Max Nettlau, born in Austria in 1865 and died in 1944 in Amsterdam, was the most important chronicler and guide to anarchism prior to 1930. This 400-page introduction to the history of anarchist ideas and early movements, summarises the author’s monumental 9-volume history and several biographies. Its 18 chapters cover the precursors of anarchism, the history of ideas like individualist anarchism, Proudhonism and revolutionary syndicalism, and the history of the world anarchist movement up to 1930. The editor has added a guide to Nettlau’s work.
Forty-two years ago this month — 2 March 1974 — anarchist Salvador Puig Antich was garroted in Barcelona’s Modelo Prison. The following is a personal account by his sisters of the events leading up to his judicial murder.
“In his cell, facing a warder, the impeccably uniformed soldier informed our brother, alvador Puig Antich, of the double death sentences passed on him. According to the witnesses, Salvador wept. He was the third born of a family of six brothers and sisters. From an early age he had shown a tendency to advocate on behalf of the poor. He was expelled mid-way through the school year from the Bonanova De La Salle College for defending a fellow pupil unfairly treated by a teacher. It was hard to find another college to take him, but he did go back to school, the Pompeya Capuchin College; a year later he entered the Salesian College in Mataró where he sat his baccalaureate. It was there that he met Father Manero, the priest who was to be his companion during his last night a few years later.
On Sunday 2 April 1933, Durruti, Ascaso and ‘Combina’ were arrested leaving the Andalusian-Extremaduran Regional Congress in Seville charged with promulgating the ‘criminal’ ideas discussed during the closing session.”  This was blatant ‘thought crime’ and flew in face of the Second Republic’s much vaunted right to freedom of expression. On Sunday 9 April, the representative leaders from Estat Catalá and the ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia) gathered in Barcelona to pay tribute to the fascist Josep Dencás (the Minister of Health at the time); they believed the Seville arrests had decapitated the FAI and that that organisation could now be considered a spent force. Such declarations amounted to wishful thinking, commonplace among those directing the bourgeois machinery of repression when they set out to resolve complicated and deep-seated social issues and concomitant bitter and run-of-the-mill terrorist and public order implications by reducing the issues to a few individual leaders and scapegoats. Josep Dencás was one of the founders, prime movers – along with the Badía brothers – and sponsors of the fascistic, pro-independence escamots of the JEREC (Republican Left Youth-Estat Catalá).
Sabata (from sabata, the Catalan word for shoe) decided as a child he was intended for the priesthood and was entered into a seminary, which he later left, unable to live up to the vow of celibacy. Born in 1953, this restless child of a bourgeois Catalan Catholic family from La Bisbal was captivated by the charismatic personality of a local priest and decided to follow in his footsteps, despite his father’s misgivings, who believed that at the age of nine he did not know enough to make such a monumental decision. The village priest, a dynamic character, impressed Sabata, as did Catalanism and the sense of brotherhood. He also discovered repression at first hand at this time: camping near the border they were surrounded one night by Civil Guard troops; on another occasion, during a night-time crossing, a cheeky retort to a challenge from two police officers earned him a slap in the face. His ‘radicalisation began in the seminary, as he graduated from child to adolescent in the company of worker priests, followers of Liberation Theology and reading banned books from France. Most people in the border area had relatives in France and the proximity of the frontier made contact that much easier.
A little on the wider struggle against asbestos abuse: my experience of the industry itself began fifty years ago at the age of 19. I worked as a mixer for Turner & Co., Manchester, producing asbestos by-products. Every hour I emptied barrels of raw asbestos fibre into a mixing machine, added cement and water. After each mix I scooped out the residue by hand. A young guy. Who cares about breathing masks and gloves, and over a period of months millions of raw fibre were in the air I breathed.
No Pleural Plaques show on my lungs as far as I know. We discover their existence when our lungs are x-rayed. Mine have not been x-rayed for years. In themselves Pleural Plaques do not damage our capacity to breathe, as far as we know, and are not a precursor to asbestos-related diseases, as far as we know. But psychologically, and to that extent physically, their existence does produce an effect in us. Their existence confirms not only that we were exposed to the risk of asbestos poisoning, but that our bodies have been invaded. The poisonous fibres are within us. This makes us more liable to develop an asbestos related disease than those who dont have any Pleural Plaques. This is borne out by insurance companies offering to pay out a sum of money in advance of any asbestos related disease being contracted.
El Movimiento Libertario Español. Pasado, presente y futuro (Suplemento a Cuedernos de Ruedo iberico, 1974) redactado por José Martínez y José Ignacio Martin-Artajo. eBook £1.50 (see eBookshelf) Also available from Kobo Check out other Christiebooks titles HERE
El primer imperativo que nos impusimos fue el de evitar que nuestro conjunto tuviera un carácter arqueológico. Caer en la tentación arqueológica era fácil. Abordar la historia reciente del anarquismo español, tratar de la práctica actual de sus organizaciones, ceñir aunque sólo sea flojamente los problemas que tiene planteados es tarea ardua que nos ha procurado muchos sinsabores. El segundo imperativo era evitar el monolitismo, no incurrir en el pecado de aplicar una línea estricta al fascículo. Esto exigía no caer en «el fetichismo de las siglas», no centrarnos en el estudio de las organizaciones libertarias actuales y de las posiciones oficiales de éstas, sino intentar partir de una realidad más profunda, de la «corriente libertaria» a que aluden algunos de los colaboradores del suplemento, soporte no sólo de aquellas organizaciones y portadora de sus doctrinas «oficiales» sino fenómeno subyacente productor de una mayor riqueza de formas orgánicas, de valores ideológicos y de prácticas concretas. imponía alinear a lo largo de sus páginas trabajos críticos construidos a partir de ideologías no libertarias y colaboraciones de miembros de las diversas tendencias libertarias.
May 21st is the day various social movements from around the world have chosen to stage a planetary day of action against Chevron. The objective is to demand that the United States- based oil company modifies its practices and admits responsibility for the serious crimes it has committed all over the planet during its history.
Mais où sont les neiges d’antan? After rejecting calls for a ‘more rapid move toward the implementation of Socialism’, Raúl Castro announced (in January) the inauguration of the Mariel ‘Special Development Zone’, a commercial/industrial business zone in which the now mature Cuban ruling class (men such as Castro’s son Antonio Castro) can invite foreign entrepreneurs, rentier capitalists and bankers to invest in Cuba. Presumably with the aim of building capitalism in one country …
Kotuko, Osugi y Yamaga: tres anarquistas Japoneses by Victor García (in Spanish). ISBN 978-1-873976-68-5. First published in September 1975 by ‘Ruta’, Venezuela. This eBook (Kindle edition) is published by ChristieBooks in conjunction with the Grupo Cultural de Estudios Sociales de Melbourne and Acracia Publications — Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £1.87/€2.25/$3.00 READ INSIDE! ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!
In his 1975 work the late Víctor García (as editor of the anarchist youth (FIJL) paper Ruta) profiled three important Japanese libertarians whose struggles took place during what might be described as the heroic age of the organised anarchist movement in Japan (1903-1937). It was a period in which many of them died challenging the cruel and despotic Mikado regime.
The three freedom fighters he selected from this period were: Denjiro Kotoku, Sakai Osugi and Taiji Yamaga, chronologically placed at the beginning, middle and the end of that heroic time frame in order to give Westerners some insight into the anarchist movement in Japan.
Víctor García, considered by some to be the Marco Polo of the international anarchist movement (because of his extensive travels), visited Japan in 1957 and again in 1974. During his first visit he was welcomed by the last of the anarchist biographees — Taiji Yamaga — with whom he spent three months travelling to many cities and towns in the archipelago (except Hokkaido) being presented to most of the survivors of the Japanese libertarian movement. On his second visit in 1957, Víctor García interviewed more old and new militants to glean the material for the present work and for his more substantial (600+ pages) study of Japanese anarchism, ‘Museifushugi’, which was translated by Paul Sharkey and edited, substantially expanded and enhanced by ‘Wat Tyler’, an English teacher — a comrade —living in Osaka. ‘Museifushugi’ was originally scheduled for publication in 1981 by Cienfuegos Press but had to be scrapped when the printer ‘lost’ the corrected galleys in a fire — and refused to re-set the book. Fortunately, we have recently salvaged the corrected text and it is currently being re-proofed and further updated by Wat Tyler, Victor Garcia’s joint author and original English-language editor. It should be available in Kindle format sometime later this year.