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Luigi Galleani, anarchist
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"When we talk about property, State, masters, government, laws, courts, & police, we say only that we don't want any of them."

       Luigi Galleani, The End of Anarchism?

Luigi Galleani, (1861-1931)

Galleani died of a heart attack on November 4, 1931, at the age of 70.

Luigi Galleani was a major figure in the anarchist movement, specifically among Italian anarchists, known as an unflinching advocate of propaganda by the deed. Galleani savored insurrectionary anarchism, seeing the Idea (as they termed anarchism) as a crusade and anarchists as martyrs pursuing holy vengeance and retribution against State, Capital, and Church.

Galleani was an influential Italian anarchist of the early 20th century. He was an accomplished radical orator, strongly charismatic, and inspired countless followers among his Italian comrades.

In 1901, Luiggi Galleani moved to Paterson, New Jersey and took over the weekly "La Questione Sociale" (which Malatesta also worked on for a short time).

He took part in the Paterson silk worker strike of 1902 and was shot in a clash with the police. Charged with "inciting to riot," he escaped to Canada and then back to the United States, settling in Barre, Vermont, under a false name. There he joined the Barre anarchist group which stone and marble cutters had formed in 1894, and he created and edited the principal Italian anarchist paper, "Cronaca Sovversiva" (Subversive Chronicle), which ran for fifteen years until its eventual suppression by the US government.

"Cronaca Sovversiva" became a rallying point for the Italian insurrectionary anarchist movement across the country, as affinity groups sprung up in many cities.

The anarchists' electoral abstentionism implies not only a conception that is opposed to the principle of representation (which is totally rejected by anarchism), it implies above all an absolute lack of confidence in the State. And this distrust, which is instinctive ... is for the anarchists the result of their historical experience with the State and its function. ... Furthermore, abstentionism has consequences which are much less superficial than the inert apathy ascribed to it. It strips the State of the constitutional fraud with which it presents itself to the gullible as the true representative of the whole nation, and in so doing, exposes its essential character as representative, procurer, and policeman of the ruling classes.

Luigi Galleani, The End of Anarchism?

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Page created January 2003; links checked August 2004, Sept 2005; text addition December 2005

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