Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by Kate Sharpley, Aug 18, 2013.
There's a page about her at the site:
Kate Sharpley's Story
Working class anarchist from Woolwich.
oh christ, ignore then.
KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 85, March 2016 has just been posted on our site. The PDF is up at: http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/bnzthf Contents list at: http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/59zx7m
Thoughts on anarchism, academia and history by Professor Yaffle (With Richard Warren cartoons)
The Anarchist Expropriators by Osvaldo Bayer [Review]
The Lessons of History by Albert Meltzer
Solidarity and Silence: the story of Ona Šimaitė, librarian lifesaver [Review] by Marc Record
Johnny come home: a review by John Barker
Living Anarchism: José Peirats and the Spanish Anarcho-Syndicalist Movement by Chris Ealham [Review] by Stan Brook
Library News [February 2016]
We've just put up an article on why anarchists have created libraries (past and present) and some of the challenges they face, drawing on a survey of current anarchist libraries, anarchist history, and her own experiences at the Kate Sharpley Library.
"most of the time I am hopeful that the anarchist movement will remain relevant to enough people to attract future generations who will want to take up the mantle and care for these collections—just as de Cleyre, Notkin, and Cohen have influenced generations of people to keep the tradition of anarchist libraries alive."
It's at To Spread the Revolution: Anarchist Archives and Libraries.
First published in Informed Agitation: Library and Information Skills in Social Justice Movements and Beyond, edited by Melissa Morrone. (pages 173-184) Sacramento, California : Library Juice Press, 2014. ISBN 9781936117871. See http://informedagitation.info/ and Library Juice Press : Informed Agitation: Library and Information Skills in Social Justice Movements and Beyond.
When Albert died (personal recollections) by John Patten
Twenty years ago:
"Though we miss him, we shouldn’t be sad. He lived – and enjoyed – a life devoted to a cause. The tributes paid to him after his death give some indication of his contribution. And what did he leave undone? His autobiography tells us (as with the sign-painter in Heinrich Heine’s short story): he never did paint any golden angels. But who would have it any other way?"
When Albert died (personal recollections)
(This will be in the forthcoming bulletin)
And now, they have set up a method for online donations: https://www.helloasso.com/associations/cras-centre-de-recherche-pour-l-alternative-sociale/collectes/souscription-un-local-pour-le-cras - so you can help anarchist librarians without sticking your spare euros in the post.
KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library 86-87, May 2016 [Double issue] has just been posted on our site. The PDF is up at: http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/j0zqs9
Contents page: KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 86-87, May 2016 [Double issue]
When Albert died (personal recollections) by John Patten
To Spread the Revolution: Anarchist Archives and Libraries by Jessica Moran
What? Anarchists in Egypt! [Before 1916] by Costantino Paonessa
The Princetown escapee by Nick Heath
Credit / extras
Natan Futerfas (photo and brief notes)
2 book reviews on the ksl site:
The dossier of subject no.1218 : a Bulgarian anarchist’s story by Alexander Nakov [Review]
"The funniest part (which is also very illuminating) is in an appendix about Nakov’s home village. Stanko is the Party-appointed Mayor (and tax collector) who’s not universally loved. He goes off to Sofia for an operation, and someone gets their revenge by sending a telegram claiming he’s died. Off go the Regional Committee to bring the body home, but they end up having to bring the living Stanko back so that the funeral preparations can be cancelled. ‘While the villagers thought that Stanko had died, they made merry all night in the pubs. The next day, when they discovered he had not actually died, they drank all night, but this time from sorrow.’ (p132)."
The dossier of subject no.1218 : a Bulgarian anarchist’s story by Alexander Nakov [Review]
Graphic dreams of Utopia [Book review of The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia] by Richard Warren
"Her story is inspirational, of course. But the practical and political issues with which the Commune struggled are fairly quickly bypassed here, to allow room for repeated emphasis on the Utopian elements of her teaching and writing, and her interest in scientific fiction, with references to H G Wells, Jules Verne, Bulwer Lytton and so on. What’s celebrated here is a persistent but delusive myth, a kind of mystical modernism, in which advanced technologies will inevitably bring about a perfect society and the realisation of social justice. In reality, those technologies have made modern capitalism so complex that it now appears almost impossible to disentangle or supplant."
Graphic dreams of Utopia [Book review of The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia]
our co-publication of Osvaldo Bayer's Rebellion in Patagonia is out in the US, and copies in the UK to follow. Rebellion in Patagonia | AK Press
A review of Bayer's Rebellion in Patagonia is now on the KSL site:
Flowers for the rebels who failed: Rebellion in Patagonia by Osvaldo Bayer [Book Review]
Tragic though it is, Rebellion in Patagonia is written with style as well as heart:
‘we can imagine those two tiny Fords traveling through the desert, carrying eight madmen drunk on the ideas of social justice and human redemption. What possessed three Spaniards, one Pole, one Argentine, and three Chileans to set off through this wasteland to bring the gospel of Bakunin to those illiterate, God-forsaken peons? They were crazier than any characters dreamed of by Roberto Arlt, beyond the imagination of even Maxim Gorky. A former stagehand, a stevedore, a mechanic, a former telegraph operator, three shepherds, a former electrician, and a hotel valet go off to fight for social justice and human redemption in the depopulated expanses of Patagonia. A shame that the conversations between these eight messengers of dynamite and fury weren’t recorded. If Jesus had happened upon them in the desert, he would have shook his head sadly and told them, “Brothers, you are exaggerating the teachings of the Gospel.”’ (p156-7)
Bayer’s book is a memorial to them: ‘flowers for the rebels who failed’ as anarchists like to say, a tribute based not on a sense of nostalgia but a love of freedom. It’s also a reminder that the past is important: how can we change things if we don’t understand how we got where we now are?
KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 88, October 2016 has just been posted on our site. The PDF is up at: http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/47d8zs
Contents list is at: KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 88, October 2016
Bob McGlynn: New York Anarchist.
Greetings compañero for you are going by Bernabé García Polanco.
The dossier of subject no.1218 : a Bulgarian anarchist’s story by Alexander Nakov [Review].
Graphic dreams of Utopia [Book review of The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia] by Richard Warren. Ruth Kinna “Kropotkin: Reviewing The Classical Anarchist Tradition” [Book review] by Barry Pateman.
Library (book) news (October 2016).
and the site also has a review of "Left of the Left: my memories of Sam Dolgoff" at Left of the Left: my memories of Sam Dolgoff [Book review]
This from Stuart Christie:
Another fine comrade gone! Just heard the news that Amedeo Bertolo, a friend and comrade since May 1968, a pivotal figure in the Italian and international anarchist movement, passed away this morning (22 November ) in Milan. Amedeo was, with others, including Giuseppe Pinelli, a founding member of the Ponte della Ghisolfa anarchist group, the Croce Nera Anarchica and its bulletin which later became the glossy monthly ‘Revista A’, and countless other anarchist and libertarian initiatives and actions over the years. One such spectacular action was the 1962 kidnapping of Franco’s vice-consul in Milan, Isu Elias – the first political kidnapping since the war. The abduction was in response to the sentencing to death in September ’62, in Barcelona, of young Spanish anarchist Jorge Conill Valls for anti-Francoist activities. Earlier that year Amedeo had been involved in Defensa Interior’s actions inside Spain with Conill Valls.
(full article at Amedeo Bertolo )
The chapters from "Anarchist international action against Francoism from Genoa 1949 to The First Of May Group" are now online. Read them at: Anarchist international action against Francoism from Genoa 1949 to The First Of May Group [by Antonio Téllez]
KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 89, January 2017 has just been posted on our site. The PDF is up at: http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/2v6z08
Contents list is at: KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 89, January 2017
Alexander Berkman’s Prison Memoirs annotated: an interview with Jessica Moran and Barry Pateman http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/ns1t5h
Friends and Neighbours: The Labadie Collection, Federico Arcos and Miguel Garcia http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/12jn6g
Friends and Neighbours: Freedom Press http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/h18bhc
Library News (January 2017) http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/02v7w5
The Albert Memorial: The Anarchist Life and Times of Albert Meltzer (2016 edition) [Book review] by Richard Warren http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/5tb3vk
Homuncula by John Henri Nolette [Book review] by Barry Pateman http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/nzs906
Making Sense of Anarchism: Errico Malatesta’s experiments with revolution 1889-1900 by Davide Turcato [Book review] http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/g4f64m
Essay on The International Anarchist Manifesto On The War February 1915
"...In summary, we can see that the anarchists responsible for the Manifesto attempted to critique the interventionists position and rally what they felt was a confused and despondent movement—a movement ‘devitalized and confused by the war crisis” as Leonard Abbott wrote in December 1914. They also wanted to re-affirm the ability of pre-War anarchism to deal with the situation many anarchists found themselves as the War relentlessly progressed. Throughout the Manifesto, leading up to its passionate final paragraph, is the assertion of the relevance of the anarchism, that it’s final paragraph defines. Anarchism is not unable to deal with the challenges of the war. Nothing has changed. As anarchists they know where they want the world to go. Never has anarchism been more relevant as we fight for our alternative to the horror around us and, remarkably, never has anarchism’s realization been more possible."
NO DESPONDENCY: The International Anarchist Manifesto On The War February 1915
Best practice for digitizing documents
"As librarians in charge of a historical memory to preserve and transmit, we must take time to think properly before blindly launching digitizing projects spurred by enthusiasm or what is fashionable at the time. Since people and energies at our disposal are rare and precious, we must use them wisely and aim at the more sustainable solutions possible given what we currently know."
Best practice for digitizing documents
Berkman's Prison memoirs of an anarchist has been reprinted by AK Press, with additional material and annotations by Jessica Moran and Barry Pateman.
There's a review at: Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by Alexander Berkman, annotated and introduced by Jessica Moran and Barry Pateman [Book review]
KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 90, May 2017 has just been posted on our site. The PDF is up at: http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/1jwtwm
Contents page is at KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 90, May 2017
Listen Punks! by Henry Black
Thoughts on Anarchism in ‘the Thatcher years’
Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by Alexander Berkman, annotated and introduced by Jessica Moran and Barry Pateman [Book review]
Two interesting donations
Left of the Left: my memories of Sam Dolgoff [Book review]
Time Capsule a Reminder of Anarchist Struggles [Lausanne] by Cécile Collet
4th Historical Memory Cycle Ride: Pistolerismo in Zaragoza, 1920-1923 by Kike Garcia
You might be interested to see video of Leah being interviewed by Leo Rosser.
Leah Feldman Interview : Kate Sharpley Library : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
17 minutes. Leah talks briefly about her time in Russia (1917-27), Kropotkin’s funeral, the anarchist movement in London, Emma Goldman and the Spanish Revolution, Rudolf Rocker’s internment during the First World War and her own life. Leah was interviewed in her flat in Stoke Newington, London in 1985 by Leo Rosser.
Stuff from Viktor Savchenko on Ukranian anarchism in the twenties.
The Anarchist Movement in Ukraine at the Height of the New Economic Policy (1924-25) | Savchenko | East/West: Journal of Ukrainian Studies
KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 91-92, October 2017 has just been posted on our site. The PDF is up at: https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/4xgzhw
Contents page is at: KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 91-92, October 2017 [Double issue]
An obscure heroine by Ida Pilat Isca
Everlasting Murder by Max Baginski
Rejecting the Legend by Louis Mercier Vega
Why I am an anarchist by Nikolai Ivanovich Pavlov
Kropotkin Goes Missing
Postbag / Library News
Crass and Class War in the Thatcher years, by an ex-member of Bristol Class War
[Stop the city]
Leah Feldman Interview (Leah Feldman, Leo Rosser and Philip Ruff)
[Debating the Miners’ Strike 1] The Miners and the Left
[Debating the Miners’ Strike 2] Letter: [The Miners and the Left]
[Debating the Miners’ Strike 3] Letter: The Miners’ Strike and the Anarchists
[Debating the Miners’ Strike 4] [Letter: Anarchists and the Miners’ strike]
[Debating the Miners’ Strike 5] The Miners & Social Change by Albert Meltzer
And this is finally out
An anarchist eyewitness to the revolt of May-June 1968, Le Flûtiste (‘the flute player’) looks back on the highs and lows of Paris’ student-worker rebellion. Topics covered include, student life before the revolt, the barricades of the Latin Quarter, the student and worker occupations and strikes and the part played by the anarchists in the upheaval.
‘Anarchy, which the Stalinists and socialists generally – not to mention the bourgeois – had declared a dead duck in the land of Utopia, was rising like the phoenix from the ashes! Its burial licence had expired, to the great annoyance of all those respectable folk.’
Every year I tell myself to save up for mid-October 'cos, as night follows day, there will be an avalanche of interesting stuff coming out in anticipation of the London Anarchist Bookfair, and I always forget . . .
The Gorrie collection is now in the university of Leicester's special collections.
you might want to admire the posters:
Leicester police sent to bludgeon starving workers! :: Gorrie Collection
Anarchists on anarchy! :: Gorrie Collection
Leaflet detailing a Public Meeting to be held by the Anarchists of Sheffield, to commemorate the murder of anarchists in Chicago :: Gorrie Collection
Poster advertising a concert at the Temperance Hall, Leicester, Wednesday March 22nd 1871 :: Gorrie Collection
A poster publicising two meetings held to demand the release of Frederick Charles, Joseph Deakin, Victor Cailes and Jean Battola, who were held for the Walsall Anarchist bomb plot. :: Gorrie Collection
Giuseppe Pinelli: not just our history, but everyone’s history
Our comrades from the Centro Studi Libertari / Archivio Giuseppe Pinelli, Milan are fundraising to create a public history project, dedicated to the life of Giuseppe Pinelli.
The 12th of December is the anniversary of the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing carried out by neo-fascists working with the Italian secret services. Sixteen people were murdered. The seventeenth victim was the anarchist railway worker, Giuseppe Pinelli, accused and then murdered by the police. His death - and the controversy and trials which followed it - unmasked the strategy of tension: Pinelli was innocent, Piazza Fontana was a state massacre. You can read more on Pinelli's life here Giuseppe 'Pino' Pinelli (1928-1969): the 17th victim of the Piazza Fontana bombing
Our comrades say: "Our aim is to collect witness accounts and documents pertaining to Giuseppe Pinelli, as well as to the research and inquiries carried out over the years, and to make the collected material available to the public at large. The story of the «anarchic railway worker» will be the core of a common, participated history, illustrating a specific historic period and filling the gaps eluding documentation and witness accounts, with the goal to add a further tool to allow for today’s world to interpret itself."
Read more about the campaign (and donate) at:
Giuseppe Pinelli: Una storia soltanto nostra, una storia di tutti
KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 93-94, March 2018 has just been posted on our site.
The PDF is up at: https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/m0chf2
Contents page is at: KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 93-94, March 2018 [Double issue]
Here is Louise Michel (by Louise Michel) "She is a menace to society, for she has declared a hundred times that everyone should take part in the banquet of life."
The Princess Casamassima by Henry James [Review]. "The idea that it is the sheer usefulness of the poor that makes the rich determined to keep them poor was evidently beyond Henry James."
Mr Batllori’s Death. The Friend of Ferrer "the kind and modest comrade whom an imperfect knowledge of our tongue rendered very coy, and whose face bore the indelible imprint of the torments he had previously undergone."
Tom Keell by Oscar Swede "And what good did all the talking do? Well, it kept the torch alive and has handed it on."
Transition and the right to well-being by Albert Meltzer "If the community advances all are responsible – if we are not now in the conditions of the Middle ages everyone has contributed in one way or another to what is, and the right to well-being is universal. Not just for the famous, or the rich, or the well connected; not just for the proletariat or for all those who work – but all."
Gig economy, pig economy by Richard Warren [cartoon]
The Price We Pay "The social wealth created isn’t used to benefit all of us equally – far from it! A large slice is constantly creamed off by a small section of the population who do no work at all – the ruling class."
Anarchy and the art of motor-cycle maintenance [Or, Squatting in Ilford] by Chris Broad. "It is as though we are separated by a wall, one side painted blue and the other green. We both agree that the wall must be destroyed, but at the moment we are fighting each other over what colour the wall is."
Looking at Anarchist solidarity with prisoners and exiles in the Soviet Union "Not only did they stop people from starving: there was the psychological support of being remembered."
Anarchist Solidarity : An exchange between Lilly Sarnoff and Alexander Berkman "Well, you are at liberty to have your own opinion on the matter. That is why I call myself an Anarchist, leaving others free to act and think as they believe best."
Library News (March 2018)
Book news/mini-reviews [March 2018]
That this was out was mentioned in the bulletin. There's now a review:
"Philip Ruff has been looking for the truth about Peter the Painter since 1986, off and on. When he started, there was still a Soviet Union and he had to interview the KGB (rather than the other way round) about the Latvian revolutionary movement..."
Portrait of the artist as a wanted man: Philip Ruff’s search for Peter the Painter
The unedited video files for what became the Leah Feldman interview mentioned above are now up at archive.org
They jump about chronologically, but contain more information on her life than the edited version
Also more unedited tapes: Leo Rosser presenting sites of London anarchist history, Albert Meltzer and Philip Ruff being interviewed. Ruff is talking in the very early days of his research into 'Peter the Painter' so a lot of it has been superseded.
KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 95, July 2018 has just been posted on our site. The PDF is up at: https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/0gb6n3
The contents page is at KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library No. 95, July 2018
Lenin is a-coming by Camillo Berneri "The working man needs to be told that Lenin will not be crossing the Alps like some 'great red bear' to liberate Italy"
Anarchism in the 1980s: an interview with another ex-member of Bristol Class War. "It made you feel confident and strong. It wasn’t us who should be worried. It was them! ‘Behold Your Future Executioners!’"
Portrait of the artist as a wanted man: Philip Ruff’s search for Peter the Painter by John Patten "Ruff has discovered the where and how of his last disappearance. The final words of the book reflect on Žāklis’s fate, but also show what Ruff has learned himself: ‘survival can demand as much bravery as the willingness to die for a noble cause’."
The Anarchists in London 1935-1955 : a Personal Memoir by Albert Meltzer [Review]. "When the second edition of 'The Albert Memorial' was being put together, I recall one of Albert’s comrades saying ‘I miss the old rascal’. Now we have a chance to enjoy some of his work again.
Anarchist History Roundup July 2018 The Rag-Pickers’ Puigcerdá Manifesto: Fight for History; Tyneside Anarchist Archive; Working Class History Podcast: John Barker Interview; Sparks of Hope; Anarchist history on screen
(one thing you might most like in the roundup is John Barker's interview:
“My mum and dad and a lot of others they fought this war. They fought this war for the state.
- World War Two?
Yes, World War Two, they fought this, right? And in a way they had to be rewarded. And us, the kids, we got the reward. We got free university education and all this. And this…
- Without fighting the war
Without fighting the war. And this was a reward for the children of the parents who’d done it. I only think about this in retrospect but I’m sure this was the case and, you know, in a certain time around 1975 the ruling class suddenly said ‘Fuck this, we’ve paid you off now, you’re not having any.’ Because, you know, you could say, ‘Oh well, maybe, from one point of view, you could say we took the piss, actually.’ [laughter] Having this relatively easy situation we took the piss but this was a whole, you know, this wasn’t just a few, you know, dropout layabouts, this was, I think, the young working class actually was assertive.”
Episode 2: The Angry Brigade, part 1)
No picture, sadly. The kazoo band in the class struggle (1926):
Rival to the silver bands, some well known, were the bazooka bands, the “bazooka” [kazoo] being a sixpenny instrument one hummed into. About 40 of these, with drums made quite a noise. All the bands – there must have been a few hundred of them in the country, including children’s bands – were in costume, a condition being that the costume should not cost a great deal. Sometimes 20 bands would take part in a local carnival, tramping miles to the site. I recall one fat man who, dressed as a sultan in the remains of a bedspread, marched at the head of his “harem” of 40 women, a very proud sultan he looked, and the “Tramps”, each wearing a battered bowler and spats, who played their tune, then sang, “We’re on the road to anywhere” like a choir. There were bands of Zulu warriors, Red Indians, knights in tincan armour, battalions of Fred Karno’s Army, bands of mermaids (the most difficult of the lot) and of pirates (the easiest).
Into battle with the bazooka bands (Pages of Labour history)
Separate names with a comma.