Brigate Rosse

Red Brigades (BR)
   Aterrorist movement whose leadership, especially in the early years, was drawn largely from radical Catholic elements of the sociology faculty at the University of Trento, the BR waged a ruthless war against the Italian state from 1971 onward. The Red Brigades set as their goal the embarrassment of the Partito Comunista Italiano/Italian Communist Party (PCI) by provoking the state into such repressive actions as to oblige all those who thought themselves revolutionaries to choose between acting on revolutionary rhetoric on the one hand or, on the other, sustaining the dominance of an allegedly oppressive, bourgeois state. Their methods were violent: “kneecapping” and on occasion, kidnappings and assassinations. Their targets were initially those on the relative left end of the political spectrum who advocated or symbolized the collaboration between the reformist center parties or factions and parties of revolutionary tradition. Journalists, jurists, academics, and trade unionists were all attacked, and the responsibility was always accepted—indeed, proclaimed—by the leadership of the Red Brigades.
   The BR’s boldest move was the kidnapping on 16 March 1978 of Aldo Moro. The meticulous planning of the daylight attack on the protective vehicles that preceded and followed Moro’s automobile— his entire five-man police bodyguard was killed—enabled Moro’s kidnappers to whisk him into hiding before a police response could be organized. In fact, as subsequent investigation eventually revealed, his hiding place was always in central Rome rendering police searches and road checks futile. After 55 days in captivity, and apparently following bitter quarrels as to his fate among the Brigades’ leadership, Moro was murdered and his body left in the trunk of a small automobile parked—symbolically—midway between PCI national offices and the national headquarters of the Democrazia Cristiana/Christian Democracy (DC) in Rome. One line of response urged from some quarters was the enactment of measures expanding police powers and diminishing civil rights. This was not the method chosen by the Italian political leadership. Partly because the principal parties were divided between those ready to treat the BR as a legitimate interlocutor—the Partito Socialista Italiano/Italian Socialist Party (PSI)—and those who refused to contemplate such a course of action, no repressive measures were initiated. The inaction of the government and its avowed determination not to violate constitutional rights denied the BR the provocation that they sought, and their own increasingly random violence gradually lost them most sympathy in public opinion. Clever police work— coordinated by Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa—also contributed to the BR’s decline. In January 1983, Aldo Moro’s killers—including the BR’s chief strategist, Mario Moretti—were condemned to life sentences in Rome after a nine-month trial. Nevertheless, as late as April 1988, a BR cell was responsible for the murder of Professor Roberto Ruffilli, a close advisor to the then premier, Ciriaco De Mita, who was one of the leading advocates within the DC of Aldo Moro’s philosophy of compromise with the PCI. When U.S. General James Lee Dozier was kidnapped and held prisoner by the Red Brigade for 40 days between December 1981 and February 1982, his hiding place was uncovered by a combination of good police work and luck. The police organized a textbook raid on the apartment and freed the general unharmed, without a shot having been fired, taking several prisoners and uncovering incriminating documents that helped equip the Italian judiciary to incarcerate much of the top leadership of the BR.
   The BR inspired several imitators, the most violent of which was a group called Prima linea (“Frontline”). This group’s most notorious member was Marco Donat Cattin, the son of a DC cabinet minister, who eventually gave evidence at the 1983 trial of his former comrades. In recent years, cells inspired by the myth of the BR have renewed the terrorist struggle. In March 2002, one such group (five of whose members have since been sentenced to life imprisonment) murdered Marco Biagi, a Bologna academic lawyer whose only sin was proposing the partial liberalization of Italy’s very rigid labor laws.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Brigate Rosse — Emblem der Roten Brigaden Die Roten Brigaden (italienisch Brigate Rosse, BR) waren eine Terrororganisation in Italien. Sie wurden 1970 in Mailand gegründet. Zu den Gründern gehörten Renato Curcio, dessen Ehefrau Margherita Cagol und Alberto… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Brigate Rosse — Brigades rouges Pour les articles homonymes, voir BR. Brigate Rosse BR Classification Marxiste léniniste Objectifs …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brigate Rosse — noun a Marxist Leninist terrorist organization that arose out of a student protest movement in the late 1960s; wants to separate Italy from NATO and advocates violence in the service of class warfare and revolution; mostly inactive since 1989 •… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Brigate rosse per la Costruzione del Partito Comunista Combattente — BR PCC Idéologie Marxiste léniniste Objectifs Révolution Statut Inactif Fondation Date de formation décembre 1981 Fondé par Brigate Rosse …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brigate rosse-Partito guerriglia del proletariato metropolitano — Les Brigate rosse Partito guerriglia del proletariato metropolitano (français : Brigades rouges Parti Guérilla du Prolétariat métropolitain, BR PGPM) est un groupe armé italien mené par Giovanni Senzani, scission des Brigate Rosse, qui fut… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • BR — Brigate Rosse (Brigadas Rojas). Italia …   Diccionario español de neologismos

  • Красные бригады — ( Brigate Rosse , Италия) БР. Первое сообщение о БР относится к 1969. 1.11.1969 в Кьявари проходит совещание лидеров левацких движений, на котором обсуждаются принципы деятельности вооруженной партии; в Кьявари Ренато Курчо призвал сторонников… …   Терроризм и террористы. Исторический справочник

  • Красные Бригады — (Brigate Rosse, BR) наиболее известная из многочисленных левоэкстремистских организаций 70 х гг. в Италии. Официальными программными установками были провозглашены марксизм ленинизм, китайская культурная революция и опыт городской герильи (исп.… …   Террор и террористы

  • Rote Brigaden — Emblem der Roten Brigaden Die Roten Brigaden (italienisch Brigate Rosse, BR) waren eine kommunistische Untergrundorganisation in Italien. Sie wurden 1970 in Mailand gegründet. Zu den Gründern gehörten Renato Curcio, dessen Ehefrau Margherita… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Brigades rouges — Pour les articles homonymes, voir BR. Brigate Rosse BR …   Wikipédia en Français

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