(Eng) Albert Meltzer (Jan 7th 1920 - May 7th 1996)

cual (cual@maser.unizar.es)
Thu, 16 May 96 11:41:02 +0100


Date: 10 May 1996 15:46:34
From: asturne@ibm.net
Subject: No Subject Given
To: Recipients of conference <iww-news@igc.apc.org>

Albert Meltzer, who has died aged 76, was a torchbearer for the international
anarchist
movement. A lifelong trade unionist he fought Mosley's blackshirts; actively
supported the
Spanish revolution's anarchist communes and militias and the German anti-Nazi
resistance
and was a key player in the second world war Cairo mutiny. Postwar he helped rebuild
Spain's anti-Franco resistance and the international anarchist movement, founded the
Anarchist Black Cross, the subsequent paper Black Flag.and the Kate Sharpley
Library. He
remained active until his death.

Albert's decision, aged 15, to go into revolutionary politics resulted, he claimed,
from boxing
lessons. The streetwise but bookish schoolboy attended his first meeting in 1935 -
where he
defended boxing against Emma Goldman. He became a dynamic participant at meetings.

The anarchist-led resistance to the 1936 Franco uprising in Spain boosted British
anarchism.
Albert helped organise arms shipments from Hamburg to Spain and acted as a contact
for
the Spanish anarchist intelligence service.

His early career was as a fairground promoter, theatre hand and occasional film
extra. Later
Albert was a secondhand bookseller and finally, a Fleet Street copytaker - for the
Daily
Telegraph.

While a gentle, generous and gracious soul, his championship of anarchism as a
revolutionary working class movement led to conflict with the neo-liberals who
dominated the
movement in the late 1940s. Albert was vehemently opposed to the repackaging of
anarchism as a broad church for academia orientated quietists and single-issue
pressure
groups. It was his championship of the class struggle, coupled with his scepticism
about the
student led New Left in the 1960s, which earned Albert his reputation for
sectarianism.

Paradoxically, as friend and Black Flag cartoonist Phil Ruff points out in his
introduction to
Albert's autobiography <I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels>, it was the very discovery
of class
struggle anarchism through the so-called sectarianism of Black Flag that convinced
many
anarchists of his and subsequent generations to become active. It brought countless
young
people in many countries into the anarchist movement then and for a further 30
years.

Albert will be fondly remembered by those of us whose lives he touched.

Albert Meltzer, anarchist, born January 7th 1920; died May 7th 1996.

Alberts funeral will be on Fiday May 24th, 12 noon at Lewisham Crematorium.
For further information call 01424-717740 or email asturne@ibm.net