A Dominie’s Five, A Dominie’s Log, A Dominie Dismissed and A Dominie in Doubt A. S. Neill eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)

 Anarchist education  Comments Off on A Dominie’s Five, A Dominie’s Log, A Dominie Dismissed and A Dominie in Doubt A. S. Neill eBook £1.50/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)
Dec 022016

dominies5coverA DOMINIE’S FIVE or FREE SCHOOL by A.S. Neill (£1.50)  In 1921 Scottish teacher A.S. Neill moved to Hellerau on the outskirts of Dresden where he co-founded an International School to pursue his own ideas on education: that the child’s happiness should be the paramount consideration in deciding its upbringing, a happiness which grows from a sense of personal freedom. After reading what was at the time considered a popular and exciting story — King Solomon’s Mines — to the English-speaking group of five pupils with the result that four of them went to sleep, he conceived the idea of telling the children a story in which they themselves were the participants and actors. Needless to say, the story was a great success, judging by the remarks of the children. This is the story told by Neill. Its imaginativeness is unique as is its whimsical humour. It makes an original contribution to the art of story-telling for children.

Dominie1A DOMINIE’S LOG by A.S. Neill (£1.50) A Dominie’s Log was directly due to the Scottish Code of Education, by which it is forbidden to enter general reflections or opinions in the official log-book. Requiring a safety-valve, a young Dominie decides to keep a private log-book. In it he jots down the troubles and comedies of the day’s work. Sometimes he startles even his own bairns by his unconventionality. There is a lot in Education that he does not understand. The one thing, however, that he does comprehend is the Child Mind, and he possesses the saving quality of humour. (1915)

DominieDismissedA DOMINIE DISMISSED by A.S. Neill (£1.50) In consequence of the Dominie’s go-as- you-please methods of educating village children, the inevitable happens he is dismissed, giving place to an approved disciplinarian. The unhappy Dominie, forced to leave his bairns, seeks to enlist but the doctor discovers that his lungs are affected, and he is ordered an open-air life. He returns as a cattleman to the village where he has previously been a school master. Incidentally, he watches the effect of his successor’s teaching, the triumph of his own methods and the discomfiture of his rival at the hands of the children, in whom the Dominie cultivated personality and the rights of bairns. (1917)

DominieDoubtA DOMINIE IN DOUBT by A.S. Neill (£1.50) One day when re-reading A Dominie’s Log, its author decided that a book is out of date five minutes after it is written. In other words, he was in doubt—terrible and perplexing doubt. Do I really understand children? he asked himself. Are my ideas upon education right or wrong ? He decided that he had not sufficiently studied the psychology of children and that, in consequence, he had been guilty of almost criminal neglect. In the same delightfully discursive and humorous manner the Dominic reveals himself, as attractive in his doubts as in his convictions. He does not repent his unconventions. On the contrary, he reproaches himself for having been a heretic, whereas he ought to have been an arch-heretic.  (1920)

ChristieBooks on KOBO  — A DOMINIE’S LOG by A.S. Neill£2.50  ;   A Dominie Dismissedby A.S. Neill — £2.50 ; A Dominie in Doubt by A.S. Neill — £2.50 ;



Alexander Sutherland Neill was born in Forfar in the N.E, of Scotland on 17 October 1883 (d. 23/9/1973) to George and Mary Neill. He was raised in an austere, Calvinist house and instilled with values of fear, guilt, and adult and divine authority, which he later repudiated. His father was the village dominie (Scottish schoolmaster) of Kingsmuir, near Forfar in eastern Scotland; his mother, too, had been a teacher before her marriage. The village dominie held a position in the community of prestige, but hierarchically beneath that of the gentry, doctors, and clergymen. The dominie, typically, controlled overcrowded classrooms with the tawse (the belt), as the means of maintaining good order and discipline.

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An Answer Regarding Cuba, Gaston Leval, June 1961 (Translated by Paul Sharkey)

 Cuba, News  Comments Off on An Answer Regarding Cuba, Gaston Leval, June 1961 (Translated by Paul Sharkey)
Nov 292016

In June 1961, in the wake of the abortive April invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs, the French anarchist newspaper Le Monde libertaire published an article signed “Ariel” glorifying the Castro regime. It also criticised the French anarcho-syndicalist writer Gaston Leval for his lack of enthusiasm for the Castro revolution. This was his response.

Gaston Leval, (1895 – 1978)

Gaston Leval, (1895 – 1978)

“I have just read the article published by this paper’s contributor, Ariel, regarding the Cuban revolution, which has now turned into a totalitarian counter-revolution, as recently remarked upon by our comrade Fidel Miro in Solidaridad Obrera (Mexico), and reported in most Central and South American anarchist papers, and by our American comrades who are aware of the facts and are none too sparing in their criticism of what they term their homeland’s capitalist imperialists.

Ariel recommends to his readers the review Esprit which, as we know, is a progressive, pro-Moscow, Catholic publication, one with which Albert Camus had serious issues. He also urges us to read the relaunched  Bohemia magazine  published by the Castro-communist propaganda apparatus, a pale imitation of the original Bohemia whose managing editor — who fought against Batista and championed Castro at the time — has now been forced into exile. While quoting a travel writer, Ariel is careful not to compare that writer’s claims against those of our comrades or people better informed than him. Remember, thousands of travellers of that sort praised the wonders of Stalinist rule while writing us off as counter-revolutionaries, that is until Khrushchev took it upon himself to put them straight in 1956.

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Espionage’s tortured legacy. The ‘Banda Negra’s’ pistolerismo in Barcelona From ‘Nidos de Espías: España, Francia y la Primera Guerra Mundial 1914-1919 by Eduardo González Calleja and Paul Aubert, Alianza Editorial, 2014

 Anarchism in Barcelona, Barcelona  Comments Off on Espionage’s tortured legacy. The ‘Banda Negra’s’ pistolerismo in Barcelona From ‘Nidos de Espías: España, Francia y la Primera Guerra Mundial 1914-1919 by Eduardo González Calleja and Paul Aubert, Alianza Editorial, 2014
Nov 272016

Although Spain remained neutral in World War I, Madrid, Barcelona and the country’s ports were nonetheless clandestine proxy battlefields for the espionage services of the Allied and Central Powers. Here the belligerents waged a ruthless war of terror, sabotage and black propaganda in which agents of each country pursued their national interests no matter what the cost. This desperate secret struggle involved the subornation of the trade unions, the police and security services, murder, intimidation, gangsterism, sabotage, port and maritime blockades, submarine warfare, the supply of bellicose materiel, the spreading of insidious rumour and lies,etc., etc. Of particular interest to ChristieBooks in this story — because of their activities targeting the anarcho-syndicalist CNT on behalf of the Catalan employers’ associations — are the roles of police inspector Manuel Bravo Portillo of the Social Brigade, who was an asset of German Intelligence, and of the false Baron de König (referred to here as Baron Koening), a crook, boulevardier and agent of the French intelligence services until his death in mysterious circumstances in the immediate aftermath of WWII. The careers of these lowlifes we have explored at length previously in the three volumes of Pistoleros! The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg (1 ; 2 ; 3 ) and The False Baron von König by Raymond Batkin

nidos-de-espiasThe clandestine ‘dirty war’ fought on the streets of Barcelona in the immediate post-WWI years by the belligerent European powers was directly connected with the aggravated social and industrial tensions in the Catalan capital. Nor is there any doubt that some CNT union leaders, sponsored by the German secret service, actively targeted Allied interests,  justifying their activities in the name of class struggle.

In an audience with Thierry, King Alfonso remarked on the venality of some CNT leaders:

“[…] once the libertarian syndicalists and French anarchists have broken and bewildered the labouring mass sufficiently, the Germans move in, taking over and orchestrating sabotage, or bringing to a standstill the industries that are working for you people.”

The French consul in Barcelona was more nuanced:

“Since the war I have seen a significant role ascribed to German propaganda across the various labour movements in the peninsula. I am not denying this is the case, but I do not regard it as decisive […] our enemies have bought many ‘leaders’ in Catalonia; their subsidies are behind many of the strikes that have led to such extensive disruption of the delivery of goods intended for the Allies.”


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TO DIE IN MADRID. THE MAN WHO KILLED DURRUTI — José Manzana; the person responsible, Federica Montseny

 Spanish anarchism, Spanish Revolution/Civil War  Comments Off on TO DIE IN MADRID. THE MAN WHO KILLED DURRUTI — José Manzana; the person responsible, Federica Montseny
Nov 202016

Above left: Durruti’s Generalidad-appointed military adviser, Sergeant José Manzana (circled), a professional soldier, was a drill sergeant in the Corps of Artillery and an Olympic-standard pistol-shooting champion. On the morning of 19 July he escaped from the besieged Barcelona Dockyard to join the Confederal militias. From that time on he accompanied Durruti everywhere, and was at his side on the Aragón front where he became his military adviser following Captain Enrique Pérez-Farrás recall to Barcelona by the Generalitat to head up the Mossos d’Escuadra. After Durruti’s death Manzana returned to the Aragón front to reorganize the remainder of the Durruti Column and prepare it for militarisation while Ricardo Sanz assumed command of the column in Madrid. Militarisation of the column was finally completed on 28 April 1937, less than a week before the Stalinist coup of May 3-8. Above right: Sergeant José Manzana, wearing a militiaman’s cap, his wounded right arm in a sling, is in the first line of mourners. On his left is the grieving widow, Emilienne Morin, whose features bear all the emotion evoked by the death of her compañero. Holding her other arm is Miguel Yoldi’s wife.

Madrid, 20 November 1936: Today is the 80th anniversary of the mysterious death of the anarchist Buenaventura Durruti.

November 1936 was a milestone in the civil war. Having surrounded Madrid, the mutinous fascist army was making a supreme effort to over-run the capital. On 4 November 1936 the ‘notable leaders’* of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT and anarchist FAI Peninsular Committee finally and completely abandoned the Confederation’s apolitical stance by taking it upon themselves to accept four nominal ministries in the central government of Largo Caballero. Many believed this was a cynical move on the part of Caballero to facilitate the government’s flight to Valencia and to pre-empt any criticism, or, presumably, any revolutionary initiatives from the anarcho-syndicalist rank and file. Coincidentally (if you believe in coincidences!), two days later, on 6 November, Largo Caballero and his cabinet, including his newly appointed anarchist ministers, fled to Valencia — while the people of Madrid rallied to the city’s defence to cries of ‘Long Live Madrid Without Government!’

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FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE by Maximilian A. Mügge. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

 Philosophy  Comments Off on FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE by Maximilian A. Mügge. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)
Nov 172016

nietszschesmalleBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo    Check out other Christiebooks titles HERE 

Nietzsche has a poor reputation among many of the liberal intelligentsia for, among other things, his critique of liberal rationalism and his propagation of the over-man/Superman (Übermensch), but is his near villainous reputation deserved? He was, certainly, a complicated, ambiguous and contradictory piece of work, but he did help shape the modern philosophical landscape and is considered to be one of the genuinely great, influential and thinkers who has earned his ledge in the modern philosophical pantheon

Not many philosophers have provoked such widely varying assesments: “a madman” (The Chambers Biographical Dictionary); “a greater thinker than Marx” (Horkheimer); the “philosopher of developed capitalism” (Franz Mehring); the “progenitor and ideological founder of the Third Reich” (Hitler); the inspiration for “Nietzschean anarchism” (Gustav Landauer, who conveniently turned a blind eye to Nietzsche’s tirades against anarchism, solidarity and communal social interest and cherry-picked his ideas on voluntarism, materialism, along with his occasional tirades against capitalism and the “money economy” to establish the basis for his own take on anarchism.) He was also a significant influence on Lenin and Trotsky, as well as Max Weber, Sartre and other 20th century existentialists

The present work is neither polemic nor apology. It is, rather, an attempt to introduce aspiring students and aficionados of moral philosophy to Nietzsche as a person and as a provocative thinker. Contents include a detailed biography, an outline of his views on metaphysics, moral theorising, Christian values, the Superman, art, war, history, etc., together with interpretative sketches and a chronological exposition of all his works. A useful primer on all things Nietzsche.

SEVEN RED SUNDAYS (Siete domingos rojos) Ramón José Sender. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

 Anarchism in Spain, Fiction  Comments Off on SEVEN RED SUNDAYS (Siete domingos rojos) Ramón José Sender. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)
Nov 122016

eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo    Check out other Christiebooks titles HERE 


Amparo García del Rio

Seven Red Sundays is Sender’s third novel. Published in Spanish as Siete domingos rojos, it forms a prominent landmark in modernist Spanish literature. It was written in 1932 in the aftermath of the unsuccessful anarcho-syndicalist ‘declarations of Libertarian Communism’ (uprisings) in Figols, Berga, and Cardona in Alto Llobregat (Catalonia), and also in Alocorisa and Teruel (Aragon). The complex story covers seven consecutive days, each a ‘Red Sunday’ of socially transformative class struggle: agitation, street fighting, and a revolutionary general strike triggered by the killing of three anarcho-syndicalists by the police during a banned protest meeting. Following mass labour unrest heightened by the betrayals of the anti-working-class Second Republic, a public funeral in Madrid ends in street fighting, sabotage and the prospect of a nationwide general strike. Sabotage throws the city into darkness, leading to mass arrests, and more state terror, including the torture and cold-blooded murder of union activists by police applying the ‘Law of Flight’ (legitimising the shooting of escaping prisoners).  Sender’s use of perspective — in which he looks at the network of connections and the unfolding course of events from ten different viewpoints — explores not only the ambiguities, selfless heroism, frailties and inner conflicts of the central personages struggling for change: love, sublime faith, self sacrifice, religion, betrayal and treachery. It is also a hauntingly beautiful and tender book that captures the mood and feel of revolution as well as the spirit of the Second Spanish Republic in 1932.

‘Magnificent… a masterpiece.’” — New York Times Book Review.

‘An extraordinary book, extremely intelligent. As exciting as a long ski run on a crisp morning and as beautiful and dangerous.’ — New Statesman.

sevenredsundayssmallRamón José Sender Garcés, anarchist journalist and author, was born in Chalamera de Cinca, Huesca, in Northern Aragón, Spain on 3 February 1901 and died in San Diego, California, USA on 16 January 1982.

Sender moved to Alcañiz (Teruel) aged 16 where he worked as a messenger for a pharmacist while studying for his baccalaureate at the College of the Escalopion Fathers. In 1918 he moved to Madrid, again working for a pharmacist, and began frequenting the Ateneo de Madrid where he came into contact with writers such as Ramón María del Valle Inclán and Miguel de Unamuno. At Madrid University he studied Philosophy and Letters while developing his literary talents writing for Nueva España and El País. In 1922 he was conscripted to fight in the Spanish colonial war to suppress the Berber rebel Republic of the Rif and served two years in Morocco. His first novel, Imán (Magnet) (1930), was based on these North African experiences. Demobbed in 1924 Sender returned to Madrid where he found employment as an editor at El Sol. Around this time he joined the journalists’ section of the CNT (National Confederation of Labour), the anarcho-syndicalist workers’ union, and was also active in the Spartacus anarchist group. Imprisoned for anti-monarchist agitation in 1926 he spent some time in Madrid’s Cárcel Modelo (Model Prison), another experience he used as the basis for his second novel O. P. (Orden Público) (Public Order) (1931).

IF ANYONE should ask me: ‘Do you think that anarcho-syndicalism is an ultimate factor in Spanish politics?’ my answer is ‘Yes’ and that neither today nor ever can it be neglected. Lastly, if anyone should beg me to be explicit as to my own view on anarcho-syndicalism as a political fact, I return to what I have said already. Here is my formula; it is a non-political formula. People too full of humanity dream of freedom, of the good, of justice, giving these an emotional and individualistic significance. Carrying such a load, an individual can hope for the respect and loyalty of his relations and friends, but if he should hope to influence the general social structure, he nullifies himself in heroic and sterile rebellion. No man can approach mankind giving his all and expecting all in return. Societies are not based on the virtues of individuals, but on a system which controls defects by limiting the freedom of everyone. Naturally the system takes a different form under feudalism, capitalism and communism. Let anarcho-syndicalists invent their own system, and until they have attained it, go on dreaming of a strange state of society in which all men are as disinterested as St Francis of Assisi, bold as Spartacus, and able as Newton and Hegel. But behind the dream there is a human truth of the most generous kind — sometimes, let me insist, absolutely sublime. Is not that enough?’

Ramón J Sender, Seven Red Sundays

All ChristieBook titles on Kindle and KOBO are ALSO available from our Bookshelf for £1.50!

Other fiction titles available direct from ChristieBooks Bookshelf (all at £1.50) include: THE MAN WHO KILLED DURRUTI ; TIGRE JACK Y otras prosas atrocesTHE TASTE OF BLOOD ; THE SPANISH HORSE  ;  BASTARDS DIE HARD ; FESTIVAL OF STIFFS ; THE WORLD IS MINE. (The Story of a Modern Monte Cristo) ; LA BODEGA. (The Fruit of the Vine) ; ADVENTURES IN BUKHARA — Tales of Khoja Nasreddin ; WITHOUT A GLIMMER OF REMORSE. (The remarkable story of Sir Arthur Connan Doyle’s chauffeur) ; THE BUTCHER OF LES HURLUS ; ¡PISTOLEROS! 1:1918 – The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg ; ¡PISTOLEROS! 2:1919 – The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg ; ¡PISTOLEROS! 3:1920-24 – The Chronicles of Farquhar McHarg ; WORDS IN THE SNOW [A FILANDÓN]

THE CAPED AVENGER. THE WORLD IS MINE by William Blake. (New York, 1938; London, 1939) eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)

 Anarchism in Barcelona, Anarchism in Spain, anarchism in Valencia, anarchist fiction, Drama  Comments Off on THE CAPED AVENGER. THE WORLD IS MINE by William Blake. (New York, 1938; London, 1939) eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)
Oct 292016

worldisminecoversmallA modern re-telling of Dumas’s epic tale of suffering and retribution. The rivetting melodrama of a latter-day anarchist Count of Monte Cristo, Cristóbal Pinzón, a young Andalucian boy whose childhood is coloured by his father’s ruin and his family’s immiseration by three unscrupulous Englishmen and a Welshman (no Scotsmen, thankfully!). A lively page-turning but well-paced yarn of fraud, financial jiggery-pokery, revenge, radicalisation— and an illuminating romp through forty-odd years of Spanish and European culture and history from the fin de siècle to the opening shots of the Spanish Civil War. It is also about one man’s determination to bring about the social revolution by destroying capitalism from within — practically single-handedly! It was, after all, he, Cristóbal, who triggered the stock-market crash of 1929! A worthy comrade and contemporary of Farquhar McHarg!

I know nothing about the earlier or subsequent literary career of William Blake, but if THE WORLD IS MINE is anything to go by he was a fascinating character with a profound empathy and understanding of anarchist ideas and principles, at least as expressed through the actions and dialogue of his cultured, idealistic-yet-worldly Byronic protagonist, Cristóbal Pinzón, a cosmopolitan libertarian caped crusader given to deep philosophising, speaking in polysyllables, crisp ironic sentences, and plotting social revolution. Cristóbal’s fiscal high-jinks and complex schemes of spectacularly appropriate vengeance are remarkably plausible in detail; it is also a scathing indictment of Western civilisation, part of the story behind the Spanish Civil War and a handy vade mecum to capitalism and high culture. A rare classic, hard to put down; I wonder if Jeffrey Archer has discovered it yet?! — SC (Read Inside)

eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo    Check out other Christiebooks titles HERE 

Revolution — Between chance and necessity. (La révolution entre hasard et nécessité) by Octavio Alberola.

 anarchism, Anarchist ideas  Comments Off on Revolution — Between chance and necessity. (La révolution entre hasard et nécessité) by Octavio Alberola.
Oct 262016

Octavio Alberola (2016)

This book starts from the following assumption: The 20th century was the century of revolutions that altered the geography and face of the world; the political instrument they served, however, is no longer usable. The very word revolution has fallen into disuse in recent times. No longer do we dream of the “Great Day”, nor does any agenda remain for the world other than that of globalised predatory capitalism.

Alberola’s book tries to answer this question: What must we do? Resign ourselves to backsliding, abandon all thoughts of emancipation, or toll the bells of rebellion and re-invent revolution?

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August 1944. Spaniards in the Liberation of Paris. One Spanish Anarchist’s Testimony. Manuel Pinto Queiroz-Ruiz (1916-2000), aka ‘Manuel Lozano’ Translated by Paul Sharkey

 Spanish anarchism, World War II  Comments Off on August 1944. Spaniards in the Liberation of Paris. One Spanish Anarchist’s Testimony. Manuel Pinto Queiroz-Ruiz (1916-2000), aka ‘Manuel Lozano’ Translated by Paul Sharkey
Oct 222016
'Manuel Lozano', Hôtel de Ville, 24 August 1944

‘Manuel Lozano’, Hôtel de Ville, 24 August 1944

Manuel Pinto Queiroz-Ruiz, better known by his alias ‘Manuel Lozano’, was born in Jerez de la Frontera (Cadiz) on 14-4-1916. The son of an anarchist barber (shot by the Francoists), he lost his mother at an early age and from a tender age worked in a distillery and in various vineyards around Jerez. In 1932, the year he learned to read and write, he joined the CNT (wine-cellar workers’ section) and the anarchist Libertarian Youth.

When the civil war erupted in 1936 and after Jerez fell into rebel hands he fled to the republican zone, serving on a number of fronts: Malaga, Granada, Marbella, Almeria, Murcia and Alicante — right up until the fighting ended.

In March 1939 he escaped to Oran but scarcely had he arrived when he was arrested by the French police and locked up in a concentration camp. He passed through five such camps in Algeria and Morocco, until November 1942 when the Allied armies overran North Africa. He then joined the Corps Franc d’Afrique (second armoured division) and, in April 1943, took part in the capture of Bizerta. In May 1944 he was brought to England and from August 1944 saw action in France with the Leclerc Division — 3rd Regiment, Company No 9 — in the battles of Normandy and Alençon.

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The first Mayday. The Haymarket Speeches 1895-1910. Voltairine de Cleyre With an introduction by Paul Avrich eBook £1.00/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)

 Anarchism in the USA  Comments Off on The first Mayday. The Haymarket Speeches 1895-1910. Voltairine de Cleyre With an introduction by Paul Avrich eBook £1.00/€2.00 (see eBookshelf)
Oct 142016

Chicago, May 3rd 1886: ‘Towards the end of the afternoon of May 3rd, about 8,000 strikers gathered at the exit of the McCormick agricultural machine factory to taunt the scabs; they were greeted by revolver and rifle shots from the police and Pinkerton agents; forced to retreat they left six dead and fifty wounded.’ The Art of Anarchy by Flavio Costantini, Cienfuegos Press, Honley, 1975

The first Mayday. The Haymarket Speeches 1895-1910 Voltairine de Cleyre (with an introduction by Paul Avrich). eBook £1.00/€1.50 (see eBookshelf)  Also available from Kobo    Check out other Christiebooks titles HERE 

On 1 May 1886, 800,000 workers from all trades and factories throughout the US went on strike in support of the eight-hour working day. In Chicago, a stronghold of immigrant labour and anarchists, 300,000 workers struck and marched through the city streets in a huge display of proletarian power. Before the Chicago May Day strike action began, the management at McCormick Machine Co. (now International Harvester) had locked out 1500 workers over a wage dispute. On 3 May, when pickets attempted to prevent blackleg labour entering the plant, the Chicago police opened fire on the workers, killing, four and wounding many more. Outraged at this act of naked aggression, radical newspapers called for armed resistance against the bloodthirsty Chicago police, and a protest rally was called for the following day (4 May) at Haymarket Square. Three leading anarchists gave speeches condemning police violence and capitalist oppression: Parsons, Spies and Fielden. As the meeting came to an end, 200 police moved in on the crowd. Suddenly, a bomb was thrown and exploded in the midst of the police, who immediately opened fire on the assembled workers. Several police and many workers were killed.

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