2. The Heroes of Revolution

Bloody Sunday (1905)

1280px-Демонстрация_работниц_Путиловского_завода_в_первый_день_Февральской_революции_1917Petition Prepared for Presentation to Nicholas II
January 9(22), 1905

We, workers and inhabitants of the city of St. Petersburg, members of various sosloviia (estates of the realm), our wives, children, and helpless old parents, have come to you, Sovereign, to seek justice and protection. We are impoverished and oppressed, we are burdened with work, and insulted. We are treated not like humans [but] like slaves who must suffer a bitter fate and keep silent. And we have suffered, but we only get pushed deeper and deeper into a gulf of misery, ignorance, and lack of rights. Despotism and arbitrariness are suffocating us, we are gasping for breath. Sovereign, we have no strength left. We have reached the limit of our patience. We have come to that terrible moment when it is better to die than to continue unbearable sufferings.

And so we left our work and declared to our employers that we will not return to work until they meet our demands. We do not ask much; we only want that without which life is hard labor and eternal suffering. Our first request was that our employers discuss our needs together with us. But they refused to do this; they denied us the right to speak about our needs, on the grounds that the law does not provide us with such a right. Also unlawful were our other requests: to reduce the working day to eight hours; for them to set wages together with us and by agreement with us; to examine our disputes with lower-level factory administrators; to increase the wages of unskilled workers and women to one ruble per day; to abolish overtime work; to provide medical care attentively and without insult; to build shops so that it is possible to work there and not face death from the awful drafts, rain and snow.



Kronstadt – March 1st Resolution


On March 1st, the sailors organized a mass meeting in Kronstadt, which was attended also by the Chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, Kalinin (the presiding officer of the Republic of Russia), the Commander of the Kronstadt Fortress, Kuzmin, and the Chairman of the Kronstadt Soviet, Vassiliev. The meeting, held with the knowledge of the Executive Committee of the Kronstadt Soviet, passed a resolution approved by the sailors, the garrison, and the citizens’ meeting of 16,000 persons. Kalinin, Kuzmin, and Vassiliev spoke against the resolution, which later became the basis of the conflict between Kronstadt and the Government. It voiced the popular demand for Soviets elected by the free choice of the, people. It is worth reproducing that document in full, that the reader may be enabled to judge the true character of the Kronstadt demands. The Resolution read:

Having beard the Report of the Representatives sent by the General Meeting of Ship Crews to Petrograd to investigate the situation there, Resolved:

  1. In view of the fact that the present Soviets do not express the will of the workers and the peasants, immediately to hold new elections by secret ballot, the preelection campaign to have full freedom of agitation among the workers and peasants;

  2. To establish freedom of speech and press for workers and peasants, for Anarchists and left Socialist parties;

  3. To secure freedom of assembly for labour unions and peasant organizations;

  4. To call a non-partisan Conference of the workers, Red Army soldiers and sailors of Petrograd, Kronstadt, and of Petrograd Province, no later than March 10, 1921;

  5. To liberate all political prisoners of Socialist parties, as well as all workers, peasants, soldiers, and sailors imprisoned in connection with the labour and peasant movements;

  6. To elect a Commission to review the cases of those held in prisons and concentration camps;



Fidel Castro 1926-2016

[Speech by Fidel Castro; Havana, Revolucion, Spanish, 9 January 1959] Fellow citizens:
I beg of you to maintain order. Are they not revolutionaries,
those who are here? Are there not many rebel soldiers here? Are there not
many army men here? Then we must have discipline here, and everyone must
keep silent. It is my duty to speak here tonight. I am faced with one of
the perhaps most difficult of my duties in this long process of struggle
which began in Santiago de Cuba on 30 November 1956. The people are
listening. The revolutionary fighters are listening, and the soldiers of
the army are listening. Their fate is in our hands.

I believe that we are at a crossroads in our history. The tyranny
has been overthrown. The happiness is tremendous, but nonetheless much
remains to be done still. Let us not deceive ourselves in believing that
what lies ahead will all be easy. Perhaps all that lies ahead will be more

To state the truth is the duty of every revolutionary. To deceive
the people, to awaken in them deceitful illusions will always result in the
worst of consequences, and I believe that the people must be warned against
an excess of optimism. How did the rebel army win the war? By telling the
truth. And how did the tyranny lose it? By deceiving the soldiers.

As we were faced with the duty, we made this clear over the Rebel
Radio and warned all the comrades, so that the same would not happen to
them. This was not the case with the army, in which all of the troops fell
into error, because the officers and soldiers were never told the truth,
and this is where I wish to begin. Or rather I wish to continue in this
pattern, that of always telling the people the truth. A period of time has
elapsed, which perhaps will represent a considerable advance. Here we are
in the capital, in Columbia, the revolutionary forces are triumphant. The
government has been established and recognized by many countries in the
world. Seemingly peace has been won, but, however, we should not be
optimistic. As we proceeded here today, while the people laughed and
expressed joy, we were concerned, and the fact that the crowd which
gathered to welcome us was most unusual and the happiness of the people was
so great made our concern the greater, because it made our responsibility
to history and to the people of Cuba the greater.



Olga Ilyinichna Taratuta


“The Kharkov comrades, with the heroic personality of Olga Taratuta at their head, had all served the Revolution, fought on its fronts, endured punishment from the Whites, persecution and imprisonment by the Bolsheviki. Nothing had daunted their revolutionary ardour and anarchist faith.”
Living My Life, Emma Goldman

Elka Ruvinskaia was born in the village of Novodmitrovka near Kherson in the Ukraine on the 21st January 1876 ( or possibly 1874 or 1878). Her family was Jewish and her father ran a small shop. After her studies she worked as a teacher. She was arrested for “political suspicion” in 1895. In 1897 she joined a Social Democrat group around the brothers A. and I. Grossman (who later became anarchists) in Elizavetgrad, and distributed their propaganda. In 1898-1901 she was a member of the Elizavetgrad committee of the Social-Democratic Party and the South Russian Union of Workers. In 1901 she fled abroad, living in Germany and Switzerland where she met Lenin and Plekhanov and worked for the paper Iskra.
In 1903 In Switzerland she became an anarchist-communist. In 1904 she returned to Odessa and joined the group Without Compromise which was made up of anarchists and disciples of the Polish socialist Machajski. She was arrested in April1904 and in the autumn was freed for lack of evidence. She then joined the Odessa Workers Group of Anarchist Communists which distributed propaganda and organised workers’ circles. She began to acquire a reputation as one of the most outstanding anarchists in Russia. She used the pseudonym Babushka (Granny) – a strange alias considering she was still only around thirty!
At the beginning of October 1905 she was arrested again but was again released with the October amnesty. She joined the Battle Detachment of the South Russian Group of Anarchist Communists which used the tactic of “motiveless terror”- that is attacks on institutions and representatives of the autocratic regime rather than particular targeted individuals . She helped prepare the notorious attack on the Libman café in December 1905. She was arrested and sentenced to17 years imprisonment in 1906 She escaped from prison on 15th December and fled to Moscow. In December 1906 she joined the Moscow anarchist-communist organisation Buntar (Rebel) and agitated in the workplaces. After the arrest of group members in March 1907 she and some others fled to Switzerland where they edited a paper of the same name.



Andrés Nin – The May Days in Barcelona


THE TRAGIC events in Barcelona at the beginning of May were not caused, as has been claimed, by an outburst of stupidity or an act of collective madness. Events of such magnitude, which threw sizeable masses into struggle, bathed the streets of the Catalan capital in blood and cost the lives of hundreds of men, are not produced by caprice: they were a response to profound and powerful causes.

We leave it to the sentimental petty bourgeois to “lament” what happened without pausing to examine the causes of the events; we leave it to the counter-revolutionaries, whose only concern is to smother the revolution, to condemn the movement. It is the duty of true revolutionaries to examine what caused the events and to draw the necessary lessons.

The Military-Fascist Insurrection

The fascist insurrection of 19 July was not a simple act of rebellion by a few military “traitors”, but the culmination, in an acute and violent form, of the struggle begun in Spain between revolution and counter-revolution. The masses’ democratic illusions had been seriously shaken, but were revived by the victory of the labour-republican bloc in the elections of 16 February and the consequent formation of a government of the Left. The working class soon realised that reaction, despite its defeat at the ballot box, had not disarmed but, on the contrary, was preparing with redoubled ardour to take to the streets intent on blocking the advance of the proletarian revolution and installing a dictatorial regime.

The July insurrection occurred after five months’ experience of a new government that demonstrated the absolute impotence of the petty-bourgeois Left to put an end to the fascist danger, or resolve in a progressive way the many political problems the country faced. It fully confirmed the viewpoint, repeatedly expressed by the POUM, that the new experience of the Left would fail, and that a struggle was posed not between democracy and fascism but between fascism and socialism, that this struggle would take an armed form and could not be resolved in favour of the workers and against fascism except by the victory of proletarian revolution, which would solve the problems of the bourgeois democratic revolution and simultaneously begin the socialist transformation of society.

War and Revolution

Thanks to the splendid heroism of the working class, which was unshakeably determined to fight to the death to prevent the victory of fascism, the military insurrection was crushed on 19 July in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia. Thanks to that prodigious heroism in the battlefields by thousands of workers who immediately and enthusiastically joined the militias, Franco was unable to achieve the victory which he thought quick and certain but which, after ten months of civil war, appears less and less likely.



Declaration of Michel Raptis at the Amsterdam Trial

The War in Algeria

(14 November 1961)


Put on trial for his part in a plot involving the fabrication of counterfeit money, Pablo and his comrades took advantage of the trial and used it as a political forum.

I don’t have a strictly private life. For many years the apartments I’ve lived in with my wife were open to the members of our organization, to our friends and our political sympathizers, to a great number of people. During the war and the Nazi occupation of Europe, Israelites or men of the Resistance of all nationalities hunted by the Nazi services naturally found refuge at our home. When the Algerian revolution began in 1954, and Algerian militants were in turn pitilessly hunted down by the police services and terrorists under the orders of colonialism, my wife and I told the Algerian comrades to do us the honor of considering our home at their entire disposal. It was the same in Amsterdam.

We hope to continue in this way until the end of our days, today aiding our Algerian brothers to the best of our abilities, tomorrow our black brothers of Angola and South Africa, our Indio brothers of Latin America, our brothers from everywhere, oppressed and exploited men fighting for the liberty and dignity of man.

This attitude came to us naturally, and not at all through any special merit. Personally, I always felt myself to simply be a man who had completely made his own the wisdom contained in the verse of our poet of Antiquity, Menander: I am a man, and nothing that is human is foreign to me.

But, during the long life I’ve lived in the organization in which I have the honor of being a member, while trying to dominate the egoistic and narcissistic tendencies of our being, I’ve also learned how to accomplish those things necessary in relation to a political and social goal, and not only those things that were personally agreeable and easy. I at least wanted to act in accordance with that rules of social morality, more or less successfully. I lived the cataclysm of fascism in Germany and Europe of the 1930’s as a militant, and I also lived through the cataclysms of the Second World War as a militant. From all this I drew the conclusion that a certain dose of personal courage, intelligence, and critical spirit is necessary in order for every citizen to have the freedom to live, for the horrors of war to be avoided, so that society not fall under the yoke of privileged bureaucratic minorities. Neither the danger of fascism nor that of war and dictatorship are absent in the current world. This can be clearly seen in what is happening in France, in what’s happening in Africa from Algeria to Angola and South Africa, in what’s happening in Latin America, from Cuba to Chile, in what’s happening with East-West relations, from Laos to Berlin.




Pëtr Kropotkin, Letter To Lenin


Dmitrov (Moscow province)

21 December, 1920

Respected Vladimir Illich,

An announcement has been placed in Izvestiia and in Pravda which makes known the decision of the Soviet government to seize as hostages SRs [Social Revolutionary party members] from the Savinkov groups, White Guards of the nationalist and tactical center, and Wrangel officers; and, in case of an [assassination] attempt on the leaders of the soviets, to “mercilessly exterminate” these hostages.

Is there really no one around you to remind your comrades and to persuade them that such measures represent a return to the worst period of the Middle Ages and religious wars, and are undeserving of people who have taken it upon themselves to create a future society on communist principles? Whoever holds dear the future of communism cannot embark upon such measures.

It is possible that no one has explained what a hostage really is? A hostage is imprisoned not as punishment for some crime. He is held in order to blackmail the enemy with his death. “If you kill one of ours, we will kill one of yours.” But is this not the same thing as leading a man to the scaffold each morning and taking him back, saying: “Wait awhile, not today…”

And don’t your comrades understand that this is tantamount to a restoration of torture for the hostages and their families.

I hope no one will tell me that people in power also do not lead easy lives. Nowadays even among kings there are those who regard the possibility of assassination as an “occupational hazard.”

And revolutionaries assume the responsibility of defending themselves before a court which threatens their lives. Louise Michele chose this way. Or they refuse to be persecuted, as did Malatesta and Voltairine de Cleyre.

Even kings and popes have rejected such barbaric means of self-defense as the taking of hostages. How can apostles of a new life and architects of a new social order have recourse to such means of defense against enemies?

Won’t this be regarded as a sign that you consider your communist experiment unsuccessufl, and [that] you are not saving the system that is so dear to you but only [saving] yourselves?

Don’t your comrades realize that you, communists (despite the errors you have commutted), are working for the future? And that therefore you must in no case stain your work by acts so close to primitive terror? [You must know] that precisely these acts performed by revolutionaries in the past make the new communist endeavors so difficult.

I believe that for the best of you, the future of communism is more precious than your own lives. And thoughts about this future must compel you to renounce such measures.



Durruti is Dead, Yet Living


by Emma Goldman

Durruti, whom I saw but a month ago, lost his life in the street-battles of Madrid. My previous knowledge of this stormy petrel of the Anarchist and revolutionary movement in Spain was merely from reading about him. On my arrival in Barcelona I learned many fascinating stories of Durruti and his column. They made me eager to go to the Aragon front, where he was the leading spirit of the brave and valiant militias, fighting against fascism.

I arrived at Durruti’s headquarters towards evening, completely exhausted from the long drive over a rough road. A few moments with Durruti was like a strong tonic, refreshing and invigorating. Powerful of body as if hewn from the rocks of Montserrat, Durruti easily represented the most dominating figure among the Anarchists I had met since my arrival in Spain. His terrific energy electrified me as it seemed to effect everyone who came within its radius.

I found Durruti in a veritable beehive of activity. Men came and went, the telephone was constantly calling for Durruti. In addition was the deafening hammering of workers who were constructing a wooden shed for Durruti’s staff. Through all the din and constant call on his time Durruti remained serene and patient. He received me as if he had known me all his life. The graciousness and warmth from a man engaged in a life and death struggle against fascism was something I had hardly expected.

I had heard much about Durruti’s mastery over the column that went by his name. I was curious to learn by what means other than military drive he had succeeded in welding together 10,000 volunteers without previous military training and experience of any sort. Durruti seemed surprised that I, an old Anarchist should even ask such a question.

“I have been an Anarchist all my life,” he replied, “I hope I have remained one. I should consider it very sad indeed, had I to turn into a general and rule the men with a military rod. They have come to me voluntarily, they are ready to stake their lives in our antifascist fight. I believe, as I always have, in freedom. The freedom which rests on the sense of responsibility. I consider discipline indispensable, but it must be inner discipline, motivated by a common purpose and a strong feeling of comradeship.” He had gained the confidence of the men and their affection because he had never played the part of a superior. He was one of them. He ate and slept as simply as they did. Often even denying himself his own portion for one weak or sick, and needing more than he. And he shared their danger in every battle. That was no doubt the secret of Durruti’s success with his column. The men adored him. They not only carried out all his instructions, they were ready to follow him in the most perilous venture to repulse the fascist position.

I had arrived on the eve of an attack Durruti had prepared for the following morning. At daybreak Durruti, like the rest of the militia with his rifle over his shoulder, led the way. Together with them he drove the enemy back four kilometers, and he also succeeded in capturing a considerable amount of arms the enemies had left behind in their flight.

The moral example of simple equality was by no means the only explanation of Durruti’s influence. There was another, his capacity to make the militiamen realize the deeper meaning of the antifascist war–the meaning that had dominated his own life and that he had learned to articulate to the poorest and most undeveloped of the poor.



Νέστωρ Μάχνο

Η μπροσούρα του Νέστωρα Μάχνο μεταφράστηκε για πρώτη φορά από τα ρωσικά στα αγγλικά από τον Μάικ Τζόουνς. Στα ελληνικά μεταφράστηκε από τον James Sotros τον Φεβρουάριο 1996 στη Μελβούρνη, όπου και κυκλοφόρησε σε μπροσούρα από το «Ούτε Θεός-Ούτε Αφέντης» τον Δεκέμβριο 1998, σε περιορισμένο αριθμό αντιτύπων.


Нестор Иванович Махно

Η αναρχικη επανασταση

Ο αναρχισμός είναι μια ζωή ελευθερίας και δημιουργικής ανεξαρτησίας για τον άνθρωπο, μια κατάσταση δηλαδή που δεν εξαρτάται από θεωρίες ή από προγράμματα που προσπαθούν να ελέγξουν τη ζωή του ανθρώπου στο σύνολό της. Είναι μια «διδασκαλία» που βασιζόμενη στην πραγματική καθημερινή ζωή, ξεπερνά όλους τους τεχνητούς περιορισμούς και δεν μπορεί να συνθλιφτεί από κανένα σύστημα.

Η εξωτερική μορφή του αναρχισμού είναι μια ελεύθερη, χωρίς κυβέρνηση, κοινωνία, που προσφέρει στα μέλη της ελευθερία, ισότητα και αλληλεγγύη. Οι διάφοροι οργανισμοί μπορούν να δημιουργούνται πλέον, με βάση το ανθρώπινο αίσθημα της αμοιβαίας υπευθυνότητας που έχει παραμείνει αναλλοίωτο σε όλους τους τόπους και όλες τις εποχές.

Το αίσθημα αυτό της αμοιβαίας υπευθυνότητας είναι ικανό να εξασφαλίσει την ελευθερία και την κοινωνική δικαιοσύνη για όλους τους ανθρώπους. Είναι η ολοκλήρωση εντέλει του αληθινού κομμουνισμού. Γι’ αυτό, ο αναρχισμός αποτελεί αναπόσπαστο μέρος της ανθρώπινης φύσης, έναν κομμουνισμό στη λογική του επέκταση.

Αυτό μας οδηγεί στην αναγκαιότητα να διατυπώσουμε τις βασικές θεωρητικές συνιστώσες του αναρχισμού, με το να χρησιμοποιήσουμε χειροπιαστά υλικά καθώς και με τη συστηματική επιστημονική ανάλυση.

Μερικοί άνθρωποι, εχθροί της ελευθερίας και της αλληλεγγύης, προσπάθησαν να αποκρύψουν τις αλήθειες του αναρχισμού και να συκοφαντήσουν τα ιδανικά του. Διάφοροι άλλοι, μαχητές για τα δικαιώματα του ανθρώπου, προσπαθώντας να δημιουργήσουν μια άλλη μορφή ζωής, ανέπτυξαν και εκλαΐκευσαν πλατιά αυτές τις ιδέες.

Πιστεύω ότι ο Γκόντγουϊν, ο Προυντόν, ο Μπακούνιν, ο Μοστ, ο Κροπότκιν, ο Μαλατέστα, ο Φορ και άλλοι, ποτέ δεν έκρυψαν από τους ανθρώπους τις αναρχικές ιδέες και ποτέ δεν έδωσαν στις ιδέες αυτές την όψη ενός αμετάβλητου και άκαμπτου δόγματος. Αντίθετα, οι αναρχικές ιδέες αντιπροσωπεύουν μια συμφωνημένη προσπάθεια ώστε να αναδειχτούν οι αναρχικές ρίζες της ανθρώπινης φύσης καθώς και να αποδειχτεί ότι τα δημιουργικά επιτεύγματα του ανθρώπου ποτέ δεν είναι δυνατόν να εκτραπούν από τις αναρχικές ιδέες.

Το θεμελιώδες χαρακτηριστικό του αναρχισμού, που είναι η άρνηση κάθε δουλείας και κάθε σκλαβιάς, βρίσκεται μέσα στην ίδια την ανθρώπινη φύση. Αναρχισμός σημαίνει ελευθερία. Ο σοσιαλισμός από μόνος του δεν μπορεί να καταστρέψει τις αλυσίδες της σκλαβιάς.



Thomas Sankara – Burkina Faso’s pure president


 By Bruno Jaffré – Translated by Barry Smerin

Burkina Faso’s president, Thomas Sankara, defined his aims shortly before he was assassinated in 1987: “Our revolution will be of value only if, looking back… and ahead, we are able to say that the Burkinabe people are a little happier because of it. Because they have clean drinking water, because they have plenty to eat, because they are in good health, because they have access to education, because they have decent housing, because they have better clothing, because they have the right to leisure, because they have greater freedom, more democracy and greater dignity… Revolution means happiness. Without happiness we cannot speak of success.”

Outside Africa, Sankara is not much known. Africans remember him as a man who told the truth, lived close to his people, fought corruption and gave fresh hope for the recovery of African dignity. He was more than that: a political strategist, an energetic, creative president whose unfailing commitment led to his murder, a loud and clear voice for the demands of the third world.

He was born on 21 December 1949 in what was then Upper Volta, a French colony that gained independence in 1960. At school with the children of French settlers, he discovered injustice. He served as an altar boy but refused, at the last minute, to train for the priesthood. At military secondary school in Kadiogo he became interested in politics under the influence of a Marxist teacher who was an activist in the African Independence Party (PAI). As a young officer at the international military academy in Anstirabé, Madagascar, Sankara studied sociology, political science, economics, French and agricultural science.

He witnessed the overthrow of Philibert Tsiranana’s neo-colonialist regime in Madagascar in 1972 and that led to his ideas about a “popular democratic revolution”. During the war with Mali in 1974, when he was a young captain, he won attention through a brave exploit, and founded a secret leftwing organisation with other officers. Sankara drew close to far left militants, read widely on many subjects, and acquired a taste for political debate.

After independence, Upper Volta alternated between military rule and parliamentary democracy and in 1978 became the only state in the region to elect a president, Sangoulé Lamizana. He ran the country paternalistically; the only leftwing party that took part in elections, and sometimes in government, was the Popular Front (FPV), led by the historian Joseph Ki-Zerbo. It had a base in trade unions.

Poorest of the poor

Upper Volta’s politicians, obsessed with parliamentary infighting, cut themselves off from the realities of the country and especially from the highly politicised urban middle class. The military leaders in power were discredited by financial scandals. Within the army, an ambitious younger generation, seeking modernisation, opposed the less educated senior officers. In November 1980, after strikes throughout the country, the legal opposition, including the FPV, supported a military coup. But, despite its initial popularity, the new regime became oppressive and forced trade union leaders into hiding; senior officers were involved in scandals. Sankara, who was secretary for information, resigned live on television with the words: “Woe to those who gag the people!”



Γράμμα του Nicola Sacco στο γιο του


Αν δεν αλλάξει κάτι, θα μας εκτελέσουν στην ηλεκτρική καρέκλα, αμέσως μετά τα μεσάνυχτα,

Επομένως είμαι εδώ τώρα,  δίπλα σου, με αγάπη και ανοιχτή καρδιά,

Όπως ήμουν και εχθές.

Μην κλάψεις, Dante. Αρκετά δάκρυα ξοδεύτηκαν,

σαν της μητέρας σου τα δάκρυα που στέρεψαν εφτά χρόνια τώρα,

χωρίς να κάνουν και κανένα καλό.

Για αυτό γιέ μου, αντί να κλάψεις, στάσου δυνατός και γενναίος,

για να μπορείς να παρηγορήσεις τη μητέρα σου.


Κι όταν θα θες να την αποσπάς από την αποκαρδιωτική μοναξιά,

να την πηγαίνεις μια μεγάλη βόλτα στην ήρεμη εξοχή,

να μαζεύετε λουλούδια από δω και από κει.

Και να ξεκουράζεστε κάτω από τη σκιά των δέντρων, δίπλα στη μουσική του νερού,

η γαλήνη της φύσης, θα της αρέσει τόσο πολύ,

Όπως σίγουρα και σε σένα.

Αλλά γιε μου, πρέπει να θυμάσαι: Μη δώσεις όλο σου τον εαυτό.


Χαμήλωσε λίγο τον εαυτό σου, μόνο ένα βήμα, για να βοηθήσεις τους αδύναμους στο πλάι σου.

Τους αδύναμους, που ζητούν βοήθεια, τους διωκόμενους και τα θύματα.

Είναι φίλοι σου, φίλοι δικοί μου και δικοί σου, είναι οι σύντροφοι που παλεύουν,

Ναι και καμιά φορά πέφτουν.

Όπως ο πατέρας σου, ο πατέρας σου και ο Bartolo, έπεσαν στη μάχη.

Πάλεψαν και έχασαν τη ζωή τους μόλις χθες, στη διεκδίκηση της ευτυχίας,

και της ελευθερίας για όλους.


Στον αγώνα της ζωής, θα βρεις, θα βρεις περισσότερη αγάπη.

Και επίσης στον αγώνα, είναι που θα σ’ αγαπήσουν. 


Απόδοση- Επιμέλεια: Θάνος Ανδρίτσος


Εδώ το γράμμα του Nicola Sacco μελοποιημένο από τον Pete Seeger:




noam chomskyBy Noam Chomsky

Almost every day brings news of awful crimes, but some are so heinous, so horrendous and malicious, that they dwarf all else. One of those rare events took place on July 17, when Malaysian Airlines MH17 was shot down in Eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people.

The Guardian of Virtue in the White House denounced it as an “outrage of unspeakable proportions,” which he attributed to “Russian support.” His UN Ambassador thundered that “when 298 civilians are killed” in the “horrific downing” of a civilian plane, “we must stop at nothing to determine who is responsible and to bring them to justice.” She also called on Putin to end his shameful efforts to evade his very clear responsibility.

True, the “irritating little man” with the “ratlike face” (Timothy Garton Ash) had called for an independent investigation, but that could only have been because of sanctions from the one country courageous enough to impose them, the United States, while Europeans had cowered in fear.

On CNN, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor assured the world that the irritating little man “is clearly responsible…for the shoot down of this airliner.” For weeks, lead stories reported on the anguish of the families, the lives of the murdered victims, the international efforts to claim the bodies, the fury over the horrific crime that “stunned the world,” as the press reported daily in grisly detail.

Every literate person, and certainly every editor and commentator, instantly recalled another case when a plane was shot down with comparable loss of life: Iran Air 655 with 290 killed, including 66 children, shot down in Iranian airspace in a clearly identified commercial air route. The crime was not carried out “with U.S. support,” nor has its agent ever been uncertain. It was the guided-missile cruiser USS Vincennes, operating in Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf.

The commander of a nearby U.S. vessel, David Carlson, wrote in the U.S. Naval Proceedings that he “wondered aloud in disbelief” as “’The Vincennes announced her intentions” to attack what was clearly a civilian aircraft. He speculated that “Robo Cruiser,” as the Vincennes was called because of its aggressive behavior, “felt a need to prove the viability of Aegis (the sophisticated anti-aircraft system on the cruiser) in the Persian Gulf, and that they hankered for the opportunity to show their stuff.”

Two years later, the commander of the Vincennes and the officer in charge of anti-air warfare were given the Legion of Merit award for “exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service” and for the “calm and professional atmosphere” during the period of the destruction of the Iranian Airbus, which was not mentioned in the award.

President Reagan blamed the Iranians and defended the actions of the warship, which “followed standing orders and widely publicized procedures, firing to protect itself against possible attack.” His successor, Bush I, proclaimed that “I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are… I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.”

No evasions of responsibility here, unlike the barbarians in the East.

There was little reaction at the time: no outrage, no desperate search for victims, no passionate denunciations of those responsible, no eloquent laments by the US Ambassador to the UN about the “immense and heart-wrenching loss” when the airliner was downed. Iranian condemnations were occasionally noted, but dismissed as “boilerplate attacks on the United States” (Philip Shenon, New York Times).



Between Light and Shadow

¨We think it is necessary for one of us to die so that Galeano lives¨


translated into English for Enlace Zapatista

In La Realidad [Reality], Planet Earth

May 2014

Compañera, compañeroa, compañero:

Good evening, afternoon, or morning, whichever it may be in your geography, time, and way of being.

Good very early morning.

I would like to ask the compañeras, compañeros and compañeroas of the Sixth who came from other places, especially the compañeros from the independent media, for your patience, tolerance, and understanding for what I am about to say, because these will be the final words that I speak in public before I cease to exist.

I am speaking to you and to those who listen to and look at us through you.

Perhaps at the start, or as these words unfold, the sensation will grow in your heart that something is out of place, that something doesn’t quite fit, as if you were missing one or various pieces that would help make sense of the puzzle that is about to be revealed to you. As if indeed what is missing is still pending.

Maybe later — days, weeks, months, years or decades later — what we are about to say will be understood.

My compañeras and compañeros at all levels of the EZLN do not worry me, because this is indeed our way here: to walk and to struggle, always knowing that what is missing is yet to come.

What’s more, and without meaning to offend anyone, the intelligence of the Zapatista compas is way above average.

In addition, it pleases and fills us with pride that this collective decision will be made known in front of compañeras, compañeros and compañeroas, both of the EZLN and of the Sixth.

And how wonderful that it will be through the free, alternative, and independent media that this archipelago of pain, rage, and dignified struggle — what we call “the Sixth” — will hear what I am about to say, wherever they may be.

If anyone else is interested in knowing what happened today, they will have to go to the independent media to find out.

So, here we go. Welcome to the Zapatista reality (La Realidad).

I. A difficult decision.

When we erupted and interrupted in 1994 with blood and fire, it was not the beginning of war for us as Zapatistas.

The war from above, with its death and destruction, its dispossession and humiliation, its exploitation and the silence it imposed on the defeated, we had been enduring for centuries.

What began for us in 1994 is one of many moments of war by those below against those above, against their world.

This war of resistance is fought day-in and day-out in the streets of any corner of the five continents, in their countrysides and in their mountains.

It was and is ours, as it is of many from below, a war for humanity and against neoliberalism.

Against death, we demand life.

Against silence, we demand the word and respect.

Against oblivion, memory.

Against humiliation and contempt, dignity.

Against oppression, rebellion.

Against slavery, freedom.

Against imposition, democracy.

Against crime, justice.

Who with the least bit of humanity in their veins would or could question these demands?

And many listened to us then.

The war we waged gave us the privilege of arriving to attentive and generous ears and hearts in geographies near and far.

Even lacking what was then lacking, and as of yet missing what is yet to come, we managed to attain the other’s gaze, their ear, and their heart.

It was then that we saw the need to respond to a critical question.

“What next?”



Η Κομμούνα του Παρισιού

commune   Η Κομμούνα του Παρισιού έχει γενικά αντιμετωπιστεί, ιδιαίτερα στη μαρξιστική παράδοση, ως η πρώτη σημαντική προλεταριακή πολιτική εξέγερση. Για τον Λένιν, η εμπειρία της Κομμούνας κατέδειξε τη δυνατότητα ενός προσανατολισμένου πολιτικά κινήματος της εργατικής τάξης και την ανάγκη καταστροφής του αστικού κράτους για ν’ αντικατασταθεί, εάν η επανάσταση διαρκούσε, από ένα προλεταριακό κράτος. Υπάρχει, πράγματι, μια κλασική συζήτηση ανάμεσα στη λενινιστική άποψη και τη φιλελεύθερη ερμηνεία της Κομμούνας ή, με πιο γαλλικούς όρους, ανάμεσα στους Γιακωβίνους και τους Προυντονιστές.

   Ήταν η Κομμούνα μια διαδικασία ριζοσπαστικοποίησης των ιδεωδών της δημοκρατίας όταν ήρθαν αντιμέτωπα με τη στρατιωτική ήττα του έθνους και την κατάρρευση της Δεύτερης Αυτοκρατορίας; Ή ήταν, αντίθετα, μια πολιτική επανάσταση που προήγαγε το αίτημα για πολιτική ελευθερία σε μια νέα θεσμική οργάνωση βασισμένη στο σχέδιο μιας εθελοντικής ομοσπονδίας ελεύθερων κοινοτήτων; Τα ενδιαφέροντα της έρευνάς μας είναι κάπως διαφορετικά. Χωρίς να μπορούμε σ’ αυτό το κείμενο ή να επανασυστήσουμε ή να προσπελάσουμε μια τέτοια θεμελιακή συζήτηση, θέλουμε να επιστήσουμε την προσοχή σε άλλα δυνατά ιστορικά νοήματα της Κομμούνας, μερικά από τα οποία είναι γεμάτα σημασία για την κατανόηση του αστικού προβλήματος.

   Ενδιαφερόμαστε ιδιαίτερα να εξερευνήσουμε την υπόθεση που ετέθη από τον μεγάλο μαρξιστή φιλόσοφο Henry Lefebvre για την Κομμούνα ως αστική επανάσταση. Αν μια τέτοια ερμηνεία ήταν ορθή, η υπερβολική ώθηση της Κομμούνας πάνω στην πολιτική και την ιδεολογία του εργατικού κινήματος θα μπορούσε να είναι μια ένδειξη της ιστορικής σχέσης που εγκαθιδρύθηκε ανάμεσα στο αστικό πρόβλημα και το κοινωνικό κίνημα, που διατηρεί τον κύριο ρόλο στη διαδικασία της καπιταλιστικής εκβιομηχάνισης. Αντί να είναι μια καθυστερημένη συνέχεια της Γαλλικής Επανάστασης ή της αναγγελίας της επερχόμενης σοσιαλιστικής, η Κομμούνα θα μπορούσε, κάτω από αυτή την οπτική, να θεωρηθεί ως σημείο επαφής ανάμεσα στις αστικές αντιθέσεις και το εμφανιζόμενο εργατικό κίνημα, τόσο στις πιο αρχαϊκές πλευρές της (η επανάσταση των Ξεβράκωτων ενάντια στις αδικίες της εξουσίας) όσο και στα πιο προβλεπτικά του μέλλοντος θέματά της (η αυτοδιαχείριση της κοινωνίας).

   Αυτή η θεμελιώδης διάσταση της Κομμούνας, που ο Lefebvre έχει προβάλλει, έχει σε μεγάλο βαθμό απορριφθεί εξ’ αιτίας της πολιτικοποίησης της συζήτησης ανάμεσα στους μαρξιστές και τους φιλελεύθερους σε σχέση με το ιστορικό της νόημα. Ακόμα, η προσεκτική θεώρηση της μελέτης αυτής της διάστασης και η ιστορική μαρτυρία γι’ αυτή θα μπορούσαν ν’ αποδειχθούν εξαιρετικά βοηθητικά στην προσπάθειά μας να ερμηνεύσουμε τις μεταβαλλόμενες σχέσεις ανάμεσα στην πόλη, την κοινωνία και το κράτος.

Oι Kομμουνάροι

   Ποιοι ήταν οι Kομμουνάροι. Ποια η κοινωνική σύνθεση της Kομμούνας (commune). Aπό πρώτη ματιά εμφανίζεται να είναι μια εργατική εξέγερση αντίθετα με την εξέγερση του 1848 ή την αντίσταση στο Coup d’ Etat (πραξικόπημα) του 1851. …O κομμουνάρος ήταν ένα μισθωτό πρόσωπο. Και αν οι υπάλληλοι ήταν ακόμα παρόντες μεταξύ των επαναστατών το 1871, τα ελεύθερα επαγγέλματα, οι εισοδηματίες, οι έμποροι, οι υπάλληλοι αριθμούσαν όλοι μαζί μόνο το 16 των ανθρώπων που συνελήφθησαν, ενώ ήταν 27 το 1851.

   Οι περισσότεροι κομμουνάροι ήταν χειρώνακτες εργάτες. Αλλά τί είδος εργατών; Eργάτες από βιομηχανικές δραστηριότητες και ιδιαίτερα από τη μεταλλουργία. Όμως, η εικόνα είναι πιο σύνθετη. Μεταξύ των εξεγερμένων η πιο σημαντική ομάδα και η πιο υπεραντιπροσωπευόμενη, σε σχέση με τον ενεργό Παρισινό πληθυσμό ως σύνολο, ήταν οι εργάτες κατασκευών. Αυτοί ήταν οι αντιπρόσωποι της σύγχρονης βιομηχανίας. Εξέφραζαν τη φανταστική αστική ανάπτυξη και τις δραστηριότητες αστικής ανανέωσης στο Παρίσι στη διάρκεια της Δεύτερης Aυτοκρατορίας, κάτω από τη διεύθυνση του Haussmann, ενός από τους πιο φιλόδοξους πολεοδόμους στην ιστορία. …Συνεπώς, αν είναι αλήθεια ότι η μεγάλη πλειοψηφία των κομμουνάρων ήταν εργάτες, οι περισσότεροι δεν ήταν βιομηχανικό προλεταριάτο, αλλά παραδοσιακοί τεχνίτες και εργάτες στις κατασκευές που συνδέονταν με την αστική ανάπτυξη.



Μπόμπι Σαντς: Το «γελαστό παιδί» του IRA που έγινε μύθος…


Στις 5 Μαϊου 1981 πέθανε ο ηρωϊκός απεργός πείνας Μπόμπι Σαντς

Μολονότι ήταν φυλακισμένος, εξελέγη βουλευτής με 30.942 ψήφους! Καταρρακώθηκε έτσι, πλήρως, ο ισχυρισμός της κυβέρνησης Θάτσερ ότι οι απεργοί πείνας ήταν «περιθωριακοί» που «κανένα δεν εκπροσωπούσαν».

του Διονύση Ελευθεράτου

Χαράματα Τρίτης, 5 Μαΐου 1981, ένα δραματικό ηχητικό κράμα ξυπνά τους κατοίκους των καθολικών συνοικιών του Μπέλφαστ. Θρήνοι γυναικών, φωνές οργής αντρών, ρυθμικά κτυπήματα μεταλλικών σκουπιδοτενεκέδων. Η είδηση διαδίδεται τάχιστα: Πέθανε – ώρα 1.17- ο ηλικίας 27 ετών κοσμαγάπητος βουλευτής του IRA Ρόμπερτ (Μπόμπι) Σαντς, μετά από 66 ημέρες απεργίας πείνας στις φυλακές Μέιζ, κοντά στο Μπέλφαστ.

Ο «γελαστός Μπόμπι» είναι ο πρώτος από τους ιρλανδούς απεργούς πείνας του ‘81 που ξεψυχά. Πρώτος αυτός είχε αρχίσει, άλλωστε, απεργία πείνας στο διαβόητο μπλοκ «Η» των φυλακών Μέιζ που ονομάστηκε έτσι λόγω του σχήματός του. More


Αφήγηση του Ερνέστο Γκεβάρα για τον Καμίλο

“Έμαθα τον Καμίλο πριν τον γνωρίσω μέσω μιας φράσης που έγινε σύμβολο: ήταν τη στιγμή της καταστροφής στο Αλεγρία δε Πίο. Εγώ ήμουν πληγωμένος, πεσμένος σε ένα ξέφωτο και δίπλα μου ένας σύντροφος αιμορραγούσε πυροβολώντας με τα τελευταία του φυσίγγια για να πεθάνει παλεύοντας. Ακούστηκε μια διαβολική φωνή «Είμαστε χαμένοι, πρέπει να παραδοθούμε». Και μια αντρική φωνή, που την αναγνώρισα ως τη φωνή του λαού, φώναξε από κάπου «Εδώ δεν παραδίνεται κανένας, διάβολε!».


Bobby Sands Diary


Bobby Sands kept a diary for the first seventeen days of his hunger strike, which began 32 years ago today.

Sunday 1st March

I am standing on the threshold of another trembling world. May God have mercy on my soul.

My heart is very sore because I know that I have broken my poor mother’s heart, and my home is struck with unbearable anxiety. But I have considered all the arguments and tried every means to avoid what has become the unavoidable: it has been forced upon me and my comrades by four-and-a-half years of stark inhumanity.


Cuba Reggae

Cuba Reggae

« Year of Agriculture »
Havana, April 1, 1965.
At this moment I remember many things: when I met you in Maria Antonia’s house, when you proposed I come along, all the tensions involved in the preparations. One day they came by and asked who should be notified in case of death, and the real possibility of it struck us all. Later we knew it was true, that in a revolution one wins or dies (if it is a real one). Many comrades fell along the way to victory. More


Che Guevara


Aprendimos a quererte / desde la historica altura
donde el sol de tu bravura / le puso cerco a la muerte.

Aqui se queda la clara, / la entranable transparencia
de tu querida presencia, / comandante Che Guevara.

Tu mano gloriosa y fuerte / sobre la historia dispara,
cuando todo Santa Clara / se despierta para verte.
Aqui …
Vienes quemando la brisa / con soles de primavera
para plantar la bandera / con la luz de tu sonrisa..
Aqui …
Tu amor revolucionario / te conduce a nueva empresa,
donde esperan la firmeza / de tu brazo libertario..
Aqui …
Seguiremos adelante / como junto a ti seguimos
y con Fidel te decimos: / “Hasta siempre, Comandante!”
Aqui …


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