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Anarchist Black Cross Badge

Anarchist Black Cross Badge

The symbol of the ABC Anarchist Black Cross the prisoner support group.

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The Anarchist Red Cross was started in Tsarist Russia to organize aid for political prisoners captured by the police, and to organize self-defense against political raids by the Cossack Army. During the Russian civil war, they changed the name to the Black Cross in order to avoid confusion with the Red Cross who were organizing relief in the country. After the Bolsheviks seized power the Anarchist movement moved the ABC offices to Berlin and continued to aid prisoners of the new regime, as well as victims of Italian fascism and others. The Black Cross fell apart during the 1930s depression due to the incredible demand for its services and a decline in financial aid. But in the late 1960s the organization resurfaced in Britain, where it first worked to aid prisoners of the Spanish resistance.

The antifascist resistance there had not in fact died after the civil war and anarchists and other antifascists were still fighting the dictator Franco's police. Now it has expanded and works in several areas, with contacts and other Black Cross groups in many countries around the world, mostly in Europe and North and South America.The ABC has sought to bring attention to the plight of all prisoners, with an emphasis on anarchist and other class struggle prisoners; and, through contact with and information about prisoners, inspire an anarchist resistance and support movement outside of the prison walls. We fund-raise on behalf of prisoners or defense committees in need of funds for legal cases or otherwise, and organize demonstrations of solidarity with imprisoned anarchists and other prisoners.

 

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