chapter  Chapter 30
Red Army Faction
ByJennifer Schmidt-Petersen
Pages 11

The Red Army Faction (RAF) was a German terrorist movement that officially came into being on 14 May 1970. The name Red Army Faction was intended to reflect the political ideology while simultaneously sending the message that the group was only a small part of a larger movement. The social and political contexts of the time are paramount for understanding the actions of both the Red Army Faction and the state. The concept of 'urban guerrilla', borrowed from the Brazilian Revolutionary Carlos Marighella, was central to the group's ideology and strategy. The idea was that through individual attacks, the state would be forced to reveal its repressive face, which in turn would help mobilize the population, particularly the working class, and facilitate a proletarian revolution. The successful use of the media, particularly by the RAF's first generation, is another factor that contains important lessons for a world of ever-expanding virtual information platforms.