Dec 292010

Giuseppe Pinelli (1928 - 15 December 1969)

Pinelli and the Piazza Fontana – Italy’s Cold War

It all began in the spring of 1969, with the “anarchist” bombs of 25 April, but it really took off on 12 December with bombs exploding in a bank in Milan’s Piazza Fontana killing 17 people, and injuring 88. According to the police and the official media these were “anarchist” bombs, as were those that later exploded on trains and in public squares in Bologna, in Brescia, on trains in tunnels, and other Italian cities. From day one the anarchists stated that these were not anarchist bombs, they were “state massacres”, part of a strategy of tension intended to prevent the Italian Communist Party from participating in government. A Rivista Anarchica, an investigative journal founded in early 1971 to expose the truth about the strategy of tension, published a number of articles over the years on the subject, as did its sister journal Libertaria, some of which  are republished here. With the Berlusconi government in serious trouble is it possible that a new ‘strategy of tension’ is under way?

State coup: interview with Guido Salvini; Assassination? No – active illness!; The funeral of Pinelli by Franco Fortini; The anarchist thrown from a window by Paolo Finzi; The window-inspector by Patrizio Biagi; Forty years after the mother of all massacres; A conversation with aunt Rachele and the lawyer Guido Calvi by Antonella Schroeder and A.B; On the walls – picture/graphic research by Roberto Gimm; The state v. Pietro Valpreda by A. B.; Those years are still with us by Giulio D’Errico, Martino Iniziato and Fabio Vercilo; My friendship with Pino by Lorenzo Pezzica; Two 22 March members by Giulio D’Errico, Martino Iniziato, Fabio Vercilli and Matteo Villa; That day with Valpreda by Giulio D’Errico; The Ponte della Ghisolfa/Crocenera group by Giulio D’Errico; Days of bombs and trials (from 1969 to 2005)

BOOK (ISSUU) Stefano delle Chiaie. Portrait of a “Black” terrorist

FILMS: Gladio 1 – The Ringmasters; Gladio 2 The Puppeteers; Gladio 3 – The Footsoldiers; L’Orchestre Noir; Nella Citta Perduta di Sarzana; Piazza Fontana – 12 December 1969; Il Filo della memoria Giuseppe Pinelli; S’era tutti sovversivi – a Franco Serantini; Storia – Strage di Stato – Three hypotheses on the death of Pinelli

Dec 282010

Ojo por Ojo (An Eye for an Eye) Pistolerismo in Barcelona 1919-1923

Spanish TV mini-series on the years of ‘pistolerismo‘ (employer/state death squads) in post WW1 Barcelona (during which over 200 unionists were murdered). The story of a young man, Enric Serra, who joins an anarchist action group to defend his class interests and his union (the anarcho-syndicalist CNT) in the face of a vicious, murderous anti-working class repression by the employers’ organisation (the patronal), their ‘yellow’ unions (the sindicatos libres),  Barcelona’s ruling class under Martinez Anido,  and the Spanish state of Alfonso XIII. A través de la situación de los trabajadores de una fábrica textil ‘Ojo por ojo’ recrea la lucha obrera de la época por la mejora de las condiciones laborales. Enric Serra es un joven obrero que trabaja en una fábrica textil. Su hermano lidera una huelga que hará perder mucho dinero a la familia Torrents. A la salida de la fábrica, Enric contempla con impotencia cómo su hermano es asesinado. Sabe que el responsable de la muerte es el Sr. Torrents y decide unirse a un grupo de acción anarquista para vengarse…

See FILMSOjo por Ojo 1, Ojo por Ojo 2, 1919, La verdad sobre el caso Savolta, El honor de las injurias …

See also Pistoleros! (The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg)

Dec 272010

Federica Montseny (CNT Minister of Health in Largo Caballero Gvt - 'nuff said!)

Broadcast 5 January 1982 (in Spanish):”El anarquismo. La víspera de nuestro tiempo. Diálogos con la historia”. Presented by Jose Antonio Silva. Participants: Federica Montseny (among many other subversions of anarchist principles a minister in the Largo Caballero government); Jose Álvarez Junco (Professor of Political Sciences); Josep María Bricall (Professor of Economics); y Josep Termes (Professor of History at the University of Barcelona). Includes a report on how the Spanish labour movement evolved towards anarchism.


Dec 232010

Click on image to read article

We’ve grown used to having to endure from time to time all manner of rabid attacks on anarchist ideas and anarchist organisations. Oddly enough, every other ideological persuasion resorts to historical interpretation to argue either that our anarchist predecessors did hardly any of the fighting (indeed sometimes they are left out of the reckoning altogether), or that they were responsible for all terror, past and future.

What has prompted me to take up my pen is a recent event. On 30 May 2007 the Lérida-based newspaper La Mañana reported a symposium at the Institute for Léridan Studies under the following headline: “Book says FAI organised religious persecution in Catalonia”. Smaller headlines announced that “ those killed for their faith are reckoned at around 7,000”. The author of the book in question, Jordi Alberti, “says that there was an elaborate plan and this was not just the work of mavericks”.


La Règle du jeu – The Rules of the Game (1939 – Jean Renoir) see FILMS

 Drama, Feature, Films, France, Society  Comments Off on La Règle du jeu – The Rules of the Game (1939 – Jean Renoir) see FILMS
Dec 222010

THE RULES OF THE GAME takes place on the eve of World War II at an aristocratic house party at an opulent chateau on a country estate just outside of Paris where the overlapping ‘affaires d’amour’ of all social classes are observed with a keen eye. Jean Renoir looks to the eighteenth-century world of commedia dell’arte and Mozartian opera,  seamlessly integrating farce with tragedy, using a classical form to offer his audience a profound and multifaceted parable on the disturbing realities that underlie the veneer of contemporary French society, and which are themselves symptomatic of the nascent decline of Old World Europe. The film was initially condemned for its satire on the French upper classes and was greeted with derision by a Parisian audience at its première. The upper class is depicted in this film as capricious and self-indulgent, with little regard for the consequences of their actions. It was banned by the  French government. FILMS

Fabrizio De André – Five Songs see FILMS

 Italy, Music, Protest songs  Comments Off on Fabrizio De André – Five Songs see FILMS
Dec 222010

Fabrizio De André (18 February 1940 – 11 January 1999) was an Italian anarchist singer-songwriter whose ballads  told  of marginalized and rebellious people, prostitutes and knaves. Songs on the FILM tab include Amore che viene, amore che vai (Love coming, love going); La ballata dell’eroe (The Hero); Geordie; Il testamento (The Testament); A cumba (The Dove). Born in Genoa on 18 February 1940. When WWII broke out the De Andrés were forced to seek refuge in a country farm near Revignano d’Asti, in Piedmont. Fabrizio’s father —  a known anti-fascist and member of the Maquis — was wanted by the OVRA (the fascist secret police).  The De Andrés returned to Genoa after the Liberation where Fabrizio became an anarchist at an early age. FILMS

Franco’s Prisoner – Prisionero de Franco. Los anarquistas en la lucha contra la dictadura, Miguel García García

 Anarchist resistance, anarcho-syndicalism, Biography  Comments Off on Franco’s Prisoner – Prisionero de Franco. Los anarquistas en la lucha contra la dictadura, Miguel García García
Dec 212010

My first meeting with Miguel García García took place in the mid-1960s in the reception wing of Madrid’s Carabanchel Prison. He was in transit to another penitentiary and was in what was known as periodo – a fortnight of sanitary isolation, ostensibly to prevent or limit the spread of disease. I was the practice nurse (practicante) for the 7th Gallery, a position that gave me the run of most of the prison and allowed me to liaise with comrades in different wings, especially with isolated transit prisoners or prisoners in solitary confinement. Miguel passed through Carabanchel on a number of occasions over the years, going backwards and forwards between penitentiaries and Yeserias, Spain’s main prison hospital in Madrid.

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Billy Budd (1962 – Peter Ustinov. Book by Herman Melville) see FILMS

 Book, Drama, Feature, Films, Literature  Comments Off on Billy Budd (1962 – Peter Ustinov. Book by Herman Melville) see FILMS
Dec 142010

Billy Budd is a young man impressed from a merchant ship in 1797 and made foretopman on the British Navy frigate Avenger during the French revolutionary wars with England. In a conversation with the Captain, Edward Fairfax Vere, the ship’s master-at-arms, Jon Claggart, accuses Budd of mutinous conspiracy. Skeptical of the accusations (given Budd’s easy-going and cheerful bearing), Captain Vere invites Claggart to make the accusations in Budd’s presence. Given the opportunity to rebut the accusations, Budd, who suffers from an inability to speak under duress, is unable to do so. Frustrated and angry, Budd strikes Claggart, killing him. Though believing Budd innocent of mutiny and free of any intent to kill Claggart, Vere quickly convenes a drumhead court to try Budd . .

A powerful and moving film about the battle of good versus evil

Billy Budd by Herman Melville (text)


Das Totenschiff (The Death Ship) by B. Traven (1959 – George Tressler) see FILMS (in German)

 Anarchist cinema, Anarchist ideas, Drama, Feature, Fiction, Films, Germany, Society, South and Central America  Comments Off on Das Totenschiff (The Death Ship) by B. Traven (1959 – George Tressler) see FILMS (in German)
Dec 142010

‘Why passports? Why immigration restrictions? Why not let human beings go where they wish to go, North Pole or South Pole, Russia or Turkey, the States or Bolivia? Human beings must be kept under control. They cannot fly like insects about the world into which they were born without being asked. Human beings must be brought under control, under passports, under finger-print registrations. For what reason? Only to show the omnipotence of the State, and of the holy servant of the State, the bureaucrat. Bureaucracy has come to stay. It has become the great and almighty ruler of the world. It has come to stay to whip human beings into discipline and make them numbers within the State. With foot-printing of babies it has begun; the next stage will be the branding of registration numbers upon the back, properly filed, so that no mistake can be made as to the true nationality of the insect. A wall has made China what she is today. The walls all nations have built up since the war for democracy will have the same effect. Expanding markets and making large profits are a religion. It is the oldest religion perhaps, for it has the best trained priests, and it has the most beautiful churches; yes, sir.’

The Death ShipDas Totenschiff, B. Traven (Germany 1926)

See also B Traven A Mystery Solved (Will Wyatt)  and Macario (Films)

and To The The Honourable Miss S . . . (Ret Marut, Der Ziegelbrenner, 1915-1919) FILMS

Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks – TED – July 2010 (see FILMS)

 Events, Ideas, Interviews, Politics, Power elites and brokers, Practice, Resistance movements  Comments Off on Julian Assange: Why the world needs WikiLeaks – TED – July 2010 (see FILMS)
Dec 112010

Why the world needs WikiLeaks

In July WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (who is currently – 11 Dec 2010 – being held hostage by the State in Wandsworth Prison)  spoke to Chris Anderson about the site and about himself at the 2010 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) ideas conference in Oxford. See FILMS (Assange)