Revolutionary Anti-Racist Action

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Revolutionary Anti-Racist Action or Revolutionaire Anti-Racistische Actie, often abbreviated RaRa was a Dutch Revolutionary group, although in the Netherlands the group was called a 'political violent activist'-group.[1][2][3][4][5] The name "RaRa" in Dutch means "Guess ..." (who we are), (from the Dutch word raden).[1][2][6][4]

RaRa was active in the 1980s and 1990s[7] within the Netherlands, bombing sites to express opposition to the apartheid policies of South Africa as well as to the Dutch asylum legislation.[8] Their bombings caused a lot of material damage,[3] but no deaths resulted.[9]

Makro and Van Leer attacks[edit]

In 1985 and 1986 RaRa fire bombed and destroyed divisions of Makro, a chain of wholesale traders.[2][10][6][5] As a result Makro ended all economic activity in South Africa.[2] RaRa targeted Forbo, a Dutch maker of floor coverings, and Forbo also withdrew from South Africa.[2] RaRa also bombed various facilities of the Shell oil company, because it expanded its business in South Africa.[2] RaRa also set fire to the Amsterdam head office of the Royal Packing Industry Van Leer BV on 9 July 1986.[10] The Dutch Interior Minister referred to RaRa as "terrorists" in connection with these arson attacks.[10]

SHV attacks[edit]

In January 1987 Steenkolen Handels Vereniging (SHV) pulled out of South Africa because of arson attacks by RaRa.[11][12][4][13] The Dutch government had refused to insure SHV stores against arson attacks.[11] Damages caused by RaRa arson attacks from September 1985 to January 1987 were estimated at $75 million.[11]

One of the members of RaRa was quoted as saying, in connection with the SHV pull-out, "According to the rules of TV democracy, those with the most access to the media win."[14]

Arrests and conviction[edit]

On April 11, 1988 the police arrested 8 people they thought to be behind the RaRa bombings.[1][2] Another person surrendered shortly thereafter, and a tenth suspect was arrested in May 1986.[2] Only one of the suspects was prosecuted and tried, René Roemersma. He was convicted on four of seven charges, the most serious of which was arson, for his part in two 1986 attacks on Dutch wholesale traders, a January attack on a Dutch passport printer, and the sabotage of a Shell station in Nieuwegein.[1] He was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment.[1] A higher court subsequently changed the verdict to a sentence of 18 months imprisonment because some evidence was illegally obtained as the public persecutor during a search of seven properties had been temporarily absent.[15] The others arrested at the same time as Roemersma were released for lack of evidence.[1][2]

When Roemersma was sentenced, roughly 100 sympathizers protested outside the Amsterdam High Court, where they threw stones at the windows of the court.[2]

1990s attacks[edit]

On November 12, 1991, RaRa bombed the private house of Aad Kosto, member of the Dutch government.[8] In 1990 and 1991 RaRa also bombed the building of the Dutch Departments of Justice and of Internal Affairs.[16][7][8] The Dutch intelligence service was surprised by the 1991 attacks.[8][17]

After the 1991 attacks the RaRa claimed to "want to stop the asylum policy which abandons people, excludes them and dehumanizes them."[8]

In 1993 RaRa bombed the building of the Department of Social Affairs.[7]

Further reading[edit]

  • F. Hoekstra In dienst van de BVD. Spionage en contraspionage in Nederland, 2004. (ISBN 9085060230)
  • Allan Antliff Only a Beginning: An Anarchist Anthology pp. 91, 92, 240; (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004) (ISBN 151521679)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Spinks, Peter (September 6, 1988). "Group targets Dutch firms that profit from apartheid". Toronto Star (Toronto). pp. A.13. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Spinks, Peter (September 10, 1988). "Anti-apartheid activists turn saboteurs Dutch government's action...". The Telegraph (London). p. 8. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Lodge, Juliet (1988). The Threat of Terrorism. Wheatsheaf. p. 163. ISBN 0-7450-0328-1. 
  4. ^ a b c Schmid, Alex P. (April 1992). "6 Terrorism and the Media: Freedom of Information vs. Freedom from intimidation". In Howard, Lawrence. Terrorism: Roots, Impact, Responses. New York: Praeger Publishers. p. 97. ISBN 0-275-94020-9. OCLC 24630166. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Terrorism 10. New York: Crane Russak. 1987. p. 334. ISSN 0149-0389. OCLC 3421932. 
  6. ^ a b "Notes". New African (256): 126. 1989. ISSN 0142-9345. OCLC 3955328. 
  7. ^ a b c "Bombing suspect quickly arrested". The Record (Kitchener, Ont.). 5 November 2003. p. A9. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Chergui, Hinde; Oosterom-Staples, Helen (November 2006). "Chapter 6: The Impact on Immigration and asylum Law in the Netherlands". In Guild, Elspeth; Baldaccini, Anneliese. Terrorism And the Foreigner: A Decade of Tension Around the Rule of Law in Europe. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers / Brill Academic. p. 271. ISBN 90-04-15187-7. OCLC 191858897. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Sterling, Toby (Nov 5, 2003). "Teen arrested after attack on Turkish Embassy in The Hague .". The Victoria Advocate. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  10. ^ a b c Schmid, Alex Peter; Jongman, Albert J. (March 2005). Political Terrorism: A New Guide to Actors, Authors, Concepts, Data Bases, Theories, and Literature (2nd ed.). Transaction Publishers. p. 625. ISBN 1-4128-0469-8. 
  11. ^ a b c "Black & Decker, Dutch firm pulling out of South Africa". Chicago Sun-Times. January 20, 1987. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "Dutch firm cites arson in South Africa pullout". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. January 20, 1987. p. C2. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  13. ^ West Africa. London: Afrimedia International. 1987. p. 264. ISSN 0043-2962. OCLC 1639542. "23 March 2010" 
  14. ^ Bluf! [Periodical of Squatters in Amsterdam] (275): 5. 25 June 1987.  quoted in Schmid, Alex P. (April 1992). "6 Terrorism and the Media: Freedom of Information vs. Freedom from intimidation". In Howard, Lawrence. Terrorism: Roots, Impact, Responses. New York: Praeger Publishers. pp. 97,115. ISBN 0-275-94020-9. OCLC 24630166. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  15. ^ de Haas, Joost; Mos, Bart (2008-08-15). ""Duyvendak in harde kern RaRa"" [Duyvendak part of inner circle of RaRa]. De Telegraaf (in Dutch) (Amsterdam). Retrieved 23 March 2010. "Het gerechtshof in Amsterdam oordeelde dat het bewijs onrechtmatig was verkregen, omdat de rechter-commissaris die leiding moest geven aan de huiszoeking tijdelijk afwezig was geweest. trans: The court in Amsterdam ruled that the evidence was illegally obtained because the judge who was to lead the search had been temporarily absent." 
  16. ^ "Bomb Damages Dutch Justice Ministry". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. March 27, 1990. p. 10A. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  17. ^ "Aanslagen in Nederland". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). 14 November 1991.  quoted in Chergui, Hinde; Oosterom-Staples, Helen (November 2006). "Chapter 6: The Impact on Immigration and asylum Law in the Netherlands". In Guild, Elspeth; Baldaccini, Anneliese. Terrorism And the Foreigner: A Decade of Tension Around the Rule of Law in Europe. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers / Brill Academic. p. 271. ISBN 90-04-15187-7. OCLC 191858897. Retrieved 23 March 2010.