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    Our Daily Bleed...


The Daily Bleed Detail Reference Page for the month of May

The following entries provide details, subtext or background relating to dated entries cited in the Daily Bleed Calendar, linked from there to the date(s) cited here.

The Daily Bleed Calendar in full, & access to the pages for this month, are accessible at

1886 -- [May Day] Chicago, USA

On March 27 the Tribune reported that Chicago Knights were growing at the rate of a thousand per week. Between March 20 & July 1886 the local Order grew from 10,000 to 27,000 members. In short, it was the boycott & the promise of comprehensive class unity that sparked labor's Great Upheaval. Once workers were organized in the Knights & trade unions, & once this newfound solidarity unleashed a feeling of class-assertiveness, local workingmen turned en masse to the eight-hour movement, which culminated in the strike of approximately 60,000 Chicago workers on May 1.


See also "The Anarchist Origins of May Day,"

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1890 -- [May Day] Australia

A large May Day meeting was held in Melbourne in 1890, chaired by Dr. Maloney, a highly respected person who later became a federal Labor MP. The group of radicals who called this metting had an inaugural meeting on May Day 1886, to coincide with the US movement protests. Anarchist activists were prominent then, including J Andrews, "Chummy" Fleming, David Andrade & Monty Miller.

The spirit of the activists & early workers organisers is summed up in Bernard O'Dowd's poem, "May Day":

Come Jack, our place is with the ruck
On the open road today,
Not with the tepid "footpath sneak"
Or with the wise who stop away.

A straggling, tame procession, perhaps,
A butt for burgess scorn;
Its flags are ragged sentiments,
& its music's still unborn.

Though none respectable are here,
& trim officials ban,
Our duty, Jack, is not with them,
But here with hope & Man.

The first May Day march was held in Barcaldine in 1891 by striking shearers. The Sydney "Morning Herald" reported that 1,340 took part. Henry Lawson's well known poem "Freedom on the Wallaby":

...So we must fly a rebel flag
As others did before us,
& we must sing a rebel song
& join in rebel chorus.
We'll make the tyrants feel the sting
O'those that they would throttle;
They needn't say the fault is ours
If blood should stain the wattle

This was was composed in Brisbane at the time the striking shearers were facing the troopers guns at Barcaldine.

See Eugene Plawiuk's excellent website on "The Origins & Traditions of May Day." For comprehensive links & information search on "May Day" (in quotes) on the Internet.

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1914 -- Timeline icon [May 1] The anarchist magazine "Le Falot" debuts.

Published by Clovis-Abel Pignat (aka"Tschombine Pategnon"), a Swiss militant anarcho-syndicalist & proponent of direct action & the wild cat strike. See Clovis Pignat, une vocation syndicale internationaliste by Lucien Tronchet.

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1915 -- [May Day] Australia: The Groupe d'Etudes Scientifiques: The Scientific Spleen Squad

The Groupe d'Etudes Scientifiques were a tiny Sydney anarchist sect. They were the antipodean offshoot of the Groupe d'Etudes Scientifiques (GES for short) of Paris, run by the prodigious author Paraf-Javal. The Paris group published a bulletin from June 1910 onwards. The Sydney group, around from at least 1912, had its own printing facilities, the communist-anarchist press, run by Ralph Carterer, & various addresses in Sydney.

... show details

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1936 -- [May Day] Spain: Spain: Saragossa Congress, national gathering of the CNT; IV Congrés Confederal de la CNT Saragossa, 01-12 de maig de 1936. Dels 649 delegats que van assistir al congrés, solament en tenim referències dels 77 que relacionem. Participants include Eusebio Carbó, Juan García Oliver, Horacio Martínez Prieto, Federica Montseny, José Peirats.

Reformist elements are readmitted at the CNT national congress & attempts are made to make an alliance with the reformist Trade Union the UGT, despite the opposition of the FAI. The resolutions of the Madrid Congress of June 1931 & the Saragossa Congress in May 1936 foreshadowed in many ways the acts of the revolution.

See "The CNT: Resolutions from the Zaragoza Congress (1936) "

Background, see Jose Peirats, The CNT in the Spanish Revolution
Self Management, by Abraham Guillen,

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1937 -- [May Day] Spain: The only meetings in Barcelona on May Day is indoors, a small meeting by the 'Those of Yesterday & Those of Today' adhering to the Friends of Durruti Group, & an anarchist nudist group meeting on the value of music.

The Friends of Durruti meeting is Sunday 2 May.

(Saturday): An ordinary working day, for the Generalidad has banned commemoration of the First of May, in an effort to avert disturbances & confrontations. The Generalidad government meets in session, congratulating its Commissar for Public Order on the successes achieved. A panel is made up of Tarradellas (Prime Councilor), Rodriguez Salas (Commissar for Public Order) & Artemi Aiguadé (Councilor for Internal Security): it promptly holds a meeting behind closed doors to tackle urgent business relating to public order & security. The Bolshevik-Leninist Section issues a leaflet.

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1945 -- [May 1-12] First Congress of the Local Federations of the MLE-CNT in exile, held in Paris. Upwards of 450 local federations from the exiles in France & North Africa attended, & were represented by no fewer than 400 delegates: membership stood at 25,000.

Held in the Palais de Musique in Paris & preceded by intense lobbying by both of the major tendencies in contention (the orthodoxes & the possibilists-collaborationists). The campaign mounted by the orthodoxes, essentially targeting the national committee of Juanel, Domingo Torres & Merino, was especially uncompromising (with the attacks coming primarily from Impulso, under the direction of Alaiz & from the Libertarian Youth’s magazine, "Ruta").

Organising the congress was the task of Juanel, Buenacasa & Merino & invitations were issued to the exiles in Africa & the Americas, as well as to the underground CNT in Spain (the Americas did not attend & the delegation from Spain arrived belatedly: the delegate, César Broto, was held up by the French gendarmerie)...

... show details

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1959 -- [May Day] Italy: A drunkard is stopped by police.

On the evening of May Day, 1959, a drunkard is stopped by police.

Presumed to be a vagrant, he is in fact Renato Caccioppolli, an esteemed mathematics professor at Naples University, grandson of the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, & a Communist.

Thus begins the last week of the professor's life. It is a life told as a kind of collage, with drinking bouts & existential torments puncturing the memories of a man who experienced some of the worst horrors of the 20th century.

The film's views of a vanished Naples add a sensuous visual pleasure to Martone's rigorous portrait of not only a man, but an entire culture.

¤Jason Sanders

Morte di un matematico Napoletano.

Mario Martone, one of Italy's most imaginative experimental theater innovators, made a striking cinematic debut with this subtle, dreamlike work about a bizarre mathematical genius who committed suicide in Naples in 1959.

Written by Martone, Fabrizia Ramondino. Photographed by Luca Bigazzi. With Carlo Cecchi, Anna Bonalluto, Renato Carpentieri, Tony Servillo. (104 mins, In Italian with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Greycat Films).

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2002 -- [May Day] Anarchists plan jubilee mayhem

Anarchists plan jubilee mayhem

Protest groups join forces to disrupt Queen's celebrations & bring May Day chaos to the capital

Paul Harris & Burhan Wazir
Sunday March 24, 2002
The Observer

Anarchist groups are planning a series of disruptive actions across Britain this summer that will endanger the Queen's jubilee celebrations & cause running battles with police on May Day, The Observer can reveal.

The Movement Against the Monarchy (Mam) is co-ordinating a summer-long campaign, which will include an attempt to take control of London's Millennium Bridge on 4 June while the Queen is attending a service in nearby St Paul's Cathedral.

Activists plan to let off powerful fireworks to try to disrupt the ceremony, & to unfurl anti-monarchist banners. 'We can't wait for public apathy to destroy the monarchy; we have to take direct action,' said one organiser at a London meeting last week, attended by "The Observer".
... show more

1897 -- [May 2] Italy: Romeo Frezzi found dead in a prison cell, believed murdered by the police.

Frezzi was one of the many arrested following an attempted assassination of Umberto I by Pietro Acciarito. The police had concocted really stupid stories of his death to cover up their killing of Frezzi & the public was outraged. See Massimo Felisatti, Un delitto della polizia? Morte dell'anarchico Romeo Frezzi (Bompiani 1975).

Umberto is finally assassinated on July 29, 1900 by Gaetano Bresci, in revenge for the army's crushing of the worker's insurrection in Milan, May 1898, which left hundreds of workers dead.

Bresci, too, is found dead in his prison cell, on May 22nd, 1901, either a suicide or murdered by his guards.

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1918 -- [May 2] Amilcare Cipriani

Condemned to death for his role in the Paris Commune, but was sent to a prison colony at Nouvelle Calédonie. Returned to France in 1880 with the amnesty of 1880, but was quickly expelled.

Arrested in Italy, January 1881 for "conspiracies", & condemned to 20 years in prison. A campaign to secure his release gets him out in 1888.

Cipriani returned to France & collaborates in the anarchist press, with"Le Plébéien", etc. In 1897, he went to Greece to fight against the Turks (he was wounded). On July 30, 1898, in Italy, he is sent to prison with five other anarchists, for three years.

Source, Ephéméride anarchiste:

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1886 -- [May 3] US: Police kill four & wound at least 200 as Chicago's finest attack McCormick Reaper Works strikers.
MAY 3. In 1886, at the height of the movement for the 8-hour day, police opened fire in a crowd of workers participating in a general strike at McCormick Harvester Co. in Chicago.

Four workers were killed, & anarchists call a public rally for May 4th at Haymarket Square to protest the police brutality. As the peaceful protest drew to a close, a bomb was thrown into the police line. One officer was killed & several were wounded. Police responded by firing into the crowd, killing one & wounding many.

The incident kicked off an intensive campaign against labor leaders & other activists, & 8 anarchists are framed for the bombing.

Cerca de 8000 grevistas concentram-se à porta da fábrica de máquinas agrícolas MacCormick para insultar os amarelos; são recebidos com tiros de revólver pela polícia e agentes de Pinkerton.

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1886 -- [May 3] US: Amid the struggle for the eight-hour day, a thousand Milwaukee brewery workers — on strike for a wage increase — march to the Falk Brewery & convince workers to quit. The strikers are members of the radical industrial union the Knights of Labor.

This morning, meanwhile, several hundred Polish laborers march down the tracks of the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, convincing one group of workers after another to join them. As the march proceeds toward the heart of Milwaukee, the crowd swells to 1,300 workers.

But fights break out along the way & employees at the huge Reliance Works turn water hoses on the marchers. Driven back, the crowd changes direction, picking up more followers at the North Chicago Rolling Mills plant in Bay View before disbanding late this afternoon.

The Bay View Massacre occurs two days from now.

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1892 -- [May 3] Hugo Gellert, radical illustrator/artist.

  • 1916 first anti-war cartoons published in the New York Hungarian socialist daily, "Elöre". Gellert contacts radical literary journal, "The Masses" where he meets & befriends John Reed, Mike Gold, Floyd Dell, & Art Young.
  • 1919 teaches art to the children of workers at the Modern School, Stelton, New Jersey.
  • 1932 submits study for a mural to an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) titled "Us Fellas Gotta Stick Together": it depicts John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, President Hoover & J.P. Morgan in the company of Al Capone.

    MOMA wants to remove the work, & the work of two other artists, Ben Shahn & William Gropper, but upon threat by other artists to withdraw their work, all the 'offending' art is hung (sic), albeit not reproduced in the catalog. (For details of the controversy, see the article by James Wechsler).

  • 1982 appears in Warren Beatty's film Reds as a 'witness' to historic events.

    Wechsler article:

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  • 1920 -- [May 3] Andrea Salsedo

    In the late 1910's to the early 1920's the immigrant anarchists movement had become violently opposed to the conservative government.

    This was expressed by the numerous bombings. A pamphlet was found at each of the bombings, called the "Plain Words" document, calling for the proletariat to rise up & overthrow the government.

    This document was traced to a small print shop in Brooklyn. The print shop was owned by two anarchists, Andrea Salsedo & Robert Elia, who were affiliated with Luigi Galleani, one the most influential anarchists in America before he was deported in the raids attacking labor activists, anarchists, communists & other radicals under Attorney General Mitchell Palmer. Both Salsedo & Elia were taken into custody for their apparent involvement in the bombings.

    This was also during the period when Sacco & Vanzetti were being railroaded to the electric chair, & Salsedo was involved in their defense; for background see the Anarchist Encyclopedia:

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    1937 -- [May 3] Spain: Republican government attacks workers; beginning of open resistance to both the Republican & Communist authorities by radical workers, anarchists, & others, opposing the regional government takeover of the worker-run telephone company in Barcelona. Fighting spread to all parts of the city, lasting for four days. Stalinists denounce Trotskyite P.O.U.M. as "Franco's Fifth Column" in preparation for its own liquidation (assassinations, etc) of independent radicals & anarchists (similar to purges in Russia as well).

    May 3-8: Fighting in Barcelona between CNT, FAI, POUM, & the PSUC & police

    3-8 May: In Barcelona, intense fighting between the radical communists & anarchists of the POUM & the anarcho-syndicalist trade-union CNT on one side, & the socialists & communists (UGT & PSUC) that are closer to the Soviet Union on the other.

    (Monday): A little before 3:00 P.M. three truckloads of Guards commanded by Rodriguez Salas attempt to seize the Telephone Exchange, on the orders of Artemi Aiguadé.

    Armed resistance from the CNT workers on the upper floors thwarts this. Within a few hours, a host of armed bands has been formed & the first barricades erected. The mobilization resolves into two sides: one made up of the CNT & the POUM, the other of the Generalidad, the PSUC, the ERC & Estat Català. Businesses close down. The train service stops at 7:00 P.M. At that hour, in the Casa CNT-FAI in the Via Durruti, the CNI Regional Committee & the POUM Executive Committee meet. The maximum demand is that Rodriguez Salas & Artemi Aiguadé resign. Companys doggedly opposes this.

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    1943 -- [May 3] US: War resistor Igal Roodenko declares his refusal to work (in prison?) until the hunger strike of Stanley Murphy & Lou Taylor in Danbury Prison was ended. Four days later it was, & he went back to his duties "until the next time."
    In April 1943 Roodenko attended the Chicago Conference on Social Action, a gathering of conscientious objectors from around the country who met in spite of the orders of Major General Lewis Hershey, head of Selective Service, to cancel the meeting. They considered it their democratic right to assemble together & were not willing to submit to military rule. This resulted in great turmoil within the CPS camps as Hershey charged CPS attendees with being AWOL. When CPS authorities imposed the proscribed penalties it was seen as pacifists punishing other pacifists for following their conscience. One thing highlighted at the Chicago Conference was the hunger strike of Stanley Murphy & Lou Taylor in Danbury Prison. For six weeks prior to the conference, Roodenko had limited his protests on their behalf to letter writing & fasting, until today.

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    1974 -- [May 3] France: Spanish banker Balthasar Suarez kidnapped by the "Groups of International Revolutionary Action" (GARI ) in Paris in an action aimed at securing the release of 100 political prisoners in Spain (under the Franco government's own laws).

    GARI also demanded re-payment of part of the union funds of the CNT seized by Franco. Suarez was released unharmed after payment of an undisclosed sum; police arrested nine French, British & Spanish anarchists in Paris. French & British police conduct (unlawful) joint raids in London, mostly directed at Spanish residents.

    Also this month is the formation of FOI (Iberian Workers Federation) inside Spain, with Spanish, British & French collaboration, to enable co-ordination of resistance activities disowned by exile movement.

    [Source: Albert Meltzer]

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    1796 -- [May 4] William Prescott lives (1796-1859).

    "A crust of bread thrown during a melee in the student commons caused virtual blindness in his left eye".

    Prescott's right eye also became bad, so that for most of his life he was practically blind. He nevertheless, through the use of a noctograph ("a writing grid with parallel wires that guided a stylus over a chemically treated surface") & an assistant reader & collector, managed to accumulate & study over 5000 relevant books & manuscripts in preparation for his still highly regarded histories. One of the three classic American historians (along with Parkman & Henry Adams). Wrote The Conquest of Mexico & The Conquest of Peru. (The first one in particular is an fantastic story, though it's probably considered politically uncorrect now).

    — Bleedster Ken

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    1886 -- [May 4] Haymarket Square

    A bomb is thrown at a demonstration for the 8 hour day in Haymarket Square, Chicago, killing seven police & prompting a witch hunt against the radical movement.

    Though a number of the anarchists executed for the deed advocated the use of revolutionary violence, it is likely that the bomb was thrown by someone working for the state, allowing Chicago Police Captain Michael Schaack to organise the arrest of over 200 anarchists. Chief of Police Ebersold, speaking three years later, remarked:

    "After we got the anarchist societies broken up, Schaack wanted to send out men to organise new societies right away. He wanted to keep the pot boiling, keep himself prominent before the public."

    Source: 'Calendar Riots' — see also the Daily Bleed for 28 October & 13 November.

    Further background on the bombing & the Haymarket Martyrs,

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    1886 -- [May 4] Milwaukee May Day demonstration

    Milwaukee members of the Polish Assembly of the Knights of Labor march to the North Chicago Rolling Mills, shutting down factories on their way. The combined forces of city & county cops are unable to stop the march, & the sheriff requests National Guard troops.

    Over 2,000 marchers reach the plant office & present demands for the 8-hour day & a wage increase. When the Rolling Mills rejects both demands, employees pour out & join the crowd. As hostility increases, the National Guard begins firing just above the crowd & the plant shuts down.

    This evening, Central Labor Union leader Paul Grottkau tries to calm tempers by proposing a citywide union executive board to bargain with employers.

    Spoken in German to a meeting of 1,500 workers, Grottkau's proposal is misinterpreted by newspaper reporters as an appeal to violence. Tomorrow, state militia will shoot into a Milwaukee strikers' march & kill five people.

    More background on the the bombing & the Haymarket Martyrs,

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    1920 -- [May 4] Sacco & Vanzetti learn of their comrade Andrea Salsedo’s death are suddenly afraid...

    They agree, with Mario Buda (aka Mike Boda) & Riccardo Orciani (another anarchist), to meet the following day at the Elm Square Garage in West Bridgewater (where Buda’s car was being repaired) & dispose of incriminating evidence.

    Sacco goes to Boston to obtain a passport. It was this month, three years ago, that Vanzetti & Sacco met in Boston at a meeting of Galleanist anarchists. One week later they left for Mexico with other Italian anarchists to avoid conscription.

    See May 3 & May 4 above.

    Sources, & more background, for Sacco & Vanzetti,

    [Sacco & Vanzetti sources]

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    1922 -- [May 4] In the Sacco & Vanzetti case, the Gould & Pelser motions are made.

    The Gould motion is based on an affidavit by Gould, an eyewitness, stating that during the shootout a man who did not look like Sacco or Vanzetti fired at him from the car. The Pelser motion is based on the retraction of Pelser, the witness who said Sacco was the “dead image” of the person who shot Berardelli.

    Pelser now alleges that Assistant District Attorney Williams persuaded him to make the identification.



    To walk down the street now, to see the Common
    In its accustomed desultory life,
    One would almost say no ration of voltage
    Could ever matter very much, nor Boston ever cease.

    The still pure white of magnolia, flecked
    With red, sweetens the cloying air.
    The subway digests & disgorges. There is love,
    Still fumbling love, one supposes, somewhere.

    Up the hill the gilded statehouse stands,
    Costlier than a sepulcher. The Shabby years
    Move in. If you had second sight
    You would see the uncut grass, the cracked arches.

    The sailors on Scollay Square hunt whores
    With dutiful diligence. Sex
    Is a kind of penance. The joy of the nerves
    Is dulled in the dying city.

    The spring sky is close, a low haze,
    As it was one August. Magnolia blossoms
    Drip their dried blood. The slow zombies
    Cross the Common, recross, with fixed eyes.
    Jerusalem, Jerusalem.

    — Chad Walsh
    from Chelsea 8: Plays & Political Poetry (NY: 1960)

    Poem come across today while cataloging the magazine Chelsea 8.
    This poem is not online so far as I can determine & I have no idea if
    it was collected in any of his books of poetry.

    Walsh was a christian poet & edited a collection of
    C. S. Lewis.

    David Brown
    Recollection Used Books

    A page from The Stan Iverson Memorial Archives,

    See Heroes & Martyrs: Emma Goldman, Sacco & Vanzetti, & the Revolutionary Struggle, an audio CD by Howard Zinn.

    Sources, & more background, for Sacco & Vanzetti,

    [Sacco & Vanzetti sources]

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    1937 -- [May 4] Barcelona. Many barricades & violent clashes...

    In the Sants barrio 400 Guards are stripped of their weapons. Companys asks the Valencia government for aircraft to bomb the anarchist CNT's premises & barracks. The CNT-controlled artillery on Montjuich & Tibidabo is trained on the Generalidad Palace.
    ... show more

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    1953 -- [May 4]
    Aldous Huxley wrote "Brave New World", which warned of a mindless, materialistic existence a modernized society could produce, & in the 'Foreword' of the 1946 edition, he said that he believed that only through radical decentralization & a politics that was "Kropotkinesque & cooperative" could the dangers of modern society be escaped.

    — Huxley archive


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    1862 -- [Cinco de Mayo]

    Napoleon III of France joins Britain & Spain in trying to force the government of Benito Juárez to pay Mexico's debts. When Britain & Spain withdraw, the French remain, hoping to establish a Catholic empire under French control. On May 5th (Cinco de Mayo), about 5,000 mestizo & Zapotec soldiers under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza defeat the French army in the Battle of Puebla.

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    1874 -- [May 5] Jean Marestan
    Anarchist, pacifist & militant néo-Malthusian, writer. Settled in Paris, involved in anarchist groups, contributing to Sébastien Faure's "Le libertaire" as well as his Anarchist Encyclopaedia, & Libertad's "L'anarchie".

    Marestan also gave lectures & wrote for Eugene Humbert's paper "Génération consciente" & collaborated on Jeanne Humbert's "La Grande Réforme."

    Imprisoned during WWII as a "suspect intellectual" (helping the Resistance & others).

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    1876 -- [May 5] Esteban Baca Calderon, Mexican strike leader (Cananea Copper).
    Up the street, Francisco Villavicencio Vigilante fidgets behind the front desk in Cananea's museum, well-known for its documentation of local labor struggles. He's surrounded by mining relics: hammers, jacks, picks & pictures -- assorted memorabilia charting the mine's glory days, & the brutal 1906 strike. Detailed narratives recall how government snipers shot civilians from high window perches, & how Arizona Rangers entered the fray on behalf of Anaconda, the American company which then owned the mine...

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    Giovanna Berneri; source Ephemeride Anarchiste
    1897 -- [May 5] Giovanna Berneri (1897-1962).
    Married to Camillo Berneri (the Italian anarchist murdered by the Communists in Spain on this day in 1937). Mother of Marie Louise Berneri (1918-1949), also an anarchist who fought in Spain & later moved to England & edited "Freedom" newspaper & author of Neither East Nor West & Journey Through Utopia.

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    1903 -- [May 5] Pierre Odeon
    French anarchist, anti-militarist, member of the Resistance.

    Jailed for a year in 1929 for refusing to join the military reserve, where he undertook a hunger strike & active opposition to military prisons. Founded the anarchist paper "Le tocsin" in 1934.

    With the Spanish Revolution of 1936 Odeon joined the Comité de l'Espagne Libre & accompanied trucks of food & weapons to Spain, where he helped establish "Centurie Sébastien Faure" & the "Ascaso-Durruti" colony (about 1938) for children who were victims of the war.

    During the Nazi occupation of WWII Odeon was arrested & sent to Buchenwald until his release in 1945.

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    1920 -- [May 5] Massachusetts: Nicola Sacco & Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian-American anarchists, are arrested for murder & payroll robbery & eventually they are executed for a crime they quite possibly did not commit. Climaxes postwar anti-radical, anti-labor & anti-immigrant hysteria of the Wilson-Mitchell period.
    Sacco & Vanzetti take the streetcar to West Bridgewater & meet Mario Buda (aka Mike Boda) & Richard Orciani at the garage. Finding the garage locked, the four go to the house of the owner, Simon Johnson, who advises Buda not to take the car because the license plates had expired. Meanwhile, his wife telephones the police. Buda & Orciani ride off on Orciani’s motorcycle while Sacco & Vanzetti walk to the streetcar to return home. At 10:00 P.M. as the streetcar pulls into Brockton, a policeman boards & arrests Sacco & Vanzetti as “[s]uspicious characters.” Both men are armed. Vanzetti is found to have shotgun shells, leading to the authorities’ belief that he was the “shotgun” bandit at Bridgewater. Sacco & Vanzetti lie to police about their politics, their guns, why they were in Bridgewater, & deny knowing Coacci & Buda. They repeat these lies to the District Attorney.

    US: May 5. Nicola Sacco & Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists are arrested for the killing of a paymaster near Brockton, Massachusetts. Although most people are convinced they are innocent & have been arrested as part of a "Red scare", they are sentenced to death in 1927.

    May 5. The raids on "communist organization" ends after government ruling that mere membership in the party is not in itself a crime.

    Most arrested are released; few real anarchist criminals are found. Hysterical propaganda by Palmer & others set the tone for the rest of the twenties, spurring a spate of anti-immigration laws.

    [Vanessa Collection]

    See May 4,1922 above; also see Heroes & Martyrs: Emma Goldman, Sacco & Vanzetti, & the Revolutionary Struggle, an audio CD by Howard Zinn.

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    1920 -- [May 5] Charles Ange Laisant dies. French Conseiller Général in Nantes, Député in Paris (18ème) who later became an anarchist. Wrote educational texts for children, in mathematics, physics, etc, as well as radical (La barbarie moderne (1912)). Friend & correspondent with Francisco Ferrer.

    Laisant launched a larger letter writing campaign in 1909 when Ferrer was jailed & murdered by the Spanish government. Alphonso XIII was a member of the Astronomy Society of France, & Laisant wanted the king's membership suspended. Laisant corresponded with several important figures, including Gabrielle Camille Flammarion, Alfred Naquet, & Francisco Galceran, accusing the king of being a murderer & thus unfit to be a member of the society. It was decided that the Astronomy Society would publish a pamphlet, A La Porte de L'Assassin (Oust the Murderer!) signed by all senior members of the society. The pamphlet was published in 1910.

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    1934 -- Timeline icon 5 May 1934


    The anarchist "Tiempos Nuevos" begins publishing today in Barcelona, Spain, 1934-38. First issue dated 5 May 1934. Fortnightly, then weekly (January-April 1935), as a replacement for the suspended "Tierra y Libertad", & finally monthly (up until November 1938). Championed a constructive anarchism, eventually attaining a print-run of 17,000 copies. Directed by Diego Abad de Santillán, with contributions from Juan Peiró.

    The name "Tiempos Nuevos" has been used as the title of several other anarchist publications over the years.


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    1937 -- [May 5] This evening, in Barcelona, Camillo Berneri & Francesco Barbieri are seized by the Communists, presumably on Moscow's orders. Taken from their homes, their bodies are found tomorrow, riddled with bullets.

    When clashes with the Communist Party broke out, his house, where he lived with other anarchists, was attacked on 4th May 1937. They were all labeled "counter-revolutionaries," disarmed, deprived of their papers & forbidden to go out into the street.

    There was still shooting in the streets when, on 5th May 1937, news arrived from Italy of Antonio Gramsci's death in a fascist prison. Then, after writing his last letter home to his daughter — his spiritual final testament, Berneri went out & walked towards Radio Barcelona where they were commemorating the death of the Communist Gramsci, who had written in "Ordine Nuovo,"

    "We must never permit ourselves to be enemies of the anarchists; enemies have contradictory ideas, not merely different ones."

    Leaving Radio Barcelona, Berneri set off for the Plaça de la Generalitat, where some Stalinists shouted out to him.

    Before he could turn & look, they opened fire with machine guns & left his dead body there on the street.

    There is an excellent collection of articles about Camillo Berneri, as well as by him, at:

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    1937 -- [May 5] Spain: (Wednesday) May 5, 1937: A handbill is distributed by the Friends of Durruti. Over the radio, the CNT disowns the Friends of Durruti Group. Fighting is now confined to the city center: the rest of the city being in the hands of the confederal Defense Committees.
    At 1:00 P.M. the UGT leader Sesé, a recently appointed Generalidad councilor perishes in gunfire emanating from the premises of the CNT's Entertainments Union. At 3:00 P.M. the Generalidad transmitter issues a fresh appeal for calm from the leaders of the various organizations (Federica Montseny for the CNT). A brother of Ascaso is killed. Berneri & Barbieri are arrested by Guards & UGT militants from the Water Union. Their corpses show up later.

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    1971 -- [May 5] US: Nixon administration arrests the last of 14,000 anti-war protesters in three days. 18 are arrested in Seattle during a 2,000 person anti-war march downtown.

    Under White House orders, Washington police arrested so many Vietnam War demonstrators that there wasn't enough jail space, so officials herded their captives --including many non-demonstrators, "swept up off the sidewalk...without just cause" -- into the Washington Redskins football practice field. The next day, a Superior Court judge ruled the arrests illegal & ordered the release of the detainees.
    BleedMeister, College Press Service correspondent & staff member of the US Student Press Association, was there -- on the outside looking in. Very spooky stuff.

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    1856 -- [May 6] Sigmund Freud lives to tie knots & issue pink slips.

    Freud never received a Nobel, but in 1928 an attempt was made for his nomination, supported by Alfred Döblin, Jacob Wassermann, Bertrand Russell, A.S. Neill, Lytton Strachey, Julian Huxley, Knut Hamsun, Thomas Mann.

    After Hitler's seizure of power, psychoanalytic work ended in Germany, & Freud's books were burned. His views were also condemned in the USSR.

    Freud's favorite writers in 1907: Gottfried Keller, Conrad Fardinand Meyer, Anatole France, Émile Zola, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas Macaulay, Dimitri Merezkovski, the anarchist Eduard Douwes Dekker (aka Multatuli), Theodor Gomperz, Mark Twain. Freud also enjoyed Agatha Christie's & Dorothy Sayers's mystery novels. Other favorites: Goethe, Schiller, Heinrich Heine, Wilhelm Busch, Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig.

    Freud's theories are often mocked. Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnar presented a young man happily married to his mother who commits suicide when he discovers she is not really his mother. James Thurber & E.B. White in Is Sex Necessary? or, Why You Feel the Way You Do (1929), caricaturized psychoanalytical terms.

    Odds & Ends: Hogarth Press, Freud's publisher in England, was owned by Leonard & Virginia Woolf; Carl Jung, Freud's 'crown prince', broke with Freud over the latter's emphasis on sexuality as the dominant factor in unconscious motivation.

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    1882 -- [May 6] Chinese Exclusion Act

    Behind the exclusion act are fears & forces that have little relation to the Chinese. The US has always been a land with abundant jobs but, in the closing decades of the 19th century, unemployment has soared.

    The act is thus symptomatic of a larger conflict between white labor & white capital. By removing the Chinese, Congress hopes to channel white workers' agitation against immigrants. Renewed in 1892, the exclusion act is extended indefinitely in 1902. It was repealed in 1943 as a sop to China, as a WWII ally, & allowed for the immigration of 105 Chinese per year.

    Source: [Insurgent Radio Kiosk] The date given here, of April 21 is incorrect; the act was passed on May 6, 1882.
    See [Sources] & also
    & Chinese American History Time Line


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    1914 -- [May 6] Louis Mercier-Vega lives (1914-1977). Activist, propagandist, libertarian thinker who joined the movement at 16. Lifelong writer for the libertarian press & creator of several reviews like "Revision" (1938) "Aporte" (trilingual review, 1966-1972), "Interrogations" (1974), & author of numerous works, such as Anarcho-syndicalisme & syndicalisme révolutionnaire; La chevauchée anonyme; L'increvable anarchisme.

    Mercier-Vega was a member of l'Union Anarchiste & its delegate to the Congress of Orleans (1933), where he met Charles Carpentier. They joined the International Group of the Durruti Column to fight in the Spanish Revolution, July 1936. On October 17, 1936, in Perdiguero, their group was decimated by Moroccan cavalry & they escaped to France to organize support for revolutionary Spain. Quit l'Union Anarchiste November 1937 because of differences. In 1939, went to Belgium, then embarked for South America, Argentina & Chile. Travelled to Africa, in Brazzaville, where, on June 26 1942 he joined the free French forces. Demobilized in 1945, wrote for "Dauphiné Libéré". In 1958, founded "commission internationale de liaison ouvrière" ( international network of libertarians & revolutionary trade unionists).

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    1896 -- Lucifer logo, courtesy Ephéméride Anarchiste anarchiste diamond dingbat; new entry, remove 2010 [May 8] On 8 May 1896, published in Chicago (USA), the weekly "Lucifer, The Light-Bearer" . Created by anarchists & free love advocates — Moses Harman, his daughter Lillian & the individualist Cox Edwin Walker — in Valley Falls, Kansas, in 1883. In addition to publishing articles on anarchism & atheism, the paper particularly advocates for the rights of women, including birth control & free love.
    ... show more

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    1898 -- Ugo Fedeli, courtesy Ephéméride Anarchiste

    anarchiste diamond dingbat; new entry, remove 2010 [May 8] Italy: Ugo Fedeli (1898-1964) lives. Librarian, writer, anarchist.

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    1919 -- [May 8] Vera Zasulich (sometimes spelled Zassoulitch; 1849-1919) dies. Russian anarchist, then a Menshevik. Left a family of nobility for revolutionary activities.
    Arrested May 1869, for her correspondence with the nihilist Netchaiev & imprisoned at the Peter & Paul fortress until March 1871. In 1878 she shot & wounded General Trepov, who was responsible for torturing the radical A.S Emelianov (Bogolioubov). A jury refused to convict her, dismissing the charges, & the secret police, without success, attempted to prevent her from leaving the country. Zasulich went to Switzerland, then returned & joined an anarchist group. By 1883, however, she moved away from anarchism, increasingly adopting Marxist positions, & eventually joined the Mensheviks.

    Oscar Wilde's Vera, or the Nihilist (written 1880), combines details from the lives of Vera Figner, who spent 22 years in Schlusselberg Fortress for her activities as an anarchist, & Vera Zasulich, who shot & wounded Gen. Trepov, & advocated the assassination of the Tsar; Wilde intended Sarah Bernhardt to play the part; in 1882, Bernhardt was playing in Fedora by Sardou, with a similar theme. (Q. source; corrig. supplied by D. C. Rose, Goldsmiths Coll., London; 27.07.01.)

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    1921 -- [May 8] France: Nathalie Lemel (1827-1921) Founded a bookshop in Quimper, then moved to Paris & became a bookbinder.

    Lemel joined the International in 1866 & also helped Eugene Varlin ("La marmite"; also a book binder) establish a food co-operative. During the Paris Commune, they provided food & meals for hundreds of the most destitute & she & the Russian noble/socialist Elisabeth Dmitrieff (Dmitrieva), organized "L'union des femmes pour la Défense de Paris et les soins aux blessés" (Women's Union for the Defence of Paris).

    Lemel was found too, with red flag in hand, on the barricades of the place Pigalle before she was arrested June 21, 1871. Despondent over the failure of the Commune, she attempted suicide (by drinking wormwood). Friends intervened to get charges against her dropped, but she wrote the police, rejecting all such efforts in her behalf. Thus she was then sent to prison in New Caledonia (on August 24) with the anarchist Louise Michel.

    Pardoned in 1879, she returned to Paris, working with "the intransigent". Nathalie Lemel eventually went blind & died in miserable conditions.

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    1970 -- [May 8]

    On May 8,1970, a large group of hard-hat construction workers assaulted peace demonstrators in Wall Street & invaded Pace College & City Hall itself to attack students & others suspected of not supporting the prosecution of the Vietnam war.

    The riot, in fact, was supported & directed by construction firm executives & union leaders, in all likelihood to channel worker hostility away from themselves.

    Perhaps alone in its comprehension of the incident was public television (WNET, New York) & its "Great American Dream Machine" program aired May 13. A segrnent of that production uncovered the real job grievances that apparently underlied the affair. Intelligent questioning revealed, in a very few minutes, that "commie punks" were not wholly the cause of their outburst, as an outpouring of gripes about unsafe working conditions, the strain of the work pace, the fact that they could be fired at any given moment, etc., was recorded.

    The head of the New York building trades union, Peter Brennan, & his union official colleagues were feted at the White House on May 26 for their patriotism - & for diverting the workers? - & Brennan was later appointed Secretary of Labor.

    See "Organized Labor versus "The Revolt Against Work"", by John Zerzan

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    1999 -- [May 8] First annual New England Anarchist Bookfair, Boston, Massachusetts.

    Speakers: Michael Albert (of Z Magazine), Noel Ignatiev (of Race Traitor), Maria Rodriguez Gil (former member of the post-Franco Spanish CNT), Patrick Borden (Atlantic Anarchist Circle) Alexis Buss (Philadelphia I.W.W.), Jon Bekken (former editor of the I.W.W.'s newspaper "Industrial Worker"), Monty Neill (Midnight Notes collective & the Boston Encuentro group).
    Movies: "Land & Freedom" (film adaptation of Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia"), "Anarchism in America" (documentry from the '80's), "Free Spirit of Labor: The Jewish Anarchists" (on the Jewish anarchist movement in the US), "Resistance, Sabotage & Music" (Earth First!, Judi Bari, TCHKUNG!), & "All Our Lives" (on the Free Women of Spain), "All Power To The People" (Black Panthers, AIM, Young Lords, etc.), & more...(Radical queer films, Mumia, Zapatistas, Biotic Baking Brigade, political prsioners, etc.)
    Booktables -- provided by infoshops, distributors, & collectors from around the New England area (Lucy Parsons Center / Boston, Firecracker / Worcester, Perennial - A-Distribution / Montague, Anarchist Archives Project / Cambridge)

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    1878 -- [May 9] Neno Vasco (1878-1920), Portuguese lawyer, journalist & anarchist writer.

    Vasco was part of a group of students of the University of Coimbra who became anarchists at the start of the century.

    He emigrated to Brazil in 1901 to join his father & in São Paulo he met the anarchists Benjamim Mota, the Italian Ricardo Gonçalves & others. He participated in producing the O Amigo do Povo (Friend of the People), which began in 1902.

    Later he launched the magazine Aurora & Voz do Trabalhador, contributing to the growth of libertarian influences in the labor movement.

    In 1911, Vasco returned to Portugal, continuing his activities & collaborating with the Brazilian anarchist press as a correspondent &, in Portugal, writing about the social situation in Brazil.

    A shining intellectual & one of the most influential militant libertarians of Portugal & of Brazil, Neno Vasco died of tuberculosis in 1920.

    His best known book is A Concepção Anarquista do Sindicalismo, published in 1923 in the the anarcho-syndicalist paper A Batalha, & reprinted in 1984.

    Source: ARQUIVO DE HISTÓRIA SOCIAL Edgar Rodrigues (site now defunct, but we have an archived copy of this page):

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    1896 -- L'Ere Nouvelle logo, courtesy Ephéméride Anarchiste anarchiste diamond dingbat; new entry, remove 2010 [May 9] E. Armand begins publishing the monthly magazine "L'Ere Nouvelle, Guerre aux iniquités sociales..." (The New Era War, War on social inequities ...) The subtitle changes several times. This review follows the evolution of E. Armand, beginning with libertarian Christianity, then evolving towards individualist anarchism. Suspended in 1907, during the imprisonment of Armand, reappearing until May-June 1911.

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    1898 -- [May 9] Italy: "Agitazione" is raided & suppressed
    These events follow bread riots in about 50 Italian towns, including in Ancona (Jan. 16, 17, 1898), which were also the pretext of Malatesta's arrest.

    Samaia, Lucchini, Vezzani & Lavattero left the country.

    Malatesta, Smorti, Bersaglia, Panficchi, Briocchi & others of the paper were arrested, & tried as a "criminal" association. Others, principally students, rushed to Ancona, among these Nino Samaia, of Bologna, & Luigi Fabbri (arrested at Macerata), & edited the paper.

    A trial was held in April, 1898. Three thousand anarchists signed a declaration confessing to be quietly of the same "crime," that of being "criminals," malfattori, in the sense of the Art. 248. Public indignation was roused & the tribunal did not dare to apply the Art. 248 & pronounced sentences of six or seven months' prison for forming part not of a "criminal" but of a "seditious" or, "subversive" society.

    The higher courts confirmed this judgment against which the prosecution had lodged an appeal.

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    1938 -- [May 9] Fabio Lopez dos Santos Luz (1864-1938) dies. Novelist & outstanding figure of Brazilian anarchism

    A militant anarchist, Fabio Luz collaborated actively in the libertarian press, publishing in the papers "A Luta Social" & "Revalução Social", participating in trade union conferences, & in "Centre d'Etudes Sociales" (founded in 1914). A Doctor of Hygene, as well as a professor, he provided free educational evening courses for workers & also free medical consultations for the poor. In 1904, in Rio de Janeiro, he helped found l'Université populaire, & continued publishing many novels, pieces for theatre, & such. Precursor in many areas, such as free love & revolution, hygiene, libertarian pedagogy, & ecology. Became a member, of "l'Académie Carioca de lettres."


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    1999 -- [May 9] US: Karl Yoneda, aged 92, dies.
    “‘Come & pick up this goddamn Jap, he’s dying anyway’ he told me,” Black recalled in her biography “The Red Angel.”

    “He was a bloody mess. The bandages hadn’t been changed on his head. Everything was covered with blood.”

    Whether by some stroke of compassion or just because he didn’t want Yoneda dying in custody, Red Squad chief William Hynes called Elaine Black of the International Labor Defense group, whom the cops had dubbed the “Red Angel” for her tireless work getting strikers out of jail.

    As a student Yoneda read the works of Marx & the Russian anarchist Vasily Eroshenko, who was kicked out of Japan in 1921 for his politics & lived in China. Yoneda found passage to China & hitchhiked to Beijing, meeting the blind Russian in 1922. Along the way in the port of Shimonoseki he worked his first job as a longshoreman unloading coal. He studied with Eroshenko for two months & took dictation, earning his way back to Japan.

    Karl Yoneda later became an organizer for the Communist Party in Los Angeles.

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    1887 -- [May 10] United Mine Workers organizer Ginger Goodwin (1887-1918) lives, Teesdale, England.


    Shot by a hired private cop outside Cumberland, British Columbia. His murder sparked Canada's first General Strike.

    Albert "Ginger" Goodwin didn't look like much, but he had a towering moral presence. His short life was spent fighting for people who work hard for little reward — & it ended with a bullet & immortality as a labor martyr.

    His remains are buried in the Cumberland cemetery: nearby, a section of the Island Highway has been named "Ginger Goodwin Way." The rough sandstone marker on his grave says, "Lest we forget, Ginger Goodwin, shot July 27th, 1918, a workers' friend."

    He won't be forgotten. The grave is well kept & always has fresh flowers.

    "Ginger Goodwin led the first strike in Canada for an eight-hour workday. I'm trying to promote it as a Canadian holiday. I had never heard anything about the guy, & then my brother -- who works for the Canadian Auto Workers -- mentioned him, because they go to his grave site every year for a memorial."

    — Joe Keithley

    "Ginger Goodwin" by Songster Joe "Shithead" Keithley, from punk band D.O.A., Sudden Death Records

    ... show details

    [Thanks to Bleedster Dave in British Columbia for providing references!]

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    1924 -- [May 10] Jacob Law is released from prison in French Guyana.

    On Mayday 1907, during a demonstration in Paris, Jacob Law, a Russian anarchist (born in Balta in 1887), put five bullets into a bus returning to an Imperial battleship. He was tried & sent to prison in Guyana. A lifelong anarchist, his memoirs, Dix-huit ans de bagne, appeared 1926.

    "On doit supprimer les gouvernements pour vivre dans un monde où le crime disparaître et où l'homme deviendra fort, dans le monde de l'Anarchie."

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    1943 -- [May 10] France: Régis Messac, a teacher, union organizer, resistance member, novelist, poet, pacifist & anarchist, is arrested during the German occupation & sent to the concentration camps — from which he does not return.
    alt; Regis Messac

    Seriously wounded in WWI, then worked & taught in various universities in England & in Canada after the war. He returned to France in 1929, teaching at a college in Montpellier & obtained his doctorate in arts with a thesis on police literature.

    An anarcho-syndicalist & pacifist, he called into question the standard pedagogy & dogmas of official teaching & as an active militant, became, in 1936, secretary of the Fédération générale de l'Enseignement (General Federation of Teachers).

    As a writer & poet, Messac publishes, in 1935, two science fiction novels Quinzinzinsili & La Cité des asphyxiés, as well pieces for various reviews, on libertarian or proletarian literature. In all, his work includes 30 books.

    During the German occupation in WWII, Messac was a member of the resistance.

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    1894 -- [May 11] US: Beginning of Pullman Railroad Strike, Chicago, Illinois.The American Railroad Union strikes the Pullman Sleeping Car Co. National rail stoppage results. The largest industrial strike to this date in US history, eventually broken by federal government troops. At least 24 strikers killed, & Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Cleveland suspends the constitutional right to assembly (the ability of any two or more people to meet in public) in seven states.

    Debs will soon join the strike. The nation's newspapers, objective as always. Chicago Tribune headlines from June 31,1894 described the events of the Pullman Strike thusly:

    "Debs Strikers Begin Work Of Destruction, Guns Awe Them Not, Drunken Stockyard Rioters Defy Uncle Sam's Troops, Mobs Invite Death"

    "The New York Times", never one to side with business rather than labor, in an editorial in 1894 called Debs

    "A lawbreaker & an enemy to the human race."

    Further details / context, click here[ Further Details / Background ]

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    1932 -- [May 11] Virgilia d'Andrea (1890-1932) dies, NY City, age 43. Italian poet, teacher, writer. Met Armando Borghi while a teacher & from then on was a dedicated anarchist. Her anti-fascist activities forced her to leave Italy, & she continued the struggle in Germany, Holland, France & the US. Wrote Tormento, a volume of poetry published in 1922 in Italy; L’Ora di Marmaldo, a collection of prose published in France in 1928; & Torce nella Notte, a collection of articles & treatises published in NY a few days before her death.


    "Virgilia d'Andrea is a reminder of the passion that anarchism could (& should!) inspire. It is the ideal, the source of hope & beauty. Like Luigi Galleani she writes in emotive & powerful language- a far cry from the formulaic & cold prose that can be found in some areas of our movement. Anarchism is about life, about individual realisation, about infinite possibility... "

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    Get This!
    1968 -- [May 11] The May days of 1968 had global ramifications...

    Let them write their rubbish. These people will never be able to understand that the student movement doesn't need any chiefs. I am neither a leader nor a professional revolutionary. I am simply a mouthpiece, a megaphone.

    — Danny the Red *

    ... show more

    At the barricades of Gay-Lussac,
    The Enrages at our head,
    We unleashed the attack:
    Oh bloody hell, what a party!
    We were in ecstasy amongst the cobblestones
    Seeing the old world go up in flames.

    — excerpt, "The commune's not dead,"
    French May 1968 Song by the Council for Maintaining the Occupations (C.M.D.O.)

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    1876 -- [May 12] Eugène Jacquemin (b.1876; aka Louis Eugène Jakmin)

    Secretary of the fédération communiste anarchiste, manager of "libertaire,", & cofounder & participant in the journal "Le Réveil anarchiste ouvrier." from 1912 until the end of 1913, when its manager was arrested & publication ceased.

    A convinced antimilitarist & co-author with Senna & Jacklon of La brochure Rouge which recommended sabotage in case of war mobilization. Jacquemin was subjected to a number of trials, notably on January 29th, 1914, when he was sent to prison for a year for "provocating military disobedience." During WWI, he was mobilized & sent to Algeria.

    In the 20s, he pursued trade-union activity, in the east of France, & published "Le réveil ouvrier," in Nancy, where he also founded worker cooperatives. He was arrested again in 1921, for an article inciting workers facing unemployment to seize factories, & sent to prison for two months.

    Became, & remained, a member of the SFIO until his death on August 26th, 1930, following an illness.

    Daily Bleed, May 12


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    1898 -- [May 12] Louisiana seeks to eliminate black voters.

    Major newspapers or metropolitan dailies sometimes described lynchings that occurred outside their geographical area. For example, the February 2, 1893 issue of The New York Times, under the headline "ANOTHER NEGRO BURNED," described the grisly details of the lynching of Henry Smith in Paris, Texas. Readers learned that Smith was placed on a 10 feet-high scaffold & was tortured for 50 minutes by red-hot irons thrust against his body, after which he was set on fire & transformed from a human being to charred human remains.


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    1985 -- [May 12] Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) dies. French anarchiste & one of the most famed French painters & sculptors of the second half of the 20th century.

    Musique phénoménale (Phenomenal Music), text by Asger Jorn accompanying the four albums of 'chaosmic music' written & recorded between December 1960 & February 1961 with Jean Dubuffet, Galleria del Cavallino, Venice.

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    1877 -- anarchiste diamond dingbat; new entry, remove 2010 [May 13] Premiere issue of the daily "Radical Review", En mai 1877, sortie à New Bedford (Mass. Etats Unis) du premier numéro de la "Radical Review" Revue trimestrielle éditée par Benjamin R.Tucker qui publie dans ce premier numéro une introduction au "Système des contradictions économiques" de Proudhon..
    Fragment de la couverture du premier numéro (doc. Cira de Lausanne)

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    1802 -- [May 14] Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Thomas Jefferson launches Meriwether Lewis & William Clark on an expedition across the Great Plains, over the Rockies & to the Pacific Ocean. Their guide was Sacajawea, an American Indian woman.
    The good relationships with the Indians that Lewis & Clark encounter are due in large part to the only woman on the expedition, Sacajawea, a Shoshone & wife of one of their guides, Toussaint Charbonneau. In addition to her role as interpreter & guide, Sacajawea does do all the expedition's laundry & cooking. The men also count on her for their medical care because of her herb knowledge.

    In Idaho, Lewis & Clark name a river for her, the "Sah-ca-ger-we-ah or Bird Woman's River, after our interpreter the Snake woman." The river is now known as the Snake River.

    At the close of the journey, Charbonneau is paid for his services. Sacajawea receives nothing.

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    1920 -- [May 14] During this month in Livorno, Italy, Carabinieri & Royal Guards called in following rioting
    Livorno a town in which the Socialist Party had got over 51% of the vote in the 1919 elections & which had a strong anarchist presence, there was continuous unrest throughout 1920.

    There were strikes in January & April & then again in May, following a riot by anarchists & football supporters in Viareggio, which resulted in such widespread rioting in Livorno that 1000 Carabinieri & Royal Guards had to be brought in to control the streets.

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    1966 -- SI dingbat

    Strasbourg students' association

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    MAY 15, 1966

    A group of students led by André Schneider is elected to the head of the new bureau of the Strasbourg students' association (AFGES). | [Situationist Resources]

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    1870 -- [May 16] Giovanni Passannante [or Passanante] arrested for sticking up subversive manifestoes on the walls in Salerno

    Reported to the authorities, he had been secretly kept under surveillance, in Salerno where he had moved. Giovanni Passannante was busted by cops May 16, 1870 while surreptitiously sticking up subversive manifestoes on the walls in Salerno. He was arrested & convicted. Here he had opened an inn & let people eat there even if they had no money to pay & went bankrupt. Afterwords he travelled around looking for work, ready, like any good southerner, to turn his hand to anything.

    Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader King Humbert I was stabbed & wounded by the 29-year-old anarchist Giovanni Passannante in 1878. Condemned to death, his sentence was commuted & he died in 1910, following 32 years of unbelievable suffering in prison, age 61.

    ... show more

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    1887 -- [May 16] Maria Lacerda de Moura (1887-1945). Portuguese-Brazilian teacher, feminist, journalist & anarchist writer.

    Maria founded the League Against Illiteracy, & as an educator, adopted the libertarian pedagogy of Francisco Ferrer.

    She moved to Brazil, where she taught & collaborated in the Brazilian & international labor movement, & with the anarchist press.

    Maria Lacerda de Moura is one of the main pioneers of the Brazilian feminist movement & was one of the few involved with the labor movement.

    An active lecturer, she spoke on education, the rights of the women, free love & antimilitarism, becoming known not only in Brazil, but also in Uruguay & Argentina.

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    1915 -- [May 16] The Modern School leaves New York City for rural Stelton, New Jersey
    Robert & Delia Hutchinson assumed the Modern School's directorship in September, 1914 when Cora Bennett Stephenson resigned. By this time, police spies had infiltrated the Modern School to snuff out all of the post-Ludlow "conspirators." Because of police (& social) pressure, Alden Freeman, their financial pillar, pulled all of his public support.

    When anarchists Frank Abarno & Carmine Carbone were accused of planting bombs in St. Patrick's Cathedral & the Church of St. Alphonsus on October 13, 1914, the five year anniversary of the execution of Ferrer, anti-radical sentiment gripped the city. The Modern School radicals thus considered themselves to be safer somewhere other than New York.

    The retreat was rushed & therefore not carefully thought out. Harry Kelly noted that "we built our community around a school, something which had never been done before. Communities always come first & schools after but we reversed the order."

    The city dwellers were not prepared for starting a self-contained community. Joseph Cohen admitted, "We selected a homesite without knowing anything about the requirements of soil, drainage, shade, bathing facilities, laying streets, or planting trees."

    The children grew their own vegetable gardens. There were classes in pottery, brickmaking, & printing. Joseph Ishill, a Russian printer, printed 250 books & pamphlets that could not be published in commercial channels. Daniel De Leon's son led star-gazing sessions with his telescope.

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    1934 -- [May 16] Teamsters strike in Minneapolis

    The Teamsters lead a general strike in Minneapolis after trucking companies refuse to recognize the union. Pickets guard 50 roads into the city, turning back non-union trucks, while union headquarters dispatches a so-called flying squadron of mobile pickets.

    Other Minneapolis workers enthusiastically support the strike. 35,000 building-trade workers & all taxi drivers walk out in sympathy. Militant farmers' organizations, meanwhile, contribute food to the strike kitchen, which feed 10,000 people a day.

    The strike culminates in a May 21st battle against business goons. After the governor & federal mediators patch together an agreement that leaves major issues unsettled, a second labor strike begins in July.

    General Strikes site:

    General Strike

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    1920 -- [May 17] Los de la banda de Köenning capitaneados...

    Los de la banda de Köenning capitaneados por Soler "El Mallorquín" intentan de nuevo recuperar su prestigio y sacar a los cenetistas (C.N.T.) del bar de la plaza del Peso de la Paja, interviniendo la policía en el suceso lo que propicio que la noticia corriera como la pólvora, la prensa hablara en esta ocasión abiertamente de los pistoleros de la patronal.

    Este hecho motivó que Eduardo Dato interviniera, expulsando al varón de Köenning de España, pensando que esto calmaría la situación social de Barcelona, siendo deportado el varón a finales de mayo de 1920, pese a sus intentos de evitarlo a través de las influencias ejercidas por Miró i Trepat. (Durante la segunda guerra mundial el varón De Köenning perteneció a los servicios secretos del almirante Canaris y del General De Gaulle, siempre anduvo en el turbio doble juego, murió ya anciano en un accidente de coche en Alemania).

    Los hombres del varón sin su jefe quedaron diezmados con Epifani Casas y Angel Fernández detenidos Soler "el Mallorquín" emigró a América, el resto quedó a su suerte. Así un tal San Vicente fue ajusticiado en la Calle Santa Madrona, del asesinato ¡cómo no! Se acusa Ramón Casanellas y Pere Matheu.

    El nuevo Ministro de Gobernación con el ánimo de pacificar Barcelona, ordenó al Conde de Salvatierra gobernador de la ciudad Condal que pusiera en libertad a los presos cenetistas, que en aquellos momentos se elevaba al número de 920 reos, pero Salvatierra se negó, puesto que ello significaba reconocer lo errónea que era su política por lo que tuvo que dimitir.

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    1850 --

    US: "Foreign Miners' Tax" protest, May 19, 1850

    Four thousand Mexican miners gather in Sonora, California, to protest the Foreign Miners' Tax, which was enacted to drive them from gold fields.

    Before the discovery of gold, native Mexicans greatly outnumbered Anglos in California. By 1849, however, massive migration turned the Mexicans into a minority. The Mexicans shared their superior mining knowledge & experience with Anglos, but the Anglos violently defended what they claimed as their exclusive right to the gold.

    Soon the Anglos dominated the state legislature, enacting the tax, & laws like the Greaser Act, which defined vagrants as (quote) "all persons who [were] commonly known as 'Greasers' or the issue of Spanish or Indian blood."

    Attitudes towards the Chinese, see

    Chinese, Chileans, Mexicans, Irish, Germans, French, & Turks all sought their fortune in California. For an overview see &

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    1883 -- [May 20] "Il Popolo," a weekly anarchist-communist paper, is scheduled to appear today.

    It was specifically proposed to combat "the reformist & parliamentarian illusions which constitute the greatest danger by which Socialism is menaced today. & since it is an urgent need for our party to organize round a neatly defined program, we shall try to destroy all double sense & co-operate with all our energy at this work of organization. . . ."

    Was "Il Popolo" published at all? I think I saw it quoted in the "Questione Sociale," & a single issue may have come out. But the "Revolte" of May 26 already tells of the arrests of Malatesta at Florence & that of Merlino at Naples, observing:

    "The forthcoming publication of the Anarchist paper "Il Popolo" disturbed beforehand the repose of the government. Instead of having to suppress a paper, they content themselves to suppress its editors."

    They remained in prison, no reasons for their arrest being given to them (July 7 [ 1883]); they & others, finally transported to Rome, were provisionally liberated in November.

    A statement (Rome, November 11, 1883), signed by Errico Malatesta, Francesco Saverio Merlino, Dominico Pavani, Camillo Pornier, Edoardo Rombaldoni & Luigi Trabalza (Nov. 24) says:

    "After remaining under arrest for eight months under the charge of conspiring against the security of the State, we were provisionally liberated to be charged before a magistrate with the crimes of criminal association [malfattori] & some of us with provocations to commit this crime."

    [Source: Max Nettlau]

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    1916 -- [May 20] US: Emma Goldman speaks from the back of a car at an open-air demonstration in Union Square in NY to protest Dr. Ben Reitman's imprisonment for distributing birth control information.

    Sculptor/poet Ida Rauh Eastman, Bolton Hall, & Jessie Ashley are arrested later & charged with illegally distributing birth control information at the meeting.

    "Ben's trial took place on May 8 in Special Sessions, before Judges Russell, Moss, & McInerney. The last-named was the man who had sent William Sanger to prison for a month.

    Ben pleaded his own case, making a splendid defence for birth-control. He was found guilty, of course, & sentenced to the workhouse for sixty days, because, as Judge Moss put it, he had "acted with deliberation, premeditation, & forethought, in defiance of the law."

    Ben cheerfully admitted the imputation.

    Emma Goldman, Living My Life, Volume Two, (Alfred Knopf, 1931)

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    1932 -- [May 20]

    Amelia Earhart

    An Irish farmer standing in his Londonderry field watches astonished as Amelia Earhart lands among his cows, jumps from her plane & cheerfully says, "I've come from America." Just 15 hours after leaving Newfoundland, Earhart is the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic -- & she's done it in record time. A conscious feminist, she will indentify a system of (quote) "dividing people according to their sex, & putting them in little pigeonholes."

    But after her mysterious disappearance during a 1937 flight around the world, Earhart's accomplishments will become obscured.

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    1961 --


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    1928 -- Timeline icon
    During the month of May 1928, 3rd Congrés de l'AIT(r), in Leija.    [I don't have exact date(s) — ed.]

    [Source: Congressos Obrers]

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    or visit May 21

    1871 -- [May 22] France: "Bloody Week"

    "Au peuple de Paris, à la Garde Nationale, Citoyens, assez de militarisme, plus d'états-majors galonnés et dorés sur toutes les coutures! Place au peuple, aux combattants, aux bras nus! L'heure de la guerre révolutionnaire a sonné."

    Remember now there were others before;
    The sepulchres are full at ford & bridgehead.
    There will be children with flowers there,
    And lambs & golden-eyed lions there,
    And people remembering in the future.

           — Kenneth Rexroth,
           excerpt, "From the Paris Commune to the Kronstadt Rebellion" (1936)

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    1934 -- [May 23] Battle of Toledo

    Since most local police officers sympathized with the strikers, the company hired its own guards & Sheriff David Krieger deputized them. Today's battle began when one of the deputies beat an old man. An angered crowd then surrounded the plant, which held 1,500 scabs. The strikers broke into the factory three times. It took hand-to-hand combat for police to repel them.

    Tomorrow National Guard machine-gun units will evacuate the scabs, but fail to intimidate the crowds. Strikers stone the troops & drive them to the factory walls. On the crowd's third advance, the troops open fire, killing two strikers & wounding 15. Auto-Lite eventually pacifies the strikers by closing its plants. Then the auto-parts maker will agree to recognize the union, increase wages & rehire the strikers.

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    1856 -- [May 24] John Brown

    Brown & four of his sons had volunteered to defend Lawrence, Kansas, against armed pro-slavery mercenaries known as Border Ruffians. But the Browns arrived too late, & Lawrence stood ravaged. After traveling to Canada, John Brown returned to Kansas & declared, "I am here to promote the killing of American slavery."

    Today's assassinations is part of retribution for violence against free-soilers. But the Border Ruffians retaliate by raiding & killing anti-slavery settlers, including two of Brown's sons. Kansas blazes with gunfire in the battle to keep the state free of slavery. Brown's anti-slavery guerrilla raids keep pro-slavery forces in disarray. But in 1859, an unsuccessful & now famous raid on the arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, leads to Brown's execution.

    [Insurgent Radio Kiosk]

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    1978 -- [May 24] "Persons Unknown"

    The "Persons Unknown" trial begins in September 1979.

    Ladd jumps bail & does not surrender for three years, when he receives nine years on other charges. Carr, an outsider to anarchism, pleads guilty to anything the police require & is sentenced to nine years.

    All the others are acquitted. Carr's "confessions" are read out by the judge after the trial when they can no longer be challenged in open court & berates the jury as too sympathetic.

    [Source: I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels]

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    1901 -- [May 25] Federacion Obrera Argentine (F.O.A.) founded

    The differences between the anarchists (more influential) & the socialists emerged at the IIème congress held in April 1902 & led to their separation.

    At the IVème congress in July 1904, the FOA became the anarchist Federacion Obrera Regional Argentina (FORA), & then a year later, on August 26, 1905, during the Vème congress, it affirmed its anarchist-communist orientation. This was during a climate of governmental & police repressions against the working class: State of siege, arrests, strikes & demonstration repressed in blood (May 21, 1905).

    The FORA had 250,000 members & initiated several general strikes prior to 1909 when it split into two organizations: F.O.R.A of IXème Congress (reformist), & F.O.R.A of the 5th Congress (adhering to its libertarian ideals): le V ème congrès de la F.O.R.A (Federación Obrera Regional Argentina) "approuve et recommande à tous ses adhérents la propagande et la connaissance la plus étendue, dans le but d'enseigner aux ouvriers des principes économiques et philosophiques du communisme anarchiste".

    [Editor's note: Sam Dolgoff's The Cuban Revolution has the FOA founded in 1891: "In 1891, a congress of trade unions in Buenos Aires organized the Federacion Obrera Argentina which was in 1901 succeeded by the Federacion Obrera Regional Argentina (FORA-Regional Labor Federation of Argentina) with 40,000 members, which in 1938 reached 300,000."

    I have adhered to the dates provided by the Ephéméride anarchiste Calendar, which I have found reliable; see & ]

    Of related interest was the Italian Political Folk Song Webpage (defunct in 2004)
    In Spanish,
    Translated into English at
    Anarchism in Latin America

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    1908 -- [May 25] Charles Erskine Scott Wood, radical attorney & author...

  • Excellent page on Wood at is no longer online in 2007.

  • See also Notable Oregonians in Oregon Blue Book,

  • Charles Erskine Scott Wood, "The Pursuit & Capture of Chief Joseph" (1884) is an American military perspective on the Nez Percé retreat & the accepted text for Joseph's famous "Fight No More Forever" speech of surrende.r

  • See Emma Goldman's Living My Life.


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  • 1968 -- [May 25] 1968 Uprising in France

    Beginning of the negotiations of Grenelle between the government & the trade unions.

    Fearing that the soldiers would fight side-by-side with the workers & students, & fearing radicalization of the military, the government had called up reservists & kept the soldiers in isolation.

    Pompidou, his voice weary & heavy with pessimism, has warned against impending civil war & historians later call this France's "dangerous week."

    Today the government, employers' federation & unions met to negotiate a country-wide pact called the Grenelle accords, patterned on the 1936 accords that had helped contain the turbulent proletarian unrest of that time. Now they agreed to raise the minimum wage (the prevailing wage for many workers) by over a third at one blow, to hike other wages 10 percent overall & to cut the work week from 48 hours to 40.

    But when the PCF took these agreements to the plant it considered its stronghold, Billancourt Renault, they were rejected. Even stronger rebuffs came from other combative factories where students had joined workers; students marched from the Latin Quarter to Billancourt with the banner, "the hands of the workers will take from the fragile hands of the students the banner of revolt against the regime."

    The rejection of the Grenelle accords— together with the anti-capitalist effigies hung outside the factories— showed that many workers were fighting for more than better conditions of wage slavery.

    25 mai 68  Ouverture des négociations de Grenelle entre
    le gouvernement et les syndicats.

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    1926 -- [May 26] US: A motion is filed for a new trial Sacco & Vanzetti case based upon Medeiros’ confession & information about the Morelli gang, an Italian gang that robbed freight cars in Providence, R.I. & New Bedford, Mass.
    Also, late in this month, some anarchists issue a new call for bombings as a result of the Massachusetts’ Supreme Court decision. (In 1977, after much doubt about the guilt of Sacco & Vanzetti has surfaced, & recognizing that their trial was a mockery of justice, did Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis proclaim "Nicola Sacco & Bartolomeo Vanzetti Day" on the fiftieth anniversary of their executions).

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    1938 -- [May 26]

    The HUAC hearings were degradation ceremonies. Their job was not to legislate or even to discover subversives (that had already been done by the intelligence agencies & their informants) so much as it was to stigmatize.

    For a degradation ceremony to work it needs a denouncer. & the most credible denouncer, with the most impeccable credentials, is the one who has been there himself. The ex-Communists constituted a steady supply of denouncers.

    A successful status-degradation ceremony must be fueled by moral indignation. The anti-Communist hysteria of the cold war provided an ideal environment.

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    1968 -- [May 27] 1968 Uprising France

    The government promises a 35% increase in the industrial minimum wage & all round wage increase of 10%. The leaders of the CGT organised a march of 500,000 workers two days later.

    27. May - Agreement is reached between the unions, employer's associations & the government. Minimum wage is to be raised, working hours cut, reduction in the age of retirement, & the right to organize. Workers at Renault & other big firms refuse to return to work. At 17:00, 30,000 students & workers march from Gobelins to the Charléty stadium, where they hold a meeting, which Pierre Mendés-France attends.


    Paris is covered in posters calling for a 'Government of the People'; the majority still think in terms of changing rulers rather than taking control for themselves.

    De Gaulle & his puppets were so scared by the possibility of revolution that he flew to Saint-Dizier to confer with top Generals, & see if he could rely on them if he needed army help to maintain his grip on power.

    On May 30th he again appears on French television, abandoning his plans for a referendum & promising elections within 40 days.

    Large & excellent Poster collection from the French May Days at the Art For @ Change pages,

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    1980 -- [May 27] Kwangju (Gwangju) Massacre 1980

    High U.S. government officials knew of this slaughter, did nothing to prevent if, & then tried to cover up what they had condoned. The Americans included President Carter, who wanted desperately to prevent another 'Iran'; Bill Clinton's former secretary of state, Warren Christopher, who relayed Washington's orders to Seoul; the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, who in 1980 was assistant secretary of state for East Asia; General John Wickham, the American military commander in South Korea who controlled movements of the South Korean army; & U.S. Ambassador William Glysteen, who gave the green light to the Korean militarists to attack Kwangju.

    None of them has ever been asked to account for these acts.

    The American news media collaborated in the almost total cover-up of these crimes against humanity.

    — Chalmers Johnson, author of Blowback: The Costs & Consequences of American Empire

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    1797 -- [May 28] Gracchus Babeuf

    Il s'oppose à la dégénérescence bourgeoise de la révolution. Participe à la ligue des Egaux avec Buonarroti, Sylvain Maréchal, Jacques Roux, Jean Varlet et d'autres. Le "Manifeste des Egaux" demande l'abolition des propriétés terriennes individuelles, la constitution d'une communauté de biens, l'instruction pour tous, ainsi que le travail réparti, etc. Arrêté suite à une révolte, Babeuf est guillotiné le 27 mai 1797 avec 30 de ses partisans.

    Extrait du Manifeste des Egaux (rédigé par Sylvain Maréchal) :
    "L'instant est venu de fonder la République des Egaux, ce grand hospice ouvert à tous les hommes. Les jours de la restitution générale sont arrivés. Familles gémissantes, venez vous asseoir à la table commune dressée par la nature pour tous ses enfants".

    Sylvain Marechal was a poet whose Manifesto of the Equals was too much even for the egalitarian conspiracy of Babeuf. He also was author of an Almanach des Honnêtes Gens, in which he proposed a new calendar replacing the names of the Saints with those of the "benefactors of humanity" — philosophers, writers & scientists.


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    1871 -- [May 28] Paris Commune, End of the "Bloody Week" (Semaine Sanglante).

    French government troops put down the Paris Commune, a revolt of city workers & other Republicans in the wake of the Prussian siege of Paris. The savage fighting kills 20,000 people.

    The Belleville district, which resisted to the end, has spent its last cartridges & has fallen silent. The reactionary forces of Versailles controls Paris entirely, but continues to slaughter the Communards. This includes Eugene Varlin (1839-1871) an anarchist bookbinder who was elected a member of the Commune.

    Some 4,000 Communards will be sentenced to death. The police will dissolve workers' syndicates and, encouraged by the state, employers will no longer tolerate union organizing.

    In 1884, the Third Republic parliament will be forced to pass legislation recognizing workers' organizing right, but will include no provisions encouraging collective bargaining. The labor movement will declare itself an enemy of the Republic & will resort to repeated strikes. The government will put down the strikes until the weakened nation falls to Germany during World War II.

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    1872 -- [May 28] Peter Kropotkin returns to Russia a convinced anarchist...

    Peter brought with him a large collection of socialist literature which were "unconditionally prohibited by the censor." This was his first subversive act against the state.

    ... show more

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    1897 -- [May 28] Alexander Berkman

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    1968 -- [May 28] 1968 Uprising France

    Despite the depth of the political crisis in which the government was caught the strike movement has not brought it down.

    Yesterday, while the Grenelle accords were rejected, an enormous rally was held at the Charléty sports stadium sponsored by some student & union leaders & forces from the Socialists to propose "a political solution" to the crisis. Pierre Mendes France, the "man of the left" who had led France in the beginning of its war against Algeria, clamored to be made head of a "provisional government" pending elections.

    "Today," a Socialist trade union leader proclaims, "revolution is possible."

    Actually, what they sought was a change of regime without a revolution.

    Large & excellent Poster collection from the French May Days at the Art For @ Change pages,

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    Sidney Street (Siege), by Flavio Costantini
    2000 -- [May 28] Anarchist history tour:

    On Friday 28th May, in drizzling rain, several van loads of police officers from both the Metropolitan Police & the City of London Police, a couple of motorcycle cops & a group of our flat footed friends trailed behind 30-40 people through the streets of London’ s East End. The people gathered were on a tour of anarchist history we can only guess that the coppers were swatting for their ‘Know Your Reds’ exams.

    ... show more

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    1895 -- [May 29] Ernst Jünger

    Acquaintances reads almost like a who's who of French culture under the occupation: Sacha Guitry, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Jouhandeau, Paul Léautaud, Céline, Gaston Gallimard, Paul Morand, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Henri de Montherlant, Florence Gould. Notable figures such as Gerhard Nebel & Gerhard Heller also figured. Jünger was, moreover, also involved in the fringes of the Stauffenberg bomb plot - if not directly, then certainly as a figure of intellectual inspiration through Der Friede which was starting to circulate illegally.

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    1922 -- [May 29] General Strike Macau

    On 28 May 1922, several Mozambican-Portuguese soldiers sexually harassed a Chinese woman on the street & was beaten up by three Chinese barbers.

    The police arrested them & more than 10,000 people gathered outside the police station demanding them to release the barbers.

    At dawn on 29 May, the Portuguese army & police fired shots. 70 people were shot dead & more than 100 people were beaten & injured. It was reported that the Portuguese authority threw the dead bodies into the sea afterwards. A curfew was declared.

    A general strike was held in Macau & thousands of Macau Chinese returned to the mainland. The Portuguese authority dismissed the 68 trade union organizations which participated the strike, & ordered the shops to open. At that time, there were suggestions in the mainland to take over Macau by force, but was not realised because of the political instability in China itself.

    On the other hand, the Mozambican-Portuguese soldiers involved in the incident were punished & the African-Portuguese troops were retreated from Macau. Also, the civil servants & workers participated in the strike, whether or not they were Chinese or Portuguese, were dismissed.

    Source, no longer online (

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    1968 -- [May 28] 1968 Uprising France

    De Gaulle, his wife & aides climb into three helicopters & vanish. Panic has the country's propertied classes on the edge of madness; on the streets the mood is the greatest jubilation imaginable.

    In fact, de Gaulle's helicopter took him to a secret meeting in Baden-Baden, West Germany, with the commanders of the French Army. Plans were made to bring 20,000 troops stationed in West Germany to deal with Paris. The military men who had once opposed de Gaulle's end to the war in Algeria were to be pardoned, including the general who had almost been successful in having de Gaulle shot.

    Tomorrow de Gaulle issues the country's propertied classes an ultimatum.

    Poster collection from the French May Days from an exhibition at the University of Toronto,

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    1994 -- [May 29] Anarchist Summer School, Glasgow

    The Glasgow anarchist summer school was held on May 29th to May 31st, in the Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre, Daisy St., Govanhill, Glasgow.

    It was organized by Glasgow Class War, Counter Information (an Edinburgh group who produce a freesheet), the Free University Network, Libertarian Social Committee & individual anarchists & libertarian socialists.

    There was a turnout of two hundred to two hundred & fifty anarchists from all over Britain & elsewhere, including an Italian autonomist. Bookstalls from A K Press (Edinburgh), Northern Herald Books (Bradford) & various local groups were on display.

    —Ian Heavens & Jack Campin


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    1431 -- [May 30] Joan of Arc

    A poor farm girl from Domremy, Joan has lead the French army to victory over England. Her liberation of the city of Orleans led to the coronation of Charles the Seventh. But when the English captured Joan, finding her guilty of sorcery & heresy, Charles made no effort to save her. Told at her trial she ignored (quote) "the duties natural to a woman," Joan responded, "There are enough women to do the work you speak of."

    Some feminists compare Joan to mythological Amazons. But the Catholic church will cast her as a holy virgin-warrior.

    [Insurgent Radio Kiosk]

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    1876 -- [May 30] Peter Kropotkin plans his escape from prison & Russia ...

    (During this month; I don't have an exact day — ed.) After Peter was moved to the Detention House, his living conditions improved. This was because the House was, in Peter's words, "a huge showplace for foreign visitors." Peter was allowed to openly interact with friends & relatives now. Despite the improved living conditions, Peter's health continued to deteriorate. His new cell was much smaller than the one in the Peter & Paul Fortress (four feet wide), & Peter would get dizzy when he tried to continue his walking routine. After a short time, he began to suffer from claustrophobia.

    ... show more

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    1886 -- [May 30] Randolph Bourne (1886-1918), literary radical & anarchist

    "War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in
    motion throughout society those irresistible forces for
    uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government
    in coercing into obedience the minority groups &
    individuals which lack the larger herd sense....

    In a nation at war, every citizen identifies himself
    with the whole, & feels immensely strengthened in
    that identification.... He achieves a superb
    self-assurance, an intuition of the
    rightness of all his ideas & emotions, so that in the
    suppression of opponents or heretics he is invincibly
    strong; he feels behind him all the power of the collective

    War has an immemorial tradition & heredity
    only because the State has a long tradition & heredity.
    But they are inseparably & functionally joined. We cannot
    crusade against war without crusading implicitly against the

    The State is not the nation, & the State can be
    modified & even abolished in its present form, without
    harming the nation. On the contrary, with the passing of the
    dominance of the State, the genuine life-enhancing forces of
    the nation will be liberated."

    See John Belluso's new play The Body of Bourne, a solid, intriguing biographical drama about a disabled early-20th-century intellectual, with stellar lead performance from Clark Middleton & an impeccable production directed by Lisa Peterson.

    More on Bourne, see the Randolph Bourne page in the Anarchist Encyclopedia.

    See also, Randolph Bourne's incisive analysis of the interconnection of war & the state is now online at
    Bureau of Public Secrets

    To say that an American city in its design and styles represented our spiritual capacity would be almost to say that we were a nation of madmen.

    — Randolph Bourne

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    1900 -- [May 30] Pio Turroni (1900-1982), Italian anarchist

    Fled to Belgium in 1923, to escape the repression of the Italian fascist government, then to France in 1925.

    In 1927 he was involved with world-wide effort to prevent the executions of Sacco & Vanzetti. From 1933-1935 he dedicated himself to anarchist publishing activites; For the "Group libertarie Editions" in Brest, published the Operaiolatria of Camillo Berneri.

    In 1936 Turroni fought in Spain with the Italian Column & also the Italian Section of the Ascaso Column. Wounded in Tardienta in October of 1936, & agin in Belchite March 1937 (or in in Almudevar, May 1937), he returned to France.

    He was arrested at the outbreak of WWII, in September 1939, & then released in May, 1940. He was imprisoned twice more before escaping with the help of comrades, to Oran, Morocco, &, finally, in November 1941, Mexico.

    Following WWII, Pio Turroni returned to Italy help rebuild the anarchist movement, & from 1946 until his death on April 7, 1982, published the anarchist review "Volontà".

    Born May 30, 1900, in Cesena-Forli.

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    1903 -- [May 30] HARLEM RENAISSANCE:

    Period of outstanding literary creativity in the US during the 1920s.

    Centered in the ghetto of Harlem, in New York City. Among the leading figures were Countee Cullen, Alain Locke, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Wallace Thurman, William Jourden Rapp, Arna Bontemps.

    This African American movement was accelerated by grants & scholarships & supported by such white writers as Carl Van Vechten.

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    1917 -- [May 30] The anarchist Peter Kropotkin returns to Russia

    Although many revolutionaries were returning at this time, Peter's notoriety caused a large crowd to gather to greet him. The new government even sent representatives to meet with him.

    He took this opportunity to deliver a rather long speech in which he praised the revolutionaries & urged the defense of Russia against Germany. He was ecstatic that Russia had become the first country in history to guarantee equality to all citizens & nationalities.

    During the rest of this year, Peter participated in the formation of government policy. He encouraged the adoption of a system similar to that of the United States, where local autonomy was encouraged. His ideas met some resistance though due to the war.

    Once the Bolsheviks came to power, Peter ended much of his activity with the government.


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    1943 -- [May 30] The Chili Queens

    The Chili Queens reigned from the 1880s until 1943 & their fixins were celebrated by writers like O. Henry & Stephen Crane. The Chili Queens were a group of spunky, straight forward women who said what they felt, made their own living, & didn't take back talk from any man.

    In a time in which racism was at a high & white supremacy ruled the land, the Chili Queens always kept their tables open to all. Whether the buyers were white, black, rich or poor, they all received the same treatment.

    In those un-segregated tables, people from all walks of life united under one purpose.... to eat chili. The Chili Queens were blind to segregation, after all, they were minorities themselves. Each night this diverse melting pot of cultures would eat & sing the night away, not as foes, but as equals...

    Hail to the Queens!

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    1972 -- [May 30] Stoke Newington Eight trial, 30 May to 6 December

    The longest trial in British history. Four are sentenced to 10 years after a plea for clemency by the jury, four acquitted.

    It may be significant that the evidence rejected was from or through Spanish police & markedly political. The jury accepted British police evidence as less overtly political.

    Chronology in Albert Meltzer's I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels

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    1906 -- [May 31] Spain: An anarchist's bomb explodes at King Alfonso's wedding...

    As Alfonso XIII & Queen Ena were returning from the wedding in Madrid they narrowly escaped the assassination attempted by the anarchist Mateu Morral; instead, the bomb explosion killed or injured many bystanders & members of the royal procession.

    Spain: In Madrid the young anarchist Mateo Morral throws a bomb, (hidden in a bunch of flowers) at King Alphonso XIII's wedding party.

    Morral left about 15 dead & more than 70 wounded, but failed to kill the king. Journalist Don José Nakens aided his initial effort to hide out & escape, but he was spotted on June2nd & killed himself to prevent capture.

    Morral, an anarchist extremist, studied in Germany & England, then became a librarian & translator at Ferrer's Modern School, where his friend Soledad Villafranca was a professor, & police speculated Ferrer had encouraged Morral to throw the bomb. Francisco Ferrer y Guardia, a suspect in two previous political assassinations, was arrested on June 4, 1906, & held in the Carcelo Modelo in Madrid. Ferrer was finally released June 12, 1907, due to insufficient evidence.

    ¡Tú fuiste en mi vida una llamarada
    Por tu negro verbo de Mateo Morral!
    ¡Por su dolor negro! ¡Por su alma enconada,
    Que estalló en las ruedas del Carro Real!...

    — excerpt, Rosa de Llamas by Valle-Inclán

    ... show more

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    1995 -- [May 31] Vietnam: Government turns over 100 pages of maps & reports about U.S. servicemen killed or captured during the war. An American veteran's map helps locate a mass grave of communist soldiers killed during the war.

    In June Senators Kerry & McCain say they plan to offer a Senate resolution approving normalized relations with Vietnam. Secretary of State Warren Christopher recommends to President Clinton that the United States establish formal diplomatic relations with Vietnam. State Department praises Hanoi authorities for increasing counter-narcotics cooperation with the United States.

    Vietnamese President Le Duc Anh announces he will visit the United States in October for a celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.

    July 11, 1995 President Clinton announces normalization of relations with Vietnam, saying the time has come to move forward & bind up the wounds from the war.

    July 28, 1995 Vietnam becomes a member of the
    Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    November 7-10, 1995
    Former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara visits Vietnam.

    July 12, 1996
    U.S. National Security Adviser Anthony Lake visits Hanoi to mark the first anniversary of normalization of relations.

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    God under Bush
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    Quotations from the Anarchists

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