Interview with Octavio Alberola

Octavio Alberola

The Anarchist News Agency recently interviewed  Spanish anarchist activist Octavio Alberola about his life and his role in Defensa Interior, the clandestine planning body responsible for co-ordinating the attempts  on the life of the dictator General Franco in the 1960s, and in the Cuban libertarian movement from the mid-1950s through to the present day.
Click here to read an interview in PDF format

Noam Chomsky on anarchism

Noam Chomsky on anarchism 1 (BBC – 1974)

Noam Chomsky on anarchism 2 (BBC – 1974)

Arena 2 – Anarchists in Fiction

But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid ...’

ARENA 2 – Anarchists in Fiction 142pp (230mm x 153mm), ISBN-13:9781873976-42-5. Read & Noir/ChristieBooks, £7.95

In this second issue of Arena we aim to provide general insights into the role of the anarchist in fiction, both as protagonist (as angels and demons, but mostly demons) and author. Obviously, there will be writers whom some readers will think I have unjustifiably missed. All I can reply to such complainants is that you can’t please everyone and that there will be other opportunities in future issues. Meanwhile, it is best to allow the articles here included to speak for themselves, without comment.

David Weir’s essay ‘Anarchist Fiction, Anarchist Sensibilities’ focuses on the progenitor of anarchist fiction, William Godwin’s Caleb Williams, a highly political novel, published in 1794, that demonstrated, in fictional form, the pressing need for the utopian system he described in the first systematic elaboration of anarchist philosophy, Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. ‘Epic Pooh’ is a newly updated revision of a 1978 article by Michael Moorcock (later published in his 1989 book Wizardry and Wild Romance) reviewing epic fantasy literature for children, particularly J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.While researching early twentieth-century French anarchist plays translated into Italian, Santo Catanuto discovered interesting information on the literary side of the indomitable Communard Louise Michel, indicating that she was the author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea. Strapped for cash, she reputedly sold the manuscript to Jules Verne for 100 francs. Stephen Schwartz, a longtime critic of the detective novel, evaluates the arc of French writer Leo Malet from anarchist to arabophobe and, in ‘Between Libel And Hoax’, counters Miguel Mir’s libellous depiction of the Spanish anarchist movement Entre el roig i el negre. In Stephen’s extended essay, ‘Reading the Runes’, he also takes a fresh look at the archival and related research on the historiography of the Spanish Civil War since the death of Franco.
In his discourse on B. Traven’s first full-length novel, The Death Ship, Ernest Larsen looks at the intractable modern problem of identity. Larsen’s short story ‘Bakunin At The Beach’ is about Mr and Mrs Bakunin holidaying at Lake Maggiore under the watchful eyes of Inspector Dupin of the Swiss Department of Justice and Police. Joseph Conrad’s short story ‘An Anarchist. A Desperate Tale’ is republished here from A Set of Six (1908), originally published in Harper’s Magazine in August 1906. ‘Anarchists in Fiction’ is a collection of idiosyncratic reviews of books in which anarchists are portrayed as an eclectic group of villains and criminal degenerates. Finally, we conclude this second issue of Arena with an article by our cinema editor Richard Porton on Dušan Makavejev’s playful, allusive 1971 film WR: Mysteries of the Organism.

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May 27th filmfest … click FILMS link above

Anarchism is The Only Hope
Talk by George Sossenko, NYC Anarchist Bookfair, May 2008
Lessons from the Spanish Civil War. George Sossenko, an 88-year old veteran of the Spanish Civil War, left home, in France, at the age of 16,to fight with the anarchists of the Durruti column against Franco’s fascists. A dedicated, life-long anarchist, George remains an active organizer as he travels and lectures on this important period in revolutionary history. Filmed at the New York City Anarchist Bookfair in 2008 by David Buccola
J’ai vu tuer Ben Barka – I Saw Ben Barka Get Killed (2005 – Serge Le Péron)
On 29 October 1965, three months prior to the first global anti-colonial Tri-Continental conference in Havana, Moroccan activist Ben Barka was picked up in Paris by French police agents on his way to a lunch meeting at the Brasserie Lipp, spirited away and never seen again. Who was responsible? This is not a biopic about Ben Barka and his revolutionary circle. Instead, le Peron and his co-screenwriters, Frederique Moreau and Said Smihi, have made a political thriller drawing stylistically on the conspiracy and crime movies that Francesco Rosi, Costa-Gavras, and Jean-Pierre Melville were beginning to make in the Sixties
The Automaton Citizen and Human Rights
Lecture given by Erich Fromm at the American Orthopsychiattic Association’s 43rd Annual Meeting in San Francisco, April 13,1966
Brian Keenan: Irish Republicans and the Spanish Civil War
(2006, Milltown Cemetery, Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Republican leader Brian Keenan speaks at the unveiling of a plaque to the volunteers who fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War
Anarchism in the Chinese Revolution – a talk by Andrew Flood
(Dublin, August 2008)
A talk on the Chinese revolution with a particular focus on anarchism. Also looks at the Long March and the peasant insurrections as well as the role of Mao and the Russian communist party.  Recorded at a Dublin WSM meeting, August 2008
Anarchism and Elections – a talk by Cindy Milstein
(NYC Anarchist Bookfair, 2008)
In the United States, presidential elections represent rare instances when many people “participate.” But why the anarchist fascination with something that’s far from anything we’d recognize as politics? And why, if and when we choose to engage, do anarchists frequently use strategies that mirror statist and/or liberal forms, or are simply unimaginative? Perhaps, in zeroing in on presidential elections, we aren’t anarchic enough either. Or conversely, perhaps this electoral moment does indeed offer us a way to spotlight the best of anarchism as a replacement for statecraft. Cindy is a co-organizer of the Renewing the Anarchist Tradition conference, a board member of the institute for Anarchist Studies, and a collective member of both Free Society and Black Sheep Books in Monpelier, Vermont. Flmed by David Buccola on April 13 at the Anarchist Bookfair in New York City
Brigadas internacionales – La historia de la Brigada Abraham Lincoln (2006 – Alfonso Domingo y Anthony L. Geist)
Almas sin fronteras, un documental de Alfonso Domingo y Anthony L. Geist que rescata de la memoria a los brigadistas norteamericanos que lucharon en España durante la Guerra Civil con el bando republicano. La historia de la Brigada Abraham Lincoln Este documental ha localizado a 12 de los 2.800 voluntarios norteamericanos que lucharon en España contra las tropas de Franco. Embarcaron en Nueva York en diciembre de 1936 y el Gobierno de la República, cumpliendo acuerdos internacionales, los despidió en marzo de 1938 en Barcelona. En la Guerra Civil española murieron más de mil. El resto del contingente fueron muriendo a lo largo de los últimos setenta años. Junto a los ancianos brigadistas participan en el documental dos de los historiadores norteamericanos que más han estudiado el fenómeno de las brigadas: el profesor Peter Carroll, de la Universidad de San Francisco, y el profesor Anthony L. Geist, de la Universidad de Washington.


Priest-Off! Repellent to the clergy – click the Films link