The new issue of Black Flag: Anarchist Review is now available:
This issue includes articles on Anarchism and the General Strike, the London 1881 Congress and two key 1883 events – the Lyon show trial and the 9th of March unemployment demonstration which saw Louise Michel raise the black flag. We also discuss Albert Camus and his links with anarchism, the lessons of previous revolutions for anarchists with regards to the Ukraine war as well as an account of anarchism in Brazil between 1903 and 2013. And more…
Original translations which appear in Black Flag: Anarchist Review eventually appear on-line here:
Other issues planned for this year aim to include articles on and by Rudolf Rocker, Marie Goldsmith, the Chicago Anarchists of the I.W.P.A., Guy Aldred, Max Baginski, Maurice Brinton, amongst other people and subjects.
Contributions from libertarian socialists are welcome on these and other subjects! We are a small collective and always need help in writing, translating and gathering material, so please get in touch if you want to see Black Flag Anarchist Review continue.
This issue’s editorial and contents are:
We start with Anarchism and the General Strike, prompted by the general strike being discussed at the 1873 Congress of the Federalist International Workers’ Association. As well as discussing the position of various anarchists on the general strike in both theory and practice – both being important as events influenced the development of ideas within both anarchism and syndicalism. After this overview, we include a selection of original texts on the general strike by many well-known anarchist thinkers and activists (many of which are translated into English for the first time). We hope they will both enrich our understanding of anarchist history as well as anarchist practice and theory now and in the future.
We then move onto the London Congress of 1881, seeking to correct all too common generalisations and distortions. As Kropotkin himself rightly said during the Lyon Trial in 1883, “I ask the court not to confuse my speeches with resolutions concerning the diffusion of chemical knowledge.” We seek to present those – and other speeches – and indicate how looking solely at the resolutions – as most non-anarchists do – gives a distinctly false impression of both the Congress itself and anarchist ideas and strategy. Rather than simply being a gathering of anarchists spouting dynamite bluster, the Congress represented a wide range of anti-parliamentarian socialist opinion including those, like Kropotkin and others, who advocated working within the labour movement. Sadly, these voices were ignored and this in turn raises questions over the relationship between those considered as “leaders” and those who share a label.
The Lyon show-trial is covered next, when over 60 anarchists (including Kropotkin) were arrested on spurious charges who then used it to propagate their ideas. We reprint Nicolas Walter’s account of the trial plus contemporary reports.
The year 1883 also saw Louise Michel raise the Black Flag during an unemployed demonstration in Paris, so starting the process by which it eventually became the iconic anarchist symbol. Like the Red Flag it replaced, it was a recognised symbol of working-class resistance in France – the workers in Lyon had raised both during their insurrection of 1831. Constance Bantman discusses its context and we reprint a contemporary report of the trial published in the individualist anarchist journal Liberty as well as Michel’s defence statement.
This year also marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Albert Camus and we take the opportunity to recount his links with the anarchist movement by reprinting an article by Nick Health as well as publishing a new translation of his famous 1953 speech to French trade unionists – “Bread and Liberty” – which summarises his libertarian ideas.
Then Wayne Price discusses lessons for libertarians from previous wars. We end with an overview of the anarchist movement in Brazil between 1903 and 2013, a subject not well-known in the English-speaking world.
If you want to contribute rather than moan at those who do, whether its writing new material or letting us know of on-line articles, reviews or translations, then contact us:
Anarchism and the General Strike
The London Congress of 1881
The Lyon Trial
The unemployed demonstration of 9 March 1883, a snapshot of anarchism in the early 1880s
Albert Camus and the Anarchists
Lessons for Anarchists About the Ukraine War from Past Revolutions
Anarchism and Social Movements in Brazil (1903-2013)
Appeal of 1st May 1896
Declaration of the Accused Anarchists before the Lyon Criminal Court
A full contents listing can be found here: https://anarchism.pageabode.com/black-flag-anarchist-review-spring-2023-issue-now-out/