Senez, André, 1917-1998

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A short biography of French anarchist André Senez.

André Senez
Born October 1917, died 20 February 1998 - France

Over the years, the name Andre Senez could be read at the foot of the back page of many French anarchist and libertarian papers as "Director" of the publication - a paper cannot by law be published in France unless it has this State requirement and risks instant confiscation. Many veterans of the French libertarian movement have warm memories of Andre Senez, with his unflinching convictions and his solidarity.

He died on the evening of 20th February, 1998 after reaching his 80th birthday last October. A worker in the shoe industry in Paris, an expert in his work, he had retired to the Touraine region to be close to his family.

At the age of 15, he joined the youth section of the Communist Party, which he left very quickly after the signing of the pact between Stalin and Laval, the right wing French premier, in 1935. He became an anarchist and was a militant in the Jeunesse Anarchiste Communiste (Anarchist Communist Youth) then in the Union Anarchiste, its parent organisation and then in the post-war Federation Anarchiste.

Georges Fontenis writes: "I made his acquaintance at the start of the war and we were at all the rallies together, at all the demonstrations where he impressively handled his walking stick which he could not be separated from because of his handicapped status (as a child he had suffered an attack of poliomyelitis that was not taken care of properly, the lot of many children from a poor background in that period)". Leaving the Federation Anarchiste in the 50s, he attended meetings of Socialisme ou Barbarie along with Fontenis, Castoriadis and Lyotard, among others.

With Fontenis and Daniel Guerin, he was one of the founders of the Mouvement Communiste Libertaire (MCL). He remained in this group when it transformed itself into the (first) Organisation Communiste Libertaire. With its collapse in 1976, Senez joined the (second) Organisation Communiste Libertaire, the result of a changing of name by the Organisation Revolutionnaire Anarchiste ! He was subsequently active in the Union des Travailleurs Communistes Libertaires and its successor Alternative Libertaire. With the deterioration of his health, he became housebound, nevertheless continuing correspondence with various publications.

"We are all sad at having lost an old brother"
- Georges Fontenis.

Nick Heath
Based on an article by Georges Fontenis which originally appeared in "Alternative Libertaire", April 1998