objective, which is to overthrow the regime. To do otherwise would leave the initiative in the enemy’s hands.
We desire that problems be resolved in a peaceful or negotiated manner. We have always desired that. It is they who have no such interest. They only seek surrender with nothing more, and the delivery of our weapons and do nothing on their part to end the problems which are the origin of the struggle.
And why don’t they want to solve the problem of violence?
A: In reality the crisis the system is going through impedes their taking any initiative in that direction. For that reason the struggle will continue. It is necessary and inevitable. But we don’t discard the possibility that some day there could be a real negotiation. At the moment it is clear that conditions have not matured nor is there light on the horizon that could take us to a situation of that type. But our posture towards this subject is very clear and in it is the proposition we have made many times. We have said: free the prisoners, make a gesture of that type and we’ll respond in kind.
From that point of view, how do you see the dynamic of the negotiations being planned in Euskadi between ETA and the government?
The government has never seen negotiation as the solution to the national problem in Euskadi. In every case all it has talked about is a solution to “the problem of violence”, that is to say, to the problem of eliminating ETA and the popular Basque movement. For this all they have offered, with a thousand and one conditions, is the liberation of the patriotic prisoners. It has never been willing to do more. Now they aren’t even willing to do that. Reinsertion, which has always come to be the rotten carrot that they offer, has come to land in the garbage. Corcuera and the heads of the institutional parties are talking about ending that offer. What does that mean? It means that on the one hand the government’s plans to plant some confusion and divide the Basque popular movement have failed, but it also supposes the breaking of the positions of those who bet on that route as a possible parting point for a solution to the national problem in Euskadi. Now there is no other alternative but to grab the revindications by force, arguing for the combative unity in all the popular movements in Spain. This is the only viable response to the state terrorism and dirty war. They want us to surrender? Well, we’ll have to answer like Sandino told the yanquis in his day: “let your father surrender!”
And the near future, how do you see it?
As a future of resistance and struggle. It goes without saying that in good measure that future will be conditioned to the political prisoners struggle, to the support movement they are generating and the government’s attitude before it. For our part during this strike we have been very patient in waiting for a just solution that would end this painful conflict. But the whole world has been able to prove that good reasons mean nothing to this government. They are so closed and so fascist that only the guerrilla’s blows can make them recant.
But they can only continue their usual path, that of torture and state terrorism. But, in that case, let them take into account that the struggle will be long and even though they hide behind walls of uniforms and machineguns we will go for them, we will find them and we will do justice.
Communiqué on the Bombing of Oil Pipelines in Spain on 22 February 1991
Our operational groups have used powerful explosive charges to attack two strategic points along the Rota—Zaragoza oil pipeline, one along the Rota—Moron section and the other along the Moron—Torrejon de Ardoz section. Throughout the day on 21 February, these explosions paralysed the supply of fuel to the military bases of Moron, Torrejon de Ardoz and Zaragoza, where Yankee airplanes bombing Iraq refuel.
For more than a month, US imperialists, using the most sophisticated weapons of mass destruction, have been exterminating the Iraqi people, destroying the country’s industry and its army. They have tried to justify this cowardly aggression with a long series of pretexts, but it is increasingly clear what their true intentions are: they want to raze Iraq to the ground. This would be the first stage in the escalation of aggression they are undertaking to provoke another world war that would allow them to impose their hegemony over the rest of the world.
But the military might of the United States and the initial advantage obtained with this war will not be sufficient for the other states to submit to its designs. The existence of the heterogeneous allied bloc offers, in this regard, a misleading appearance. Actually, the contradictions and conflicts among its members are becoming more and more acute: on the one hand, because the Yankee plans are in open contradiction with the interests and security of a good number of capitalist countries and, on the other, because in the medium and long term, they assault the very existence of the Soviet Union, China and the other Socialist countries, the true objective of the imperialist ambition. This situation is already causing the disintegration of the bloc. New alliances and new combat fronts will open in a relatively short period of time, because the aggression of the Pentagon assassins is placing the world on the threshold of a war with consequences more devastating than ever before in the history of mankind.
In Spain, the fascist and militaristic regime of Felipe Gonzalez, in line with its despicable and servile spirit, has submitted to Yankee demands and has placed the country at their service to be used as a platform for the imperialist aggression throughout the entire Middle East, the Mediterranean and North Africa. Our actions are aimed against this type of lackey policy and against its imperialist mentors, and our groups will continue to fight against it.
Our organization calls upon workers, campesinos, intellectuals and students, and democratic and anti-fascist organizations to prepare themselves in all spheres to confront the imperialist war with the revolutionary war. It calls upon soldiers and sailors to turn their weapons against their commands, to desert and go over to the ranks of the anti-fascist and anti-imperialist guerrilla forces. It calls upon everyone to organize the resistance to the capitalist State in all possible ways, to practice civil disobedience, to sabotage the acts, plans and facilities of the fascist army. It urges the promotion of the guerrilla and revolutionary war. Only in this way will it be possible to stop the war and prevent the impending massacre.
ARMED SOLIDARITY WITH THE ARAB AND MUSLIM PEOPLES! REVOLUTIONARY WAR AGAINST IMPERIALIST WAR!
DOWN WITH CAPITALISM!
WE SHALL BE VICTORIOUS!
Central Command of the Grupos de Resistencia Antifascista Primero de Octubre (GRAPO) [First of October Anti-Fascist Resistance Groups]
GRAPO and ETA: Two Strategies and Two Different Policies
From Resistencia, Vol. VI, No. 16 (October 1991)
In recent times, there has been a consensus among a number of friends and supporters of the Party in pointing to ‘the radical difference’ between the armed actions conducted by GRAPO and ETA in recent months. In reality, this difference has always existed and can be inferred not so much from their actions and operations, but from the different political and strategic concepts that guide the activities of both organizations. This also determines their character. ETA, as is well-known, is a military organization that claims to be the ‘vanguard’ of the Basque people in their struggle for independence, while GRAPO considers itself only the ‘armed wing’ of working and popular resistance, dedicated solely to ridding itself of the yoke imposed on it by the fascist and monopolistic State of the Spanish oligarchy. As to the rest, it is certain that GRAPO is accustomed to ‘focus’ more on the pursuit of its military objectives. GRAPO also tries to choose the most favourable political climate to carry out its actions. ETA, however, seems to be guided by the motto that ‘anything goes’.
However, we will refrain from resorting to a facile attack on the ‘indiscriminate’ nature of ETA’s actions or on the hypocritical expressions of regret regarding the innocent victims that they have created.
With regard to this matter, the position of our Party is clear and unwavering: first and foremost, we think that the real responsibility for those or the other many deaths lies with the government, the repressive forces, and the political parties that support them. At no time can that loss of human life and other unfortunate incidents be separated from the policy of oppression and pillage by the Spanish imperialist and fascist State with respect to the people and nations subjected to its rule. Those deaths cannot be separated from the dirty war, the torture, the lies, and irrational inflexibility demonstrated time and time again by the successive Governments of Franco and the monarchy in their attempt to deny the legitimate rights and demands of those peoples and nations.
The fact that we hold this view does not prevent us from recognizing and criticizing (as we have done on different occasions) the insularity of its nationalistic policy and all actions by ETA that we consider erroneous. In any case, this is what we must continue to stress, since it has been that policy, spelled out in what has been called the ‘strategy of negotiation’, that has led to the dead end that it now faces. Ill-conceived and unplanned ‘indiscriminate’ armed actions result from that situation, which has led it to political blindness, together with the diversionary and terrorist strategy practiced by the government. Today, the failure of that approach can be fully appreciated, which has only proven self-destructive (in addition to making headlines in the newspapers almost every day). And of course, it is not by this method that the organization will end this impasse.
Rather, the opposite will occur: by persisting in that type of activity, ETA will lose its credibility even among its own supporters and will continue to do great harm to the just cause that it is championing. It is no coincidence that the repressive forces have decided, at this very moment, to engage systematically in the physical elimination of Basque militants. It is because ETA itself has provided them with a golden opportunity to do so. This tragic mistake will have to be corrected as soon as possible if the organization really does not wish to continue playing the game that suits the government best.
It is abundantly clear that this is a path of no-escape and that recognition of this would be good. However, apparently the nationalists find it quite difficult to recognize this. Would they prefer to knock their heads, time and time again, against the wall of ‘negotiations’? We hope not. In any case, we cannot overlook those who, taking advantage ofthis opportunity, repeatedly recommend surrender and rush forward to occupy seats in Parliament. Has so much blood been shed and sacrifices made to come to this? This is the eternal contradiction with which the most radical Basque nationalist movement is struggling, on account of the absence of a political and strategic approach that seriously considers the defeat of the State and other forces interested in that same objective.
Another element that is very different, even contradictory, is the type of activity being conducted by GRAPO. We pointed it out at the beginning of this commentary: everyone has been able to attest to the care exercised by this organization with respect to its targets, while it seeks to have its open armed actions coincide with the most favorable political climate. We had a clear example of this during the imperialist aggression against Iraq. As will be recalled, at the critical moment of this aggression, GRAPO used powerful explosives to blow up the pipelines supplying fuel to the planes flying from Spanish territory to bomb the cities and people of that country. Another example was the execution of the doctor and torturer, Jose MuCioz Fernandez, who force-fed prisoners during the hunger strike that lasted more than a year, or the blowing-up of the Chalet of Galavis, the former Director General of Penitentiary Institutions, who was responsible for the death of the militant from our Party, Juan Jose Crespo Galende, during another prolonged hunger strike. We could cite hundreds of other examples.
All this has helped the mass movement considerably and has undoubtedly contributed to the heightening of its political awareness. On other occasions, we have explained that this strategy is part of a general strategy aimed at condemning injustice, weakening the regime of the oligarchy, building revolutionary forces, and winning the support of the workers with a view to giving greater impetus to the struggle. This is what is defined as the ‘line of resistance’, which makes our Party appeal to workers and other sectors of the population. GRAPO follows that line. Therefore, at no time in its already long history of revolutionary armed struggle has it engaged in actions that could be considered harmful to the masses and their political movement. It has not carried out any action of that kind nor will it do so in the future, as long as a just political and military line is followed, in accordance with the interests of the people and the revolution.
Interview With Eva Alonso
GRAPO Political Prisoner
Eva Alonso Arce was arrested May 26, 1979 at a Spanish Civil Guard police checkpoint near Valencia, During the ten days that she remained under arrest in Madrid she was brutally tortured. Today, she has been in prison over twenty years in the prisons of Yeserias, Carabanchel, and Sevilla 11, from which she will be released in June 1999.
Over the past 20 years, what have been the worst and best moments you have had to go through?
It is difficult to choose, but perhaps the hardest experiences that I have lived through have been the two hungerstrikes to the death that the prisoners of the PCE (r) (Spanish Communist Party – reconstituted) and GRAPO have had to carry out. The first was in 1981, against the extermination regime in the prison of Herrera de la Mancha and the second was in 1990 around the regroupment of the prisoners. The deaths of Kepa and Sevi were the worst moments inside a very hard situation, and still today, just the memory of it makes me tremble. . As for good moments, I would emphasize small, but very important, things, such as family visits, meeting comrades again after years of dispersion, or activities that I can do in the community.
Is the suffering greater for women in prison, or, as militants, are the attacks and responses the same?
The repression is maybe one of the few areas in which we reach true equality. The key is that we are not women or men, we are imprisoned militants. The repressive strategies are the same for everybody as are the targets that they are after with them. Of course, we confront this in a militant manner, and this depends on your commitment, not your gender.
Have there been, over the course of the past 20 years, many changes in the methods of repression in the prisons?
They have been perfecting them, overall, after building the maxi-prisons and the policy of dispersion. They have been exploiting all the possibilities of isolation and have been doing their utmost against our movement. All this, together with the standard searches, beatings and provocations, is doing in that the repression in the prisons is growing in vileness compared to what we had 20 years ago. The wardens, on the whole, also take part, but, individually, there are some that make your life hell, some that merely do their “job”, and, less often, those that try to make your life a bit sweeter.
How important is it to be grouped together in one prison?
Absolutely everything. It is important politically to be able to organize inside prison, to be able to increase your activities with your comrades, to defend yourself against repression and to undertake the struggle effectively. It is important on a personal level as well; because you have people that see the world as you do, with many things in common with which you can always support yourself. Prison is a hostile environment, the only things not hostile are your comrades. It has been proved that it is possible to survive years and years without them, as a person and as a militant, and that is a great victory, but it is infinitely harder.
What is the role of family and friends in giving support to the prisoners, and especially around their dispersion?
In prison, any amount of support, solidarity or consideration has an incredible value, and it is worth much more than on the streets. It is not what makes your want to resist, but it makes it easier to live in prison. To get some mail, to get a visit from somebody, these are things that can make you smile at a time when you are feeling sad or lonely.
How were the peace talks between the Spanish government and GRAPO viewed from prison?
With certain expectations, but little worry, because there were very important matters on the table. But beyond the expectations, I viewed it with distrust towards the State, it is obvious that its intentions to solve the problems peacefully are void. They trust in the repression and in force to exterminate any struggle or groups that faces them, and that fact makes this kind of process always unsuccessful. In our case this was clearly proved. There was never negotiation, only talks towards negotiation, and when the government had to put forward its intentions, it only tried to bring us to surrender.
What is the situation of the GRAPO prisoners, especially those who are ill and have already served 3/4 of their sentence?
We have four comrades who are trying to obtain their freedom due to the severity of their illnesses. Two have been imprisoned for 17 years and the other two for 14 years, so they are not going to be able to help the movement much when they get out. With regards to freedom for those who have served 3/4 of their sentence, there are quite a few of us who have exceeded that years ago. I accomplished that in June 1994. None of us in this situation have ever been released on parole.
What do you think of the support that the Basque people give to the prisoners?
The struggle to support the prisoners in the Basque country has always seemed admirable to me. I do not think that we can ask for more courage and initiative then what our people have with their prisoners. Nevertheless, I do not think that the time for struggle and sacrifice is over, and I fear that we will have to restart strongly all sorts of initiatives to approach the prisoners of the Basque country, or better yet, get them free. The Spanish state does not seem to have any intention of solving this politically, it leaves us with the struggle as the only way.
After these long years, you must have felt low at times when a personal way out of prison and suffering might have been a priority.
No, never. Of course, over these past 20 years I have had very tough moments, when I felt too weak to stick to my own commitment, but I always knew that there was a line I would not cross, a line that situates me alongside the people, and to cross that line would be to put myself in front of them. Loyalty to my ideas and to the people gave me the strength to resist, and now I will leave prison having a clear conscience.
How do you imagine your life outside of prison?
I entered prison when I was 17 years old, and I am leaving prison 20 years later. Mostly, I want to meet my people again, I have a lot to learn. After that, I will see.