Arditi del Popolo


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Arditi del Popolo

 

armed detachments of anti-Fascists in Italy in 1921–22.

The Arditi del Popolo were formed during the Fascist offensive of 1921 out of the left wing of the National Association of Arditi of Italy, founded in 1919 by former shock troops of the Italian Army. The movement assumed a genuinely popular character; its membership included communists, anarchists, republicans, Catholics, and nonparty individuals. However, the leadership of the anti-Fascist parties did not support the Arditi; in fact, the majority of these parties pursued a policy of appeasement toward Fascism. The leadership of the Communist Party, headed by A. Bordiga, took a sectarian position, calling for the creation of fighting detachments that would be exclusively Communist. The Arditi del Popolo found themselves isolated and defeated by the Fascists. Their most important actions were participation in the popular demonstrations in Rome on July 6, 1921, and the armed struggle in defense of Parma in August 1922.