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Prima Linea

Emilio Quadrelli

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Southern Europe » Italy

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics guerilla war, ideology, labor movements, revolution, terrorism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01216.x


Prima Linea was formed in autumn 1976 by former members of the extraparliamentary group Lotta Continua and by activists from the organization Workers' Power. In total, the Italian government convicted 923 people for active membership in Prima Linea. For more than a year, the organization used at least ten different names, the most common of which were: Armed Struggle for Communism, Fighting Workers' Squads, and Proletarian Armed Patrols. Prima Linea was a leading organization of the Italian revolutionary movement, and was dominant during 1977. In its 1977 declaration of “total antagonism between the system of needs,” the organization presented the theoretical and organizational aspects of its program. Prima Linea's major objective was to provide an organized answer to the call for power expressed by large parts of the metropolitan proletarian classes, a goal it attained with a great deal of success. Prima Linea had an unorthodox Leninist approach: that a hierarchical organization was necessary to unify the working class in preparation for an armed proletarian revolution. The organization sought to gain acceptance of all segments of the metropolitan proletariat with special attention to factories. On July 29, 1979, Prima Linea guerillas assassinated Emilio Alessandrini, a public prosecutor who dedicated his legal career to cases of “terrorism,” ostensibly in retaliation for his ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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