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Abu-Jamal, Mumia
In the early morning of Dec. 9, 1981, at 13th and Locust Streets in Philadelphia, Abu-Jamal (born Wesley Cook) was an unemployed radio talk show host earning a living driving a cab. According to the government, Abu-Jamal shot and killed Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. On July 3, 1982 after a contentious jury trial convicted Abu-Jamal of the premeditated murder of Faulkner, he was given a death sentence. Since that time Abu-Jamal has become for some an international symbol of resistance against racist culture elements in the United States. He has become an iconic hero for various political causes including the opponents of the death penalty. Abu-Jamal claims he is innocent of the charges and that the Philadelphia Police Department and other government entities have framed him.
Bakunin, Mikhail
Born into an aristocratic family. Met Karl Marx in Paris but the two social thinkers didn't get along. Bakunin formed the International Alliance for social Democracy and joined the First International in 1868. A philosophical split between the Marxists and Bakunin anarchists occurred in 1872. Bakunin advocated mass organization of the working class, collectivism and he was vehemently anti-state. Bakunin spent 8 years in solitary confinement in Russia.
Bookchin, Murray
Son of Russian immigrants who were politically active during the Russian Revolution, Bookchin has spent the last 50 years involved in American radical politics. From his early labor organizing experience to his involvement in the New Left of the 1960s to his pioneering the idea of "social ecology" his influence has been significant. Much of the political emphasis of the various "green" movements of the 1980s and 1990s have their origin in Bookchin's ideas. His works include: Our Synthetic Environment (1962, written under the pseudonym Lewis Herber), Ecology of Freedom (1982), and Reenchanting Humanity (1996).
DeCleyre, Voltairine
Emma Goldman said of the French-American Ms. DeCleyre, "she is the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman in America..." Born in Michigan she was named after the French writer Voltaire. She became a major spokeswoman for the anarchist movement. She wrote Anarchism and American Traditions.
Dolgoff, Sam
Member of the Chicago Free society Group and an active organizer in the International Workers of the World (IWW). Works include: Ethics and American Unionism (1958), The Labor Party Illusion (1961), The Cuban Revolution: A Critical Perspective (1974), A Critique of Marxism (1983) and the autobiographical Fragments (1986).
Durruti, Buenventura
Son of a socialist railroad worker. Considered the "father of Spanish anarchism."
Ferrer, Francesco
January 10, 1849 - October 13, 1909. Born in Allela, Spain. His parents were practicing Catholics, but his uncle was a freethinker who influenced him strongly. Consequently, Ferrer became a follower of the republican radical Manuel Ruiz Zorilla., In 1885, when Zorilla attempted a coup that failed, Ferrer was also forced into exile. Ferrer and his family went to Paris where he remained for sixteen years. He became active in a new form of education being practiced at a primary school in Cempuis, France. He also offered free Spanish lessons. One of his most notable pupils was a wealthy spinster named Jeanne Ernestine Meunie. When Meunie died suddenly in March, 1901 she left Ferrer a sizable fortune. He returned to Spain and on September 1, 1901 he opened La Escuela Moderna. The professed goal of the school was to educate the working class in a rational, secular and non-coercive setting. La Escuela Moderna grew rapidly. By 1906, thirty four schools with over 1,000 students were directly or indirectly influenced by the school and its textbooks. On June 4, 1906 Ferrer was arrested in connection with an assassination attempt on King Alphonso XIII. He was imprisoned in the Carcelo Modelo in Madrid. He was finally released June 12, 1907, due to insufficient evidence. During Ferrer's incarceration, La Escuela Moderna was shut down and would not open its doors again. Ferrer returned to Paris. In July of 1909 he returned to Spain when political events there spun out of control. Spontaneous protests broke out in the streets, evolving into a massive general strike. Revolutionary leaders, anxious to seize the moment, were ultimately unprepared and thus lost control of the crowds. The result was five days of mob rule known today as the "Tragic Week." In September Ferrer was arrested again and convicted of fomenting the unrest associated with the general strike. On October 13, 1909 Spain executed Ferrer by firing squad.
Flynn, Elizabeth
The model used for the "Rebel Lady" in the song by Joe Hill. She joined the International Workers of the World (IWW) in 1907 and helped found the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 1920. In the 1950s she spent 28 months in jail as a political prisoner. Works include: Sabotage (1915), My Life as a Political Prisoner (1963) and The Rebel Girl (1973).
Gicker, Benton
On February 8, 1999 at around 12:45 PM (PST) 15 year-old Brenton Gicker was called to the principal's office at South Eugene High School in Oregon. There the young student was arrested by the officers of the Eugene Police Department and taken to City Hall and placed in jail. He was charged with burglary, riot, and criminal mischief. At a hearing the next day Mr. Gicker was placed on "house arrest" despite the police department's request to keep him locked up. Gicker's ordeal was a result of an October 17, 1998 incident where according to the police chief "a half-dozen individuals wearing gas masks and hoods went into the store and threw merchandise over the balcony into a fountain." The incident was not a random act of juvenile delinquency. Rather it was staged by a group of mostly teenagers and people in their early 20s--activists inspired by John Zerzan, a longtime local anarchist writer and theoretician. They were protesting Nike's sweatshop practices. Gicker who is part of this youthful movement says, "Just taking a look at the state of the world, anarchy is appealing." Gicker's arrest followed the police's discovery of his fingerprints on a flyer left at the demonstration. A search of Gicker's parent's house resulted in the confiscation of, among other items, a poster of Emma Goldman. The young anarchist's response to his ordeal: "This whole thing - it's just bizarre, fucked up, and unfortunate." :
Goldman, Emma
Dynamic activist and crusader for the anarchist cause. Came to the United States in 1886 and first settled in Rochester, New York. Exhausting factory work and an unhappy marriage led to her getting a divorce and moving to New York City. In New York she became very politically active. She advocated birth control and championed women's rights. Works include: Anarchism and Other Essays, and Living My Life.
Goodman, Paul
Goodman's influence on the radical New Left movement in the 1960s is significant. A radical anarchist pacifist Goodman believed society's institutions block human beings from being creative, caring and free. He supported personal and sexual freedom for men and women and advocated nonviolent social change. Work includes Growing Up Absurd (1960).
Guerrero, Praxidis
Born August 28, 1882 in Los Altos de Ibarra, Guanajuanto. Died December 29, 1910. Guerrero was the sixth son of a very rich land owning Mexican family. After attending both primary and secondary school in Leon, he went to San Luis Potosi in early 1900. Here he worked as a labourer in the Cerrceria de San Luis and later in the Fundacion de Morales before returning to Los Altos de Ibarra some months later. For the next year or so he assisted his father in the family business, making several trips as its representative to Puebla, Mexico City and Laredo. In May 1901 Praxedis was accepted as a correspondent on Filomeno Mata's journal Diario del Hogar, which was an outspoken dissident publication formed in opposition to the Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz. By 1903 Guerrero had become interested in the anti-Diaz Liberal movement that had been founded two years before, and began to read their publications in particular Camillo Arriaga's 'El Demofilo' and Ricardo Flores Magon's 'El Hijo del Ahuizote'. At the same time he began to read the works of Bakunin, Kropotkin and Malatesta, which were at that time difficult to obtain, although Kropotkin's 'The Conquest of Bread' had been published in pamphlet form by the opposition journal 'Vespar' during the preceding year. In May 1906, the first contact was made between the 'Junta Organizadora del Partido liberal Mexicano' (PLM) and Guerrero, when Manuel Sarabia, representing the Junta, visited Guerrero. The Junta, which had been formed the preceding year in St. Louis, Missouri through the initiative of Ricardo Flores Magon, aimed at coordinating all anti-Diez revolutionary activities. Between 1906 and 1910 Guerrero devoted almost all his energies to the cause of the PLM. When his father died Guerrero rejected his inheritance. On December 29, 1910, while leading a PLM attack on the town of Janos, Guerrero was killed. He was 28 years old.
Haywood, Bill
Founded the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and was a major influence on American radical politics. Clarence Darrow defended Haywood when he was accused of murder in 1906. In 1921 he was convicted of sedition for his opposition to the United States' involvement in World War I. After his conviction he fled to Russia (USSR) where he died.
Hill, Joe
Joe Hill's real name was Joel Emmanuel Hagglund. He was a labor organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). He also wrote union songs like "Casey Jones", "Rebel Girl" and "The Union Scab." He became somewhat of martyr after his execution by a Utah firing squad. He had been convicted of murder. The night before his execution he apparently sent a telegram to Bill Haywood that said: "Don't waste any time mourning. Organize."
Kropotkin, Peter
Born into an aristocratic Russian family. Joined the International in 1872. A geographer by training, Kropotkin elected to pursue his interest in social injustice and political change instead of a career in science. His belief in the concept of "mutual aid" as a superior to the authority of the state made him a leading anarchist theorist. His works include: The Conquest of Bread, Fields, Factories and Workshops, Mutual Aid, and the unfinished Ethics.
Malatesta, Errico
Born into a wealthy Italian family, Malatesta used his wealth in support of his political beliefs. Influenced by Bakunin, Malatesta believed that anarchy could be brought about by the use of three tactics: direct action, land seizure, and the general strike. He became a leading proponent of communist-anarchism. Kropotkin described Malatesta as "always in the hottest of the struggle."
Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph
Son of a working class family. Considered one of the major philosophers of anarchism. In 1840 Proudhon wrote What Is Property which advocated the abolition of all personal property to be replaced by a collective use of material wealth. Initially Proudhon and Karl Marx were in agreement with regard to their political philosophies. however, Marx ultimately attacked and rejected Proudhon's ideas, such as direct democracy and "mutualism.". Works include: System of Economic Contradictions or the Philosophy of Poverty, and Confessions of a Revolutionary.
Sacco, Nicola
Along with Bartolemeo Vanzetti Sacco was executed on August 27, 1927 for the murder of a shoe factory paymaster in Massachusetts. Sacco, who arrived in the United States from Italy in 1908 and Vanzetti became a focal point for the middle class' distrust of radical politics. Their trial and execution received international attention and became a rallying point for many radical groups.
Vanzetti, Bartolemeo
Along with Nicola Sacco, Vanzetti was executed on August 27, 1927 for the murder of a shoe factory paymaster in Massachusetts. During his incarceration, the mostly self-educated Vanzetti wrote letters and articles that did much to encourage support for his cause.
Zapata, Emiliano
1879-1919. Mexican revolutionary, born in Anencuilio, Mexico. He became a sharecropper and local leader, and after the onset of the Mexican Revolution he mounted a land distribution programme in areas under his control. Along with Pancho Villa, he fought the Carranza government, and was eventually lured to his death at the Chinameca hacienda.
Zetkin, Clara
1857-1933. Communist leader, born in Wiederau, Germany. While studying at Leipzig Teacher's College for Women she became a Socialist and staunch feminist, and from 1881 to 1917 was a member of the Social Democratic Party. In 1917 she was one of the founders of the radical Independent Social Democratic Party (the Spartacus League), and became a founder of the German Communist Party (1919). A strong supporter of the Russian Revolution, and a friend of Lenin, her influence waned after Lenin's death .
Team Management
Tucker, Benjamin
1854-1939. Anarchist and reformer, born in South Darmouth, Massachusetts, USA. Although he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1870-1873), he was more drawn to social reform than engineering and became a convert to individualist anarchism (1872). Leaving school, he travelled to France to study the works of French socialist Pierre Joseph Proudhon, on whom he became an authority. He translated and published at his own expense Proudhon's celebrated work under the title What is Property? (1876). He founded the Radical Review (1877), but his most famous publication was the broadsheet, Liberty, which was issued regularly (1881--1908) and became a widely read clearinghouse for unorthodox thought. A brilliant polemicist, he wrote much of Liberty himself while on the staff of the Boston Globe (1878) and then as editor of the Engineering Magazine in New York City (1892). An outspoken, at times literary voice for individualist anarchism, he defied police arrest by selling banned books. His publishing venture collapsed (1908) when his New York establishment was destroyed by fire. He moved to France and never again found much of a public for his writings. He and his family moved to Monaco (1926) and letters from the 1930s reflect a growing despair at the rise of totalitarianism.
Parsons, Lucy
There is some mystery about Ms. Parsons' birth, but recent speculation suggests she may have been a slave in Texas. She came to Chicago in 1873 and became involved in that city's labor politics. She wrote about the homeless and unemployed, helped found the International Working Peoples Association (IWPA) and was a staunch advocate for civil rights. She joined the Communist Party in 1939. Her husband, Albert Parsons, was implicated in the Haymarket Square bombing and was hung to death in 1886.
Fanelli, Giuseppi
Considered the "father" of Italian anarchism. Elected to the Italian Parliament in November, 1865, he met Bakunin in 1866. Fanelli introduced anarchism to Spain in October, 1868.
Godwin, William
Trained as a clergyman, Godwin was the first writer to express anarchist theories. Although he was against marriage he first lived and then married Mary Wollstonecraft. He was decidedly nonviolent in his approach to social change. Works include: Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, and a social justice novel called Caleb Williams.
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The Armageddonia Anarchists are a cosmic baseball team of social, philosophical and political anarchists.
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Published: March 9, 2003
Last Update: March 9, 2003