Cat Has Had the Time of His Life

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    Our Daily Bleed...


The Daily Bleed Detail Reference Page for the month of December

The following entries on this page provide details, subtext or background relating to dated entries cited in the Daily Bleed Calendar, linked from there to the date(s) cited here.

The Daily Bleed Calendar in full, & access to the pages for this month, are accessible at

1896 -- [December 1, 1896] Rex Stout Versus the FBI

Rex Stout is best remembered today as the author of the Nero Wolfe detective books.

Featuring a portly, urbane detective who lives in a Manhattan brownstone, collects orchids, & cares deeply for good food, Stout's stories are not what most people would consider subversive. Yet Stout (1886-1975) wound up on J. Edgar Hoover's now-infamous enemies list at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

A son of Quakers, Stout was raised with a powerful social conscience. In the 1920s, he served on the original board of the American Civil Liberties Union & helped start the radical magazine "New Masses". During the Great Depression, he was an enthusiastic supporter of the New Deal, & lobbied hard for Franklin Roosevelt to accept a fourth term as president. During WWII, he worked with the advocacy group Friends of Democracy, & he worked prominently on the Writers War Board, particularly in support of the embryonic United Nations. When the war ended, Stout was active in the United World Federalists.

When the anti-Communist hysteria of the late 1940s & 1950s began, Stout was a logical target. He found himself targeted by members of the American Legion, as well as cross-dresser Hoover's FBI. As journalist Herbert Mitgang found when he obtained access to Stout's FBI files for his book Dangerous Dossiers (1988), Stout was one of many writers on Hoover's private enemies list.

Stout's FBI file runs to 300 pages (though the FBI would only release 183 heavily blacked-out pages to Mitgang). But Stout wasn't afraid, knowing that he could rely on both independent means & the love of the public.

In 1965, Stout fought back with his novel The Doorbell Rang, in which Nero Wolfe found himself locked in a duel of wits with the FBI. & as any reader of the Nero Wolfe books — especially The Doorbell Rang — knows, in a battle of wits between Wolfe & anyone else, never bet against the fat man.

In later years Stout alienated many with his hawkish stance on Vietnam, & his contempt for communism was denounced frequently in his works.

"Compose yourself, Archie.

Why taunt me?

Why upbraid me?

I am merely a genius, not a god."

— Nero Wolfe, in Fer-De-Lance (1934).

  • Who murdered Waldo?! A murder complaint in the office suggestion box? A woman jilted by death?!
  • A mathemetician who always wanted to apply probability theory to detective work, talks math, going so far as to write out the "second approximation to the normal distribution", which narrator Archie cites. Apparently Archie doesn't know what a square root symbol is, since what should be a sqrt(2.pi.D) comes out as V.2.pi.D. (It appears Stout did his homework, so either his printer got it wrong, or Stout engaged in an inside joke for mathematicians only.)
  • A vicious killer murders souls as well as bodies
  • A book which could kill & go on killing...& a wilted blonde passion flower stumbling onto the scene
  • The corpse holds the clue, & Wolfe proves that murdered men can talk
  • Wolfe grabs a bull by the horns & finds himself steered into murder

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1905 -- Timeline icon 1 December 1905.  


anarchist diamond dingbat;anarquista

The anarchist publication "Tiempos Nuevos" first appears today in Gijón, Spain. Director, Suárez Duque. Contributors included Quintanilla, Anselmo Lorenzo, Valle.

Renée Lamberet insists that publication dates from 1901 ("Tiempos Nuevos" has been used as the title of several anarchist publications over the years, & perhaps Lamberet has confused the date of this publication with that of "LOS Tiempos Nuevos," an anarchist publication which did begin in 1901, in Seville).


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    Timeline icon
    1960 -- Scotland: Ethel MacDonald (24 February 1909—1 December 1960) dies.


    anarchist diamond dingbat Glasgow-based anarchist activist &, in 1937, during the Spanish Revolution, a propagandist on Barcelona Loyalist radio, captured by the fascists. "COME AND GET ME."

    Ethel MacDonald was born in Motherwell in 1909, into a large working class family. Politically active from a very early age, she was intensely opposed to the political & economic domination of women. She joined the Independent Labour Party at 16. In 1931 she joined the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation (see Organise! 42 for an account of the A-PCF).

    When the A-PCF split in 1934, she & Guy Aldred left to form a new group, the Workers Open Forum. This subsequently merged with a branch of the ILP to form the United Socialist Movement.

    Ethel MacDonald visited comrades in prison, smuggling in food & letters. She helped several foreign anarchists escape from Spain, borrowing clothes for their disguise & getting them on board foreign ships. She was finally captured & imprisoned herself. In prison she helped organise a hunger strike in every prison where there were anarchist prisoners...

    ... show details

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    1963 -- [December 1, 1963] As far as the Spanish Libertarian Movement was concerned, the situation at the beginning of this year was extremely confused & depressing.

    The impact of the "victory" of organizational passivity had the effect of an ice-cold shower on the most active militants. Although obliged in France to go into full clandestinity, the anarchist youth group Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias (FIJL) was the only one to react against the plot by supporters of organizational passivity, whereas the militants of the other branches went through this organizational crisis with a certain indifference.

    After having established the new clandestine structure of the youth organization, the "provisional" Commission of Relations began preparations for an extraordinary Congress. It took place on December 1, 1963, & the final decision was as follows:

    "(...) To obtain, by means of our delegation in the Defense Commission, complete information about the serious problem that exists there, caused by the paralysis of the policy of action, & by the case of the two resignations from the organization of people serving as delegates (the DI). This information, by mandate of the Congress, must be forwarded to the rank & file so that it can decide about the application of the condition of the Youth organization's Dictamen."(...)

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    1997 --
    December 1, 1997

    Kathy Acker is gone. She should have lived forever; she seemed younger than all of us.

    I watched this happen to her from far away. Two weeks ago, a writer friend gave me her number in Tijuana. I couldn't bear to use it. I couldn't have taken the sound of her voice.

    When people die in public, individual grief remains that much more private. Many writers will define Kathy for posterity without having known her deeply, & critics will circumscribe the limits of her circle without having understood its compass. Meanwhile, individual grief remains secret, mute. Yet in one's own life, grief's memory must triumph. One must try to go on remembering people "as they were".

    Kathy once told me I was the little brother she never had. & when we were close, she really did feel make me like an ideal lost relation. She did that for a lot of her friends — made them feel important. One forgets these things until one can't forget.

    Many people loved & hated Kathy. But those who hated Kathy are weeping, too.

    No one will ever replace her. I can hear Kathy even now. I'm looking at my copy of Hannibal Lecter, My Father, the book I named. In it, she wrote "I'll love you forever." I thought Kathy would live forever. I'll always be touching a shoulder that isn't there.

    All the best,

    Rob Hardin

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    1859 -- [Dec 2] Georges Seurat lives to spend Sundays in the park, hanging out with anarchists like Camille Pissarro.

    In the 1880s, Pissarro joined a younger generation of artists, including Georges Seurat, Maximilien Luce (1858-1941), Paul Signac (1863-1935), & his own son Lucien, in adopting the Neo-Impressionist technique, which used the claims of science to support a new style of painting.

    In common with many artists & writers of his day, he became a fervent anarchist. He produced a powerful attack on French bourgeois society in his album of anarchist drawings, Turpitudes Sociales, 1889.

    The complicated relationship between anarchism & art is the subject of several new works. Paul Smith’s Seurat & the Avant-garde (Yale University, 1997) studies the post-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat & offers a critical view of his relationship to anarchism. Readers of German may enjoy Raimund Schäffner’s Anarchismus & Literatur in England (1997, Carl Winter), as Spanish readers may enjoy Sonya Torres Planells’s Ramón Acin book coverRamón Acín (1888-1936): una Estética Anarquista y de Vanguardia (Editorial Virus, 1998).
    Acín was a Spanish sculptor, painter, & cartoonist as well as an active member of the CNT. He was murdered by fascists in 1936 at the beginning of the Spanish social revolution.

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    1875 -- [December 2] Russia: Peter Kropotkin moved to the St. Petersburg House of Detention. (I don't have exact date — ed.)

    The interrogations had continued, & the police resorted to all sorts of means to attempt to get Peter to confess. At this time, his health was beginning to deteriorate. The damp, warm conditions of his cell had led to Peter contracting rheumatism. In December, the Ministry of Justice ordered that Peter be moved to the St. Petersburg House of Detention since his trial was nearing. Peter had spent 21 months in the Peter & Paul Fortress.

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    1926 -- [December 2] France: Premier issue of Combat Syndicaliste
    Combat Syndicaliste logo

    Graphic: Combat Syndicaliste masthead, 5 mars 1964, courtesy Ephéméride Anarchiste

    Premier issue of Combat Syndicaliste, journal of the Confédération Générale duTravail - Syndicaliste Révolutionnaire (CGT-SR), French anarcho-syndicalist section of the AIT.

    First published in Lyon under the direction of Pierre Besnard, then moved to Paris, St Etienne, & Limoges, until August 1939. It reappears in the postwar period in Paris in April 1947, under the auspices of the French CNT, & publishing continuously since.

    It's motto: "De chacun selon ses forces à chacun selon ses besoins."
    (From each according their abilities, to each according to their needs.)

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    1946 -- US: Oakland General Strike (December 3-5, 1946).

    During the General Strike in Oakland 100,000 workers from 142 AFL unions — including workers from factories, industries, services, retail stores, transportation systems & more — declare a "work holiday" & walked off their jobs.

    The three-day General Strike of more than 130,000 workers in Alameda County (Oakland), opposed police brutality & supported striking Oakland department store workers.

    It lasted until city & labor leaders settled on a compromise agreement, returning workers to their jobs on Dec. 5. In following months, the populist Oakland Voters League brought together progressive factions in the city to elect four out of five labor candidates to the city council.

    ... show details

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    1914 --

    Rage Against the Machine:


    Zapata's blood
    Wasn't spilt in vain
    So now the most poor wage war
    To reclaim their name

    Zapata's blood

    Wasn't spilt in vain

    So now the most poor wage war
    To reclaim their terrain

    On January 1st , 1994
    The indigenous farmers of Southern Mexico
    Declared war on an unjust
    and illegitimate government

    Out of the debt of the most wild, the most poor
    Came a just arm struggle
    for democracy, justice, & liberty
    And it won't stop until that 65 year old dictatorship,
    the Partido Revolucionario Institucional
    (Institutional Revolutionary Party) is buried in the
    and the people's voice is heard once again


    So check it out:
    On January 1st, of 94 they became known as
    the Zapatista movement
    And they have a saying, & I want you all to
    sing along with me real quick.
    It goes something like this
    It goes everything for everyone...
    and nothing for ourselves.
    Everything for everyone, & nothing for ourselves.
    Everything for everyone, & nothing for ourselves.
    Everything for everyone, & nothing for ourselves.
    Yeah, sing that shit...
    Everything for everyone, & nothing for ourselves.
    Everything for everyone, & nothing for ourselves.
    Everything for everyone, & nothing for ourselves.
    Everything for everyone, & nothing for ourselves...

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    1935 -- [December 4] Switzerland: In Geneva, anarchists begin destroying slum housing, smashing windows & tearing up roofs.
    Switzerland: In Geneva, anarchists begin destroying slum housing, smashing windows & tearing up roofs.

    In 1935 the FOBB launched an intense campaign of agitation over workers' homes which were little better than hovels. Many huge posters were put up. Leaflets & pamphlets were issued in large numbers. Soon, public opinion began to respond & to shift. It was quickly determined that the slums should be demolished & demolition teams went into operation on the night of 4 December 1935.

    Thirty trade unionists started to smash up the roofs & windows! By morning, in the face of the anarcho-syndicalists’ determined battle against slum housing & the TB which infested it, the authorities in gave in.

    At the end of the campaign Lucien Tronchet alone was arrested, in yet another brush with the law, & brought to trial. He was sentenced to a month in prison & to a heavy fine.

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    Timeline icon
    1848 -- France: Eugène Thennevin (or Tennevin), anarchiste, lives (1848-1908).

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    1880 -- [December 5] Anarchist Congress of the Federation of Upper Italy of the International
    Cafiero had presided the Anarchist Congress of the Federation of Upper Italy of the International, held at Chiasso (Tessin), December 5 & 6, 1880 (s. "Revolte," Feb. 5); in 1881 by the International Revolutionary Congress. It was considered useful that the many advanced parties & groups formed outside of the International & the remaining Internationalists should meet & discuss ideas & action.

    The congress sat with doors closed & the delegates' names were never published. Long reports may be found in the "Revolte" (July 23 to September 9, 1881), in the London "Freiheit," etc.

    Some of the members are known: Kropotkin & G. Herzig from Geneva, Malatesta & Merlino, Johann Neve, the German Anarchist, the best comrade of Most (who was then in an English prison; Neve himself died 10 years later in a German penitentiary). There were the English comrades, who in those years resuscitated the socialist movement by untiring street corner & leaflet propaganda; Joseph Lane is worth to be mentioned as the very soul of this work.

    G. Brocher in his recollections on Kropotkin (published by Grave , 1921) revives the memory of this congress & mentions also the names of Louise Michel, Emile Gautier, Victorine Rouchy (of the Commune, Brocher's future wife, d. 1922), Chauviere [a Blanquist], Miss Lecomte of Boston, Tchaikowski, etc.

    Malatesta was overwhelmed with credentials, being delegated by the Tuscan Federation of the International, the Socialists of the Marches, groups in Turin & Naples, Pavia & Alessandria, Marseille & Geneva, & the Internationalists of Constantinople & Egypt (which meant groups formed among the many Italians whom emigration or exile scattered in the last).

    The other Italian delegate [Dr. Merlino] had credentials from Rome & Naples, Calabrian towns, also from Pisa, Fabriano & Palermo.

    Malatesta's ideas of the purpose of this congress can be gathered from a letter of his to the Verviers "Cri du Peuple," the Belgian Anarchist paper

    [Source: Max Nettlau, Errico Malatesta: The Biography of an Anarchist.]

    The insurrectionary current obtains, for the last time, the majority.
    Four tendencies are enlivened as a result of the current of the new Socialism:
    1) the Marxist "evoluzionisti" collected around the "Plebe".
    2) the revolutionary Socialism of Andrea Costa, with a base in Romagna.
    3) the anarchist communism of Merlino & Errico Malatesta.
    4) the individualist-terrorist current as typified by Santo Geronimo Caserio (Sante Jeronimo), Gaetano Bresci, & Luccheni.
    On 15 May exits the "International Review of Socialism".

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    1936 -- Timeline icon[December 5] El 5 de diciembre de ese año, Melchor Rodríguez fue nombrado delegado especial de prisiones de Madrid.

    Melchor Rodríguez García became the government's special delegate for the prisons of Madrid, as one of the anarchists to be accepted into the government for their support of the Republicans. At that post, he was responsible not only for the upkeep of the prisoners & prevention of escapes, but — more importantly — for prevention of lynching, proposed by numerous members of various militias.

    First appointed on November 10, he resigned within days because of horrific & uncontrollable Communist terrorism within the prisons. During the war, the problem of extralegal execution of prisoners was serious & quite common.

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    1884 -- An aluminum capstone completes the Washington Monument, Washington, DC.


    To complete the obelisk, the aluminum capstone weighing 100 ounces, the largest single piece of aluminum cast to that time, was placed atop the pyramidion on Saturday, December 6, 1884. Colonel Casey was elated at meeting his deadline for completion of the Washington Monument.

    Prior to delivery of the capstone in Washington, it was placed on exhibit at Tiffany's in New York City where it was placed on the floor & persons could have the dubious prestige of "jumping over the top of the Washington Monument." Engraved on the four sides of the capstone was the official record of the construction of the monument.

    The west face read: "Corner Stone laid on bed of foundation, July 4, 1848. First stone at height of 152 feet laid August 7, 1880. Capstone set December 6, 1884"; & the east face read "LAUS DEO." The north & south faces contained names of the commission & the key men in the work of completion.

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    1906 -- [December 6] Brazil: First São Paulo State Congress, convened at Salão Excelsior, December 6- 8th.

    The three primary subjects taken up revolve around the main objective of putting into practice the resolutions of 1º National Congress of Rio de Janeiro (April 1906)

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    1937 -- [December 6] France: The IWA meets in extra-ordinary congress in Paris (6 to 17 December 1937) to examine the CNT’s struggle in Spain.

    Dominating the meeting is the serious matter of the Confederation’s entry into the Spanish government: the CNT’s delegates (Antona, Xena, Prieto & Marianet) sought to justify the unjustifiable: the CNT emerged unscathed from the congress, simply because it was much bigger than the rest of the IWA-affiliated unions: in fact, but for the CNT, the IWA would have been nothing.

    That fact, registered in 1937, was manifested in the accords of the sixth congress (Paris, 29 October to 7 November 1938): affiliates were given great scope in the choosing of their own tactics & proportional voting was introduced ... it was also agreed that the IWA secretariat should be relocated to Sweden (at the suggestion of the CNT) with Andersson as secretary.

    With the end of the civil war in Spain, & the consequent defeat of the CNT, the IWA turned into a shadow, with only a minimal presence in worldwide trade union circles.


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    1822 -- [December 7] France: Emile Digeon lives (1822-1894).

    French revolutionary socialist journalist, best remembered as the leader of the short-lived Narbonne Commune of late March 1871, libertarian free thinker & contributor to the anarchist journal "L'insurgé."

    In 1883 Digeon was "an anarchist candidate"(!) in the Narbonne elections & the author of La Commune de Paris devant les anarchistes (1885).

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    Han Ryner
    1861 -- [December 7] Han Ryner (1861-1938), French teacher, anticlerical, pacifist, anarchist, philosopher (called a "contemporary Socrates"). Lecturer & speaker of talent, Ryner collaborated with many reviews as well.

    Writer of a rich & varied work whose principal books are: Le crime d'obéir (1900), L'homme fourmi (1901), Les voyages de Psychodore (1903), Le sphinx rouge; Le père Diogène (1920), Bouche d'or, patron des pacifistes (1934), etc. Married to poet/author Georgette Ryner.

    "Comme tous ceux qui prétendent commander, il obéit. Nous n'imposons que des volontés qui nous furent imposées. L'orgueil d'être Colonel se paie de l'humiliation de subir le Général. Toute autorité est chose chancelante, essaie de s'appuyer à une autorité qui lui semble plus solide."

           — Han Ryner, in Le crime d'obéir.

    "L' individualisme dans l' antiquité (histoire & critique)" Ed. de l' idée libre 1924, in12 br. 77 pp. , index, portr. de Han Ryner.

    RYNER Han - Jeanne d'Arc fut-elle victime de l'Eglise ? Conférence contradictoire donnée à Paris en Mai 1926 - Ed. de l'Idée libre 1927, in-12, broché, 34 pages avec Allocution d'André LORULOT. Non coupé.

    RYNER (Han) Le Livre de Pierre. 2è éd. P. , Ed. de la Revue des Primaires "Les Humbles" 1919; plaq. in-12 br. 30 pp.

    RYNER, Han: Les voyages de Psychodore, philosophe cynique. Portrait dessiné et gravé par Gabriel Belot. 'Maîtres et jeunes d'aujourd'hui'. Paris, Crès, 1924, gr. in-8°, 248 p. , couverture originale conservée, reliure en demi-cuir d'amateur. Tiré à 1300 exemplaires numérotés, n° 865.

    Ryner (Han) Prenez mois tous. Editions du tambourin, 1930, In8, Br, 252pp. Edition originale, un des 25 exemplaires sur hollande van gelder, celui ci N P, exemplaire de grand papier. Hommage manuscrit de Han Ryner.

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    1896 -- [December 7] France: Emile Digeon lives (1822-1894).

    “Tender-hearted & generous, the sight of misery & oppression stirred within him both pity & hatred: pity for the victims & hatred for the oppressors.”

    — Frank Kitz in his obituary for Neve in Freedom.

    “He had been, at one time, almost the soul of the German Anarchist Movement, & was one of those comrades who devoted their lives fully & unreservedly to the cause…He will always live in the memory of comrades.”

    — Max Nettlau. Obituary in Freedom.

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    1939 -- Jean Grave was a signatory, along with Kropotkin & a several others, to the "Proclamation of the 16" (favoring the allies during WWI), incurring the wrath of antiwar anarchists. In these regards Emma Goldman writes:

    We determined to repudiate Peter's [Kropotkin] stand, & fortunately we were not alone in this.

    Many others felt as we did, distressing as it was to turn against the man who had so long been our inspiration. Errico Malatesta showed far greater understanding & consistency than Peter, & with him were Rudolf Rocker, Alexander Schapiro, Thomas H. Keell, & other native & Jewish-speaking anarchists in Great Britain. In France Sébastien Faure, A. Armand [E. Armand? — ed.], & members of the anarchist & syndicalist movements, in Holland Domela Nieuwenhuis & his coworkers maintained a firm attitude against the wholesale murder. In Germany Gustav Landauer, Erich Mühsam, Fritz Oerter, Fritz Kater, & scores of other comrades retained their senses.

    To be sure, we were but a handful in comparison with the war-drunk millions, but we succeeded in circulating throughout the world the manifesto issued by our International Bureau, & we increased our energies at home to expose the true nature of militarism.

    — excerpt, from Living My Life

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    2004 -- [December 4] Poet, anarchist, pacifist, Jackson Mac Low dies.

    Also writes performance pieces, essays, plays, & radio works.

    Mac Low has always been a political activist, a self-proclaimed pacifist-anarchist. This political stance is evident in the content of the verse written before 1954, as it is also in the Mac Low's activity as an editor of an anarchist publication.

    After 1954 & Mac Low's increasing use of non-intentional strategies, the political stance is shifted to the poem's form & becomes actualized in the transaction between the text & the reader. As Bruce Campbell has explained, Mac Low has no desire "to be a dictator....Instead Mac Low wants to 'empower' the reader.... The reader is not someone who simply gazes upon the work or arrives at a prefabricated meaning; the reader helps to make the meaning." In short, using non-intentional strategies allows Mac Low to alter radically the power relationship of conventional author / reader transactions.

    The Jackson Mac Low Papers:

    Political Subjects consists largely of newspaper & magazine clippings, brochures & flyers. Many of these materials date to the 1940s, 1950s & 1960s, with an emphasis on anarchist movements of the period.

    JACKSON MAC LOW: Statement (1965)

    An "anarchist" does not believe, as some wrongly have put it, in social chaos. He believes in a state of society wherein there is no frozen power structure, where all persons may make significant initiatory choices in regard to matters affecting their own lives. In such a society coercion is at a minimum & lethal violence practically non-existent. Certainly, there will still be situations where coercion may have to be exercised to prevent something worse, but, as Ammon Hennacy has demonstrated in life, even maniacs with knives may be sometimes pacified without violent coercion.

    A "pacifist" believes that better methods than violence may almost always be found to solve social difficulties & resolve differences between individuals & groups. While not all anarchists are pacifists even now, & many pacifists are not anarchists, I think all agree in regarding the individual person as being infinitely precious & as being capable of cooperating with others for the good of all. Let us add to these attitudes that of the Taoist, Zen Buddhist, or Kegon Buddhist, wherein the elementary actions of the world itself & of "all sentient beings" are regarded as being on a level with those of human beings in the narrower sense. One comes to situation wherein "even plants have rights" (one doesn't chop down a tree unless there's a damn good reason to).

    How better to embody such ideas in microcosm than to create works where both other human beings & their environments & the world "in general" (as represented by such objectively hazardous means as random digits) are all able to act within the general framework set of "rules" given by the poet, "the maker of plots or fables," as Aristotle insists-the poet is pre-eminently the maker of the plot, the framework-not necessarily of everything that takes place within that framework! The poet creates a situation wherein he invites other persons & the world in general to be co-creators with him! He does not wish to be a dictator but a loyal co-initiator of action within the free society of equals which he hopes his work will help to bring about.

    That such works themselves may lead to new discoveries about the nature of the world & of man I have no doubt. I have learned, for instance, that it is often very difficult to tell, in many cases, what is "chance" & what is "cause." There are kinds of inner & hidden causation that are very difficult to distinguish, on the one hand, from "chance" or "coincidence," & on the other, from "synchronicity": "meaningful acausal interconnection." Also, absolutely unique situations may arise during performances of such works, & the experiences of those participating in them (whether as performers, audience or both) cannot help but be of new aesthetic (experiential) meanings. That is, not only do the works embody & express certain metaphysical, ethical, & political meanings, but they also bring into being new aesthetic meanings.

    —from A Controversy of Poets
    Jackson Mac Low, poet & anarchist

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    1911 -- Calbraith Perry Rodgers in a coast-to-coast flight across the US in 1911 (fewer than 8 years after the Wright brothers made the first successful flights in an airplane).

    William Randolph Hearst, publisher of the LA "Examiner," offered a $50,000 prize to the first pilot to cross North America by air in 30 days. "Cal" Rodgers planned to compete for the prize by flying a Wright EX biplane. He got financial support for airplane parts, fuel, mechanics, a special railroad train, & other expenses from the J. Ogden Armour Co. In return, Rodgers agreed to advertise the Armour Company's Vin Fiz grape soda drink. He painted the Vin Fiz name on the tail & wings.

    Rodgers took off from Sheepshead Bay, Long Island, NY, on September 17, 1911. Because of numerous delays, his transcontinental flight to Pasadena, California, took 49 days, too long to win the Hearst prize. Nevertheless, Rodgers became the first to fly across the continent, reaching Pasadena on November 5, 1911. Today the restored "Vin Fiz" hangs in the Pioneers of Flight gallery at the National Air & Space Museum.

    Cal Rodgers jammed newspapers under his vest for extra warmth & enjoyed a seemingly ever-present cigar between flights while mechanics worked on the "Vin Fiz."

    He miraculously survived several crashes, like one at Huntingdon, Indiana, where Rodgers broke both legs & ankle, & a collarbone, cracked several ribs, & was thrown from the "Vin Fiz" 15 times during the cross-country flight.

    Cal Rodgers felt his transcontinental trip incomplete until he actually flew to the Pacific Ocean. On December 10, 1911, he taxied the "Vin Fiz" into the ocean off Long Beach, California with his crutches lashed to the top of his lower left wing; Rodgers was still recovering from a recent crash.

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    1919 --

    [December 10-20, 1919] The Madrid congress of the CNT

    The National Congress of C.N.T. was held in Madrid from the 10 to the 18 of December of 1919. By the extension & variety of the agenda, by the amount & quality of the delegates & the number of represented adherents, it is one of the more important working elections ever held in Spain. Three capital problems were treated: the fusion of the Spanish proletariado one (rejected by 323,955 votes against 169,125 & 10,192 abstentions); the new organic structure with National Federations of Industry (rejected by 651,472 votes against 14,008); the declaration of libertarian communist principles (adopted unanimously by acclamation).

    But the most important debate went on the attitude to take with respect to the Russian revolution.

    ... show details

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    1939 -- Canada: Emma Goldman spends the first two weeks of this month in Winnipeg...

    During this month Emma, with the help of Dorothy Rogers, attempts to raise $5,000 bail for the anarchist Arthur Bortolotti's release.

    Under provisions of Canada's War Measures Act, three Italian immigrant anarchists — Bortolotti, Ruggero Benvenuti, Ernest Gava, & a Cuban, Marco Joachim — were arrested in October for possession of antifascist "subversive literature," including anarchist classics; Bortolotti faces deportation to Mussolini's Italy if convicted.

    Emma works tirelessly over the succeeding months for Bortolotti's defense, organizing a committee, hiring counsel, & raising funds from sympathizers in Canada & the US.

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    1964 -- [December 10] Sam Cooke slain at Bates Motel.

    Bates Motel, animated

    According to court testimony, Cooke, who was married to Barbara Campbell, picked up a 22 year old woman named Elisa Boyer at a party. He promised her a ride home but they ended up at a motel. Boyer claims Cooke forced her into the motel room & began ripping her clothes off. She managed to escape with his clothes while he was in the bathroom. He pursued, wearing only a sports coat & shoes. While she called police from a phone booth, Cooke began pounding on the door of the office of the motel's manager, Bertha Franklin. He demanded to know where Campbell was & allegedly broke the door open. Cooke reportedly assaulted Franklin, who shot him three times, & kept coming at her, who then beat Cooke with a stick.

    By the time police arrive, Sam was Cooked.

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    1974 -- US: Souse & Douse? Representative Wilbur D. Mills, Democrat from Arkansas, resigns as chairman of the Ways & Means Committee in the aftermath of the first truly public sex scandal in American politics.

    On October 7 at 2:00 a.m., Mills was stopped by Washington park police while driving at night with his lights off. The 65-year-old was visibly intoxicated, his face was scratched, & his companion, 38-year-old Annabell Battistella, had bruised eyes. She — later identified as a popular burlesque performer known as "Fanne Foxe," or the "Argentine Firecracker," — then proceeded to jump into the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial & had to be pulled out by the police.

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    1999 -- Russia: Anarchists Protest Atop Lenin Mausoleum

    MOSCOW, Dec 10, 1999 --


    Anarchist protesters climbed onto the Lenin mausoleum on Moscow's Red Square on Thursday, a rare demonstration at the holy of holies of the former Soviet Union.

    The five young protestors climbed to the top of the building to stand where Soviet leaders used to watch tanks, soldiers & missiles parade across Red Square in annual commemoration of the Bolshevik Revolution.

    The protesters draped a white banner with the words "Against Everyone" scrawled on it over the large "LENIN" inscription which fronts the mausoleum before policemen hustled them away.

    Russia's NTV television said the youngsters were radical anarchists & showed pictures of them running across Red Square & making it to the top of the mausoleum unhindered.

    For an offence that once might have landed them in jail for several years, Itar-Tass news agency quoted an official as saying the youngsters would be charged with public mischief & fined just 30 rubles, or around one U.S. dollar.

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    1864 -- [ December 11 ] Maurice Leblanc, creator of Arsène Lupin, French gentleman-thief turned detective.

    Alexandre Jacob (1879-1954), the anarchist bandit, is the original "Arsene Lupin" in the French detective novels of Maurice Leblanc, with only slight exagerations which made him a sensational "fictional" character.

    Marius Jacob was a member of "Les travailleurs de la nuit" (Workers of the Night) gang, credited with 150 burglings. Jacob & Felix Bour received life in prison & 14 others in the gang got sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years, while another seven were freed.

    See Jacob (Alexandre Marius, alias Escande, alias Attila, alias Georges, alias Bonnet, alias Féran, alias Georges, alias the Burglar), by Bernard Thomas, Introduction Alfredo M. Bonanno (Elephant Editions).

    "…As I see things, I am not a robber. In creating man, Nature gave him the right to live & man has the duty to exercise that right in full. So if society fails to provide him with the wherewithal to survive, the human being is entitled to seize what he needs from wherever there is plenty."

    Marius Jacob, French anarchiste

    — Alexandre Jacob

    See Doug Imrie's article, "The Illegalists"
    In French,
    & Ephemeride anarchiste
    In Spanish, see

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    1937 -- [December 11] Ángel Pestaña Núñez dies, in Bagà, Barcelone, Spain. Militant Spanish anarcho-syndicalist & later a reformist who ran for election. Pestaña survived an attempted assassination by a rightwing death squad in 1922. Many state & party officials attend his funeral, with exception of the Communists. Indalecio Prieto, Spanish minister of defense, presents a mourning speech: "We lost a great man, when we most needed him".

    The syndicalist elements collaborated with the radical republican party until 1908. They then formed the 'Solidaridad Obrera', and, two years later, in 1910, they founded the Regional Federation of Labour known in Spain as the C.R.T. Immediately afterwards they formed the National Federation of Labor (C.N.T.).

    ... show details

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    1863 -- [December 12] Yikes?: Norwegian printmaker/painter Edvard Munch screams for first time. One of the hordes of smiley-faced-Scandanavians.

    In 1889 Munch painted a portrait of the leader of the Kristiania (as Christiania was now spelled) bohemians, the anarchist Hans Jaeger.

    Sometime in 1886, he fabricated the painting The Sick Child. In the painting the thoughts of the tragic death of his sister were let out & were rather haunting. Munch also finished his series of several versions of The Sick Child. He was then identified with the controversial group called Christiania-Boheme, after a novel by Hans Jaegar.

    Munch's association with Jæger & his circle of radical anarchists became a crucial turning point in his life & a source of new inner unrest & conflict. At that time Munch commenced an extensive biographical literary production which he resumed at different periods in his life. These early writings serve as a reference for several of the central motifs of the '90s. In keeping with Jæger's ideas he wanted to present truthful close-ups of the modern individual's longings & agonies — he wanted to paint his own life.


    In the autumn of 1892 Munch gave a broad presentation of his art, in which he included the fruits of his sojourn in France. This exhibition resulted in Munch being invited (invitation received October 4) to show the same paintings to the Artist's Association of Berlin. It was a formidable "succès de scandale". The general public & the older painters interpreted Munch's art as anarchistic provocation, & the exhibit was closed in protest within a week.

    Illness, insanity & death are the black angels that kept watch over my cradle & accompanied me all my life.

    — Edvard Munch

    [Oct 4 date found page 21, See: Johan H. Langaard, Edward Munch. Fra Ar Til Ar. A Year By Year Record of Munch's Life, (Oslo: H. Aschehoug, 1961) 91pp.

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    1909 -- [December 12] US: Anarchist-feminist Emma Goldman speaks on "Will the Vote Free Woman: Woman Suffrage" to an audience of 300 women, many of whom are suffragists. A collection is taken for Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, recently sentenced to a three-month prison term resulting from her arrest during a free-speech battle in Spokane, Washington.

    Another of her famed lectures is "White Slave Traffic," which she delivers in NY City on the 26th, before embarking on her western tour.

    Emma Goldman was more theatrical than most of her radical counterparts &, in fact, most of the public figures of her day or ours. When she began her career as a political lecturer in the 1890s, it was unusual to see a woman in that role, particularly one so daring. Her provocative & outspoken style elicited powerful responses from the public, ranging from awe to downright fear. Goldman distinguished herself from more mainstream women reformers — from the bourgeois "New Woman" of the period & from the growing suffrage movement — by asserting that woman's freedom would never be found within the bounds of marriage nor achieved through enfranchisement. Although Goldman's refusal to join with groups focused exclusively on women's issues often branded her as "a man's woman," few voices of either sex addressed as eloquently the political dimensions of personal life, or challenged as forcefully the social conventions that shackled women. From a perspective that now would be considered ardently feminist, she encouraged women to cast off the layers of submission that suppressed their potential — a charge that continues to challenge even contemporary women.

    — Candace Falk

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    1938 -- [December 12] England: John McNair of the ILP & Emma Goldman speak at a poorly attended meeting in London on the crisis in Spain. Emma Goldman, anarchist feminist

    Emma Goldman spends much of the month in London completing a report on her visit to Spain for the anarchist press.

    The C.N.T. [Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo] decides to close its offices in London & North America for economic reasons. Saornil pledges to continue relations with Emma & author/anarchist Ethel Mannin& hopes that, despite the closure of the CNT-FAI London bureau, the propaganda for the S.I.A. (Solidarid Internacional Antifascista) will continue. Emma sends 500 pounds of clothing to Spanish refugees through the SIA in Perpignan.

    Emma also learns friend Emmy Eckstein's health is in serious jeopardy & that she must undergo surgery again.

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    1969 -- [December 12] Italy: Bomb explodes, Banque Nationale d'Agriculture, Milan. 18 die, many injured.
    A period of social upheaval, it triggers repression against the autonomy movement & anarchists. Authorities later admit the bombing was the work of fascists. Italian Intelligence & fascist army units (created by US Army from Mussolini's Intelligence) were making bomb attacks & pretending they were by anarchists. See for example, the murder of the railwayman/anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli by police (15 December) & the false arrest of Pietro Valpreda. Now referred to as the "State slaughter".

    "Stai attento, indiziato Pinelli,
    questa stanza é giá piena di fumo,
    se tu insisti, apriam la finestra,
    quattro piani son duri da far."

    — "Ballata per l'anarchico Pinelli", attributed to L.Francisci-Anonymous, Eliseo.

    Pinelli was also the focus of the play, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, by Dario Fo.

    Piazza Fontana. In a sense it all started here. The bomb placed by fascists in the Bank of Agriculture, 12 December 1969. Dario Fo wrote his Accidental Death of an Anarchist to highlight police cover-ups of the true facts. Now, on the 30th anniversary of Piazza Fontana, a national protest has been organized, largely inspired by Dario Fo & Franca Rame.

    See also the film, 12 Dicembre Film di Lotta Continua da un'idea di Pier Paolo Pasolini.


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    1895 -- [December 13] Spain: Lucia Sanchez Saornil (1895-1970) lives, Madrid. Poet, painter & militant anarchist-feminist.

    In 1918 Lucia published her first poems, & joined the "Ultraïsmo" literary movement. Wrote & edited for the newspapers "Tierra y Libertad" & "Solidaridad Obrera". In 1936, with Mercedes Comaposada & Amparo Poch y Gascon, she founded Mujeres Libres (Free Women) which publishes, from May 1936, a review of the same name.

    When the Revolution of 1936 exploded, she was involved with "Radio Madrid." In 1937, in Valence, Lucia Sanchez was the main writer for the weekly magazine "Umbral "; here also she meets her partner América Barroso. In May 1938, Lucia is named secretary-general of S.I.A "International Solidarity Antifascist", organizing international assistance.

    With the crushing of the revolution, she escaped into exile in France in 1939 & worked to assist the refugees there. In 1942, to avoid being sent to the Nazi internment camps, she returned to Madrid, then Valence, where she continued to live until 1954 in total clandestinity.

    "Soñar, soñar siempre (...) Porque un nuevo entusiasmo nos transporta a otro ensueño entrevisto en lontananza y en la vida, el soñar, es lo que importa."
    (Rêver, toujours rêver (...) Pour qu'un nouvel enthousiasme nous transporte dans un autre rêve entrevu dans le futur et dans la vie, le rêve, c'est ce qui importe.)

    [Also cited here]

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    Cat's eyes
    1845 -- [December 14] André Augustin Bastelica lives (1845-1884).
    French printer & anarchist adherent of Mikhail Bakunin.

    The Alliance supporters, considering themselves the legal representatives of the whole of the Federation, transferred the Federal Committee's seat to Chaux-de-Fonds & founded at Neuchatel their official organ, Solidarite, edited by Citizen Guillaume. This young writer had the special job of decrying the Geneva "factory workers", those odious "bourgeois", of waging war of L'Egalite, the Federation newspaper, & of preaching total abstention from politics. The authors of the most important articles on this theme were Bastelica in Marseille & Albert Richard & Gaspard Blanc in Lyon, the two big pillars of the Alliance.

    — Karl Marx & Frederick Engels, Les Pretendues Scissions dans l'Internationale.

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    1914 --
    [December 14] Chile: Antonio Ramón Ramón attempts to kill Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Roberto Silva Renard, the General who directed the slaughter of 3,000+ unarmed women, children & workers in the Santa Maria School Massacre during a strike in Iquique in 1907.

    Silva Renard also directed the troops who massacred striking workers on September 17, 1904, leaving 13 dead & 32 wounded. & again, in October of 1905 during massive protests in Santiago over taxes on Argentine meat, Silva Renard's troops killed 70 demonstrators, wounded another 300 & imprisoned 530.

    Justice is slow to follow, seven years after Renard's enormous crime (horroroso), & uncertain (shades of Pinochet!), though the dagger of Antonio Ramón is swift, in this effort to put Silva Renard in a tomb where he belongs.

    Pido venganza para el valiente
    que la metralla pulverizó
    pido venganza para el doliente
    huérfano y triste que allí quedó

    Pido venganza por la que vino
    de los obreros el pecho a abrir
    pido venganza por el pampino
    allá en Iquique supo morir

    — Francisco Pezoa: “Canto a la Pampa”

    Antonio Ramón Ramón, an immigrant Andalusian anarquista, became an avenger of all the workers, among them his murdered stepbrother, Manuel de Vaca, who was machine-gunned in the Santa Maria School slaughter.

    At the time of this genocide, Antonio was in Argentina. For his act of revenge he acquired a dagger in Argentina specially for the occasion & a bottle of strychnine for himself after fulfilling his assignment. Lamentably, the poison failed.

    Silva Renard was blinded in one eye & left a semi-paraplegic until his death in 1920. Antonio Ramón's act of retribution cost him five years in prison, & he became a hero, immortalized among Chilean workers.

    The tragic historical episode has inspired, among other works, "The Cantata of Santa Maria de Iquique" of Luis Advis, the 39º Festival de Brasília - lançamento comercial em home video, includes the award-winning Chilean documentary "La Venganza de Ramón" by Ximena Salazar & the book La venganza de Antonio Ramón Ramón. Chile, 1914 by Igor Goicovic Donoso (Editorial Universidad de los Lagos, 2005, 188 pp.).

    Pablo Neruda y el Canto a la Pampa

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    1969 -- [December 15] Italy: Anarchist railway worker Giuseppe Pinelli "accidentally" defenestrated to his death from the 4th floor of police station in Milan where he had been held following the attack against the Bank of Agriculture of December 12.

    Giuseppe Pinelli (1928-1969)

    Giuseppe Pinelli, secretary of the Anarchist Black Cross, is thrown through a window to his death by police, which became a national scandal.

    Born in Milan in 1928, Pinelli took part in the resistance during WWII. He was a founder of the Sacco & Vanzetti Circle, a youth organizer, & involved with the USI, as well as the Anarchist Black Cross.

    Pietro Valpreda, anarchiste; source Ephéméride anarchistePietro Valpreda & members of the Circle of March 22 are also arrested, following the anti-anarchist hysteria orchestrated by the government & press, accused of the bombing in Milan. Only much later is it revealed that the bombing was the work of rightwing fascists, in collusion with government reactionaries. Italian Intelligence & fascist army units (originally created by the US Army from Mussolini's Intelligence service) were making bomb attacks & pretending they were by anarchists.

    Graphic, Pinelli falling

    "Black Cross secretary Giuseppe Pinelli thrown by Milan police from window in fake suicide, as the result of a plot by Italian Intelligence & fascist stay-at-home army units (created by US Army from Mussolini's Intelligence) to make bomb attacks on workers' institutions & pretend they were by Anarchists thus killing two birds with one stone."

    — Albert Meltzer, I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels
    Pinelli's police murder was the subject of Nobel Prize-winner Dario Fo's play, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, a film by Pasolini, etc.

    See also the entry above for December 12

    Artwork, of Pinelli being murdered by the cops
    "Remembering Giuseppe Pinelli," from Kate Sharpley Library,

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    Sidney Street (Siege), by Flavio Costantini
    1910 -- [December 16] Houndsditch murders. Malatesta is wrongly implicated. Prelude to the "Sidney Street Siege."

    Then, on the evening of 16 December 1910, a Houndsditch resident heard hammering coming from the jewelers shop next door. A group of Eastern European émigrés (and anarchists) were in the process of tunneling through a wall to the jewelers safe. Several unarmed constables responded. One, Bentley, was fatally shot as he entered the building. In an ensuing street battle, Constables Strongman, Choat & Tucker were killed by gunfire. Of the robbers, Gardstein was accidentally shot & mortally wounded.

    Much official interest focused on the Anarchists Club in Jubilee Street. Efforts were made to tie one of the most prominent members, Errico Malatesta, in with the Houndsditch Murders.
    In 1909, he was under arrest, along with famed East End anarchist Rudolf Rocker, on a charge of criminal libel. He narrowly escaped deportation, when supporters organized a protest in Trafalgar Square.

    And in 1910, as the police searched the Houndsditch crime scene, they found a card bearing Malatesta’s name. It was a red herring. The investigation revealed that, several months earlier, one of the thieves had contacted the Anarchists Club, & been introduced to Malatesta. The Italian anarchist was found innocent.

    This was a prelude to "The Siege of Sidney Street" on January 3, 1911. Three City policemen were shot dead & two others were seriously wounded by a gang of Latvian anarchists on the night of 16th December, 1910. City officers had been investigating the noise made by the gang as they attempted to break into a jeweler's shop in Houndsditch.

    A full account of the incident can be found in the book The Houndsditch Murders & the Siege of Sidney Street by Donald Rumbelow

    A Bizarre Escapade of Churchill Derring-Do
    By Stanley Smith
    Finest Hour 43

    On 16 December 1910, a resident of Sidney Street in London's East End heard mysterious hammering noises at a house nearby & notified the Police. This was the beginning of a bizarre incident in which the Home Secretary, Winston S. Churchill, would take a direct hand — incurring no little criticism & ridicule at the time, & for years afterward. It was, like several other Churchillian escapades...

    On the evening of 16 December 1910, a neighbor heard the hammering caused by the tunnelling & advised the police.

    Several unarmed constables responded. One, Bentley, entered the building rented by the gang & was fatally shot. In an ensuing battle on the street, Constables Strongman, Choat & Tucker were killed by gunfire, & Gardstein was accidentally shot & mortally wounded. Peters, Vassilleva, & a hired locksmith named Dubof escaped, dragging Gardstein along, & finally made their way to Svaars' room. There Gardstein, tended by a peripheral & tragic member of the gang, Sara Trasslonsky, was left to die.

    The murders of the policemen sparked outrage throughout Britain. With the help of evidence in Gardstein's room & a few informants, London police captured several gang members over the next few weeks. On New Year's Day, 1911, an informant whom Rumbelow believes was "almost certainly" Charles Perelman, the gang's former landlord, told police that two members of the gang were hiding at 100 Sidney Street. This set the stage for the famous Siege.

    Rumors that the two were preparing to change lodgings spurred the police to organize a force to capture the criminals in the teeth of expected fierce resistance. By two o'clock in the morning of January 3, two hundred men had cordoned off the block. Armed officers were posted in shops & buildings surrounding the house of refuge.

    See The Houndsditch Tragedy & Anarchism (London: Freedom, no date? circa 1911)

    Sidney Street Illustration by Flavio Costantini

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    1885 -- [December 17] Alphonse Barbé lives. French anarchist & antimilitarist.

    Barbe met Sébastien Faure who introduced him to anarchism.

    Barbé was an advocate of the General Strike to prevent war, but was mobilized during WWI.

    He was wounded in September 1915, & deserted the following year. In June 1917, he was arrested with Louis Lepetit, Pierre Ruff, Julien Content & Pierre Le Meillour, for clandestinely publishing "Libertaire" & sent to prison for three years. Released by the amnesty in October 1919, Barbe was re-arrested at the prison gate &, on January 23, 1920, sent to prison for another year for desertion.

    Barbe was briefly involved the Communist Party for short periods before 1934 when he began running "Le Semeur de Normandie," a newspaper devoted to cultural ideas & the defense of the conscientious objectors. In 1936 Barbe was actively aiding the Spanish revolutionists & also published "Lu dans la presse libertaire syndicaliste espagnole" (1937-38).

    In addition to writing for various anarchist publications Barbe was the author of 10 booklets.

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    Rafael Barret
    1910 -- [December 17] France: Rafael Barrett Álvarez de Toledo dies at age 34.

    Rafael Barret

    Son of George Barrett Clarke. Rafael Barrett was a correspondent & journalist who covered the revolution & conditions in Paraguay which got him deported to Uruguay. By 1907 he became more preoccupied with social issues & radical. In 1908, he defines himself as an anarchist, & publishes "Mi Anarquismo."

    "It is necessary to destroy the spirit of authority & the prestige of the law...The ignorantes imagine that anarchy is disorder & that without government society will always become chaos. They can not conceive of any order but the order externally imposed by the terror of arms. It is sufficient to contemplate the colossal weapons build-up, greater & greater armaments every day, the mass of brute force that governments accumulate to be able to exist, to be able to hold on for some minutes & also their invisible push of souls. Nine-tenth of the world population, thanks to the written laws, are reduced to misery....The law kicks the belly of the mothers! Within the law we are like the victims of Chinese foot-binding..."

    [Editor's note: My crude excerpted translation from "The Rebellion", from the paper "Asuncio'n", Paraguay, 15 of March 1909]

    Rafael Barrett 's writings were gathered in 1910/11 into three volumes: Moralidades actuales, El terror argentino, & El dolor paraguayo. (São editados os livros de Rafael Barrett, anarquista espanhol que atuou no Paraguai, e Cuentos Breves; in 1912, Mirando vivir, Al margen, Ideas y Criticas, Dialogos y conversaciones y otros escritos.) See "Rafael Barrett: Striving for Anarchism" in Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas Volume One, Robert Graham (ed.).
    Literatures of South America. Compilers: Jean Andreu, Maurice Fraysse, Eva Golluscio de Montoya (Editions Corregidor, Buenos Aires, 1990).

    In Spanish see the wikipedia, & also Barricada Libertaria


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    1983 -- Timeline icon anarchist diamond dingbatItaly: Reggio Emilia · 27° Assemblée de A Rivista anarchica.

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    or visit December 18

    1917 -- US: During December anarchist & feminist poet Louise Olivereau is convicted for antiwar activities & sent to a Colorado prison.

    "Through the length & breadth of the country stalked the madness of jingoism. One hundred & sixty I.W.W.'s were arrested in Chicago & held for trial on charges of treason. Among them were Bill Haywood, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Arturo Giovannitti, Carlo Tresca, & our old comrade Cassius V. Cook.

    Dr. William J. Robinson, editor of the New York Critic & Guide, was imprisoned for expressing his opinion on war. Harry D. Wallace, president of the League of Humanity & author of Shanghaied in the European War, was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment for a lecture delivered in Davenport, Iowa. Another victim of this frightfulness was Louise Olivereau, an idealist of the finest type of American womanhood, who was condemned in Colorado to 45 years' imprisonment for a circular in which she voiced her abhorrence of human slaughter. There was hardly a city or town in the wide United States where the jails did not contain some men & women who would not be terrorized into patriotic slaughter.

    The most appalling crime was the murder of Frank Little, a member of the executive board of the I.W.W., & of another poor fellow who happened to bear a German name. Frank Little was a cripple, but that did not deter the masked bandits. In the dead of night they dragged the helpless man from his bed in Butte, Montana, carried him to an isolated spot, & strung him to a railroad trestle. The other "alien enemy" was similarly lynched, whereupon it was found that the man's room was decorated with a large American flag & his money was invested in Liberty Bonds."

    Emma Goldman, Living My Life (Goldman herself was free during appeal of her own conviction for antiwar speeches)

  • Olivereau, Louise, defendant. Typescript trial transcript, 1917. 1 ms. box. [ID: CSUZXX305-A] American anarchist. Summary: Relates to the trial of L. Olivereau in U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, Northern Division, on charges of inciting insubordination & obstructing recruitment in the U.S. Army during World War I. Includes text of indictment.
    ( Original source now dead (Dec 2004): )

  • [Agent Report] In re: Louise Olivereau — Violation of Espionage & Conscription Acts, New York, 1917 Oct. 8 Reel 59

  • Flood, Sally (Jarrett). "The Search for a Cause; Louise Olivereau" [1979]

  • Kathleen Kennedy, Disloyal Mothers & Scurrilous Citizens: Women & Subversion during World War I (1999)
  • Sharbach, Sarah E. "A Woman Acting Alone: Louise Olivereau & the First World War." Pacific Northwest Quarterly 78 (1987):32-40.
  • Mt. Rainier
    (In the Pacific Northwest Louise Olivereau's name was used to kick the Cooperative Campers out of Mt. Rainier camping areas when Park Supervisor Reaburn argued "that [Anna Louise] Strong had been recalled from the School Board for her anti-war statements, & that "her bosom companion, Miss Olivereau was given a penitentiary sentence of 10 years.")

    (Sorry you can no longer view this photo of Mt. Rainier, removed because the US government fear Osama bin Laden & Co. terrorist's will blow it up).

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    2001 -- [December 19] Argentina: Government declares state of siege giving it special powers to stop the worst looting & riots in a decade sparked by austerity measures & poverty. The lower house of Congress repeals special powers granted to Mr Cavallo.
    Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Fernando de la Rua became Argentina's president in December of 1999, campaigning on promises to save the economy & end corruption after the 10-year rule of the Peronist President Carlos Menem.

    But by October of this year the jobless rate rose to 18.3%, the highest since the start of the recession in mid-1998. On the 13th of December major unions call nationwide strike. On the 17th the 2002 budget is presented, with spending cuts of nearly 20%. Yesterday the IMF says Argentina can delay payment on a loan of about £650m due in January, but also says it's economic policy is unsustainable.

    Tomorrow Cavallo resigns & the rest of the cabinet tender their resignations en masse. A government source says de la Rua will accept Cavallo's resignation, as well as those of some other unspecified ministers. On the 20th the finance minister resigns after 16 die in riots .

    On the 21st de la Rua resigns after thousands take to the streets of the capital to protest at his government's handling of the country's worsening economic crisis. At least 22 people are killed in riots & looting around the country in the worst civil unrest for a decade.

    Argentina surprised the world on December 20, 2001, when a spontaneous popular uprising obliged the former president, Fernando De La Rúa, to resign. The development of the crisis throughout the 90s lead to the emergence of the unemployed workers movement as a new dominant player in the popular struggles in Argentina. The Piqueteros, as they are called, emerged in the middle of the 90s, as a new type of organisation, demanded work through blockading of roads. They were pretty much inclined to direct action and, in many cases, to horizontal forms of organisation. Soon they became a real alternative to the bureaucratised trade unions & to the increasing problem that an important segment of the working class was not represented in the unions (due to them being marginalised through their unemployment). This movement was the first ring in the bell of a deep social crisis that was becoming deeper & deeper.

    See "Workers Without Bosses: Workers' Self-Management in Argentina,"

    It's motto: "De chacun selon ses forces à chacun selon ses besoins."
    (From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.)

    The movement took over the streets, & after 48 hours of struggles & clashes with the police, they toppled the unpopular government of De La Rúa. Immediately, popular assemblies flourished in almost every neighbourhood in Buenos Aires while the piqueteros went on the offensive. & the left felt over confident about an achievement in which really no group or party merited hardly any credit at all.

    Many in the left went further & tried to decipher in the events of December a new revolutionary subjectivity, a new way of doing a "revolution", confusing the toppling of a government with the deep changes required to overcome capitalism in revolutionary terms - this in fairness, was nothing but recycled old spontaneism. But that revolutionary fight won't be won by the working class in the streets, but in the factories, in the fields, mines & workshops; not by toppling presidents, but by affecting the logic of capitalist society & expropriating the bourgeoisie while destroying the State & all other bourgeois institutions, building at the same time, from the bottom up the new institutions of direct democracy...

    ...all exploded ...when different actors (the unemployed, middle classes, neighbors, etc.) came out to demand the end of "corralito" & the resignation of the government. Suddenly prosperous Buenos Aires was under siege by the suburban morochos & negros (in posh Argentinean jargon, anyone whose colour of skin happens to be darker than marble) coming from the poor slums, from those sectors of Argentinean cities that certainly doesn't look like a South American Italy.

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    1914 -- [December 20] US: Emma Goldman delivers lecture on the war to an audience of 1,800 people at an event organized by her niece Miriam Cominsky in Rochester, NY. Days later, Emma speaks on "The Birth Strike."

    During December Emma Goldman has been on a whirlwind tour.

    From December 7-10 she lectures in Indianapolis & Cincinnati; interaction with Indianapolis audience at her lecture on "Free Love" she describes as "both interesting & funny."

    December 11-14 she presents two English & two Yiddish lectures in Cleveland, & delivers an address before the Council of Economics.

    December 15-18 in Pittsburgh, Emma Goldman holds a meeting organized by lawyer Jacob Margolis.

    December 31 Emma hosts a New Year's eve party at her apartment on East 125th Street; Mabel Dodge Luhan is among those invited.

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    1919 -- [December] During this month Bartolomeo Vanzetti & Aldino Felicani discuss plans for new anarchist journal, "Cara Compagna."

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    Vanzetti would never have described himself as a fish peddler, "something that he did for less than a year, & that only during the time he was trying to begin the publication of an anarchist journal, Cara Compagna, with his friend Aldino Felicani."

    — Robert D'Attilio

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    1907 -- Spikey fish [December 21] Chile: Massacre of workers, women & children in Santa María, Iquique. (2000 & 3600 dead)

    Santa María School slaughter

    A strike committee headed by Jose Pariggs was formed — Luis Olea was also an important member of the committee & both were remarkable anarchist militants. The strike headquarters was established at the Santa Maria School. Overall there were around 4,500 strikers & supporters in the school & another 1,500 or so camping in tents around the square.

    The army were called in by the bosses, martial law was declared, stores were locked & on December 21st at 3.45 pm the slaughter began. The first to be shot were the members of the committee. Chilean, Argentinean, Peruvian, Bolivian & European workers were slain with an astonishing ruthlessness, with their wives & children. All dead. The number of victims was reckoned to be up to 3600. Luis Olea was murdered by Roberto Silva Renard's gun (now known as "Carmicero de Iquique" — The Butcher of Iqueque).

    Chile: Massacre of miners working in Santa María, Iquique.

    A hard blow against anarchism was the Santa Maria School slaughter...The nitrate workers, led by known anarchists, went on a strike from their mines in the pampa (a grasslands region in South America), to the nearest city of Iquique, where they were all shot with artillery, leaving an uncertain number of dead workers, somewhere between 2000 & 3600.

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    Aliens & Dissenters, book cover
    1919 -- [December 21] US: At dawn, Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman & 247 radical aliens set sail on the S.S. Buford ("The Soviet Ark"), deported to Russia from the "Land of the Free."

    Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader J. Edgar Hoover, heading the Justice Department's General Intelligence Division, advanced his cross-dressing career by implementing to the fullest extent possible the government's plan to deport all foreign-born radicals.

    Palmer Raids: 249 aliens rounded up & sent to U.S.S.R. An excellent book is William Preston Jr.'s Aliens & Dissenters: Federal Suppression of Radicals, 1903-1933

    See also:

    In French:

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    2005 -- [December 21] Italy: Paolo di Nella street in Rome, named after a fascist, is re-named Viale Timur Kacharava, after a young anti-fascist murdered November 13 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Timur Kacharava Street

    Timur Kacharava (1985-2005), was killed by Russian fascists in St.Petersburg on 2005. Ten of them attacked two unarmed persons & Timur got numerous knife wounds in the neck & died on the spot. He was just 20 years old, a philosophy student & musician, who helped homeless people & spoke of peace. We think that he deserves that this street is named after him, rather than the guy who preached hate. Besides that we think it is a disgrace to the city of Rome that a street was named after a fascist. That is why we decided to correct this injustice & by doing so to remind everybody that fascism still kills.

    —Circle of Francesco Ghezzi, friends of Timur Kacharava

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    1907 -- Fermin Rocker (1907-2004) — artist & prolific book illustrator who did many children's books. Wrote East End: A London Childhood (1992). Son of the anarchists Milly Witkop Rocker & Rudolf Rocker.

    Fermin Rocker's paintings convey the memory of his famous anarchist parents.

    Too modest to be called a working-class hero, Rudolf fought against the Nazis in Germany & militated with the workers in England & later in the United States.

    Fermin's powerful characters convey a sense of the conflicts & sufferings of the age, carrying their grief with dignity.

    Biographical information for Rocker, Fermin

    This biography from the archives of

    Fermin Rocker, known for his illustrations, oils, & watercolors, was born in the East End of London in 1907, the son of a German father, & a Russian mother. Fermin's father, Rudolf Rocker, was one of the foremost anarchists of the early Twentieth Century, a theorist, activist, & disciple of Peter Kropotkin. Confrontation; source Research on Anarchism

    His work amongst East London Jewish workers in his capacity as editor of the Yiddish language radical periodical "Arbeter Fraint" (Workers' Friend) has become almost legendary. His international reputation as a propagandist was, at the time, probably second to none, although little of what he wrote has been translated into English. Demonstration; source Research on Anarchism

    It was in this atmosphere that young Fermin was raised. The family lived in Whitechapel until the end of World War I, & Fermin recalled his father taking him on trips to London. His father, was familiar with the city, & showed young Fermin the port, the museums, the parks, & all the historic sites.

    ... show details

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    1921 -- [December 22] Latvia: Alexander Berkman & Emma Goldman are arrested by the Latvian secret service.

    Emma Goldman, anarchist feministOn December 1, under the pretext of representing the Kropotkin Museum at an anarchist conference in Berlin, Emma, Alex, & Alexander Schapiro were authorized to leave Russia.

    Having left Russia disillusioned with the Bolshevik counter-revolution, Emma & Alex briefly settled in Riga, Latvia, writing American lawyer Harry Weinberger about chances of getting back into the US. Allowed only a temporary visa in Latvia, they sought entry to either Germany or Sweden.

    Emma was distressed that she & Alex depart Russia just before the arrival of Mollie Steimer, Jacob Abrams, Samuel Lipman, & Hyman Lachowsky (all deported from the US on Nov. 24).

    On December 14, Goldman & Berkman were granted Swedish visas.

    Today they are arrested in Latvia on a train to Reval, Estonia, Alexander Berkman & Emma Goldman by the Latvian secret service & accused of being Bolshevik agents. They are detained for several days, preventing them from attending the anarchist congress in Berlin.

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    1922 -- International Congress of Revolutionary Syndicalists December 22, 1922. Founding of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers Association (AIT or IWA), Berlin, on the initiative of Rudolf Rocker.

    Rocker Rudolf was responsible for putting together the anti-authoritarian A.I.T.; it is an umbrella organization of various anarchist-syndicalist trade unionists from 12 countries (FORA, USI, SAC, FAUD, CNT, etc.) which numbered several million members over the years.

    The first secretaries are Rocker, Augustin Souchy & Alexander Schapiro.

    See the "Principles of Revolutionary Syndicalism," adopted December 1922 by the Berlin Congress of the International Workers Association.


    FAUD (Freie Arbeiter Union Deutschland): Founded 1919, in Berlin, by Rudolf Rocker & others. Anarcho-syndicalist free trade union of German workers, with about 125,000 members.

    USI USI (Unione Sindacale Italiana): Founded in 1912, Modena, Italy. Anarcho-syndicalist trade union. One year after its creation, it counts nearly 100,000 members.

    SAC SAC (Anarcho-syndicalistes suédois):

    CNTCNT (Confederacion Nacional de Trabajo): Founded 1910, Barcelona, Spain. Anarcho-syndicalist trade union, which quickly became the largest union of the Spanish working class. Instrumental in defining the revolutionary character of the civil war begun by the fascists in 1936. (In Castillan):

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    2003 -- [December 22] Mexico: A Different Christmas

    Our last event this year will take place in the village of Acteal in Mexico. New bronze plates will be mounted on the plinth of the Pillar of Shame. This sculpture was erected in 1999 to commemorate a heinous massacre on indigenous civilians on 22 December 1997. The new plates explain about the Pillar - in Tzotzil, the local language. The ceremony will take place on this year's anniversary.

    To our contacts all over the world the staff of our workshop send the best wishes for a merry Christmas.

    —Jens, Vagn, Kurt, Josip, Otto, Lise, Finn, Ivan, Anna, Thomas, Jannie, Steffan, Lykke og John


    Press release, 19 December 2003

    *** A Different Christmas ***


    So have Tzotzil Indians named The Pillar of Shame, the 8 metres sculpture put up in front of the village of Acteal in Mexico. & the name is a part of a Christmas gift from Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot.

    It started with the massacre of 45 Indians at a Christmas service on December 22 1997. Mostly women & children were killed by paramilitaries who surrounded the small wooden church & in cold blood killed the unarmed civilians. Some of the killers have been punished, but the men behind are still at large.

    ... show details

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    1952 -- [December 23] Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000 From: "Dave, Recollection Books" To: "@ prop"

    While looking up information on Karl Yoneda, I have come across reference to Vasily Eroshenko (1890-1952), a blind Russian anarchist & participant in the Esperanto movement.

    Anyone provide any information, for inclusion in the Daily Bleed calendar & The Daily Bleed's Encyclopedia & Gallery regards Eroshenko? any specific dates (birth, death, events, etc.) or biographical details?

    —David Brown

    ——— Hello!

    I found some info about Eroshenko on Russian language & translate part of it. I hope you'll find what you are interesting in.

    Best regards, D.G. aka V.

    [This, & other materials found, is now incorporated into a Vasily Eroshenko web page. — editor]

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    1919 -- [December 24]
    Malatesta outside police station
    Coming from exile England, from Cardiff, Wales, the anarchist Errico Malatesta slips clandestinely back into Tarente (southern Italy) & takes the train for Gènes, where an immense crowd greets his return.

    Errico Malatesta was a wealthy man who put his entire fortune at the disposal of the cause. He won the militant support of broad sections of his countrymen whose demonstrations & strikes on his behalf saved him from death & imprisonment many times. In exile in Argentina & also the US he published radical newspapers.

    Malatesta took part in the Xeres insurrection in Spain, in the General Strike of 1895 in Belgium, & spent years of exile & imprisonment in England, France, & Switzerland.

    Kropotkin left us a picture of Errico Malatesta's life in exile:

    "Without even so much as a room that he could call his own, he would sell sherbet in the streets of London to get his living, & in the evening write brilliant articles for the Italian papers. Imprisoned in France, released, expelled, re-condemned in Italy, confined to an island, escaped, & again in Italy in disguise; always in the hottest of the struggle...."

    MalatestaThrough the systematic destruction of its finest radical leadership by big business & royalists, Italy eventually succumbed to fascism.

    Malatesta remained in Italy, under house arrest, until he died.

    Authorities ordered his body thrown into a common grave.

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    1919 -- Malatesta returns to Italy from exile to jubilant crowds:

  • 1919 24/12 Genova Tarento · Malatesta Retour du « LENINE italien » favorisé par Giuseppe GIULETTI : énorme succès, grande manifestation.

  • 1919 27/ DECEMBER Ligurie · Arrêt de travail en l’honneur de Malatesta

  • 1919 29/12 Torino · Énorme manifestation en l’honneur de Malatesta

  • 1919 31/12 Milano · Énorme manifestation en l’honneur de Malatesta Animation par Armando Borghi.
    In late December 1919, Errico Malatesta returned to Italy & in Milan he ran the daily newspaper Umanita Nova. Borghi & Malatesta were on the same wavelength & their respective propaganda drives brought the Italian people to crucial revolutionary accomplishments such as the factory occupations in August-September 1920. 1

  • 1920 Janvier 19/01 ITALIE Roma · Malatesta, GIULETTI, D’ANNUNZIO…I. Rencontre Anarchistes, socialistes et républicains Essai d’entente révolutionnaire insurrectionnelleGrève générale des cheminots en appui. Pour un Front Unique Prolétarien Révolutionnaire.Mais refus des socialistes de se joindre au mouvement et échec de la rencontre de Rome.

  • 1920 31/01 Pisa · Grand meeting unitaire avec MALATESTA

  • 1920 01/02 Livorno · Grands meetings avec Malatesta

  • 1920 02/02 Tombolo · Malatesta arrêté. Prison à Florence pour une journée è grèves générales Livorno, Perugia, Massa, Carrara… Livornio presque entièrement paralysée. ègrèves partielles : Pisa, La Spezia…

  • 1920 29/02 Milano · Réunion avec Malatesta Combats, 2 morts.

  • 1920 01/03 ITALIE · Malatesta & Armando Borghi Appel à l’occupation des usines. èessor des occupations à Ancona (anarchistes) et à Piombino (USI).

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    2001 -- Italy: Horst Fantazzini dies December 24
    'Gentleman Bandit' Dies in Prison at 62
    Updated: Wed, Dec 26 11:00 AM EST

    ROME (Reuters) - Italy's "gentleman bandit," an affable anarchist who courteously robbed banks in the 1960s & 1970s, has died in prison of a heart attack at the age of 62, officials said Wednesday.

    Horst Fantazzini conducted nonviolent stickups across northern Italy, often using a toy gun according to some stories, & won his nickname after sending roses to a bank teller who had fainted during a robbery.

    Fantazzini film posterHis not-so-gentlemanly 1973 jailbreak attempt was depicted in a 1999 Italian movie called "Outlaw" [Ormai è fatta!] by Enzo Monteleone. Fantazzini wounded three guards & took two more hostages during the standoff.

    He died Tuesday in prison in Dozza, a suburb outside of the northern city of Bologna, after more than three decades in & out of jail & various escape attempts, a prison official said.

    He was enjoying "semi-liberty," an alternative sentence which allows model prisoners to spend part of their time outside of jail, until last week when he was re-arrested while trying to rob a Bologna bank & put back in prison full-time.

    The "gentleman bandit" was born in Germany to an anarchist father & became a prominent figure in the Italian anarchist movement himself as well as a supporter of the "Red Brigade" extremist group that murdered former Prime Minister Aldo Moro.

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    1902 -- [December 25] England: Dec 25-26, founding Congress of the Federation of the Anarchist Groups of Yiddish language of the United Kingdom & Paris, held in London..

    Federation of Jewish anarchist groups

    A federation of Jewish anarchist groups was formed in 1902, the circulation of the papers & other publications increased, & a thriving social club was opened in Jubilee Street in East London in 1906.

    Rudolf Rocker was the most influential figure in the movement, representing it at the International Anarchist Congress in Amsterdam in 1907, & becoming a member of the International Anarchist Bureau established there. The Jewish anarchists were very active in the growing trade union movement, & Rocker favored the development of anarcho-syndicalism as a new form of anarchist theory & practice.

    Another activist, Leah Feldman (1899-1993) grew up within this movement. Active in the Yiddish-speaking anarchist movement that flourished at that time, Feldman was smuggling arms into Spain in the 1960s for the fighters still resisting the Franco regime since 1939. She was called "la yaya Makhnowista" (the Makhnovist Granny) by the Catalans.

    More on Leah Feldman, see Peoples' History

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    1861 -- [December 26] naissance de Paul Bernard

    Paul Bernard

    A French anarchist militant, Paul Bernard was expelled from Switzerland on December 15, 1890 with Lucien Weil, Italian Luigi Galleani, Petraroja & Giuseppe H. Rovigo & Bulgarian Paraškev Stojanov (1892-1939); all had taken part in the spread of an anarchist proclamation written in three languages. Bernard went to Spain. In Barcelona in 1891 he was put in charge of the French section of the newspaper "El Porvenir Anarquista" (n°1, November 15 with n°2, December 20, 1891 & a supplement). Written in three languages (Spanish, French & Italian) it has a print run of 4.000 specimens & was directed by the Italian anarchist Paolo Schicchi

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    Smash the State
    1917 -- [December 26] José Peiro Olives lives. Son of the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist theorist & militant, Juan Peiro Belis.

    In 1923, José attends the rationalist school of Mataro, & later is a young militant in the CNT.

    In 1936, volunteered in a confederal column & fought Franco's fascists in the fronts at Aragon, Raising & Catalonia.

    With the defeat of the Republic, sought refuge in France & was interned in refugee camps.

    He became a partisan in the resistance in France & active in Spanish exile organizations, agitating for the re-establishment of freedoms in Spain. José also collaborated on exile newspapers & wrote a biography of his father, Juan Peiro (1978).

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    1997 -- Cornelius Castoriadis (1922-1997), aka Pierre Chaulieu or Paul Cardan.

    Cornelius Castoriadis was born Kornelios Kastoriades in Istanbul to a Greek family. Growing up in Athens he joined the Young Communists in 1937 & the Communist Party in 1941.

    During the war he read "several books that had miraculously escaped the auto da fes of the dictatorship: Souvarine, Ciliga, Serge, Barmine". He joined a group on the extreme left of Trotskyism, & was involved in the resistance to the German occupiers. At the end of the war he was physically threatened by both fascists & Stalinists, forcing him to leave for France. Here he joined the French section of the Trotskyist Fourth International, but broke with it in 1948.

    Along with Lefort & Lyotard, he helped set up the Socialisme ou Barbarie group, (S ou B) initially made up of ex-Trotskyists & ex-Bordigists, often writing in its paper of the same name under the pen names of Pierre Chaulieu or Paul Cardan.

    Employed as an economist at the OECD until 1970, Castoriadis became a practicing psychoanalyst in 1974 & Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sociales Sciences (1979).

    Cornelius Castoriadis broke with Leninism, thinking that the revolution could be made only by the workers themselves, not by the party. Workers' councils would be set up in the early stages of the revolution. He did think that some form of revolutionary organization would be essential, uniting the revolutionary forces, & that once the revolution began, the revolutionary organization would have to fight inside the organization of councils to stop possible Leninist take-overs

    Member of Socialisme ou Barbarie group, alongside Cornelius Castoriadis (aka Pierre Chaulieu & Paul Cardan) & Lefort. Lyotard contributed many important articles to its magazine. He joined Lefort in breaking away from S ou B in 1963 to form Pouvoir Ouvrier (Workers Power). He joined the March 22nd Movement, made up of students from the Nanterre Anarchist Group & other elements. Here he was active alongside Daniel Cohn-Bendit & Jean -Pierre Duteuil (the first a sellout to social-democracy, the second still an active libertarian communist; the March 22nd Movement had great influence on the events of May-June 1968 in France).

    The former specialist of ultraleftist politics [Cornelius Castoriadis, aka Cardan] is awestruck at discovering, along with structuralism & social psychology, an ethnological ideology completely new to him: the fact that the Zuni Indians did not have any history appears to him as a luminous explanation for his own inability to act in our history.

    "Now, the SI", Situationist International 1964

    Castoriadis wrote Crossroads in the Labyrinth (1978), The Imaginary Institution of Society (1975), Philosophy, Politics, Autonomy (1991). His articles from Socialism or Barbarism are collected in three volumes of Political & Social Writings

  • Cornelius Castoriadis, Political & Social Writings, Vol. 1, 1946-1955: From the Critique of Bureaucracy to the Positive Content of Socialism (University of Minnesota Press, paper, pp. 347, 1988).
  • Vol. II, 1955-1960: From the Workers' Struggle Against Bureaucracy to Revolution in the Age of Modern Capitalism (1988).
  • Vol. III, 1961-1979: Recommencing the Revolution: From Socialism to the Autonomous Society (1992).
    Obituary , Cornelius Castoriadis Agora International Website,
    See also Organize! (Spring 1998 Issue 48)

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    1931 -- [December 27] Spain: participa en un mitin junto


    El 27 de diciembre participa en un mitin junto a Buenaventura Durruti, Arturo Parera (miembro del C.R de la CNT) y José Corbella (Secretario de la Intercomarcal Manresana) en el gran Kursal de Manresa (ver Soli nº 341). // Buenaventura Durruti meets up with Arturo Parera (member of the C.R of the CNT) & Jose Corbella (Secretary of Intercomarcal Manresana) in the great Kursal de Manresa.

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    1931 -- [December 27]
    Italy: In Comico · IMAC’83 Assemblée nationale, with anarchist participation.

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    1927 -- Author Simon Raven

    The Guardian: Whimsical obit calls his long life "proof that the devil looks after his own"

    Best Known As: The author of Alms for Oblivion series of novels published in the 1960s & 1970s. The 10 volumes were a sharply satirical chronicle of British upper-class life. Raven wrote 34 novels in all & was also an essayist & screenwriter. In personal life he was known as somewhat of a cheerful cad; in one particularly famous incident he received a wire from his estranged wife reading "Wife & baby starving send money soonest," & sent the reply: "Sorry no money suggest eat baby."

    The death of Simon Raven, at the age of 73. 12 May 2001, after suffering a stroke, is proof that the devil looks after his own. He ought, by rights, to have died of shame at 30, or of drink at 50.

    Instead, he survived to produce 25 novels, eight volumes of essays & memoirs, including Shadows On The Grass (1981) - "the filthiest book on cricket ever written," according to EW Swanton - & The First Born Of Egypt sequence (1984-92), which contains requests such as "Darling mummy, please may I be circumcised?" & "Please, sir, may I bugger you, sir?"

    This total one-off character, combined elements of Flashman, Waugh's Captain Grimes & the Earl of Rochester (though, unlike Rochester, he died an unrepentant pagan).

    The story of Simon's early life reads like a Victorian cautionary tale gone wrong. He is the golden youth whose high promise is betrayed by his base appetites, so that one door after another is closed to him.

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    1910 -- [December 29] Mexico: The anarchist Práxedis Gilberto Guerrero is killed after leading a small band in capturing the town of Janos. Now has a city named for him.

    Following the arrest of Ricardo Flores Magón, Villarreal & Rivera by U.S. authorities on August 23rd, Praxedis moved to LA to assist Manuel Sarabia & Lazano Gutierrez de Lara in the production of 'Revolucion'. But the journal was forced to close by U.S. censors in January 1908.

    He returned to Mexico where he lead a small group of insurgents: they divided into two columns. One, led by Prisciliano G. Silva marched towards Laguna de Santa Maria, the other consisting of 32 men led by Praxedis marched towards Casas Grandes.

    Their plan to take this town was abandoned when they discovered a garrison of 450 federales there. Instead they attacked Janos & after a long & bloody fight the town fell to the P.L.M. insurgents, but a force of 150 federales from Casas Grandes & a detachment of rurales arrived.

    During the night engagement that followed, Praxedis, age 28, was mortally wounded.

    In November 1932 his remains were exhumed & taken to the state capital, Chihuahua, where they were reinterred with great pomp.

    This was done not to honor an anarchist but to honor a mere "national hero" by a so-called "revolutionary" regime that then, as today, subjects anarchists to the most brutal torture & murder.

    Pero en Janos lo mataron.
    ¡Bravo Praxedis Guerrero,
    siempre en la paz y enla guerra
    jue Praxedis el primero!

    Un solo tiro le dieron
    y se perdió la cabeza
    que era la de más talento
    más verdad y más belleza

    Amigos tengan presente
    que no es un varón cualquiera,
    este es Praxedis Guerrero.
    Valiente entre los valientes.

    Era muy joven, muy joven,
    y de arrogante figura.
    Con su grande inteligencia
    jué más grande su ternura.

    Gritaba Flores Magón
    con los ojos hechos agua:
    Ya mataron a Praxedis,
    lo mataron en Chihuahua.

    — excerpt, "PRAXEDIS GUERRERO",
    José Muñoz Cota, Corridos de Ricardo Flores Magón,
    (México: Biblioteca de literatura mexicana, Editorial Cultura, 1963).
    Grupo Organizador de las Jornadas Magonistas
    [Riguroso Anti Copy Right]

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    1937 -- Spain: Massive counterattack of Fascist troops at Teruel

    The Fascists rushed reinforcements from the Madrid zone & launch a lightning counterattack, commanded by General Varela, against the Republicans at Teruel. They are supported by the superior aviation of the Legion Condor.

    Panic is seizing the Republican soldiers & most flee the city. But Varela cannot take advantage of this, the night falls in & in the city are still many Republican soldiers & small Units, isolated but still fighting & covered in the ruins & houses.

    By morning hours the Republican army is back, discipline reestablished, & the soldiers drive Varela's troops out of the city to La Muela, a high piece of ground. In the city is still the greatly reduced Fascist garrison under command of Colonel d'Harcourt.

    Republican soldier at Teruel
    Republican soldier at Teruel

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    1939 -- [December 29] Madeleine Pelletier (1874-1939) dies. French doctor, intellectual, lesbian, anthropologist, psychiatrist, pacifist & militant feminist, member of the Socialist Party, later a Communist (she broke with the party in 1926), then an anarchist. Founded the review "La suffragiste", & collaborated on other néo-Malthusian & libertarian newspapers.

    Pelletier participated in L'encyclopédie Anarchiste, & in the defense of Nestor Makhno in La fronde (1927).

    A pioneer of abortion rights, she was condemned in 1939 for practicing abortions — declared irresponsible for her acts & committed to a mental asylum, where she died. Ironically, she had begun her career as psychiatrist.

    Too radical for her times, she remains woefully forgotten & too little known today.

    "Tout cela me décourage, l'émancipation de la femme ne viendra donc jamais. Autrefois, mes allures d'affranchie ne me valaient que des lazzi des voyous, maintenant, on m'arrête parce que je n'ai pas l'air d'une asservie, comme les autres femmes, évidemment, je suis née plusieurs siècles trop tôt".

    — September 16, 1914.

    Pelletier wrote La femme en lutte pour ses droits (1908), L'émancipation sexuelle de la femme (1911), L'éducation féministe des filles (1914), Idéologie d'hier: Dieu, la morale, la patrie (1910).

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    1995 -- France: [December 29]

    Dolores Bruno dies (Tarrasa, 1922- Chatou (Francia), 1995). Secretaria de anarchist Mujeres Libres en Tarrasa.

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    1896 --

    José Rizal

    Philippines: Novelist & poet José Rizal was born on June 19, 1861.

    A militant reformist, publication of his novel El Filibusterismo led to his being tried & executed by the military on December 30, 1896.

    His family was persecuted by the Catholic Church (their property taken over & home destroyed) & his brother Paciano tortured by Spaniards trying to extract evidence of Jose's complicity in the revolution. His death is considered a catalyst in the Philippine Revolution.

    His most famous work is the novel Noli me Tangere. Countless towns, streets, & numerous parks in the Philippines are named in his honor, & monuments appear in such unlikely places as Madrid, Spain, Wilhelmsfeld, Germany, Jinjiang, Fujian, China, Chicago, San Diego, & Seattle (a 9-acre park with a monument on Beacon Hill) in the US & Dec. 30 is an official holiday in the Philippines.

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    1887 -- Frances Steloff lives, December 31. Founded the Gotham Book Mart in New York City on January 1, 1920. She died in 1989, ripe at the age of 101.
    Stories about the shop & Steloff's dedication to it & to writers grew over the years till they assumed the quality of legend.

    Miss Steloff lovingly kept up correspondence with many of the writers she met in her shop. By 1972 after 52 years of work, she worked as a consultant to the store, working in an alcove presided over by a fat white cat who graced her valuable letters, manuscripts & first editions.

    Among those who came to chat to browse & to see if their books & plays were on the shelves were Theodore Dreiser, John Dos Passos, H. L. Menken & Euegene O'Neill.

    Her customers included George & Ira Gershwin, Ina Claire & Charlie Chaplin, & more recently Alexander Calder, Stephen Spender, Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, John Guare & Garson Kanin.

    She championed the experimental & challenged the censors. Her courage in purchasing shipments of the banned, "Lady Chatterley's Lover" directly from D. H. Lawrence in Italy in the late 1920's & in ordering smuggled copies of Tropic of Cancer from Henry Miller in Paris during the 1930's led to lawsuits & landmark decisions on censorship....

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    1933 -- American socialist leader Morris Hillquit

    Early official historian of American labor.

    A "centrist" Marxist — opposing both mild reformists & revolutionaries. Hillquit was one of the chief opponents of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) & demanded the expulsion of Bill Haywood from the Socialist Party's National Executive Committee. However, as a lawyer, he defended countless unionists (including Haywood), regardless of their political views.

    Hillquit ran for many offices on the Socialist slate — including US Congress (1906 & 1908) & New York City mayor (1918 & 1933). He wrote a monumental book, The History of Socialism in the United States, & served as the first American "socialist historian." Following the split between Communists & Socialists (& after he receiving negative epithets from both Lenin & Trotsky), Hillquit became an anti-communist — writing the critical From Marx to Lenin (1923).

    In 1933, Hillquit campaigned for New York City mayor & received a quarter of a million votes. He died of tuberculosis shortly afterward.

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