Senza Tregua: The Revolutionary Working Class Organisation in Italy
Senza Tregua was a political organisation that emerged in Italy in the 1970s, during a period of intense class struggle and social crisis. It advocated for a communist program and a collective violence against the capitalist system and its institutions.
The name Senza Tregua means “without truce” or “relentless”, and it expressed the organisation’s determination to fight for the interests of the working class and to oppose any compromise or collaboration with the ruling class and its allies.
Senza Tregua was influenced by the ideas of Amadeo Bordiga, the founder of the Italian Communist Party, who rejected the Stalinist degeneration of the Soviet Union and the reformist policies of the Western communist parties. Senza Tregua also drew inspiration from the experiences of other revolutionary movements around the world, such as the Vietnamese resistance, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and the May 1968 uprising in France.
Senza Tregua’s main activities were organising workers’ committees in factories, schools, and neighbourhoods; distributing leaflets and newspapers; holding public meetings and demonstrations; and carrying out armed actions against the state and its agents. Senza Tregua’s actions were often met with repression and violence from the police, the judiciary, and the fascist groups. Many of its members were arrested, tortured, or killed.
Senza Tregua’s history is an example of how a revolutionary working class organisation can emerge from a situation of crisis and challenge the domination of capital. It also shows the difficulties and contradictions that such an organisation faces in its struggle for a radical transformation of society.
Senza Tregua was founded in 1975 by a group of militants who came from different political backgrounds, such as the Italian Communist Party (PCI), the extra-parliamentary left (Lotta Continua, Potere Operaio, Avanguardia Operaia), and the autonomist movement (Autonomia Operaia). They shared a common critique of the reformist and bureaucratic nature of these organisations, and a common vision of a revolutionary strategy based on the self-organisation and self-determination of the working class.
Senza Tregua’s main objective was to coordinate and unify the various workers’ committees that had emerged in different factories and sectors, such as Magneti Marelli, Alfa Romeo, Pirelli, Sit-Siemens, Falck, Innocenti, and others. These committees represented the most advanced and combative sections of the working class, who refused to accept the austerity measures imposed by the government and the employers, and who challenged the authority of the mainstream unions and the PCI.
Senza Tregua’s political program was based on four main points: 1) The rejection of any form of mediation or negotiation with the capitalist class and its institutions; 2) The affirmation of workers’ power as the only legitimate source of law and decision-making; 3) The extension of workers’ control over production and social reproduction; 4) The preparation of an armed insurrection to overthrow the capitalist state and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat.