About a book circulated by Os Cangaceiros group in England?

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valderama
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Mar 4 2010 16:11
About a book circulated by Os Cangaceiros group in England?

hello all, this is my first post, and I m not even sure this is the right place, but anyway, does anybody know the name of a book circulated by the french group "Os Cangaceiros" in England during the miners' strikes, back in the 80es?
The book was as far as I can remember concerned with the organization of the strikes of spanish dockworkers and was written by one of them. I spent much time searching in google and libcom but couldn't find anything, though I m sure I had read about it on the net.
Also, any other suggestions with practical lessons from/for wildcat strikes would be helpful:)

thanks in advance

Mark.
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Mar 4 2010 23:27

There's this pamphlet dealing with the spanish dockworkers in the 80s. I'm not sure whether it's the one you're looking for.
http://libcom.org/library/workers-world-tonight-international-dockers-struggles-1980s

Wellclose Square
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Oct 2 2011 21:41

More on Os Cangaceiros here:

http://www.revoltagainstplenty.com/index.php/archive/16-archive-global/58-os-cangaceiros

tatuka
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Oct 2 2011 22:03

I never heard of the " Os cangaceiros" before. A quite funny name for a political group linked to workers strike. I find it funny because I know quite well what the real cangaceiros stood for. Social bandits that for money could be mobilized against real progressist rebelion in northeast Brasil at the end of XIX and the first 3 decades of the XX centuries. So Lampiao was made Capitain by the State in order to fight the rebellion led by Colonel Luiz Carlos Prestes who later joined the Brazilian Communist Party

Samotnaf
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Oct 3 2011 04:44

Os Cangaceros never wrote a whole book in English during the miners strike. I might have a copy somewhere of some pamphlet or 2 they wrote at that time, and certainly somewhere I've got one people close to Os Cangaceros wrote during the strike, about the strike, though some of this would be far too messy (a rough typed draft, full of crossings out, typed on an old typewriter) and too long to scan. But what is it you're interested in? What they wrote in English during the strike about the strike or other stuff? When I have time, I could maybe scan the scanable bits, but why do you want it?

Quote:
I never heard of the " Os cangaceiros" before. A quite funny name for a political group linked to workers strike. I find it funny because I know quite well what the real cangaceiros stood for. Social bandits that for money could be mobilized against real progressist rebelion in northeast Brasil at the end of XIX and the first 3 decades of the XX centuries. So Lampiao was made Capitain by the State in order to fight the rebellion led by Colonel Luiz Carlos Prestes who later joined the Brazilian Communist Party

It's true that the French group Os Cangaceros tended to over-valorise criminality, and at least one of their most prolific theorists (though certainly not just a theorist) was pretty psychotic in some ways, but, tatuka, are you sure that what you are saying about the original Os Cangaceros being used to attack "real progressist rebellion"? - you mention State organised repression against them, including someone who later became a Stalinist, so I wonder if this is a classic leftist caricature or whether it is definitely based in fact. What "progressist rebelion in northeast Brasil at the end of XIX and the first 3 decades of the XX centuries" did they get money to attack?

Samotnaf
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Oct 3 2011 07:08

About the Spanish dockers - the co-ordinadora: there was a guy, who later became a member of Os Cangaceros, who reproduced a smallish part of the statement of the dockers in a rank and file newspaper of the miners, involving Dave Douglass, Alan Robe and others, in 1985, some of which had been reproduced by me in "The Misery Of Unions" text found at the end of this page here and the whole of which is reproduced somewhere in the previously mentioned text, a little bit of which I helped translate. They shoved in this, what one might now call "assemblyist" assertion of independence from Trade Union control that the dockers had put out, without in any way adhering to the spirit of this critique of Trade Unionism.

On the contrary. Alan Robe (in the second or third edition of the paper) talked about French comrades" from the CGT" who'd helped them get in touch with people, including dockers, during the strike; but these French comrades were not at all connected to the CGT, and AR and the others knew that perfectly well. These French people were close to Os Cangaceros, but never part of it, and they had complete and utter contempt for the Stalinists of the CGT; but they'd put up Alan R and other miners and had helped them get in touch with the co-ordinadora (who, in fact, in the last week of the miners' strike put out a call to dockers throughout the world to block coal exports to the UK, which could very well have been successful). What disgusted these French radicals was the complete and utter distortion of their hospitality and generosity (they'd put them up, given them some money, transported them here and there and had helped them collect money for the strikers) and the need to present solidarity as coming essentially from a Trade Union source, when these people had a significant critique of Unions.

Samotnaf
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Oct 3 2011 07:14

tatuka: just re-read your post, and I think I'd misread it the first time - I presume Lampiao and Colonel Luiz Carlos Prestes, who later joined the Brazilian Communist Party, had been part of the original Brazilian Os Cangaceros group.

Mark.
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Oct 3 2011 08:50

Samotnaf: Prestes, a pretty unpleasant figure in his own right, had nothing to do with the Cangaçeiros ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cangaço ), bandits in NE Brazil who were also available as guns for hire to landowners or others with enemies to deal with. Calling a political group 'Os Cangaçeiros' is a bit like calling it the Camorra or the Mafia.

Black Badger
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Oct 3 2011 14:27

Except that the cangaceiros had a "take from the rich and give to the poor" folk mythology surrounding them, even when they were most active. In the mythologized memory of the peasants and migrant/transitory workers of the backwoods (sertao), the cangaceiros were celebrated because initially they almost exclusively attacked cops and politicians. It was only later, after the state unleashed some pretty brutal repression and cut off their ability to support themselves through expropriations of rich landowners, that they started hiring themselves out.

Samotnaf
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Oct 4 2011 05:38

Mark, Black Badger: Thanks for the info about the original Brazilian OC. Here near where I live, a few years back, there was an exhibition of old Brazilian photos, which included some of the most gruesome pictures I've ever seen: the bloody heads of some of the original OC on a market stall up for sale.

There's a new thing on the French OC here, translated 20 years ago, but,typically, it doesn't explain any context: the context was the theft of the architectural plans of various prisons, and an attack on a prison architecture by OC. Personally, I felt that they should have distributed the plans to families and friends of prisoners, rather than make a big published scandal of them - it would have had more practical use, but they were very much into their image. So much so that they claimed in their journal to have initiated things (under the name "Gravediggers of the Old World") like the massive squat in rue de l'est in Paris in the early 80s (where there was graffiti saying "This road is forbidden to the cops"), which was used as a base for attacks on cops and other stuff, when they hadn't initiated it at all (which is not to say they didn't contribute to its development); moreover they often had a very haughty and arrogant attitude to the other squatters and when they heard of the imminent eviction by the cops got out quickly themselves over the roof without informing the others squatting there. All of which is to say, you can contribute theoretically and contribute through your actions to a social movement, but if you don't also struggle against hierarchical attitudes in your real immediate social relations (particularly the division that makes those within your group superior to those proletarians outside it), then these contributions take with the right hand what they give with the left.