Prisoner 155: Simón Radowitzky by Agustín Comotto; foreword by Stuart Christie; translated by Luigi Celentano. Published by AK Press (24 April 2018)

In Jewish mythology every generation has thirty-six righteous men, extraordinarily noble individuals, “Tzadikim” or “Lamedvavnikim” — “Just Men” — whose existence justifies the purpose of humankind to God, and on whose example the moral integrity of the world depends.

If “Lamed Vavninks” have walked the earth, one must surely have been the Ukrainian-born Jewish anarchist Simón Radowitzky, whose life story, told in this compelling graphic novel, is that of one man’s tenacious belief in social justice.

This period was followed by the torture and relentless barbarities of a twenty-one-year calvary (1909-1930) — ten of them in solitary confinement — in the remote Ushuaia penitentiary on the Beagle Channel in Argentina’s Antarctic region of Tierra del Fuego. Finally, emerging from his ordeal with dignity and his ideals and selfless faith in humanity intact.

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CIPRIANO MERA SANZ. Portrait of a militant

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Cipriano Mera Sanz  was born on 4 November 1897 in Madrid’s Tetuán de las Victorias quarter. His childhood was tough, as it was for every other working class family.

He never got the chance to go to school and, from a very young age, he was forced out to work by the need to make some contribution towards the running of his humble household. At the age of 16 Mera made up his mind to become a bricklayer and, so that his rights would be protected, his father enrolled him the UGT-affiliated ‘El Trabajo’ bricklayers’ society. From then on, Mera was up to his neck in social issues and labour affairs. But he soon found that the what the UGT stood for and what he was looking for were not the same thing, and he found the socialists’ trade unionism a bit restrictive. Cipriano Mera was out for a revolutionary change that reformism just did not offer.

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Anarchists in La Cerdanya — SEGUNDO JODRA GIL (1907-1943) by Antonio Gascón/ Agustin Guillamón. Translated by Paul Sharkey

Puigcerdà,1939: Retreating Republican forces destroy Puigcerdà’s arsenal

Segundo Jodra Gil, unmarried carpenter and CNT member, was born in 1907 in Pálmaces de Jadraque (Guadalajara). In October 1934, he was briefly jailed in Puigcerdá, together with Antonio Martín. He was acquitted of the charge of killing a policeman. In 1936, he was appointed Economy sub-delegate for the Cerdanya by the Generalidad government and was actively involved in the running of the Puigcerdá People’s Co-operative, a leading libertarian experiment in the Cerdanya. After the war ended, he was arrested in 1942 and shot in Gerona cemetery on 12 July 1943.

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LOS AÑOS DEL PISTOLERISMO. Ensayo para una guerra civil — León-Ignacio. (Jacinto León Ignacio Ruiz de Cardenas —1919-1991)

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Durante cinco años. de 1919 a 1923, las luchas obreras adquirieron un tono de extraordinaria violencia. Gentes de distinta ideología y diferente clase social se mataban por las calles a plena luz del día. Fue el equivalente a las revueltas espartaquistas de Alemania y a las marxistas de Hungría y otros varios países. El recuerdo de aquellos años trágicos se mantiene aún y resultan familiares los nombres de Martínez Anido, de Arlegui y del Noi del Sucre. Sin embargo, poca gente sabe cómo se llegó a eso y de qué forma, y en qué circunstancias se desarrolló la lucha.

El presente libro es un intento de exponerlo de forma cronológica y de aclarar quiénes lo hicieron y por qué lo hicieron. Se ha pretendido sobre todo exponer el gran drama humano que representó la resistencia sindicalista y la represión burguesa que ocurrieron paralelamente y que fueron consecuencia una de otra en un continuo círculo vicioso. Asimismo. el libro intenta exponer las consecuencias que durante años tuvo esa lucha, impulsada por extremistas de ambos bandos. hasta que la convivencia llegó a ser imposible. Fue un ensayo de guerra civil.

Jacinto León Ignacio Ruiz de Cardenas (1919-1991)

León-Ignacio nació en Barcelona el 21 de agosto de 1919. Estudió en el colegio del Redentor y en la English School, ambos de Barcelona, con breves intermedios en el Lycée de Foix, Francia, y en el Institut Tecnic Eulália de Barcelona.

Ha sido redactor de la revista Fotogramas y ha colaborado en El Correo Catalán, Algo, Horizonte y TeleleXprés de Barcelona.

Es autor de varias novelas: A ras de tierra, Corpus de Sangre en Barcelona, que él llama reportaje histórico, y Los quinquis, un estudio sobre este desconocido grupo social que nada tiene que ver con el uso que se hace de la palabra.

En el presente libro aborda un tema que le intereso casi desde niño. En su primera infancia seguía vivo el recuerdo de las violentas luchas sociales de Barcelona. Para un niño significaba casi una novela del Oeste. Más adelante, por curiosidad, fue hablando con cuantos habían vivido o conocido aquella epoca y aquella lucha. Cierto día en casa de Dionisio Ridruejo se dijo, precisamente al comentar aquellos años, que hacia falta un estudio de ese período tan oscuro y tan trágico. Entonces concibió la idea del presente libro, cuya preparación y redacción han sido muy difíciles.

Photo archives: 1918 a ; 1918 b ; 1918 c ; 1919 a ; 1919 b ; 1920s a ; 1920s b ; 1920s c

FAMILY by Pa Chin. Introduction by Olga Lang

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All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto

Modernity brought in its wake a series of civilization changing events. Social tradition, family life, government, nothing was safe from its long lumbering march over the corpses of outdated societies. Like some Darwinian experiment, whole civilizations were forced to upheave their past and redefine themselves, or face crushing colonization from countries that had already undertaken the great change. Modernity brought technology, and technology brought power. To exist in the modern world, to survive, a country needed both.

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