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Ferdinand Gambon (1820-1887).

French lawyer, magistrate, initially moderate republican, Gambone became a socialist, anarchist & pacifist revolutionary.

Imprisoned for 10 years, for hostilies to the future Emperor. Joined the International, & on March 26, 1871, Gambon was elected member of the Paris Commune.

Nominated to serve as a prosecutor, Ferdinand Gambon refused, only too conscious of the misdeeds of justice & prisons. Instead he agitated for an uprising of provincial towns, in hopes that they could form a great federation of communes.

Gambon was on the last barricades, until May 28, & managed to escape the ensuing massacre of the Communards & made his way to Switzerland.

There Gambon was an anarchist propagandist with the Swiss Jura Federation. Returning to France in 1880, he participated in the anarchist movement there, along with Louise Michel, without breaking with the socialist revolutionaries (he was elected to office in 1882).

Gambon served as the defense lawyer for the Lyons anarchists imprisoned at the time of the 1883 trials.

Ferdinand Gambon; source Ferdinand Gambon is the author of Le cri du peuple & coined the famous pacifist slogan

"War Against War!".

Photo from Siege of Paris Collection,

Page created March 1999; updated March 2003; updated, links fixed, Sept 2005

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