Our Daily Bleed...
MILTON! I think thy spirit hath passed away
From these white cliffs, & high-embattled towers;
This gorgeous fiery-coloured world of ours
Seems fallen into ashes dull & grey,
& the age changed unto a mimic play
Wherein we waste our else too-crowded hours:
For all our pomp & pageantry & powers
We are but fit to delve the common clay,
Seeing this little isle on which we stand,
This England, this sea-lion of the sea,
By ignorant demagogues is held in fee,
Who love her not: Dear God! is this the land
Which bare a triple empire in her hand
When Cromwell spake the word Democracy!
— Oscar Wilde
Noted black American playwright, social critic.
US: KITEFEST in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
FESTIVAL OF ART SABOTAGE.
1174 -- Marie of Champagne issues a "responsum" to the inquiry "Can real love exist between married people?"
The answer is "No."
1509 -- Pope Julius II excommunicates Italian state of Venice.
1521 -- Philippines: Strait No Chaser?: Natives ambush & kill European explorer Ferdinand Magellan — he was stomped by an angry mob for cheating at poker.
1546 -- Quiet Time?: William Foxley sleeps for 14 days & 15 nights — cause unknown.
1667 -- Pound foolish?: John Milton sells Paradise Lost, written after he went blind, to Samuel Simmons for 10 pounds.
1749 -- The first official performance of Handel's 'Fireworks Music' is abandoned due to the outbreak of fire  - see also 29 May.
Source: 'Calendar Riots'
1759 -- Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft lives, Hoxton, England.
In 1792, she wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women, one of the earliest surviving works of feminism. The treatise attacks the social forces that suppress women as the economic, political & intellectual inferiors to men.
Author of first great modern feminist tract in English.
Labeled "a hyena in petticoats," Wollstonecraft died at an age prompting criticism that her death was the fitting punishment for such strong-mindedness. For the next century, women who similarly publish & defend their work will also damage their reputations.
1773 -- US: Banned in Boston? British Parliament passes the Tea Act (Boston won't like this).
1791 -- Samuel Finley Breece Morse, US painter/inventor, lives. The first programer to telegraph his code. 010101010101.
1810 -- Ludwig van Beethoven gives the world a romantic piece for piano, with the dedication, "For Therese, as a remembrance." Nowadays nobody remembers Therese. The publisher couldn't read Beethoven's handwriting & to this day the piece is known as "Fur Elise."
1813 -- Canada: Love Thy Neighbor? US burns Toronto to the ground in an unsuccessful attempt to gain control of Lake Ontario.
1825 -- US: The first strike for the 10-hour workday, by carpenters in Boston.
1825 -- US: The industrialist Robert Owen sets up Utopian Socialist Colony at New Harmony, Indiana. On Robert Owen, see Kenneth Rexroth's chapter in Communalism
1855 -- France: Caroline Remy, known as Madame Severine, lives, Paris. Libertarian, feminist, pacifist, journalist of the League of Humans Right.
1855 -- France: Jules Jouy lives (1855-1897), Paris. Songster, poet, anarchiste, pioneer of the social song. See the Anarchist Encyclopedia page, http://recollectionbooks.com/bleed/Encyclopedia/JouyJules.htm &
[ Further Details ]
1861 -- US: Did a Successful Secession Secede? Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Abe Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus in some areas of the nation. Extended throughout the nation on Sept. 24, 1862 against anyone suspected of being a Southern sympathizer; in the next four years some 18,000 "subversives" & peace activists are jailed without cause or charges.
West Virginia secedes from Virginia after Virginia secedes from the US.
1865 -- US: Free At Last? 1,450 paroled Union POWs die when the steamer "Sultana" blows up.
The worst ship disaster in American history occurs when the overloaded river steamer Sultana, equipped with tubular boilers ill-suited for use in the muddy waters of the lower Mississippi, blew up & sank near Memphis, Tennessee. Over 2,300 perished, many of them emaciated Union soldiers returning north after being released from a Confederate prison camp.
1882 -- US: Ralph Waldo Emerson dies in Concord, Massachusetts. Buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery beside Henry Thoreau & Hawthorne.
1887 -- France: Claude Le Maguet (known as Jean Salivas) (1887-1979) lives. French poet, typographer, anarchiste & militant pacifist.
1894 -- France: Trial of the French anarchist Émile Henry for bombing the Terminus cafe February 12, 1894 & blowing up the Bons-enfants police station, November 8, 1892. Émile Henry proudly acknowledged his actions, reading a declaration in which he analyzed a corrupt society & called for further revolt. The jury finds no extenuating circumstances nor goes easy on him.
Illustration by Flavio Costantini
"Il faut que la bourgeoisie comprenne bien que ceux qui ont souffert sont enfin las de leurs souffrances: il montrent les dents et frappent d'autant plus brutalement qu'on a été brutal avec eux."
— Émile Henry, Pourquoi j'ai tiré dans le tas
1897 -- US: Dedication of Grant's Tomb (famed of song & legend).
1898 -- Italy: Trial of the anarchists ends. It includes Malatesta, who is sent to prison (but escapes in 1899). Bread riots also break out in Bari & Foggia.
[Details / context]
1904 -- C. Day-Lewis, aka Nicolas Blake, lives (1904-1972), Ballintubbert, Ireland. A leading British 1930s poet, critic, educator & mystery writer.
Day-Lewis' early poems were influenced by Auden & other left-wing poets, but the Spanish Revolution of 1936 & other developments led him to reject communism.
- His early mysteries are full of literary references, from Shakespeare to Blake, Keats, Arthur Hugh Clough & A.E. Housman. Among his best are The Beast Must Die; The Case of the Abominable Snowman; A Tangled Web; End of the Chapter.
- Father of Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis.
1904 -- US: Congress extends the Chinese Exclusion Act indefinitely (first passed in 1882; again in 1902 extending the act for 10 years), making it unlawful for Chinese laborers to enter the US & denying naturalized citizenship to the Chinese already here.
[[More on Exclusion Act, Details / context]
1910 -- US: In late April, Emma Goldman visits Jack London & his wife Charmian at their ranch at Glen Ellen, Calif.
1915 -- Alexander Scriabin lives (1872-1915).
Enigmatic figure sometimes considered the first of the modern composers. George Perle said of Scriabin, "he was the first to exploit serial procedures systematically as a means of compensating for the loss of traditional tonal functions."
"Scriabin was said to have declared to a friend, 'It would be terrible to remain nothing more than a composer of sonatas & symphonies.' Consequently he planned a major multimedia piece 'The Mysterium' that was to incorporate expanded orchestra, chorus, dancers, color keyboard, olfactory keyboard, poetry, utterances & bells suspended from zeppelins. All of this was to be held in a specially built amphitheater in India. It was, he believed, a purification ritual through art for humankind."
1916 -- US: Dr. Ben Reitman arrested in New York for distributing pamphlets on birth control.
When Studs Terkel was asked to make the opening remarks at the annual Bughouse Square Debates last weekend, it was "deja vu all over again" for the 87-year-old WFMT radio host & author of more than 20 books.
After all, even when he was a teenager, he would stop in the park at Clark & Walton streets to listen to the soapbox orators as he would leave the Newberry Library.
There he'd hear the likes of spellbinders like "One Armed Charlie" Wendorf & Dr. Ben Reitman, meet "socialists bent on revolution & Moody Bible students who wanted to save you for Jesus"...
1921 -- Russia: Emma Goldman & Alexander Berkman alerted about the April 25 Soviet night raid of the Butyrki prison intended to break prisoner solidarity.
Fanya Baron is among those relocated (executed 1938-1940). Soviets attempt to repress all political protests of the raid. Emma helps collect food provisions for the starving anarchist prisoners. In light of Soviet constraints on independent political expression, Goldman & Berkman postpone efforts to organize support for the Kropotkin Museum.
1925 -- England: Emma Goldman delivers a lecture in London, her second here this month.
1932 -- Hart Crane jumps overboard, a suicide at 34, while returning by ship from Mexico.
1934 -- Chile: FOCH (Federacion Obrera de Chile) headquarters in Santiago assaulted by the police & the 'white guards'; seven workers die in the attack, a child slain, & 200 workers were badly injured.
1937 -- US: The Check Is In the Mail.? Social Security system makes its first benefit payment.
1937 -- Spain: Armed conflict between anarquistas & Generalidad forces in Bellver de Cerdaña, April 27 & 28. Antonio Martin, the anarchist mayor of Puigcerdá, is shot dead.
Source: [Agustin Guillamón, Friends of Durruti Group]
1937 -- Italy: Muore a Roma Antonio Gramsci. Gravemente malato di tubercolosi, era stato rimesso in libertà agli inizi di Aprile dopo aver trascorso gli ultimi anni di vita in clinica.
Source: [Crimini e Misfatti]
1939 -- Canada: Beginning today, Emma Goldman lectures (April-May) in English & Yiddish in Toronto & Windsor on "Who Betrayed Spain?" to raise money for Spanish refugees.
Emma has only recently arrived in Canada, having sailed from England, April 8th, arriving in Toronto on April 21, where she now establishes residence.
1942 -- US: 16 pacifists, including A.J. Muste & Evan Thomas, refuse to register for the draft (old guy's draft, age 45-65).
1943 -- US: The WRA prison (American-Japanese internment camp) is moved from Moab, Utah to Leupp, Arizona.
1945 -- England: Three anarchist editors jailed for nine months for "incitement to disaffection", London.
1945 -- August Wilson lives, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning plays, Fences & The Piano Lesson. Self-educated after quitting school at 15, he joined the black aesthetic movement in the late 60s, & was cofounder & director of Black Horizons Theatre in Pittsburgh.
1946 -- James Oppenheim's poem "Bread & Roses" published in Industrial Workers of the World's (IWW) Industrial Solidarity.
Set to music, variously attributed to Martha Coleman or Caroline Kohlsaat. Edith Fowke & Joe Glazer (Songs of Work & Protest) say Kohlsaat & that there's an Italian song with the same title, "Pan e rose," written by Italian-American poet Arturo Giovannitti, & used by the Italian Dressmakers' Local 89 of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.
Mimi Fariña, Judy Collins, & The Ranting Sleezos have recorded "Bread & Roses."
[ed note: I believe the year is wrong here, or perhaps this refers to some later song version; I don't have a source for this entry]
As we go marching, marching
In the beauty of the day
A million darkened kitchens
A thousand mill lofts grey
Are touched with all the radiance
That a sudden sun discloses
For the people hear us singing
Bread & Roses, Bread & Roses...
— James Oppenheim (1912)
1947 -- US: Babe Ruth Day celebrated at baseball's Yankee Stadium & throughout the US.
1956 -- US: Heavyweight boxing champ Rocky Marciano retires undefeated.
1957 -- Italy: Situationist International (1957 - 1972) founding conference, at Cosio d'Arroscia.
The founding conference was composed of eight men & women from different European countries. Some founders of the SI came from radical art groups that emerged around 1950 but were still little known: COBRA, called after the magazine of a northern-European (Copenhagen - Brussels - Amsterdam) group of experimental artists & members from the Lettrist International in Paris.
In the 10+ years of its existence the Situationist International had about 70 members, some of them were Guy Debord (F), Michéle Bernstein (F), Christopher Gray (UK), Jaqueline de Jong (NL), Asger Jorn (DK), Dieter Kunzelmann (D), Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio (I), Alexander Trocci (UK), Raoul Vaneigem (B).
The Situationist International
Spectacle is a slogan, used by a Paris based group known as Situationists, to describe capitalism, the state, the whole shooting match. Owing as much to the Surrealists & Dada as Marx & Bakunin, the Situationists starting point was that the original working class movement had been crushed, by the Bourgeoisie in the West & by the Bolsheviks in the East; Working class organizations, such as Trade Unions & Leftist political parties had sold out to World Capitalism; & furthermore, capitalism could now appropriate even the most radical ideas & return them safely, in the form of harmless ideologies to be used against the working class which they were supposed to represent. "A science of situations is to be created, which will borrow elements from psychology, statistics, urbanism & ethics. These elements have to run together to an absolutely new conclusion: the conscious creation of situations."
- A quick overview can be had at,
- There are numerous sites of interest, but Ken Knabb's Bureau of Public Secrets is the best beginning place, with many personal pieces, as well as an excellent archive of articles & materials of the SI — all meticulously translated, organized & accessible, with new materials added frequently:
- Nothingness.org also has a nice collection of core material, Situationist International
- The Mital site provides a quick useful overview & introduction to the SI, with some contextual material,
1960 -- South Korea: Student protests in the wake of rigged elections force the resignation of US-backed Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Syngman Rhee.
1962 -- US: LA Negro uprising (according to "Eyes on The Prize"). In Griffith Park, 200 youths vs police when one is arrested for horseplay on a merry-go-round. Where BleedMeisterDave used to hang out, wax his 1959 MG & race his motorcycle through the s-curves in the mid-60s.
1968 -- US: 60,000 march against Vietnam War in New York City; 2,000 march in Seattle, Washington.
An antiwar march in Chicago draws 8,000 people. When the march ends, Chicago police order the crowd to disperse, then wade in with clubs. The unofficial Sparling report criticizes the police & the Daley administration.
Also on this date, Beloved & Respected Comrade Cold War Warrior Vice-president Hubert H. "Dump the Humph" Humphrey announces his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Source: [Chicago '68: A Chronology]
Cohn-Bendit's arrest is just a small part of the upheavals occurring in France; by May the country is in the throes of revolution, led by students & workers (strongly imbued with the ideas of the 'internationale situationniste' [see 1957 above]), & the government totters on the brink of collapse.
[ Source: Metropole's Chronology of 'May '68' ]
The concert — billed as "a day or two of fun & music," features Boz Scaggs, Stories, the Steve Miller Band & others.Rioting starts when police start busting people for possession. 76 are arrested & many others are rushed to the first aid tents.
Obviously lived up to its billing....
During the third night of the event, L.A. Police Chief Ed Davis is quoted during a Rotary Club speech as saying, "Tonight at the Sports Arena, they have a dope festival. It's called a rock concert or something."
"Like all really good ideas, Anarchy is pretty simple when you get down to it — human beings are at their very best when they are living free of authority, deciding things among themselves rather than being ordered about. That's what the word means — 'Without Government.' A lot of the time most of us know this anyway... but we also know just how difficult it can usually be doing anything for yourself..."
— Clifford Harper, Anarchy: A Graphic Guide
Features exhibitions, films, food, music, parties, poetry, stalls, talks, videos, workshops & more. [Another "If You Don't Stand For Something, You'll Fall For Anything" Production]
2006 -- US: Members of the anti-war Granny Peace Brigade acquitted. Charged with disorderly conduct for their protest of the Iraq war outside a Times Square military recruiting center in New York City, October 17, 2005.
2011 -- US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Barack Obama, proving he was born, releases his original birth certificate.
Companions, let's destroy all the prisons,
Those walls which lock away our desires,
That money may burn in the fire of passion,
Let's change everything so that we exchange nothing.
— Raoul Vaneigem
anti-CopyRite 1997-3000, more or less
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