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.

References in periodicals archive ?
The story of the Arditi del Popolo (people's squads) is, in this context, revealing--especially with regard to the on-going debate within communist circles as to the relationship between organisation and spontaneity.
Secchia's criticism was specifically directed at the PCd'I's attitude towards the Arditi del Popolo. According to one enthusiastic definition, the Arditi comprised squads of 'anti-fascist fighters who spontaneously organised themselves in various areas of Italy between 1921 and 1922 in order to rise against Fascist violence in the defence of those threatened by Fascism'.
But it was Bordiga, the party secretary, who provided the official communist party line on the Arditi del Popolo. (27) Thus, communists were instructed to concentrate their efforts on building their own military organisation and to avoid becoming members of groups formed simply as a reaction to Fascism.
(24.) Pietro Secchia, 'Arditi del popolo', in Enciclopedia dell'antifascismo e della Resistenza, p125.
(27.) Amadeo Bordiga, 'Arditi del popolo e i comunisti', L'Ordine Nuovo, 12 July 1921.
(28.) See 'Disposizioni per l'inquadramento delle forze comuniste', L'Ordine Nuovo, 31 July 1921; Francescangeli, Arditi del popolo, p101.
(29.) Francescangeli, Arditi del popolo, pp102-7; Guglielmo Palazzolo, 'L'apparato illegale del Partito comunista d'Italia nel 1921-22 e la lotta contro il fascismo', in Rivista storica del socialismo, 29, 1966.