The urban guerrilla, differs radically from the criminal. The criminal benefits personally from his actions, and attacks indiscrimminately without distinguishing between the exploiters and the exploited, which is why there are so many ordinary people among his victims. The urban guerrilla follows a political goal, and only attacks the government, the big businesses and the foreign imperialists. Another element just as harmful to the guerrillas as the criminal, and also operating in the urban area, is the counterrevolutionary, who creates confusion, robs banks, throws bombs, kidnaps, assassinates, and commits the worst crimes imaginable against urban guerrillas, revolutionary priests, students, and citizens who oppose tyranny and seek liberty.
A DEFINITION OF THE URBAN GUERRILLA
PERSONAL QUALITIES OF THE URBAN GUERRILLA
HOW THE URBAN GUERRILLA LIVES
TECHNICAL PREPARATION OF THE URBAN GUERRILLA
THE URBAN GUERRILLA’S WEAPONS
THE SHOT; THE URBAN GUERRILLA’S REASON FOR EXISTENCE
THE FIRING GROUP
THE LOGISTICS OF THE URBAN GUERRILLA
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE URBAN GUERRILLA’S TACTICS
THE INITIAL ADVANTAGES OF THE URBAN GUERRILLA
KNOWLEDGE OF THE TERRAIN
MOBILITY AND SPEED
OBJECTIVES OF THE GUERRILLA’S ACTIONS
ON THE TYPES AND NATURE OF MISSIONS FOR THE URBAN GUERRILLA
THE BANK ASSAULT AS POPULAR MISSION
RAIDS AND PENETRATIONS
STRIKES AND WORK INTERRUPTIONS
DESERTIONS, DIVERSIONS, SEIZURES, EXPROPRIATION OF AMMUNITION AND EXPLOSIVES
LIBERATION OF PRISONERS
THE WAR OF NERVES
HOW TO CARRY OUT THE ACTION
SOME OBSERVATIONS ON TACTICS
RESCUE OF THE WOUNDED
THE SEVEN SINS OF THE URBAN GUERRILLA
Mini-manual of the Urban Guerrilla
- by Carlos Marighella
- A Definition of the Urban Guerrilla
- Personal Qualities of the Urban Guerrilla
- How the Urban Guerrilla Lives and Subsists
- Technical Preparation of the Urban Guerrilla
- The Urban Guerrilla’s Arms
- The Shot: the Urban Guerrilla’s Reason for Existence
- The Firing Group
- The Logistics of the Urban Guerrilla
- The Technique of the Urban Guerrilla
- The Initial Advantages of the Urban Guerrilla
- Knowledge of the Terrain
- Mobility and Speed
- Objectives of the Urban Guerrilla’s Actions
- On the Types and Nature of Action Models for the Urban Guerrilla
- The Bank Assault as a Popular Model
- Raids and Penetration
- Street Tactics
- Strikes and Work Interruptions
- Desertions, Diversions, Seizures, Expropriations of Arms, Ammunition, Explosives
- Liberation of Prisoners
- Armed Propaganda
- The War of Nerves
- How to Carry Out the Action
- Rescue of the Wounded
- Guerrilla Security
- The Seven Sins of the Urban Guerrilla
- Popular Support
- Urban Guerrilla Warfare, School for Selecting the Guerrilla
by Carlos Marighella
A Definition of the Urban Guerrilla
The chronic structural crisis characteristic of Brazil today, and its resultant political instability, are what have brought about the upsurge of revolutionary war in the country. The revolutionary war manifests itself in the form of urban guerrilla warfare, psychological warfare, or rural guerrilla warfare. Urban guerrilla warfare or psychological warfare in the city depends on the urban guerrilla.
The urban guerrilla is a man who fights the military dictatorship with arms, using unconventional methods. A political revolutionary and ardent patriot, he is a fighter for his country’s liberation, a friend of the people and of freedom. The area in which the urban guerrilla acts is in the large Brazilian cities. There are also bandits, commonly known as outlaws, who work in the big cities. Many times assaults by outlaws are taken as actions by urban guerrillas.
The urban guerrilla, however, differs radically from the outlaw. The outlaw benefits personally from the action, and attacks indiscriminately without distinguishing between the exploited and the exploiters, which is why there are so many ordinary men and women among his victims. The urban guerrilla follows a political goal and only attacks the government, the big capitalists, and the foreign imperialists, particularly North Americans.
Another element as prejudicial as the outlaw and also operating in the urban area is the right-wing counterrevolutionary who creates confusion, assaults banks, hurls bombs, kidnaps, assassinates, and commits the worst imaginable crimes against the urban guerrillas, revolutionary priests, students, and citizens who oppose fascism and seek liberty.
The urban guerrilla is an implacable enemy of the government and systematically inflicts damage on the authorities and on the men who dominate the country and
exercise power. The principal task of the urban guerrilla is to distract, to wear out, to demoralize the militarists, the military dictatorship and its repressive forces , and also to attack and destroy the wealth and property of the North Americans, the foreign managers, and the Brazilian upper class.
The urban guerrilla is not afraid of dismantling and destroying the present Brazilian economic, political, and social system, for his aim is to help the rural guerrillas and to collaborate in the creation of a totally new and revolutionary social and political structure with the armed people in power.
The urban guerrilla must have a certain minimal political understanding. To gain that he must read certain printed or mimeographed works such as:
Guerrilla Warfare by Che Guevara
Memories of a Terrorist
Some Questions about the Brazilian Guerrilla Operations and Tactics On Strategic Problems and Principles
Certain Tactical Principles for Comrades Undertaking Guerrilla Operations Organizational Questions
O Guerrilheiro, newspaper of the Brazilian revolutionary groups.
Personal Qualities of the Urban Guerrilla
The urban guerrilla is characterized by his bravely and decisive nature. He must be a good tactician and a good shot. The urban guerrilla must be a person of great astuteness to compensate for the fact that he is not sufficiently strong in arms, ammunition, and equipment.
The career militarists or the government police may have modern arms and transport, and can go about anywhere freely, using the force of their power. The urban guerrilla does not have such resources at his disposal and leads to a
clandestine existence. Sometimes he is a convicted person or is out on parole, and is obliged to use false documents.
Nevertheless, the urban guerrilla has a certain advantage over the conventional military or the police. It is that, while the military and the police act on behalf of the enemy, whom the people hate, the urban guerrilla defends a just cause, which is the people’s cause.
The urban guerrilla’s arms are inferior to the enemy’s, but from a moral point of view, the urban guerrilla has an undeniable superiority.
The moral superiority is what sustains the urban guerrilla.. Thanks to it, the urban guerrilla can accomplish his principal duty, which is to attack and to survive.
The urban guerrilla has to capture or divert arms away from the enemy to be able to fight. Because his arms are not uniform, since what he has are expropriated or have fallen into his hands in different ways, the urban guerrilla faces the problem of a variety of arms and a shortage of ammunition. Moreover, he has no place to practice shooting and marksmanship.
These difficulties have to be surmounted, forcing the urban guerrilla to be imaginative and creative, qualities without which it would be impossible for him to carry out his role as a revolutionary.
The urban guerrilla must possess initiative, mobility, and flexibility, as well as versatility and a command of any situation. Initiative especially is an indispensable quality. It is not always possible to foresee everything, and the urban guerrilla cannot let himself become confused, or wait for orders. His duty is to act, to find adequate solutions for each problem he faces, and not to retreat. It is better to err acting than to do nothing for fear of erring. Without initiative there is no urban guerrilla warfare.
Other important qualities in the urban guerrilla are the following: to be a good walker, to be able to stand up against fatigue, hunger, rain, heat. To know how to hid and to be vigilant. To conquer the art of dissembling. Never to fear danger. To behave the same by day as by night. Not to act impetuously. To have unlimited patience. To remain calm and cool in the worst conditions and situations. Never to leave a track or trail. Not to get discouraged.
In the face of the almost surmountable difficulties of urban warfare, sometimes comrades weaken, leave, give up the work.
The urban guerrilla is not a businessman in a commercial firm nor is he a character in a play. Urban guerrilla warfare, like rural guerrilla warfare, is a pledge the guerrilla makes to himself. When he cannot face the difficulties, or knows that he lacks the patience to wait, then it is better to relinquish his role before he betrays his pledge, for he clearly lacks the basic qualities necessary to be a guerrilla.
How the Urban Guerrilla Lives and Subsists
The urban guerrilla must know how to live among the people and must be careful not to appear strange and separated from ordinary city life.
He should not wear clothes that are different from those that other people wear. Elaborate and high fashion clothing for men or women may often be a handicap if the urban guerrilla’s mission takes him into working class neighborhoods or sections where such dress is uncommon.
The same care has to be taken if the urban guerrilla moves from the South to the North or vice versa.
The urban guerrilla must live by his work or professional activity. If he is known and sought by the police, if he is convicted or is on parole, he must undergo and sometimes must live hidden. Under such circumstances, the urban guerrilla cannot reveal his activity to anyone, since that is always and only the responsibility of the revolutionary organization in which he is participating.
The urban guerrilla must have a great capacity for observation, must be well informed about everything, principally about the enemy’s movements, and must be very searching and knowledgeable about the area in which he lives, operates, or through which he moves.
But the fundamental and decisive characteristic of the urban guerrilla is that he is a man who fights with arms; given this condition, there is very little likelihood that he will be able to follow his normal profession for ling without being identified. The role pf expropriation thus looms as clear as high noon. It is impossible for the urban guerrilla to exist and survive without fighting to expropriate.
Thus, within the framework of the class struggle, as it inevitably and necessarily sharpens, the armed struggle of the urban guerrilla points toward two essential objectives:
a) the physical liquidation of the chiefs and assistants of the armed forces and of the police;
b) the expropriation of the government resources and those belonging to the big capitalists, latifundists, and imperialists, with small expropriations used for the maintenance of individual urban guerrillas and large ones for the sustenance of the revolution itself.
It is clear that the armed struggle of the urban guerrilla also has other objectives. But here we are referring to the two basic objectives, above all expropriation. It is necessary for every urban guerrilla to keep in mind always that he can only
maintain his existence if he is disposed to kill the police and those dedicated to repression, and if he is determined–truly determined–to expropriate the wealth of the big capitalists, the latifundists, and the imperialists.
One of the fundamental characteristics of the Brazilian revolution is that from the beginning it developed around the expropriation of the wealth of the major bourgeois, imperialists, and latifundists interests, without excluding the richest and most powerful commercial elements engaged in the import-export business.
And by expropriating the wealth of the principal enemies of the people, the Brazilian revolution was able to hit them at their vital center, with preferential and systematic attacks on the bank network–that is to say, the most telling blows were leveled against capitalism’s nerve system.
The bank robberies carried out by the Brazilian urban guerrillas hurt such big capitalists as Moreira Salles and others, the foreign firms which insure and reinsure the banking capital, the imperialist companies, the federal and state governments–all of the systematically expropriated as of now.
The fruit of these expropriations has been devoted to the work of learning and perfecting urban guerrilla techniques, the purchase, the production, and the transportation of arms and ammunition for the rural areas, the security apparatus of the revolutionaries, the daily maintenance of the fighters, of those who have been liberated from prison by armed force and those who are wounded or persecuted by the police, or to any kind of problem concerning comrades liberated from jail, or assassinated by the police and the military dictatorship.
The tremendous costs of the revolutionary war must fall on the big capitalists, on imperialism, and the latifundists and on the government, too, both federal and state, since they are all exploiters and oppressors of the people.
Men of the government, agents of the dictatorship and of North American imperialism principally, must pay with their lives for the crimes committed against the Brazilian people.
In Brazil, the number of violent actions carried out by urban guerrillas, including deaths, explosions, seizures of arms, ammunition, and explosives, assaults on banks and prisons, etc., is significant enough to leave no room for the doubt as to the actual aims of revolutionaries. The execution of the CIA spy Charles Chandler, a member of the U.S. Army who came from the war in Viet-Nam to infiltrate the Brazilian student movement, the military henchmen killed in bloody encounters with urban guerrillas, all are witnesses to the fact that we are in full revolutionary war and that the war can be waged only by violent means.
This is the reason why the urban guerrilla uses armed struggle and why he continues to concentrate his activity on the on the physical extermination of the agents of repression, and to dedicate twenty-four hours a day to expropriation from the people’s exploiters.
Technical Preparation of the Urban Guerrilla
No one can become an urban guerrilla without paying special attention to preparation.
The technical preparation of the urban guerrilla runs from the concern for his physical preparedness, to knowledge of and apprenticeships in professions and skills of all kinds, particularly manual skills.
The urban guerrilla can have strong physical resistance only if he trains systematically. He cannot be a good fighter if he has not learned the art of
fighting. For that reason the urban guerrilla must learn and practice various kinds of fighting, of attack and personal defense.
Other useful forms of physical preparation are hiking, camping, and practice in survival in the woods, mountain climbing, rowing, swimming, skin diving, training as a frogman, fishing, harpooning, and the hunting of birds, small and big game.
It is very important to learn how to drive, pilot a plane, handle a motor boat and a sail boat, understand mechanics, radio, telephone, electricity, and have some knowledge of electronic techniques.
It is also important to have a knowledge of topographical information, to be able to locate one’s position by instruments or other available resources, to calculate distances, make maps and plans, draw to scale, make timings, work with an angle protractor, a compass, etc.
A knowledge of chemistry and of color combination, of stamp making, the domination of the technique of calligraphy and the copying of letters and other skills are part of the technical preparation of the urban guerrilla, who is obliged to falsify documents in order to live within a society that he seeks to destroy.
In the area of auxiliary medicine he has the special role of being a doctor or understanding medicine, nursing, pharmacology, drugs, elemental surgery, and emergency first aid.
The basic question in the technical preparation of the urban guerrilla is nevertheless to know how to handle arms such as the machine gun, revolver, automatic, FAL, various types of shotguns, carbines, mortars, bazookas, etc.
A knowledge of various types of ammunition and explosives is another aspect to consider. Among the explosives, dynamite must be well understood. The use of incendiary bombs, of smoke bombs, and other types are indispensable prior knowledge.
To know how to make and repair arms, prepare Molotov cocktails, grenades, mines, homemade destructive devices, how to blow up bridges, tear up and put out of service rails and sleepers, these are requisites in he technical preparation of the urban guerrilla that can never be considered unimportant.
The highest level of preparation for the urban guerrilla is the center for technical training. But only the guerrilla who has already passed the preliminary examination can go to this school–that is to say, one who has passed the proof of fire in revolutionary action, in actual combat against the enemy.
The Urban Guerrilla’s Arms
The urban guerrilla’s arms are light arms, easily exchanged usually captured from the enemy, purchased, or made on the spot.
Light arms have the advantage of fast handling and easy transport. In general, light arms are characterized as short barreled. This includes many automatic arms.
Automatic and semiautomatic arms considerably increase the fighting power of the urban guerrilla. The disadvantage of this type of arm for us is the difficulty in controlling it, resulting in wasted rounds or in a prodigious use of ammunition, compensated for only by optional aim and firing precision. Men who are poorly trained convert automatic weapons into an ammunition drain.
Experience has shown that the basic arm of the urban guerrilla is the light machine gun. This arm, in addition to be efficient and easy to shoot in an urban area, has the advantage of being greatly respected by the enemy. The guerrilla must know thoroughly how to handle the machine gun, now so popular and indispensable to the Brazilian urban guerrilla.
The ideal machine gun for the urban guerrilla is the Ina 45 caliber. Other types of machine guns with different calibers can be used–understanding, of course, the problem of ammunition. Thus it is preferable that the industrial potential of the urban guerrilla prevent the production of a single machine gun so that the ammunition used can be standardized.
Each firing group of urban guerrillas must have a machine gun managed by a good marksman. The other components of the group must be armed with .38 revolvers, our standard arm. The .32 is also useful for those who want to participate. But the .38 is preferable since its impact usually puts the enemy out of action.
Hand grenades and conventional smoke bombs can be considered light arms, with defensive power for cover and withdrawal.
Long barrel arms are more difficult for the urban guerrilla to transport and attract much attention because of their size. Among the long barrel arms are the FAL, the Mauser guns or rifles, hunting guns such as the Winchester, and others.
Shotguns can be useful if used at close range and point blank. They are useful even for a poor shot, especially at night when precision isn’t much help. A pressure airgun can be useful for training in marksmanship. Bazookas and mortars can also be used in action but the conditions for using them have to be prepared and the people who use them must be trained.
The urban guerrilla should not try to base his actions on the use of heavy arms, which have major drawbacks in a type of fighting that demands lightweight weapons to insure mobility and speed.
Homemade weapons are often as efficient as the best arms produced in conventional factories, and even a cut-off shotgun is a good arm for the urban guerrilla.
The urban guerrilla’s role as gunsmith has a fundamental importance. As gunsmith he takes care of the arms, knows how to repair them, and in many cases can set up a small shop for improvising and producing efficient small arms.
Work in metallurgy and on the mechanical lathe are basic skills the urban guerrilla should incorporate into his industrial planning, which is the construction of homemade weapons.
This construction and courses in explosives and sabotage must be organized. The primary materials for practice in these courses must be obtained ahead of time to prevent and incomplete apprenticeship–that is to say, so as to leave no room for experimentation.
Molotov cocktails, gasoline, homemade contrivances such as catapults and mortars for firing explosives, grenades made of tubes and cans, smoke bombs, mines, conventional explosives such as dynamite and potassium chloride, plastic explosives, gelatine capsules, ammunition of every kind are indispensable to the success of the urban guerrilla’s mission.
The method of obtaining the necessary materials and munitions will be to by them or take them by force in expropriation actions especially planned and carried out.
The urban guerrilla will be careful not to keep explosives and materials that can cause accidents around for very long, but will try always to use them immediately on their destined targets.
The urban guerrilla’s arms and his ability to maintain them constitute his fire power. By taking advantage of modern arms and introducing innovations in his fire power and in the use of certain arms, the urban guerrilla can change many of the tactics of city warfare. An example of this was the innovation made by the
urban guerrillas in Brazil when they introduced the machine gun in their attacks on banks.
When the massive use of uniform machine guns becomes possible, there will be new changes in urban guerrilla warfare tactics. The firing group that utilizes uniform weapons and corresponding ammunition, with reasonable support for their maintenance, will reach a considerable level of efficiency. The urban guerrilla increases his efficiency as he improves his firing potential.
The Shot: the Urban Guerrilla’s Reason for Existence
The urban guerrilla reason for existence, the basic condition in which he acts and survives, is to shoot. The urban guerrilla must know how to shoot well because it is required by his type of combat.
In conventional warfare, combat is generally at a distance with long range arms. In unconventional warfare, in which urban guerrilla warfare is included, the combat is at close range, often very close. To prevent his own extinction, the urban guerrilla has to shoot first and he cannot err in his shot. He cannot waste his ammunition because he does not have large amounts, so he must save it. Nor can he replace his ammunition quickly, since he is part of a small group in which each guerrilla has to take care of himself. The urban guerrilla can lose no time and must be able to shoot at once.
One fundamental fact which we want to emphasize fully and whose particular importance cannot be overestimated is that the urban guerrilla must not fire continuously, using up his ammunition. It may be that the enemy is not responding to fire precisely because he is waiting until the guerrilla’s ammunition
is used up. At such a moment, without having time to replace his ammunition, the urban guerrilla faces a rain of enemy fire and can be taken prisoner or killed.
In spite of the value of the surprise factor which many times makes it unnecessary for the urban guerrilla to use his arms, he cannot be allowed the luxury of entering combat without knowing how to shoot. And face to face with the enemy, he must always be moving from one position to another, because to stay in one position makes him a fixed target and, as such, very vulnerable.
The urban guerrilla’s life depends on shooting, on his ability to handle his arms well and to avoid being hit. When we speak of shooting, we speak of marksmanship as well. Shooting must be learned until it becomes a reflex action on the part of the urban guerrilla.
To learn how to shoot and to have good aim, the urban guerrilla must train himself systematically, utilizing every apprenticeship method, shooting at targets, even in amusement parks and at home.
Shooting and marksmanship are the urban guerrilla’s water and ir. His perfection of the art of shooting makes him a special type of urban guerilla–that is, a sniper, a category of solitary combatant indispensable in isolated actions. The sniper knows how to shoot, at close range and at long range, and his arms are appropriate for either type of shooting.
The Firing Group
In order to function, the urban guerrillas must be organized in small groups. A group of no more than four or five is called the firing group.
A minimum of two firing groups, separated and sealed off from other firing groups, directed and coordinated by one or two persons, this is what makes a firing team.
Within the firing group there must be complete confidence among the comrades. The best shot at the one who best knows how to manage the machine gun is the person in charge of operations.
The firing groups plans and executes urban guerrilla actions, obtains and guards arms, studies and corrects its own tactics.
Where there are task planned by the strategic command, these tasks take preference. But there is no such thing as a firing group without its own initiative. For this reason it is essential to avoid any rigidity in the organization in order to permit the greatest possible initiative on the part of the firing group. The old-type hierarchy, the style of the traditional left doesn’t exist in our organization.
This means that, except for the priority of objectives set by the strategic command, any firing group can decide to assault a bank, to kidnap or to execute an agent of the dictatorship, a figure identified with the reaction, or a North American spy, and can carry out any kind of propaganda or war of nerves against the enemy without the need to consult the general command.
No firing group can remain inactive waiting for orders from above. Its obligation is to act. Any single urban guerrilla who wants to establish a firing group and begin action can do so and thus become a part of the organization.
This method of action eliminates the need for knowing who is carrying out which actions, since there is free initiative and the only important point is to increase substantially the volume of urban guerrilla activity in order to wear out the government and to force it onto the defensive.
The firing group is the instrument of organized action. Within it, guerrilla operations and tactics are planned, launched, and carried through to success.
The general command counts on the firing groups to carry out objectives of a strategic nature, and to do so in any part of the country. For its part, it helps the firing groups with their difficulties and their needs.
The organization is an indestructible network of firing groups, and of coordinations among them, that functions, simply and practically with a general command that also participates in the attacks; an organization which exists for no purpose other than pure and simple revolutionary action.
The Logistics of the Urban Guerrilla
Conventional logistics can be expressed by the formula CCEM:
Conventional logistics refer to the maintenance problems for an army or a regular armed force, transported in vehicles with fixed bases and supply lines.
Urban guerrillas, on the contrary, are not an army but small armed groups, intentionally fragmented. They have no vehicles nor fixed bases. Their supply lines are precarious and insufficient, and have no established base except in the rudimentary sense of an arms factory within a house.
While the goal of conventional logistics is to supply the war needs of the guerrillas to be used to repress urban and rural rebellion, urban guerrilla logistics aim at sustaining operations and tactics which have nothing in common with a conventional war and are directed against the military dictatorship and North American domination of the country.
For the urban guerrilla, who starts from nothing and has no support at the beginning, logistics are expressed by the formula MDAME, which is:
Revolutionary logistics takes mechanization as one of its bases. Nevertheless, mechanization is inseparable from the driver. The urban guerrilla driver is an important as the urban guerrilla machine gunner. Without either, the machines do not work, and as such the automobile like the machine gun becomes a dead thing. An experienced driver is not made in one day and the apprenticeship must begin early. Every good urban guerrilla must be a good driver. As to the vehicle, the urban guerrilla must expropriate what he needs.
When he already has resources, the urban guerrilla can combine the expropriation of vehicles with other methods of acquisition.
Money, arms, ammunition and explosives, and automobiles as well, must be expropriated. And the urban guerrilla must rob banks and armories and seize explosives and ammunition wherever he finds them.
None of these operations is undertaken for just one purpose. Even when the assault is for money, the arms that the guards bear must also be taken.
Expropriation is the first step in the organization of our logistics, which itself assumes an armed and permanently mobile character.
The second step is to reinforce and extend logistics, resorting to ambushes and traps in which the enemy will be surprised and his arms, ammunition, vehicles, and other resources can be captured.
Once he has the arms, ammunition, and explosives, one of the most serious logistics problems the urban guerrilla faces at any time and in any situation is a hiding place in which to leave the material and appropriate means for transporting it and assembling it where it is needed. This has to be accomplished even when the enemy on the look out and has the roads blocked.
The knowledge that the urban guerrilla has of the terrain, and the devices he uses or is capable of using, such as guides especially prepared and recruited for this mission, are the basic elements in the solution of the eternal logistics problem the revolutionary faces.
The Technique of the Urban Guerrilla
In its most general sense, technique is the combination of methods man uses to carry out any activity. The activity of the urban guerrilla consists in waging guerrilla warfare and psychological warfare.
The urban guerrilla technique has five basic components:
a) one part is related to the specific characteristics of the situation;
b) one part is related to the requisites that match these characteristics, requisites represented by a series of initial advantages without which the urban guerrilla cannot achieve his objectives;
c) one part concerns certain and definite objectives in the actions initiated by the urban gerrilla;
d) one part is related to the types and characteristic modes of action for the urban guerrilla;
e) one part is concerned with the urban guerrilla’s methods of carrying out his specific actions.
Characteristic of the Urban Guerrilla’s Technique
The technique of the urban guerrilla has the following technique:
a) it is an aggressive technique, or in other words, it has an offensive character. As is well known, defensive action means death for us. Since we are inferior to the enemy in fire power and have neither his resources nor his power force, we cannot defend ourselves against an offensive or a concentrated attack by the gorillas. And that is the reason why our urban technique can never be permanent, can never defend a fixed base nor remain in any one spot waiting to repel the circle of reaction;
b) it is a technique of attack and retreat by which we preserve our forces;
c) it is a technique that aims at the development of urban guerrilla warfare, whose function will be to wear out, demoralize, and distract the enemy forces, permitting the emergence and survival of rural guerrilla warfare which is destined to play the decisive role in the revolutionary war.
The Initial Advantages of the Urban Guerrilla
The dynamics of urban guerrilla warfare lie in the urban guerrilla’s violent clash with the military and police forces of the dictatorship. In this slash, the police have superiority. The urban guerrilla has inferior forces. The paradox is that the urban guerrilla, although weaker, is nevertheless the attacker.
The military and police forces, for their part, respond to the attack, by mobilizing and concentrating infinitely superior forces in the persecution and destruction of the urban guerrilla. He can only avoid defeat if he counts on the initial advantages he has and knows how to exploit them to the end to compensate for his weakness and lack of matériel.
The initial advantages are:
1) he must take the enemy by surprise;
2) he must know the terrain of the encounter better than the enemy;
3) he must have greater mobility and speed than the police and other repressive forces;
4) his information service must be better than the enemy’s
5) he must be in command of the situation and demonstrate a decisiveness so great that everyone on our side is inspired and never thinks of hesitating, while on the other side the enemy is stunned and incapable of responding.
To compensate for the general weakness and shortage of arms compared to the enemy, the urban guerrilla uses surprise. The enemy has no way to fight surprise and becomes confused or is destroyed.
When urban guerrilla warfare broke out in Brazil, experience proved that surprise was essential to the success of any urban guerrilla operation.
The technique of surprise is based on four essential requisites:
a) we know the situation of the enemy we are going to attack, usually by means of precise information and meticulous observation, while the enemy does not know he is going to be attacked and knows nothing about the attacker;
b) we know the force of the enemy that is going to be attacked and the enemy knows nothing about our force;
c) attacking by surprise, we save and conserve our forces, while the enemy is unable to do the same and is left at the mercy of events;
d) we determine the hour and the place of the attack, fix its duration, and establish its objective. The enemy remains ignorant of all this.
Knowledge of the Terrain
The urban guerrilla’s best ally is the terrain and because this is so must know it like the palm of his hand.
To have the terrain as an ally means to know how to use with intelligence its unevenness, its high and low points, its turns, its irregularities, its regular and secret passages, abandoned areas, its thickets, etc., taking maximum advantage of all this for the success of armed actions, escapes, retreats, cover, and hiding places.
Its impasses and narrow spots, it gorges, its streets under repair, police control points, military zones and closed off streets, the entrances and exits of tunnels
and those that the enemy can close off, viaducts to be crossed, corners controlled by the police or watched, it lights and signals, all this must be thoroughly known and studied in order to avoid fatal errors.
Our problem is to get through and to know where and how to hide, leaving the enemy bewildered in areas that he doesn’t know.
Familiar with the avenues, streets, alleys, ins and outs, and corners of urban centers, its paths and shortcuts, its empty lots, its underground passages, its pipes and sewer system, the urban guerrilla safely crosses through the irregular and difficult terrain unfamiliar to the police, where they can be surprised in a fatal ambush or trapped at any moment.
Because he knows the terrain the guerrilla can go through it on foot, on bicycle, in automobile, jeep, or truck and never be trapped. Acting in small groups with only a few people, the guerrillas can reunite at an hour and place determined beforehand, following up the attack with new guerrilla operations, or even evading the police circle and disorienting the enemy with their unprecedented audacity.
It is an insoluble problem for the police in the labyrinthian terrain of the urban guerrilla, to get someone they can’t see, tp repress someone they can’t catch, to close in on someone they can’t find.
Our experience is that the ideal urban guerrilla is one who operates in his own city and knows thoroughly it streets, its neighborhoods, its transit problems, and other peculiarities.
The guerrilla outsider, who comes to a city whose corners are unfamiliar to him, is a weak spot and if he is assigned certain operations, can endanger them. To avoid grave errors, it is necessary for him to get to know well the layout of the streets.
Mobility and Speed
To insure mobility and speed that the police cannot match, the urban guerrilla needs the following prerequisites:
b) knowledge of the terrain;
c) a rupture or suspension of enemy communications and transport;
d) light arms.
By carefully carrying through operations that last only a few moments, and leaving the site in mechanized vehicles the urban guerrilla beats a rapid retreat, escaping pursuit.
The urban guerrilla must know the way in detail and, in this sense, must go through the schedule ahead of time as a training to avoid entering alleyways that have no exit, or running into traffic jams, or becoming paralyzed by the Transit Department’s traffic signals.
The police pursue the urban guerrilla blindly without knowing which road he is using for his escape.
While the urban guerrilla quickly flees because he knows the terrain, the police lose the trail and give up the chase.
The urban guerrilla must launch his operations far from the logistics base of the police. An initial advantage of this method of operation is that it places us at a reasonable distance from the possibility of pursuit, which facilitates the evasion.
In addition to this necessary precaution, the urban guerrilla must be concerned with the enemy’s communication system. The telephone is the primary target in preventing the enemy from having access to information by knocking out his communication system.
Even if he knows about the guerrilla operation, the enemy depends on modern transports for his logistics support, and his vehicles necessarily lose time carrying him through the heavy traffic of the large cities.
It is clear that the tangled and treacherous traffic is a disadvantage for the enemy, as it would be for us if we were not ahead of him.
If we want to have a safe margin of security and be ceratin to leave no tracks for the future, we can adopt the following methods:
a) purposely intercept the police with other vehicles or by apparently casual inconveniences and damages; but in this case the vehicles in question should not be legal nor should they have real license numbers;
b) obstruct the road with fallen trees, rocks, ditches, false traffic, signs, dead ends or detours, and other ingenious methods;
c) place homemade mines in the way of the police, use gasoline, or throw Molotov cocktails to set their vehicles on fire;
d) set off a burst of machine gun fire or arms such as the FAL aimed at the motor and the tires of the cars engaged in pursuit.
With the arrogance typical of the police and the military fascists authorities, the enemy will come to fight us with heavy guns and equipment with elaborate maneuvers by men armed to the teeth. The urban guerrilla must respond to this with light weapons easily transported , so he can always escape with maximum
speed, without ever accepting open fighting. The urban guerrilla has no mission other than to attack and retreat.
We would leave ourselves open to the most stunning defeats is we burdened ourselves with heavy arms and with the tremendous weight of the ammunition necessary to fire them, at the same time losing our precious gift of mobility.
When the enemy fights against us with calvary we are at no disadvantage as long as we are mechanized. The automobile goes faster than the horse. From within the car we also have the target of the mounted police, knocking them down with machine gun and revolver fire or with Molotov cocktails and grenades.
On the other hand, it is not so difficult for an urban guerrilla on foot to make a target of a policeman on horseback. Moreover, ropes across the streets, marbles, cork stoppers are very efficient methods of making them both fall. The great advantage of the mounted police is that he presents the urban guerrilla with two excellent targets: the horse and its rider.
Apart from being faster than the horseman, the helicopter has no better chance in pursuit. If the horse is too slow compared to the urban guerilla’s automobile, the helicopter is too fast. Moving at 200 kilometers an hour it will never succeed in hitting it from above a target lost among the crowds and the street vehicles, nor can it land in public streets in order to catch someone. At the same time, when ever it tries to fly low, it will be excessively vulnerable to the fire of the urban guerrilla.
The possibilities that the government has for discovering and destroying the urban guerrillas lessen as the potential of the dictatorship’s enemies becomes greater and more concentrated among the popular masses.
This concentration of opponents of the dictatorship plays a very important role in providing information as to moves on the part of the police and men in government, as well as in hiding our activities. The enemy can also be throw off by false information, which is worse for him because it is a tremendous waste.
By whatever means, the sources of information at the disposal of the urban guerrilla are potentially better than those of the police. The enemy is observed by the people, but he does not know who among the people transmits information to the urban guerrilla. The military and the police are hated for the injustices they commit against the people, and this facilitates obtaining information prejudicial to the activities of government agents.
The information, which is only a small area of popular support, represents an extraordinary potential in the hands of the urban guerrilla. The creation of an intelligence service with an organized structure is a basic need for us. The urban guerrilla has to have essential information about the plans and movements of the enemy, where they are, and how they move, the resources of the banking network, the means of communication, and the secret moves the enemy makes.
The trustworthy information passed along to the urban guerrilla represents a well-aimed blow at the dictatorship. It has no way to defend itself in the face of an important leak that jeopardizes it interests and facilitates our destructive attack.
The enemy also wants to know what steps we are taking so he can destroy us or prevent us from acting. In this sense of the danger of betrayal is present and the enemy encourages betrayal or infiltrates spies into the organization. The urban guerrilla’s technique against this enemy tactic is to denounce publicly the traitors, spies, informers, and provocateurs.
Since our struggle takes place among the masses and depends on their sympathy–while the government has a bad reputation because of its brutality, corruption, and incompetence–the informers, spies, traitors, and the police come to be the enemies of the people without supporters, denounced to the urban guerrilla, and, in many cases, properly punished.
For his part the urban guerrilla must not evade the duty–once he knows who the spy or informer is–of wiping him out physically. This is the correct method, approved by the people, and it minimizes considerably the incidence of infiltration or enemy spying.
For the complete success of the battle against spies and informers, it is essential to organize a counterespionage or counterintelligence service. Nevertheless, as far as information is concerned, it cannot all be reduced to a question of knowing the enemy’s moves and avoiding the infiltration of spies. Information must be broad, it must embrace everything, including the most significant matters. There is a technique of obtaining information, and the urban guerrilla must master it. Following this technique, information is obtained naturally, as a part of the life of the people.
The urban guerrilla. Living in the midst of the people and moving about among them, must be attentive to all types of conversation and human relations, learning how to disguise his interest with great skill and judgment.
In places where people work, study, live, it is easy to collect all kinds of information on payments, business, plans of all types, points of view, opinions, people’s state of mind, trips, interiors of buildings, offices and rooms, operation centers, etc.
Observation, investigation, reconnaissance, and exploration of the terrain are also excellent sources of information. The urban guerrilla never goes anywhere absent mindedly and without revolutionary precaution, always on the lookout lest
something occur. Eyes and ears open, senses alert, his memory engraved with everything necessary, now or in the future, to the uninterrupted activity of the fighter.
Careful reading of the press with particular attention to the organs of mass communication, the investigation of accumulated data, the transmission of news and everything of note, a persistence being informed and in informing others, all this makes up the intricate and immensely complicated question of information which gives the urban guerrilla a decisive advantage.
It is not enough for the urban guerrilla to have in his favor surprise, speed, knowledge of the terrain, and information. He must also demonstrate his command of any situation and a capacity for decision without which all other advantages will prove useless.
It is impossible to carry out any action, however well planned, if the urban guerrilla turns out to be indecisive, uncertain, irresolute.
Even an action successively begun can end in defeat if the command of the situation and the capacity for decision falter in the middle of the actual execution of the plan. When this command of the situation and a capacity for decision are absent, the void is filled with vacillation and terror. The enemy takes advantage of this failure and is able to liquidate us.
The secret for the success of any operation, simple or complicated, easy or difficult, is to rely on determined men. Strictly speaking, there are no easy
operations. All must be carried out with the same care exercised in the case of the most difficult, beginning with the choice of the human element, which means relying on leadership and capacity for decision in every test.
One can see ahead of time whether an action will be successful or not by the way its participants act during the preparatory period. Those who are behind, who fail to make designated contacts, are easily confused, forget things, fail to complete+ the basic elements of the work, possibly are indecisive men and can be a danger. It is better not to include them.
Decision means to put into practice the plan that has been devised with determination, with audacity, and with an absolute firmness. It takes only one person who vacillates to lose it all.
Objectives of the Urban Guerrilla’s Actions
With his technique developed and established, the urban guerrilla bases himself on models of action leading to attack and, in Brazil, with the following objectives:
a) to threaten the triangle in which the Brazilian state system and North American domination are maintained in Brazil, a triangle whose points are Rio, Sao Paulo, and Belo Horizonte and whose base is the axle Rio-Sao Paulo, where the giant industrial-financial-economic-political-cultural-military-police complex that holds the entire decisive power of the country is located;
b) to weaken the local guards or the security system of the dictatorship, given the fact that we are attacking and the gorillas are defending, which mens catching the government in a defensive position with its troops immobilized in defense of the entire complex of national maintenance, with its ever-present fears of an
attack on a strategic nerve centers, and without ever knowing where, how, and when the attack will come;
c) to attack on every side with many different armed groups, few in number, each self-contained and operating separately, to disperse the government forces in their pursuit of a thoroughly fragmented organization instead of offering the dictatorship the opportunity to concentrate its forces of repression on the destruction of one tightly organized system operating throughout the country;
d) to give proof of its combativeness, decision, firmness, determination, and persistence in the attack on the military dictatorship in order to permit all malcontents to follow our example and fight with urban guerrilla tactics. Meanwhile, the government, with all its problems, incapable of halting guerrilla operations in the city, will lose time and suffer endless attrition and will finally be forced to pull back its repressive troops in order to mount guard over the banks, industries, armories, military barracks, prisons, public offices, radio and television stations, North American firms, gas storage tanks, oil refineries, ships, airplanes, ports, airports, hospitals, health centers, blood banks, stores, garages, embassies, residences of outstanding members of the regime, such as ministers and generals, police stations, and official organizations, etc.;
e) to increase urban guerrilla disturbances gradually in an endless ascendancy of unforeseen actions such that the government troops cannot leave the urban area to pursue the guerrillas in the interior without running the risk of abandoning the cities and permitting rebellion to increase on the coasts as well as in the interior of the country;
f) to oblige the army and the police, with the commanders and their assistants, to change the relative comfort and tranquility of their barracks and their usual rest, for a state of alarm and growing tension in the expectation of attack or in search of tracks that vanish without a trace;
g) to avoid open battle and decisive combat with the government, limiting the struggle to brief and rapid attacks with lightening results;
h) to assure for the urban guerrilla a maximum freedom of maneuvers and action without ever relinquishing the use of armed violence, remaining firmly oriented toward helping the beginning of rural guerrilla warfare and supporting the construction of the revolutionary army for national liberation.
On the Types and Nature of Action Models for the Urban Guerrilla
In order to achieve the objects previously enumerated, the urban guerrilla is obliged in his technique, to follow an action whose nature is as different and as diversified as possible. The urban guerrilla does not arbitrarily choose this or that action model. Some actions are simple, others are complicated. The urban guerrilla without experience must be incorporated gradually into actions and operations that run from the simple to the complex. He begins with small missions and tasks until he becomes a completely experienced urban guerrilla.
Before any action, the urban guerrilla must think of the methods and the personnel at his disposal to carry out the action. Operations and actions that demand the urban guerrilla’s technical preparation cannot be carried out by someone who lacks that technical skill. With these cautions, the action models which the urban guerrilla can carry out are the following:
b) raids and penetrations;
e) street tactics;
f) strikes and work interruptions;
g) desertions, diversions, seizures, expropriation of arms, ammunition, explosives;
h) liberation of prisoners;
m) armed propaganda;
n) war of nerves.
Assault is the armed attack which we make to expropriate funds, liberate prisoners, capture explosives, machine guns, and other types arms and ammunition.
Assaults can take place in broad daylight or at night.
Daytime assaults are made when the objective cannot be achieved at any other hour, as for example, the transport of money by the banks, which is not done at night.
Night assault is usually the most advantageous to the urban guerrilla. The ideal is for all assaults to take place at night when conditions for a surprise attack are most favorable and the darkness facilitates flight and hides the identity of the participants. The urban guerrilla must prepare himself, nevertheless, to act under all conditions, daytime as well as nighttime.
The vulnerable targets for assaults are the following:
a) credit establishments
b) commercial and industrial enterprises, including the production of arms and explosives;
c) military establishments
d) commissaries and police stations;
f) government property;
g) mass communication media;
h) North American firms and properties;
i) government vehicles, including military and police vehicles, trucks, armored vehicles, money carriers, trains, ships, and planes.
The assaults on establishments are the same in nature because in every case the property and buildings represent a fixed target.
Assaults on buildings are conceived as guerrilla operations, varied according to whether they are against banks, a commercial enterprise, industries, military camps, commissaries, prisons, radio stations, warehouses for imperialist firms, etc.
The assaults on vehicles-money-carriers, armored cars, trains, ships, airplanes– are of another nature since they are moving targets. The nature of the operations varies according to the situation and the possibility–that is whether the target is stationary or moving.
Armored cars including military cars, are not immune to mines. Obstructed roads, traps, ruses, interception of other vehicles, Molotov cocktails, shooting with heavy arms, are efficient methods of assaulting vehicles.
Heavy vehicles, grounded planes, anchored ships can be seized and their crew and guards
overcome. Airplanes in flight can be diverted from their course by guerrilla action or by one person.
Ships and trains in movement can be assaulted or taken by guerrilla operations in order to capture the arms and munitions or to prevent troop deployment.
The Bank Assault as a Popular Model
The most popular assault model is the bank assault. In Brazil, the urban guerrilla has begun a type of organized assault on the banks and as a guerrilla operation. Today this type of assault is widely used and has served as a sort of preliminary examination for the urban guerrilla in his apprenticeship for the techniques of revolutionary warfare.
Important innovations in this technique of assaulting banks have developed, guaranteeing flight, the withdrawal of money, and the anonymity of those involved. Among these innovations we cite shooting the tires of cars to prevent pursuit; locking people in the bank bathroom, making them sit on the floor; immobilizing the bank guards and removing their arms, forcing someone to open the coffer or the strong box; using disguises.
Attempts to install bank alarms, to use guards or electronic detection devices of U.S. origin, prove fruitless when the assault is political and is carried out according to urban guerrilla b warfare technique. This technique tries to utilize new resources to meet to meet the enemies tactical changes, has access to a fire power that is growing every day, becomes increasingly astute and audacious, and uses a large number of revolutionaries every time; all to guarantee the success of operations planned down to the last detail.
The bank assault is a typical expropriation. But, as is true in any kind of armed expropriatory action, the revolutionary is handicapped by a two-fold competition:
a) competition from the outlaw;
b) competition from the right-wing counterrevolutionary.
This competition produces confusion, which is reflected in the people’s uncertainty. It is up to the urban guerrilla to prevent this from happening, and to accomplish this he must use two methods:
a) he must avoid the outlaw’s technique, which is one of unnecessary violence and appropriation of good and possessions belonging to the people;
b) he must use the assault for propaganda purposes, at the very moment it is taking place, and later distribute material, leaflets, every possible means of explaining the objectives and the principles of the urban guerrilla as expropriator
of the government, the ruling classes, and imperialism.
Raids and Penetration
Raids and penetrations are quick attacks on establishments located in neighborhoods or even in the center of the city, such as small military units, commissaries, hospitals, to cause trouble, seize arms, punish and terrorize the enemy, take reprisal, or rescue wounded prisoners, or those hospitalized under police vigilance.
Raids and penetrations are also made on garages and depots to destroy vehicles and damage installations, especially if they are North American firms and property.
When they take place on certain stretches of the highway or in certain distant neighborhoods, the raids can serve to force the enemy to move great numbers of troops, a totally useless effort since he will find nobody there to fight.
When they are carried out in certain houses, offices, archives, or public offices, their purpose is to capture, or search for secret papers and documents with which to denounce involvements, comprises, and the corruption of men in the government, their dirty deals and criminal transactions with the North Americans.
Raids and penetrations are most effective if they are carried out at night.
Occupations are the type of attack carried out when the urban guerrilla stations himself in specific establishments and locations for a temporary resistance against the enemy or for some propaganda purpose.
The occupation of factories and schools during strikes or at other times is a method of protest or of distracting the enemy’s attention.
The occupation of radio stations is for propaganda purposes.
Occupation is a highly effective model for action but, in order to prevent losses and material damage to our ranks, it is always a good idea to count on the possibility of withdrawal. It must always be meticulously planned and carried out at the opportune moment.
Occupation always has a time limit and the faster it is completed the better.
Ambushes are attacks typified by surprise when the enemy is trapped across a road or when he makes a police net surrounding a house or an estate. A false message can bring the enemy to the spot where he falls into the trap.
The principle object of the ambush tactic is to capture enemy arms and punish him with death.
Ambushes to halt passenger trains are for propaganda purposes and, when they are troop trains, the object is to annihilate the enemy and seize his arms.
The urban guerrilla sniper is the kind of fighter especially suited for ambush because he can hide easily in the irregularities of the terrain, on the roof and tops of buildings and apartments under construction. From windows and dark places, he can take careful aim at his chosen target.
Ambush has devastating effects on the enemy, leaving him unnerved, insecure, and fearful.
Street tactics are used to fight the enemy in the streets, utilizing the participation of the masses against him.
In 1968 the Brazilian students used excellent street tactics against police troops, such as marching down streets against traffic, utilizing slings and marbles as arms against the mounted police.
Other street tactics consist in constructing barricades; pulling up paving blocks and hurling them at the police; throwing bottles, bricks, paperweights, and other projectiles from the tops of apartment and office buildings against the police; using buildings under construction for flight, hiding, and for supporting surprise attacks.
It is equally necessary to know how to respond to enemy tactics. When the police troops come protected with helmets to defend themselves against flying objects, we have to divide ourselves into two teams: one to attack the enemy from the front, the other to attack him in the rear, withdrawing one as the other goes into action to prevent the first from becoming a target for projectiles hurled by the second.
By the same token it is important to know how to respond to the police net. When the police designate certain of their men to go into the masses to arrest a demonstrator, a larger group of urban guerrillas must surround the police group, disarming and beating them and at the same time letting the prisoner escape. This urban guerrilla operation is called the net within the net.
When the police net is formed at a school building, a factory, a place where the masses assemble, or some other point, the urban guerrilla must not give up or allow himself to be taken by surprise. To make his net work the enemy is to transport the police vehicles and special cars to occupy strategic points in the streets in order to invade the building or chosen locale. The urban guerrilla, for his part, must never clear a building or an area and meet in it without first knowing its exits , the way to break the circle, the strategic points that the police might occupy, and the roads that inevitably lead into the net, and he must hold other strategic points from which to strike at the enemy.
The roads followed by the police vehicles must be mined at key points along the way and at forced stopping points. When the mines explode, the vehicles will fly into the air. The police will be caught in the trap and will suffer losses or will be
victims of ambush. The net must be broken by escape routes unknown to the police. The rigorous planning of the retreat is the best way of frustrating any encircling effort on the part of the enemy.
When there is no possibility of a flight plan, the urban guerrilla must not hold meetings, assemblies, or do anything else since to do so will prevent him from breaking through the net the enemy will surely try to throw him around.
Street tactics have revealed a new type of urban guerrilla, the urban guerrilla who participates in mass demonstrations. This is the type we designate as the urban guerrilla demonstrator, who joins the ranks and participates in popular marches with specific and definite aims.
These aims consist in hurling stones and projectiles of every type, using gasoline to start fires, using the police as a target for their fire arms, capturing police arms, kidnapping agents of the enemy and provocateurs, shooting with careful aim at the henchmen torturers and the police chiefs who come in special cars with false plates in order not to attract attention.
The urban guerrilla demonstrator shows in the mass demonstration the flight route if that is necessary. He plants mines, throws Molotov cocktails, prepares ambushes and explosions.
The urban guerrilla demonstrator must also initiate the net within the net, going through government vehicles, official cars, and police vehicles before turning them over or setting them on fire, to see if any of them have money and arms.
Snipers are very good for mass demonstrations and, along with the urban guerilla demonstrators, can play a valuable role.
Hidden at strategic points, the snipers have complete success, using shotguns, machine guns, etc. whose fire and ricocheting easily cause losses among the enemy.
Strikes and Work Interruptions
The strike is a model of action employed by the urban guerrilla in work centers and schools to damage the enemy by stopping work study activities. Because it is one of the weapons most feared by the exploiters and oppressors, the enemy uses tremendous fighting power and incredible violence against it. The strikers are taken to prison, suffer beatings, and many of them wind up assassinated.
The urban guerrilla must prepare the strike in such a way as to leave no tracks or clues that identify the leaders of the action. A strike is successful when it is organized through the action of a small group, if it is carefully prepared in secret and by the most clandestine methods.
Arms, ammunition. Molotovs, homemade weapons of destruction and attack, all this must be supplied beforehand in order to meet the enemy. So that it can do the greatest possible damage, it is a good idea to study and put into a sabotage plan.
Work and study interruptions, although they are of brief duration, cause severe damage to the enemy. It is enough for them to crop up at different points and in different sections of the same area, disrupting daily life, occurring endlessly one after the other, in authentic guerrilla fashion.
In strikes or simple work interruptions, the urban guerrilla has recourse to occupation or penetration of the locale or can simply make a raid. In that case his objective is to take hostages, to capture prisoners, or to kidnap enemy agents and propose an exchange for the arrested strikers.
In certain cases, strikes and brief work interruptions can offer an excellent opportunity for preparing ambushes or traps whose aim is the physical liquidation of the cruel, bloody police.
The basic fact is that the enemy suffers losses and material and moral damage, and is weakened by the action.
Desertions, Diversions, Seizures, Expropriations of Arms, Ammunition, Explosives
Desertion and the diversion of arms are actions effected in military camps, ships, military hospitals, etc. The urban guerrilla soldier, chief, sergeant, subofficial, and official must desert at the opportune moment with modern arms and ammunition to hand them over for the use of the Brazilian revolution.
One of the opportune moments is when the military urban guerrilla is called upon to pursue and fight his guerrilla comrades outside the military quarters. Instead of following the orders of the gorillas, the military urban guerrilla must join the revolutionaries by handing over the arms and ammunition he carries, of the military plane he pilots.
The advantage of this method is that the revolutionaries receive arms and ammunition from the army, the navy, and the air force, the military police, the civilian guard, or the firemen without any great work, since it reaches their hands by government transport.
Other opportunities may occur in the barracks, and the military urban guerrilla must always be alert to this. In case of carelessness on the part of the commanders or in other favorable conditions, such as bureaucratic attitudes and behavior or relaxation of discipline on the part of sub-lieutenants and other
internal personnel, the military urban guerrilla must no longer wait but must try to advise the organizations and desert alone or accompanied, but with as large a supply of arms as possible.
With information from and participation of the military urban guerrilla, raids on barracks and other military establishments for the purpose of capturing arms can be organized.
When there is no possibility of deserting and taking arms and ammunition, the military urban guerrilla must engage in sabotage, starting explosions and fires in munitions and gunpowder.
This technique of deserting with arms and ammunition, or raiding and sabotaging the military centers, is the best way of wearing out and demoralizing the gorillas and of leaving them confused.
The urban guerrilla’s purpose in disarming an individual enemy is to capture his arms. These arms are usually in the hands of the sentinels or others whose task is guard duty or repression.
The capture of arms may be accompanied by violent means or by astuteness and by tricks or traps. When the enemy is disarmed, he must be searched for arms other than those already taken from him. If we are careless, he can use the arms that were not seized to shoot the urban guerrilla.
The seizure of arms is an efficient method of acquiring machine guns, the urban guerrilla’s most important arms.
When we carry out small operations or actions to seize arms and ammunition, the material captured my be for personal use or for armaments and supplies for the firing groups.
The necessity to provide firing power for the urban guerrilla is so great that in order to take off from zero point we often have to purchase one weapon, divert or capture a single arm. The basic point is to begin, and to begin with a great spirit of decisiveness and of boldness. The possession of a single arm multiplies our forces.
In a bank assault, we must be careful to seize the arm or arms of the bank guard. The remainder of the arms we find with the treasurer, the bank teller, or the manager must also be seized ahead of time.
The other method we can use to capture arms is the preparation of ambushes against the police and the cars they use to move around in.
Quite often we succeed in capturing arms in the police commissaries as a result of raids from outside.
The expropriation of arms, ammunition, and explosives is the urban guerrilla’s goal in assaulting commercial houses, industries, and quarries.
Liberation of Prisoners
The liberation of prisoners is an armed operation designed to free the jailed urban guerrilla. In daily struggle against the enemy, the urban guerrilla is subject to arrest and can be sentenced to unlimited years in jail. This does not mean that the revolutionary battle stops here. For the guerrilla, his experience is deepened by prison and continues even in the dungeons where he is held.
The imprisoned urban guerrilla views jail as a terrain he must dominate and understand in order to free himself by a guerrilla operation. There is no prison,
either on an island, in a city penitentiary, or on a farm, that is impregnable to slyness, the cleverness, and the firing potential of the revolutionaries.
The urban guerrilla who is free views the penal establishments of the enemy as the inevitable site of guerrilla action designed to liberate his ideological brothers from prison.
It is this combination of the urban guerrilla in freedom and the urban guerrilla in jail that results in the armed operations we refer to as the liberation of prisoners.
The guerrilla operations that can be used in liberating prisoners are the following:
a) riots in penal establishments, in correctional colonies and islands or on transport or prison ships;
b) assaults on urban or rural penitentiaries, houses of detention, commissaries, prisoner depots, or any other permanent, occasional, or temporary place where prisoners are held;
c) assaults on prisoner transport trains and cars;
d) raids and penetrations of prisons;
e) ambushing of guards who are moving prisoners.
Execution is the killing of a North American spy, of an of the dictatorship, of a police torturer, of a fascist personality in the government involved in crimes and persecutions against patriots, of a stool pigeon, informer, police agent, or police provocateur.
Those who go to the police of their own free will to make denunciations and accusations, who supply clues and information and finger people, must also be executed when they are caught by the urban guerrilla.
Execution is a secret action in which the least possible number of urban guerrillas are involved. In many cases, the execution can be carried out by one sniper, patiently, alone and unknown, and operating in absolute secrecy in cold blood.
Kidnaping is capturing and holding in a secret spot a police agent, a North American spy, a political personality, or a notorious and dangerous enemy of the revolutionary movement.
Kidnaping is used to exchange or liberate imprisoned revolutionary comrades, or to force suspension of torture in the jail cells of the military dictatorship.
The kidnaping of personalities who are known artists, sports figures, or are outstanding in some other field, but who have evidenced no political interest, can be a useful form of propaganda for the revolutionary and patriotic principles of the urban guerrilla provided it occurs under special circumstances, and the kidnaping is handled so that the public sympathizes with it and accepts it.
The kidnaping of North American residents or visitors in Brazil constitutes a form of protest against the penetration and domination of United States imperialism in our country.
Sabotage is a highly destructive type of attack using very few persons and sometimes requiring only one to accomplish the desired result. When the urban guerrilla uses sabotage the first phase is isolated sabotage. Then comes the phase of dispersed and generalized sabotage, carried out by the people.
Well-executed sabotage demands study, planning, and careful execution. A characteristic form of sabotage is explosion using dynamite, fire, and the placing of mines.
A little sand, a trickle of any kind of combustible, a poor lubrication, a screw removed, a short circuit, pieces of wood or of iron, can cause irreparable damage.
The objective of sabotage is to hurt, to damage, to make useless, and to destroy vital enemy points such as the following:
a) the economy;
b) agricultural or industrial production:
c) transport and communication systems;
d) the military and police systems and their establishments and deposits;
e) the repressive military-police system;
f) the firms and properties of North Americans in the country.
The urban guerrilla should endanger the economy of the country, particularly its economic and financial aspects, such as its domestic and foreign commercial network., its exchange and banking systems, its tax collection systems, and others.
Public offices, centers of government services, government warehouses, are easy targets for sabotage.
Nor will it be easy to prevent the sabotage of agricultural and industrial production by the urban guerrilla, with his thorough knowledge of the local situation.
Industrial workers acting as urban guerrillas are excellent industrial saboteurs since they, better than anyone, understand the industry, the factory, the machine, or the part most likely to destroy an entire operation, doing far more damage than a poorly informed layman could do.
With respect to the enemy’s transport and communications system, beginning with railway traffic, it is necessary to attack them systematically with sabotage arms.
The caution is against causing death and fatal injury to passengers, especially regular commuters on suburban and long-distance trains.
Attacks on freight trains, rolling or stationary stock, stoppage of military transport and communication systems, these are the major sabotage objectives in this area.
Sleepers can be damaged and pulled up, as can rails. A tunnel blocked by a barrier after an explosion, an obstruction by a derailed car, cause tremendous harm.
The derailment of a cargo train carrying fuel is of major damage to the enemy. So is dynamiting railway bridges. In a system where the weight and the size of the rolling equipment is enormous, it takes months for workers to repair or rebuild the destruction and the damage.
As for highways, they can be obstructed by trees, stationary vehicles, ditches, dislocation of barriers by dynamite, and bridges blown up by explosion.
Ships can be damaged at anchor in seaports and river ports or in the shipyards.
Airplanes can be destroyed or sabotaged on the ground.
Telephonic and telegraphic lines can be systematically damaged, their towers blown up, and their lines made useless.
Transport and communications must be sabotaged at once because the revolutionary war has begun in Brazil and it is essential to impede the enemy’s movement of troops and munitions.
Oil lines, fuel plants, depots for bombs and ammunition, powder magazines and arsenals, military camps, commissaries must be targets par excellence in sabotage operations, while vehicles, army trucks, and other military and police cars must be destroyed wherever they are found.
The military and police repression centers and their specific and specialized organs, must also claim the attention of the urban guerrilla saboteur.
North American firms and properties in the country, for their part, must become such frequent targets of sabotage that the volume of actions directed against them surpasses the total of all other actions against vital enemy points.
Terrorism is an action, usually involving the placement of a bomb or fire explosion of great destructive power, which is capable of effecting irreparable loss against the enemy.
Terrorism requires that the urban guerrilla should have an adequate theoretical and practical knowledge of how to make explosives.
The terroristic act, apart from the apparent facility with which it can be carried out, is no different from other urban guerrilla acts and actions whose success depends on the planning and determination of the revolutionary organization. It is an action that the urban guerrilla must execute with the greatest cold bloodedness, calmness, and decision.
Although terrorism generally involves an explosion, there are cases in which it may also be carried out by execution and the systematic burning of installations, properties, and North American depots, plantations, etc. It is essential to point out the importance of fires and the construction of incendiary bombs such as gasoline bombs in the technique of revolutionary terrorism. Another thing is the importance of the material the urban guerrilla can persuade the people to expropriate in moments of hunger and scarcity resulting from the greed of the big commercial interests.
Terrorism is an arm the revolution can never relinquish.
The coordination of urban guerrilla actions, including each armed action is the principal way of making armed propaganda.
These actions carried out with specific and determined objectives, inevitably become propaganda material for the mass communications system.
Bank assaults, ambushes, desertions and diverting of arms, the rescue of prisoners, executions, kidnappings, sabotage, terrorism, and the war of nerves, are all cases in point.
Airplanes diverted in flight by revolutionary action, moving ships and trains assaulted and seized by guerrillas, can also be solely for propaganda effects. But
the urban guerrilla must never fail to install a clandestine press and must be able to turn out mimeographed copies using alcohol or electric plates and other duplicating apparatus, expropriating what he cannot buy in order to produce small clandestine newspapers, pamphlets, flyers, and stamps for propaganda and agitation against the dictatorship.
The urban guerrilla engaged in clandestine printing facilities enormously the incorporation of large numbers of people into the revolutionary struggle, by opening a permanent work front for those willing to carry on revolutionary propaganda, even when to do so means acting alone and risking their lives as revolutionaries.
With the existence of clandestine propaganda and agitative material, the inventive spirit of the urban guerrilla expands and creates catapults, artifacts, mortars, and other instruments with which to distribute the anti-government pamphlets at a distance.
Tape recordings, the occupation of radio stations, and the use of loud speakers, drawings on walls and in other inaccessible places are other forms of propaganda.
In using them, the urban guerrilla should give them the character of armed operations.
A consistent propaganda by letters sent to specific addresses, explaining the meaning of the urban guerrillas’ armed actions, produces considerable results and is one method of influencing certain segments of the population.
Even this influence exercised in the heart of the people by every possible propaganda device revolving around the activity of the urban guerrilla does not indicate that our forces have everyone’s support.
It is enough to win the support of a part of the people and this can be done by popularizing the following slogan: “Let he who does not wish to do anything for the revolutionaries, do nothing against them.”
The War of Nerves
The war of nerves or psychological war is an aggressive technique, based on the direct or indirect use of mass means of communication and news transmitted orally in order to demoralize the government.
In psychological warfare the government is always at a dis advantage since it imposes censorship on the mass media and winds up in a defensive position by not allowing anything against it to filter through.
At this point it becomes desperate, is involved in greater contradictions and loss of prestige, and losses time and energy in an exhausting effort at control which is subject to being broken at any moment.
The object of the war of nerves is to misinform, spreading lies among the authorities, in which everyone can participate, thus creating an air of nervousness, discredit, insecurity, uncertainty, and concern on the part of the government.
The best methods used by the urban guerrilla in the war of nerves are the following:
a) using the telephone and the mail to announce false clues to the police and the government, including information on the plating of bombs and any other act of terrorism in public offices and other places, kidnaping and assassination plans, etc., to oblige the authorities to wear themselves out, following up the information fed them;
b) letting false plans fall into the hands of the police to divert their attention;
c) planting rumors to make the government uneasy;
d) exploiting by every means possible the corruption, the errors, and failures of the government and its representatives, forcing them into demoralizing explanations and justifications in the very mass communication media they maintain under censorship;
e) presenting denunciations to foreign embassies, the United Nations, the papal nunciature, and the international judicial commissions defending human rights or freedom of the press, exposing each concrete violation and use of violence by the military dictatorship and making it known that the revolutionary war will continue its course with serious danger for the enemies of the people.
How to Carry Out the Action
The urban guerrilla who correctly carries through his apprenticeship and training must give the greatest importance to his method of carrying out action, for in this he cannot commit the slightest error.
Any carelessness in the assimilation of the method and its use invites certain disaster, as experience teaches everyday.
The outlaws commit errors frequently because of their methods, and this is one of the reasons why the urban guerrilla must be so insistently preoccupied with the following revolutionary technique and not the technique of the bandits.
And not only for that reason. There is no urban guerrilla worthy of the name who ignores the revolutionary method of action and fails to practice it rigorously in the planning and execution of his activity.
The giant is known by his toe. The same can be said of the urban guerrilla who is known from afar for his correct methods and his absolute fidelity to principles.
The revolutionary method of carrying out action is strongly and forcefully based on the knowledge and use of the following elements:
a) investigation of information;
b) observation or paquera;
c) reconnaissance or exploration of the terrain
d) study and timing of routes;
g) selection of personnel and relief;
h) selection of firing capacity:
i) study and practice in completion
n) liberation or transfer of prisoners;
o) elimination of clues;
p) rescue of wounded.
Some Observations on the Method
When there is no information, the point of departure for the planning of the action must be investigation, observation, or paquera. This method also has good results.
In any event, including when there is information, it is essential to take observations or paquera, to see that the information is not at odds with observation or vice versa.
Reconnaissance or exploration of the terrain, study and timing of routes are so important that to omit them is to make a stab in the dark.
Mechanization, in general, is an underestimated factor in the method of conducting the action. Frequently mechanization is left to the end, to the eve of the action, before anything is done about it.
This is an error. Mechanization must be considered seriously, must be undertaken with considerable foresight and according to careful planning, also based on information, observation or paquera, and must be carried out with rigorous care and precision. The care, conservation, maintenance, and camouflaging of the vehicles expropriated are very important details of mechanization.
When transport fails, the principle action fails with serious moral and material consequences for the urban guerrilla activity.
The selection of personnel requires great care to avoid the inclusion of indecisive or vacillating personnel with the danger of contaminating the other participants , a difficulty that must be avoided.
The withdrawal is equally or more important than the operation itself, to the point that it must be rigorously planned, including the possibility of failure.
One must avoid rescue or transfer of prisoners with children present, or anything to attract the attention of people in casual transit through the area. The best thing is to make the rescue as natural as possible, always winding through, or using different routes or narrow streets that can scarcely permit passage on foot , to avoid an encounter of two cars. The elimination of tracks is obligatory and demands the greatest caution in hiding fingerprints and any other sign that could give the enemy information. Lack of care in the elimination of tracks and clues is a factor that increases nervousness in our ranks and which the enemy often exploits.
Rescue of the Wounded
The problem of the wounded in urban guerrilla warfare merits special attention. During guerrilla operations in the urban area it may happen that some comrade is accidentally wounded or shot by the police. When a guerrilla in the firing group has a knowledge of first aid he can do something for the wounded comrade on the spot. In no circumstances can the wounded urban guerrilla be abandoned at the site of the battle or left to the enemy’s hands.
One of the precautions we must take is to set up nursing courses for men and women, courses in which the urban guerrilla can matriculate and learn the elementary techniques of first aid.
The urban guerrilla doctor, student of medicine, nurse, pharmacologist, or simply the person trained in first aid, is a necessity in modern revolutionary struggle.
A small manual of first aid for the urban guerrilla, printed on mimeographed sheets, can also be undertaken by anyone who has enough knowledge.
In planning and completing an armed action, the urban guerrilla cannot forget the organization of medical logistics. This will be accomplished by means of a mobile or motorized clinic. You can also set up a mobile first aid station. Another solution is to utilize the skills of a nursing comrade who waits with his bag of equipment in a designated house to which the wounded are brought.
The ideal would be to have our own well equipped clinic, but this is very costly unless we use expropriated materials.
When all else fails, it is often necessary to resort to legal clinics, using armed force if necessary to demand that the doctors attend to our wounded.
In the eventuality that we fall back on blood banks to buy blood or whole plasma, we must not use legal addresses and certainly not addresses where the wounded can really be found, since they are under our care and protection. Nor should we supply addresses of those involved in the organization’s clandestine work to the hospitals and health centers where we take them. Such concern are indispensable to cover any track or clue.
The houses in which the wounded stay cannot be known to anybody with the unique and exclusive exception of the small group of comrades responsible for their treatment and transport.
Sheets, bloody clothing, medicine, and any other indication of treatment of the comrades wounded in combat with the police, must be completely eliminated from any place they visit to receive medical treatment.
The urban guerrilla lives in constant danger of the possibility of being discovered or denounced. The chief security problem is to make certain that we are well hidden and well guarded, and that there are secure methods to keep the police from locating us or our whereabouts.
The worst enemy of the urban guerrilla and the major danger we run is infiltration into our organization by a spy or an informer.
The spy trapped within the organization will be punished with death. The same goes for those who desert and inform the police.
A good security is the certainty that the enemy has no spies and agents infiltrated in our midst and can receive no information about us even by indirect or distant means. The fundamental way to insure this is to be cautious and strict in recruiting.
Nor is it permissible for everyone to know everyone and everything else. Each person should know only what related to his work. This rule is a fundamental point in the abc’s of urban guerrilla security.
The battle that we are waging against the enemy is arduous and difficult because it is a class struggle. Every class struggle is a battle of life or death when the classes are antagonistic.
The enemy wants to annihilate us and fights relentlessly to find us and destroy us, so that our great weapon consists in hiding from him and attacking him by surprise.
The danger to the urban guerrilla is that he may reveal himself through imprudence or allow himself to be discovered through lack of class vigilance. It is inadmissible for the urban guerrilla to give out his own or any other clandestine address to the enemy or to talk too much. Annotations in the margins of newspapers, lost documents, calling cards, letters or notes, all these are clues that the police never underestimate.
Address and telephone books must be destroyed and one must not write or hold papers; it is necessary to avoid keeping archives of legal or illegal names, biographical information, maps, and plans. The points of contact should not be written down but simply committed to memory.
The urban guerrilla who violated these rules must be warned by the first one who motes his infraction and, if he repeats it, we must avoid working with him.
The need of the urban guerrilla to move about constantly and the relative proximity of the police, given the circumstances of the strategic police net which surrounds the city, forces him to adopt variable security methods depending on the enemy’s movements.
For this reason it is necessary to maintain a service of daily news about what the enemy appears to be doing, where his police net is operating and what gorges and points of strangulation are being watched. The daily reading of the police news in the newspapers is a great fountain of information in these cases.
The most important lesson for guerrilla security is never, under any circumstances, to permit the slightest sign of laxity in the maintenance of security measures and regulations with in the organization.
Guerrilla security must be maintained also and principally in cases of arrest. The arrested guerrilla can reveal nothing to the police the will jeopardize the organization. He can say nothing that may lead, as a consequence, to the arrest
of other comrades, the discovery of addresses and hiding places, the loss of arms and ammunition.
The Seven Sins of the Urban Guerrilla
Even when the urban guerrilla applies his revolutionary technique with precision and rigorously abides by security rules, he can still be vulnerable to errors. There is no perfect urban guerrilla. The most he can do is to make every effort diminish the margin of error since he cannot be perfect.
One of the methods we should use to diminish the margin of error is to know thoroughly the seven sins of the urban guerrilla and try to fight them.
The first sin of the urban guerrilla is inexperience. The urban guerrilla, blinded by this sin, thinks the enemy is stupid, underestimates his intelligence, believes everything is easy and, as a result, leaves clues that can lead to his disaster.
Because of his inexperience, the urban guerrilla can also overestimate the forces of the enemy, believing them to be stronger than they really are. Allowing himself to be fooled by this presumption, the urban guerrilla becomes intimidated, and remains insecure and indecisive, paralyzed and lacking audacity.
The second sin of the urban guerrilla is to boast about the actions he has completed and broadcast them to the four winds.
The third sin of the urban guerrilla is vanity. The urban guerrilla who suffers from this sin tries to solve the problems of the revolution by actions erupting in the city, but without bothering about the beginnings and the survival of the guerrilla in rural areas. Blinded by success, he winds up organizing an action that he
considers decisive and that puts into play all the forces and resources of the organization. Since the city is the area of the strategic circle which we cannot avoid or break while rural guerrilla warfare has not yet erupted and is not at the point of triumph, we always run the fatal error of permitting the enemy to attack us with decisive blows.
The fourth sin of the urban guerrilla is to exaggerate his strength and to undertake projects for which he lacks forces and, as yet, does not have the required infrastructure.
The fifth sin of the urban guerrilla is precipitous action. The urban guerrilla who commits this sin loses patience, suffers an attack of nerves, does not wait for anything, and impetuously throws himself into action, suffering untold reverses.
The sixth sin of the urban guerrilla is to attack the enemy when he is most angry.
The seventh sin of the urban guerrilla is to fail to plan things and to act out of improvisation.
One of the permanent concerns of the urban guerrilla is his identification with popular causes to win public support.
Where government actions become inept and corrupt, the urban guerrilla should not hesitate to step in to show that he opposes the government and to gain mass sympathy. The present government, for example, imposes heavy financial burdens and excessively high taxes on the people. It is up to the urban guerrilla to attack the dictatorship’s tax collection system and to obstruct its financial activity, throwing all the weight of violent revolutionary action against it.
The urban guerrilla fights not only to upset the tax and collection system: the arm of revolutionary violence must also be directed against those government organs that raise prices and those who direct them, as well as against the wealthiest of the national and foreign profiteers and the important property owners; in short against all those who accumulate huge fortunes out of the high cost of living, the wages of hunger, excessive prices and rents.
Foreign trusts, such as refrigeration and other North American plants that monopolize the market and the manufacture of general food supplies, must be systematically attacked by the urban guerrilla.
The rebellion of the urban guerrilla and his persistence in intervening in public questions is the best way of insuring public report of the cause we defend. We repeat and insist on repeating: it is the best way of insuring public support. As soon as a reasonable section of the population begins to take seriously the action of the urban guerrilla, his success is guaranteed.
The government has no alternative except to intensify repression. The police networks, house searches, arrests of innocent people and of suspects, closing off streets, make life in the city unbearable. The military dictatorship embarks on massive political persecution. Political assassinations and police terror become routine.
In spite of all this, the police systematically fail. The armed forces, the navy, and the air force are mobilized and undertake routine police functions. Even so they find no way to halt guerrilla operations, nor to wipe out the revolutionary organization with its fragmented groups that move around and operate throughout the national territory persistently and contagiously.
The people refuse to collaborate with the authorities, and the general sentiment is that the government is unjust, incapable of solving problems, and resorts purely and simply to the physical liquidation of its opponents.
The political situation in the country is transformed into a military situation in which the gorillas appear more and more to be the ones responsible for errors and violence, while the problems in the lives of the people become truly catastrophic.
When they see the militarists and the dictatorship on the brink of the abyss and fearing the consequences of a revolutionary war which is already at a fairly advanced and irreversible level, the pacifiers, always to be found within the ruling classes, and the right-wing opportunists, partisans of nonviolent struggle, join hands and circulate rumors behind the scenes, begging the hangmen for elections, “redemocratization,” constitutional reforms, and other tripe designed to fool the masses and make them stop the revolutionary rebellion in the cities and the rural areas of the country.
But, watching the revolutionaries, the people now understand that it is a farce to vote in elections which have as their sole objective guaranteeing the continuation of the military dictatorship and covering up its crimes.
Attacking wholeheartedly this election farce and the so-called “political solution” so appealing to the opportunists, the urban guerrilla must become more aggressive and violent, resorting without letup to sabotage, terrorism, expropriations, assaults, kidnapings, executions, etc.
This answers any attempt to fool the masses with the opening of Congress and the reorganization of political parties–parties of the government and of the opposition it allows–when all the time the parliament and the so-called parties function thanks to the license of the military dictatorship in a true spectacle of marionettes and dogs on a leash.
The role of the urban guerrilla, in order to win the support of the people, is to continue fighting, keeping in mind the interest of the masses and heightening the disastrous situation in which the government must act. These are the
circumstances, disastrous for the dictatorship, which permit the revolutionaries to open rural guerrilla warfare in the midst of the uncontrollable expansion of urban rebellion.
The urban guerrilla is engaged in revolutionary action in favor of the people and with it seeks the participation of the masses in the struggle against the military dictatorship and for the liberation of the country from the yoke of the United States. Beginning with the city and with the support of the people, the rural guerrilla war develops rapidly, establishing its infrastructure carefully while the urban area continues the rebellion.
Urban Guerrilla Warfare, School for Selecting the Guerrilla
Revolution is a social phenomenon that depends on men, arms, and resources. Arms and resources exist in the country and can be taken and used, but to do this it is necessary to count on men. Without them, the arms and the resources have no use and no value. For their part, the men must have two basic and indispensable obligatory qualities:
a) they must have a politico-revolutionary motivation;
b) they must have the necessary technical-revolutionary preparation;
Men with a politico-revolutionary motivation are found among the vast and clearheaded contingents of the enemies of the military dictatorship and of the domination of U.S. imperialism.
Almost daily such men gravitate to urban guerrilla warfare, and it is for this reason that the reaction no longer announces that it has thwarted the
revolutionaries and goes through the unpleasantness of seeing them rise up again out of their own ashes.
The men who are best trained, most experienced, and dedicated to urban guerrilla warfare and at the same time to rural guerrilla warfare, constitute the backbone of the revolutionary war and therefore, of the Brazilian revolution. From this backbone will come the marrow of the revolutionary army of national liberation, rising out of guerrilla warfare.
This is the central nucleus, not the bureaucrats and opportunists hidden in the organizational structure, not the empty conferees, the cliched writers of resolutions that remain on paper, but rather the men who fight. The men who from the very first have been determined and ready for anything, who personally participate in revolutionary actions, who do not waver or deceive.
This is the nucleus indoctrinated and disciplined with a long-range strategic and tactical vision consistent with the application Marxists theory, of Leninism, and of Castro-Guevara developments applied to the specific conditions of the Brazilian situation. This is the nucleus that will lead the rebellion through its guerrilla phase.
From it will come man and women with politico-military development, one and indivisible, whose task will be that of future leaders after the triumph of the revolution, in the construction of the new Brazilian society.
As of now, the men and women chosen for urban guerrilla warfare are workers; peasants whom the city has attracted as a market for manpower and who return to the countryside indoctrinated and politically and technically prepared: students, intellectuals, priest. This is the material with which we are building–starting with urban guerrilla warfare–the armed alliance of workers and peasants, with students, intellectuals, priests.
Workers have infinite knowledge in the industrial sphere and are best for urban revolutionary tasks. The urban guerrilla worker participates in the struggle by constructing arms, sabotaging and preparing saboteurs and dynamiters, and personally participating in actions involving hand arms, or organizing strikes and partial paralysis with the characteristics of mass violence in factories, workshops, and other work centers.
The peasants have an extraordinary intuition for knowledge of the land, judgment in confronting the enemy, and the indispensable ability to communicate with the humble masses. The peasant guerrilla is already participating in our struggle and it is he who reaches the guerrilla core, establishes support points in the countryside, finds hiding places for individuals, arms, munitions, supplies, organizes the sowing and harvesting of grain for use in the guerrilla war, chooses the points of transport, cattle-raising posts, and sources of meat supplies, trains the guides that show the rural guerrillas the road, and creates an information service in the countryside.
Students are noted for being particularly crude and coarse and thus they break all the taboos. When they are integrated into urban guerrilla warfare, as is now occurring on a wide scale, they show a special talent for revolutionary violence and soon acquire a high level of political-technical-military skills. Students have plenty of free time on their hands because they are systematically separated, suspended, and expelled from school by the dictatorship and so they begin to spend their time advantageously, in behalf of the revolution.
The intellectuals constitute the vanguard of resistance to arbitrary acts, social injustice, and the terrible inhumanity of the dictatorship of the gorillas. They spread the revolutionary call and they have great influence on people. The urban guerrilla intellectual or artist is the most modern of the Brazilian revolution’s adherents.
Churchmen–that is to say, those ministers or priest and religious men of various hierarchies and persuasions–represent a sector that has special ability to communicate with the people, particularly with workers, peasants, and the Brazilian woman. The priest who is an urban guerrilla is an active ingredient in the ongoing Brazilian revolutionary war, and constitutes a powerful arm in the struggle against military power and North American imperialism.
As for the Brazilian woman, her participation in the revolutionary war, and particularly in urban guerrilla warfare, has been marked by an unmatched fighting spirit and tenacity, and it is not by chance that so many women have been accused of participation in guerrilla actions against banks, quarries, military centers, etc., and that so many are in prison while others are sought by the police.
As a school for choosing the guerrilla, urban guerrilla warfare prepares and places at the same level responsibility and efficiency the men and women who share the same dangers fighting, rounding up supplies, serving as messengers or runners, as drivers, sailors, or airplane pilots, obtaining secret information, and helping with propaganda and the task of indoctrination.