From The Daily Bleed:
1864 — Spain: Juan (also spelled Joan) Montseny (aka Federico Urales) lives (1864-1942), Reus, Catalonia. Teacher, novelist, publisher, anarchist militant, companion of Teresa Mañé (Soledad Gustavo) & father of Federica Montseny. [Details / context]
1877 — Algeria: Pierre Jules Ruff lives (1877-1942), Algiers. Militant anarchist & antimilitarist. Arrested & perished in a Nazi concentration camp.
[Details / context]
1888 — Spain: In Seville, Ricardo Mella republishes the newspaper “Solidaridad” which is, as Max Nettlau characterizes it, one of the last ramparts of anarcho-collectivism in Spain. On January 12, 1889 it publishes his article, “La Anarquía no admite adjetivos” (Anarchy needs no adjectives). [Source: L’Ephéméride Anarchiste] http://www.hetera.org/mella.html
1892: A young Italian woman, Maria Roda, crossed the Atlantic & settled in Paterson
in 1892 after dedicating several years of activism to militant workers’ struggles in Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, & England.
She arrived with her partner, the prominent Spanish anarcho-syndicalist Pedro Esteve, & immediately impressed seasoned radicals & rank-&-file workers with her ability to rouse the masses with the spoken word. While raising eight children & laboring in the silk mills, Maria & Pedro became intellectual leaders within the Paterson circolo & led efforts to organize Italian textile workers into the industrial union movement that was rapidly spreading throughout the country. A charismatic & powerful speaker, Maria regularly accompanied Pedro to Tampa & New York City to assist & support the collective struggles of Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban, Spanish, & Italian textile, cigar, & dock workers.
In 1906 she began a series of essays with the title “Alle Donne, Emancipiamoci!” (To the Women: Let’s Emancipate Ourselves!) See Jennifer Guglielmo’s article, archived at the Stan Iverson Memorial Library, Donne Sovversive: The History of Italian-American Women’s Radicalism /library/DonneSovversive.htm
1909 — Jerzy Andrzejewski lives. Polish novelist, short-story writer, & political dissident.
Portrayed in Czeslaw Milosz’s Captive Mind (1953), which revealed the problems of intellectuals living under Stalinism.
In the 1950s & ’60s Andrzejewski moved towards more or less open criticism of the government, starting from the novel The Inquisitors (tr. 1960). His ambiguities of style & thought eluded simplistic interpretation & several of his works went unpublished. In 1979 he helped found the workers’ defence committee (KOR) to aid families of striking workers, who were jailed or dismissed from their jobs.
1909 — First edition of The Little Red Songbook published.
1911 — Mexico: Huerta’s troops battle the anarchist Zapatistas, El Texcal & Tetillas.
1920 — Russia: Start of peasant insurrection in Tambov; Bolsheviks unable to suppress the revolt until May 1921. Similar problems had arisen in 1917, when peasants seized land from the gentry, reaching the level of near insurrection in Tambov.
1936 — USSR: Purge Trials begin, “Darkness at Noon”. August 19-25, Trial of the Sixteen in Moscow. Convicted of high treason in the first of the Moscow show trials, the old Bolsheviks Kamenev & Zinoviev (former pals of Stalin & Trotsky) are executed. Smirnov executed. Radek placed under arrest.
1936 — Federico García Lorca dies. Andalusian poet/dramatist/artist. Murdered by Franco’s fascists. Accused of subversive activity, however evidence today suggests that it was a hate crime in response to his homosexuality. His writings remained censored until Franco died in 1975. Despite this, Lorca became one of the most widely read writers in the world.
Gacela of the Dark Death
- I want to sleep the dream of the apples,
- to withdraw from the tumult of cemeteries,
- I want to sleep the dream of that child
- who wanted to cut his heart on the high seas.
- I don't want to hear again that the dead do not lose their blood,
- that the putrid mouth goes on asking for water.
- I don't want to learn of the tortures of the grass,
- nor of the moon with a serpent's mouth
- that labors before dawn.
- I want to sleep awhile,
- awhile, a minute, a century;
- but all must know that i have not died;
- that there is a stable of gold in my lips;
- that i am the small friend of the West wing;
- that i am the intense shadow of my tears.
- Cover me at dawn with a veil.
- because dawn will throw fistfuls of ants at me.
- and wet with hard water my shoes
- so that the pincers of the scorpion slide.
- For i want to sleep the dream of the apples,
- to learn a lament that will cleanse me of the earth;
- for i want to live with that dark child
- who wanted to cut his heart on the high seas.
1936 — Spain: Camillo Berneri, after organizing an Italian anarchist column within the Francisco Ascaso Column in the Pedralbes barracks (renamed “Bakunin”), with Angeloni & de Santillán (from the CNT-FAI), leaves Barcelona for the Aragonese front.
Berneri landed in Catalonia on July 25 with a cargo of rifles & ammunition. Berneri hosted a rally before 100,000 people in Plaza de los Toros in Barcelona before departing for the front. His unit engages the attacking Nationalist army on the 23rd of this month & drove them back. Because of problems with his vision & hearing, Berneri was sent back to Barcelona. There he worked to warn people about the important implications of the imminent fascist landings in the Balearic Isles, did propaganda work, attacked the Madrid government for its politics of compromise which were damaging Catalan autonomy, & criticized the ambiguous behaviour of the French & English governments. He wrote for ‘Guerra di Classe’, & often visited the ‘Amigos de Durruti ‘ (Friends of Durutti) before Communist agents murdered him in 1937.
2000 — Luce Fabbri, (1908-2000) dies. A life-long anarchist thinker, writer & activist.
Luce died of a heart attack in Montevideo, Uruguay at the age of 92. She wrote many books, including biographies of her father, the famed Italian anarchist Luigi Fabbri, Elisée Reclus, & Machiavelli. She lectured widely & produced numerous books on anarchism, as well as collections of poetry (La poesìa de Leopardi (1971)). Wrote Influenza della letteratura italiana sulla cultura rioplatense (two volumesHer latest book was La Libertad entre la Historia y la Utopia: Tres Ensayos y Otros Textos del Siglo XX (Freedom in History & Utopia; Three Essays & Other Texts of the 20th Century [REA, 1998, 145 pages]). Her life will be documented in a forthcoming biography by Margareth Rago.