A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 30 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Català_ Deutsch_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ All_other_languages
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library May 2002 ~ No. 30

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(http://www.katesharpleylibrary.org/bulletin/issues/kslb30.htm)
Date Sat, 28 Sep 2002 23:42:37 -0400 (EDT)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

"Freedom" and Freedom in 1945
Black Flag
Anarchy in Sheffield?
Argentina: Severino di Giovanni
How to lose friends?
New Publication
New KSL Website

"Freedom" and Freedom in 1945

After the Trial
At our last meeting I said that if our comrades were
imprisoned, we who remained free would continue the
struggle against the forces of repression now active in this
country, against the political police, against every enemy of
freedom. That struggle is now on. The weapons with
which we can fight are limited : they are the very weapons
which our authoritarian government is attempting to take
away from us - our printing-press, our pamphlets, our
right to speak and publish the truth that is within us.
Limited as they are, these are nevertheless the only
weapons we need to create such a volume of protest that
press and parliament, the public at large will be compelled
to listen to us. We shall not rest until our comrades are
released, and even then we shall go on, to create such a
consciousness of the existing danger to our common
liberty, that the cause of it is for ever eliminated from our

It will not be an easy campaign. Among the many lessons
which this episode has taught us, the most surprising to
me has been the indifference of the so-called liberal press.
There have been exceptions, .and in particular I would like
to mention the Manchester Guardian. But for the most
part once they had exhausted the "news value" of the case
in a sentence or two, the rest has been silence. Here was a
clear threat to the liberty of the Press. Did the Press rise in
righteous indignation? We have not heard a single note of
complaint. This institution which boasts that it is the
guardian of our national liberties was perhaps a little drunk
with the prospects of a military victory : at any rate, it slept
whilst the very liberties which they thought were being
secured in Europe were filched from us here in the Old

Then there is Parliament. We anarchists have never placed
much faith in the dim inmates of that opium den, but we
note that many of them talk frequently of liberty, inside the
House and out. But what has Parliament done to defend
our liberty in this case? We know well enough that all that
gang talk endlessly about freedom, it is a nice inspiring
word - but they uphold its reality only so long as it does not
threaten their private interests.

In these last few weeks more hypocrisy has been smeared
over our daily and weekly papers than ever before in our
history. If you can bring yourself to read the leading
articles and commentaries in these periodicals, you will
find the word "freedom" in almost every paragraph. You
are told that we have just won the greatest war in history -
for "freedom" .You are asked to celebrate this glorious
victory - "in the cause of freedom." You are even
encouraged to get drunk for "freedom." We are not
deceived. So long as our three comrades remain in prison,
victory is an illusion, and the man who celebrates it is
nothing but a mug.

We have met here to-night not to celebrate a victory, but to
take counsel after a defeat. In the face of that defeat, I
propose now briefly to reaffirm the beliefs for which our
comrades have been persecuted and imprisoned. It would
give me great pleasure to do this if only to show that we
are by no means intimidated by what has happened. The
penalties of the Courts are only justified on the assumption
that they deter others from repeating the alleged offence.
We are not moved one inch from our course. All that legal
pantomime at the Old Bailey was from every point of view
a futile and costly farce. It has cost our side quite a lot : it
must have cost the State more - several thousand pounds.
There are the salaries of Inspector Whitehead and his
agents for the three or four months they devoted to the
case: there are the still larger salaries of the Attorney
General and his assistants for the many days they devoted
to the reading of War Commentary: the still larger salary of
his lordship the judge, for the four days he spent listening
to the case: and then the more modest wages of the ushers
who tried to keep us out of the Court and of all the various
clerks and bailiffs who filled the benches in the Court. Nor
must we forget the wages of the policemen who inspected
all our identity cards one day. That makes a pretty total,
which might have been justified if the prisoners on trial
had been gangsters or profiteers, murderers or swindlers.

But what in actual fact were the prisoners in the dock?
They were men who held a certain belief, a theory of
society, an ideal of civilization, and all they had done, the
only crime with which they could be charged, was that
they had incidentally taken steps to bring their beliefs to
the attention of members of His Majesty's Forces.

What is this belief whose mere propagation constitutes a
crime? I am going to tell you, in simple direct words, and
what I shall say will amount to no more and no less than
the substance of the beliefs for which our comrades are
now suffering a sentence of imprisonment.

We begin with the central fact of WAR. We say that if our
civilization is to survive - not this country nor that country,
but the whole civilization of which we are members - war
must be eliminated. War has now reached a stage of
technical development which in future will involve, not
merely the deaths of millions of human beings - men,
women and children - but also the complete destruction of
the material necessities of life: food, housing,
communications, health. War will henceforth mean
annihilation, not merely for the vanquished, but for all who
engage in it.

We then analyse the causes of war, and this is where we
begin to differ from other people who would also like to get
rid of war. We say that modern war cannot be explained in
terms of capitalism, of imperialism, of economics or of
populations: it is a disease of civilization itself, something
inherent in the very structure of modern society. In order
to get rid of war, we must alter the structure of society.

But "to alter the structure of society" is merely a polite way
of saying that a revolution will be essential, and it is for
using this word "revolution" that our comrades are in
prison. They would not have been put in prison if they had
expressed a wish to alter "the structure of society" - which
only shows what power is attributed to words when they
become weapons.

But whatever we call the process, the choice before our
civilization is clear: either revolution or annihilation. That
is the unescapable conclusion which we anarchists have
reached, and we claim that it. is a rational, indeed a logical

But what then does revolution imply? We say that the
structural fault in our civilization which leads to war lies in
the doctrine of national sovereignty, which requires for its
expression and propagation the social organ known as the
State. Modern wars are conducted by States, through their
paid servants - the politicians, civil servants and armed
forces. Wars do not, in our stage of development, break
out. naturally between peoples, and in spite of all the
powers of persuasion which States can command and
direct, the peoples remain largely indifferent to the issues
involved in State wars. Put in another way, we might say
that modern wars are essentially ideological, and ideologies
belong to classes, not to peoples. The peoples have no
ideologies, anywhere. They have interests and prejudices,
customs and superstitions: they may be selfish and
egotistic, but everywhere and at all time their main
purpose is to secure a living from the soil, or from the
labours of their hands or brains: and they know that such a
purpose is not furthered, but frustrated, by war. Lives,
houses, cattle, tillage, material possessions of every kind -
these are the common wealth of the people, however
unevenly distributed that wealth may be. That kind of
wealth is destroyed by war. What is not destroyed by war is
another kind of wealth - gold, bonds, credits and other
goods not made by labour: these may escape war, just as
German Bonds will survive this war, or as Russian
Imperial Bonds have escaped "the greatest revolution in
history" : but this kind of wealth does not belong to the
people, but to the State and its servants, and, one must
add, to its dupes.

Under defeat, a particular State may disintegrate. We have
seen several States disintegrate during the past few years -
France, Belgium, Italy, Greece, and now Germany. This,
we say, provides a golden opportunity to make the
necessary structural alterations in our social system. It is,
in fact, a revolutionary situation, and in such a situation,
when the State has revealed all its insubstantiality, and has
vanished overnight, we must not let any body of gangsters
or looters step out of the ruins and organize another State.
That will only lead inevitably to another war and a worse
war. In such a revolutionary situation, our comrades said,
and I repeat, the armed forces have ceased to exist as
instruments of a State: for the moment the nations have
become peoples, people in arms. Let the nation remain a
people in arms - stick to your arms, we say to such a
people, rather than deliver them up to any gang which
takes upon itself to speak in the name of a new State. If we
are a people, all equal and all equally armed or disarmed,
then we can get together and agree on a new form of
society, a non-governmental society, in which nation will
no longer be opposed to nation, State to State, but a society
in which people will work together for the common good.
When that reform has been accomplished, everywhere in
the world, we can all throw away our arms, and live in
peace ever after.

That is the doctrine which our comrades preached, for
which they have been persecuted and imprisoned. You
may not agree with it - you may not agree with Buddhism
or Christianity, with communism or conservatism, but we
do not, in this country, imprison people for being
Buddhists or Christians, conservatists or communists.
Why, then, in the name of all that is just and equitable, are
these three anarchists deprived of their liberty?

Well, it is perhaps a simple miscarriage of justice, an
anomaly of the law, some bad kind of joke played by the
State jesters. That would be the most agreeable
explanation to offer. But if that is not the right explanation,
if our comrades have been imprisoned in the pursuance of
a ruthless and determined policy, then the rights we
believe we possess as citizens of this democratic country
are at an end. There is no longer, in this land such a thing
as the liberty of unlicensed printing for which Milton made
his immortal and unanswerable plea : there is no longer
any such thing as freedom of expression which ten
generations of Englishmen have jealously guarded. These
words are now a mockery, and either we have been duped
slaves to accept such a breach of our traditional rights, or
we resolve never to rest until they are restored. I cannot
imagine what perfidy of mind has spread among our
judiciary that it has so far forgotten its trust as to allow so
great an abuse of justice under the excuse of war-time
regulations - regulations which peace has now made
obsolete. Some of these Regulations have just been
abolished - the fascists have been set free, but our
comrades remain in prison. These Regulations which were
admitted under protest at the time of their enactment, and
only accepted in view of their temporary force, were
designed, however illogically, to secure a victory in the
cause of freedom. By all accounts, that victory has been
won. But we are here to assert that the war which has been
won on the Continent of Europe has been lost in this
island of Britain, and we can have no joy in victory, nor
ease from strife, until our comrades once more stand
beside us as free men.

'After the trial', Herbert Read, from: "Freedom; Is it a
crime?: the strange case of the three anarchists jailed at the
Old Bailey, April 1945" Freedom Press Defence
Committee, 1945.

Black Flag
 After a delay of about a year, Black Flag has returned. A
lot of exciting events have happened in this time: Genoa,
Argentina, the protests in New York and Brussels, a
general strike in Nigeria - the list seems endless.

This issue discusses some of these events in detail. We
have analysis of Genoa, partly exposing the anti-anarchist
hype and partly trying to learn lessons from the events.
Genoa was a turning point for the "anti-globalisation"
movement - the state attacked a mass demonstration in
order to send a clear message to protestors and split the
movement by demonising anarchists. Anarchists need to
evaluate and understand what happened and the attacks on
anarchists after the events by liberals and trots must be
countered. Moreover, the European Police (Europol) has
been busy. We discuss this aspect of the EU and Europol's
invention of "anarchist terrorism" as a means to
criminalise struggle. The parallels to the Italian "strategy of
tension" in the 1970s are striking and given the actions of
the police in Genoa, we need to learn lessons from the
past. More positively, we discuss working class
self-organisation in Argentina. The events in Argentina are
a striking confirmation of anarchist theory and practice.
The "principles of anarchism" (to use Kropotkin's words)
have been reinvented yet again in working class struggle.
Hopefully, the Argentine anarchists can help these seeds
of anarchy to grow and bloom. We also have an
eye-witness accounts of life in free Chiapas. Eight years
on, their struggle for a better life continues and, thankfully,
they are not postponing change until after the "glorious

A recurring theme in this issue is the importance of
applying anarchist ideas in working class struggle. The
horror of September 11th shows the importance of
applying our ideas on the ground - if a viable libertarian
alternative does not exist then people will turn to the dead
end of apparently radical, but in fact deeply reactionary,

Issue 221 available now from Black Flag BM hurricane,
London, WC1N 3XX. The deadline for issue 222 is

Anarchy in Sheffield?
 Mark Barnsley (a framed prisoner himself) kindly provided
us with a paraphrase of an account from The
Commonweal about what happened in Sheffield when the
first edition of this pamphlet was being distributed:

"Creaghe's account of the Stanley meeting is in one of his
letters to the Commonweal. It's a classic and very amusing
account, and well worth reprinting. What happened was
that Stanley was touring the country, and in 1891 was due
to speak at the City Hall in Sheffield. A contingent of our
comrades turned up armed with a bundle of Nicoll's
pamphlet, and began selling it. As the pamphlet was
assumed to be some sort of official programme it was
selling like hot cakes until people started reading it. Then
there were cries of 'Fraud,' 'Swindle,' 'Turn them out', etc.
Most of the group that had entered the Town Hall were
turned out by the bouncers, except for Creaghe who stood
his ground even when a copper was brought in declaring
that he had ambitions to be a capitalist one day! Outside
the hall Stanley was jeered by our comrades as he turned
up, and for some reason those that had turned up to see
him joined in (later they could be heard saying 'Why did
we hoot him?'!) After the meeting Stanley got an even
more combative reception from our comrades (who'd
probably been in the pub), with one French member of the
group chasing him down the road for some distance...."

To see what people were getting so excited about, just see
Stanley's Exploits or Civilising Africa, just published. The
Justice for Mark Barnsley Campaign can be reached at PO
Box 381, Huddersfield, HD1 3XX


Dear friends,
I just wanted to point out to you an error that I noticed in
the first paragraph of the introduction to "The Walsall
Anarchists", by David Nicoll. The same paragraph also
appears in the back cover of the pamphlet. In that
paragraph it is said that "David Nicoll was arrested when
his wife lay dead in her bed etc." When Nicoll was
arrested, on April 18th, 1892, as stated on the pamphlet's
cover, his comrade Charles Mowbray was also arrested.
Now, the dead wife was Mowbray's, not Nicoll's .If you are
interested, I can give you references about the episode.

In solidarity,
Davide Turcato

Argentina: Severino di Giovanni

Bankrobbers & Graverobbers!
Severino di Giovanni was a militant activist in the Argentina of
the 1930s, funding an anarchist publishing house, among
other activities, by armed robberies. Maligned in print, now it
seems there are plans for a film - and one no better than the
press coverage. Like Herbert read says elsewhere in this issue
"once they had exhausted the 'news value' of the case in a
sentence or two, the rest has been silence." But we should not
be surprised: journalists live by creating headlines, regardless
of the consequences. Film-makers, too seem to say: 'Never
mind the facts, give me the story'!

from América Scarfó

To Luis Puenzo:
Having had no reply to my recorded letter of 6 April I have
decided to write these few lines to you. I have no liking for
court proceedings: the system's courts virtually always favour
the powerful. Be that as it may, though, I simply must place
on record the dismal quality of the script filmed as Severino.
You know very well that the entire thing is a silly lie. It is not
our story - the story of Severino Di Giovanni and me. You
have concocted hybrid personages that have nothing anarchist
about them. The entire yarn is awash with a sickliness
bordering on stupidity. You hint at a triangle, a questionable
relationship between siblings and at other matters which I
cannot go into in the space available in this letter. You make
up for lack of ideas with sex and shoot-outs. I showed you the
photocopied police report on the raid on Burzaco where
Severino had been living up until the time he was arrested: the
premises contained no weapons nor was there any of the
shoot-outs of which you are so fond. When I told you that I
disagreed with the first portion of the screenplay, you
promised me that it would be amended. You did not honour
that promise and you carry on in the same blithe lying tone,
giving your script a name that you have no right to usurp. It is
a shame that you did not use of the evidence I advanced to
you (reports, writings, poems, etc.) to produce a fine movie: a
story of pure love and an epic of dreamers bent on changing
this wretched world. It is sad that the Institute of
Cinematography (and the odd backer) should have squandered
money on a movie that misleads people with its despicable
falsehoods. An idyll reflected in 50 love letters, poetry and
poems and not once do you include the word "love" in this
obscene screenplay. It is as if you had thrown mud over a
garland of splendid flowers. A lover of the calibre of Severino
would never have described his loved one as "dynamite". I
read you the contents of his last letter (written only hours
before his death). As he had so often before, he referred to me
as "sweetness". Both Severino and my brother Paulino Scarfó
went to their deaths like heroes. They lived and perished for
an ideal of justice and freedom. They were not layabouts
sprawling in bed in ambiguous poses, such as you cynically
suggest in your screenplay. In Burzaco they had tended
gardens, beehives, a nursery and a printshop in which we all
did our bit. There are details that expose your utter ignorance
of how family life was back in those days, your ignorance of
how people spoke, what they ate, etc. And you really ought to
know that type-setters do not melt down lead. I never did so,
nor did I visit the out of the way places you have dreamt up.
You are mistaken, Luis Puenzo, and badly mistaken at that,
for these were no "toughs" or "roughnecks". They were
cultivated men, working men. Their language was not the
dirty talk you present. It is only to be expected and
unremarkable that the gutter press should concoct and
exaggerate the police charges and play down the ideological
component of the fight against fascism and the militarism that
dominated in those days. But, Puenzo, you are a good
director, an Oscar-winner, known the world over : Is that not
enough for you? Let somebody else write the screenplay, then,
someone with a good feeling for language; someone
conversant with and objective about the events of the 1930s
and who won't do what you have done: conjure up individuals
"all whipped up like a meringue", as the tango writer has it.
You make little of us and you offend us all, even the family
members who had nothing to do with anarchist beliefs. At
barely 22 years old, with his siblings and the family lawyer
urging him to sign a petition for clemency to be forwarded to
Uriburu, Paulino refused, saying "An anarchist does not sue a
tyrant for mercy". Don't you think that he deserved a
modicum of respect and not to be depicted as a weakling? I
appeal to your sense of decency, calling upon you to reflect
upon the slight you have committed against both families,
mine and Di Giovanni's, who cannot comprehend such
perversity. On that basis, you have no right to use our names,
surnames or nicknames or any term by which we might be
identified. You are incapable of capturing the personality of
those fighters who, by virtue of their culture and education,
could have lived quiet lives and yet opted for the heroic life for
the sake of their ideal.

A biography of di Giovanni, entitled Anarchism and Violence
by Oswaldo Bayer is available from Elephant Editions: BM
Elephant, London, WC1 N 3XX £4.95

(the aftermath of the Di Giovanni affair)
After Severino Di Giovanni and Paulino Scarfó faced the firing
squad, the activities of the expropriator anarchists in
Argentina were inevitably curtailed. There followed a flurry of
arrests and trials with very heavy sentences handed down,
whilst the few who managed to escape the repression fled to
Uruguay or tried to get out to Europe. Without doubt, the two
executions - which failed to inspire the campaign such as
Sacco and Vanzetti had inspired three years before - signalled
the end of an era for the anarchist movement. The fate of all
who were caught up, in whatever capacity, in this tragedy was
marked by it and, for good or for ill, tellingly influenced by it.

Even in death, Severino knew no peace. He was hurriedly ,
angrily and secretly buried in an unmarked grave in the vast
Chacarita cemetery, so huge that it was known as the "city of
the dead", but, the very next day, police found red flowers
placed on his grave. The Interior Minister ordered that the
body be exhumed and dumped in a common grave, yet even
that was mysteriously decorated with red roses day after day.
Then, with the passage of time, his memory faded. even
though it has been said that Severino was cremated and his
ashes scattered in the River Plate. This may well be one of the
many legends that have grown up around his name.

The police had the same fate in mind for Paulino Scarfó too,
but his family resolutely opposed this and his mother finally
ensured that her son (killed at just 20 years of age) rested in
peace. The Scarfó family, of course, was the hardest hit. They
severed their connections with Fina (Josefina), so much so
that her grandfather never spoke to her again and never
forgave her for the loss of his beloved grandson. The entire
family promptly relocated to a district on the far side of
Buenos Aires. Fina's eldest brother, dismissed out of hand by
the English firm for which he was working, was forced to
learn a new trade. With the passage of time, Fina's mother
forgave her daughter but continued to curse the name of the
fair-haired devil who had robbed her of three of her children.
There is a story - related in poetic fashion by Maria Luisa
Magnanoli in her splendid novel, A Very Sweet Coffee, that
on the night when Paulino was tried, Mrs Scarfó left the
house and wandered through the half-deserted streets as far as
the centrally located and renowned Plaza de Mayo. She arrived
outside the Casa Rosada, the presidential residence and on
impulse resolved to play one last card. She crossed the entire
square on her knees, just the same way that she had seen her
Calabrian elders (she had been born in Tropea, Italy) suing the
Madonna for a favour, and to the amazement of the sentries
climbed the steps to the presidential residence, still on her
knees. But unfortunately for her the President was away on a
visit to Rosario and Santa Fe and never heard the pleas of a
mother whose 20 year old son, led astray by "an anarchist in
black", was scheduled for execution. Paulino would definitely
have rejected any pardon, just as he had refused to receive any
visitors. He refused even to see his mother before he was shot.
America Josefina (Fina), cut off by her family, and having
abandoned her husband Silvio Astolfi, her husband of
convenience, whom she had married just to be with Severino,
completed her education and graduated in literature,
specialising, as her "blond lover" had wished, in Italian
Literature. She remarried a libertarian intellectual and found
work initially with a publishing house before turning to
teaching. In 1951, twenty years on from the tragedy, she
visited Italy and the land of her forebears: she also visited
Chieti, Severino's native town, but failed to trace any of his
relations. These days she is an elegant, refined 83 year old
lady living in Buenos Aires, withdrawn and reserved: she has
always angrily rejected lucrative offers from Hollywood
producers eager to turn her life into a movie. Alejandro Scarfó
was released from prison sometime in 1934-35. A deep-seated
bitterness was a feature of his life: abandoned by his relations
and indeed by his fiancee, he vanished into the grey existence
of day to day life.

After serving his lengthy term, Silvio Astolfi returned to
Europe and carried on with his antifascist activity: he was
killed during the civil war in Spain. Teresina Masculli,
Severino's wife married again to an Italian who went on to
become a journalist. Nothing is known of their children:
perhaps, unable to carry the burden of such a heavy
inheritance, and as their mother wished, they changed their

Lieutenant Juan Carlos Franco, the defence counsel assigned
to Severino during the trial in which he did his best to do his
duty, was stripped of his rank, expelled from the army and
committed to a military prison. In March 1931 the then
Minister of War, General Francisco Medina, ordered that he
be released and expelled from Argentina. Franco moved to
Asunción in Paraguay where he turned to journalism. In
October 1932, thanks to a pardon from the incoming
president, he returned to his homeland, was accepted back
into the army and had his rank restored but was posted to an
obscure provincial garrison. He died in February 1934 at the
age of 35, possibly of malarial fever.

Diego Abad de Santillán made his way back to Spain where he
occupied high offices in the CNT, even acting as its general
secretary: he then held ministerial office under the republican
government during the civil war. After the war was lost he
went into exile, initially in Mexico and then returned to
Argentina. He wrote several books on his political experiences
and about the anarchist expropriators. He died in 1970.

Aldo Aguzzi, the Italian anarchist director of La Antorcha and
Crítica, who always defended Di Giovanni, fought in the
Spanish civil war and fled back to Argentina after defeat. He
committed suicide in 1941.

Nicola Recchi, represented by some as the "theoretician", the
inspiration behind the activities of the anarchist expropriators,
was arrested in January 1930 and, during police interrogation,
subjected to extreme torture. His tormentors made such a
mess of his hands that his right hand, reduced to a lump of
bloodied flesh, had to be amputated. They say that he never
uttered a single name and that he stubbornly denied every one
of the fifty charges preferred against him. After a ghastly time
in prison, he slipped into the shadows after he was released
and was forgotten by everyone by the time of his death in
Buenos Aires in 1987.

Jorge Tamayo Gavilán, the Chilean who only came alive
when he was dicing with death, the man destined to be Di
Giovanni's successor, was killed in as yet obscure
circumstances when police raided the hotel where he was
staying in July 1931. After the death of his leader he had
carried out two risky hold-ups: in the course of the second of
them he killed three police officers. In order to avenge
Severino, Gavilán orchestrated and may well have carried out
in person the killing of Major Rosasco, the Buenos Aires
police chief. On 12 June 1931, having rallied what was left of
Severino's gang, Gavilán entered the restaurant where
Rosasco was having dinner along with some other bigwigs
and politicians. The four-man gang ordered a meal, sat down
to it and coolly waited until the target had finished his meal.
Just as Major Rosasco was about to begin his dessert, one
gang member, possibly Gavilán himself, went over to his table
and with exasperating sluggishness, as witnesses were to
recall, drew a .45 Colt and fired two well-aimed shots into the
major. One final, horrific act of homage to Severino.

Miguel Arcángel Roscigna, Severino's bosom buddy from
Uruguay, the man whom the historian Oswaldo Bayer
reckons was the cleverest, best-equipped, bravest and, as we
would say these days "most political" of all the anarchist
expropriators, vanished mysteriously in early January 1936.
Roscigna's political programme was the most ambitious and
also the most sophisticated programme ever devised by armed
anarchism. His aim was to link up all the South American
anarchist groups and establish ongoing ties with the European
anarchists, with the Spaniards in particular. It was no accident
that Buenaventura Durruti and Paco Ascaso, the two
renowned Catalan anarchist leaders, felt, so to speak "at
home" in Argentina. Roscigna argued that armed actions were
but one of many illegal fighting methods and, in his idealistic
naivete, was confident , for example, that capitalism could be
brought down by passing counterfeit money, since this struck
at its very heart. Tracked down by the police who considered
him their number one enemy, he fled to Montevideo, where
he was arrested in 1933. Together with Andrés Vázquez
Paredes, someone by the name of Paz and the Italian
Fernando Malvicini, he served nearly four years of penal
servitude. The Argentinean courts sued for his extradition,
which was, however, not granted. However, in complete
secrecy, a couple of police officers agreed to deal of these
dangerous anarchists once and for all. The arrangement was
that the four anarchists would be expelled from Uruguay as
undesirables. They would, of course, be herded in the
direction of the Argentinean border where delivery would be
taken of them by Dr Fernández Bazán, the new chief of police
in Buenos Aires. On 31 December 1935, all four left prison
and were ferried to the border in a Black Maria. At which
point, all trace of them vanishes. A reliable reconstruction has
them loaded on to an Argentinean military aircraft and
dumped, still living, into the River Plate. Thereby
inaugurating a method of disposing of political opponents that
in more recent times the goons of General Videla would
proceed to implement on a systematic and massive scale.

The tragic epic of anarchist expropriation was laid to rest with
Roscigna. "We cannot defend them", Diego Abad de Santillán
stated, but nor can we ignore them and of necessity
mentioning them these days does not meaning praising their
criminal acts any more than it exorcises them as if they were
devils incarnate.

Antonio Orlando (1996) [adapted]

How to lose friends?
 'What's this nonsense?' I said. 'Get out on parade.' they stood
to attention, as was right when an officer addressed them, and
not a man moved. I walked up to one man I knew well. 'You,
Thomas Atkins,' I said, addressing him by his name, 'I'm
ordering you to go on parade.' he stood still, looking through
me as if I wasn't there. What more could I do? No one man
can make eight men obey him if they are resolved to disobey.

C. Carrington, Soldiers returning from the war, (London,
Hutchinson, 1965). the author is describing his experience as
an officer confronted with a one-day mutiny of British troops
in Italy, immediately after the armistice (1945). Quoted in
Dave Lamb, "Mutinies: 1917-1920" (Solidarity).

New Publication
 Abolishing the Borders from Below is an 'Anarchist courier
from Eastern Europe'. Two issues have appeared so far.

If you operate in Eastern Europe, send info to:
abolishingBB@hotmail.com. If you want to help distribute it
in other parts of the world email aldi@rocknriot.zzn.com. I
can't see a 'real world' address - but if you want to send them
publications, money or other forms of support - the above
addresses may be able to help.

New KSL website
 This edition of the KSL bulletin is slightly delayed, because
we've been working on our new website. Our new webmaster,
Joseph, has designed it to be fast to load and accessible to
anyone, whatever technology they're using. The new site
contains all the material from the previous one, but hopefully
will be easier to remember:

It also carries also extra bulletins:

As well as a small collection of online documents:

The site also has details on all KSL publications, as well as
other titles which we distribute:

We already have plans to extend the website - more online
documents, reviews of our publications (more welcome,
whether you love them or hate them), biographical info on
some of our authors etc. - so we welcome ideas for what else
you'd like to see or feeback on what's already there to

Bulletin produced May 2002.

Kate Sharpley Library
BM Hurricane
London WC1N 3XX

Kate Sharpley Library
PMB 820 2425
Channing Way
Berkeley CA 94704 USA

KSL: Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library
ISSN 1475-0309

Subscription rates for one year (4 issues) are:
UK - £3
Overseas - £6
Institutions - £20

       ****** The A-Infos News Service ******
      News about and of interest to anarchists
  COMMANDS: lists@ainfos.ca
  REPLIES: a-infos-d@ainfos.ca
  HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
  WWW: http://www.ainfos.ca/
  INFO: http://www.ainfos.ca/org

-To receive a-infos in one language only mail lists@ainfos.ca the message:
                unsubscribe a-infos
                subscribe a-infos-X
 where X = en, ca, de, fr, etc. (i.e. the language code)

A-Infos Information Center