The Angry Brigade: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Britain’s Urban Guerilla Group
PM Press (2008)
The film traces the role played by anarchists exiled from Spain during the Franco dictatorship in inspiring anarchist movements in Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, Netherlands and the UK. It primarily focuses on the Black Cross, an international group providing material and psychological support for anarchist prisoners; the French First of May Group; and Britain’s Angry Brigade.
For me, the most interesting part of the film is the role of the First of May group in instigating the mass insurrection (and near revolution) that occurred in France in 1968.
The only serious inaccuracy in the film relates to the identification of German’s Beider Meinhoff gang as an organic First of May anarchist group. It’s now recognized as a Gladio operation heavily infiltrated (and possibly run) by CIA operatives. See The Secret CIA Program to Control Europe
This 1992 documentary is based on rare archival interviews of former Gladio operatives. Gladio was a secret US/UK intelligence-run program run across Europe between 1945 and its public exposure in 1990. It’s main purpose was to crush strikes and public protests and to prevent groups unfriendly to US/UK interests from coming to power. The main strategies employed were false flag terrorist attacks (mainly bombings and assassinations) that were officially blamed on left wing groups
The Office of Strategic Services or OSS (which became the CIA in 1947) and MI6 (the British secret service) divided up spheres of influence. The Brits ran Gladio in Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium and the US France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Turkey and Greece. In each of these countries, UK/US intelligence recruited police and secret services, fascist groups and Nazi spies “left behind” when Hitler’s army withdrew from occupied Europe.
Although elected parliaments (and many prime ministers) were never informed of Gladio’s existence, all NATO countries were forced to join as a condition of NATO membership. Moreover the French continued to participate in Gladio after President Charles DeGaulle withdrew France from NATO in 1966.**
In this film, former Gladio operatives from Italy and Belgium discuss their motivation for participating, their role in infiltrating targeted left wing groups,*** the role of local CIA operatives in providing funding, training and other support, and their eventual disillusionment with illegal terrorist actions that deliberately targeted civilians. There are also interviews with CIA officials involved in funding, arming and training Gladio operatives and with Italian Investigating judges, whistleblowers and journalists who helped bring Gladio to public attention.
*In a false flag operation, deliberate deception creates the appearance of responsibility of a particular group or nation for a given atrocity, disguising the actual source of responsibility.
**DeGaulle made the 1966 decision to withdraw French troops from NATO after learning a secret assassination team operating out of NATO headquarters in Belgium was responsible for four assassination attempts against him. French intelligence would provide details about this group to New Orleans District Attorney James Garrison in his prosecution of Kennedy assassination co-conspirator Clay Shaw (see New Evidence in JFK Assassination). French troops would rejoin NATO under President Nicholas Sarkozy in 2009.
***Germany’s Red Army Faction (aka Beider-Meinhoff gang), Italy’s Red Brigades and France’s Action Directe are the best known so-called leftist groups infiltrated (and likely run) by Gladio.