This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. EARLY DAYS: Life at home and school in St. Petersburg. My bourgeois father and aristocratic mother. Jews and gentiles. I question my father about the Turkish prisoners of war begging alms in the streets. OUR FAMILY SKELETON: Strange rumors about my mother and her brother Maxim. Echoes of the Polish rebellion of 1863. I hear of the dreaded Nihilists and revolution. A TERRIFIED HOUSEHOLD: A bomb explodes as I recite my lesson in school. The assassination of Czar Alexander II. Secret groups in our class. Police search our house. Uncle Maxim is arrested for conspiring against the Czar's Li... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
This text was taken from In Russian and French Prisons, London: Ward and Downey; 1887. In Russian and French Prisons by P. Kropotkin CHAPTER 2 RUSSIAN PRISONS It is pretty generally recognized in Europe that altogether our penal institutions are very far from being what they ought, and no better indeed than so many contradictions in action of the modern theory of the treatment of criminals. The principle of the lex talionis--of the right of the community to avenge itself on the criminal--is no longer admissible. We have come to an understanding that society at large is responsible for the vises that grow in it, as well as it has its share in the glory of its heroes; and we generally admit, at least in theory, that when we deprive a criminal of his liberty, it is to purify and improve him. But we...
DENVER is not unlike a prison. Its inhabitants, too, have been sent there "to do time." That which makes the position of the prisoner preferable, is the consolation that the State will feed him and that some day his time will expire. The majority of Denverites have no such cheerful outlook, Although arriving there with hopes of a speedy return, it's usually imprisonment for life. We all know the paralyzing effect of the daily grind for existence, even for most of us who can boast an average physique. How much more paralyzing must it be for those who go to Denver as a last resort to rescue life from its downward path? Under such conditions and in such an atmosphere people are not interested in abstract ideas. "To hell with Bebel's speech," s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Source: New Masses, May 6, 1941; HTML: for marxists.org in April, 2002. Primo Maggio, il sole dell Avvenire May First, the sun of tomorrow! as our Italian comrades so beautifully it, is here again. It links ancient traditions, these modern times, and the future. Always a peoples natural holiday, since time immemorial it was the occasion for the gathering of the of the poor and lowly for one gala day of festivity. For the last fifty-five years it has been universally recognized and cherished by workers around the world as an International Labor Holiday. It is actually the only holiday celebrated internationally. It obliterates all differences of race, creed, color, and nationality. It celebrates the brotherhood of all workers everywhere. It... (From : Marxists.org.)
Published: New Masses, May 2, 1939. HTML: for marxists.org in March, 2002. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, renowned labor organizer, surveys her memories of thirty-three May Days in America. The glorious pageant of American working-class solidarity. Thirty-three May Days have come and gone since my activities in the American labor movement began. In memory I view them an endless procession of red banners, flying high and wide, in the eager hands of marching, cheering, singing workers. Banners of local unions and AFL central labor councils; three-starred IWW banners; banners of Amalgamated, of International Ladies Garment Workers, furriers, pioneers of unionism for the immigrants and revolutionists"; banners of craft unions, independent unions, ind... (From : Marxists.org.)
(Tune: "Andreas Refer.") O high rocks looking heavenward, O valleys green and fair, Sea-cliffs that seem to gird and guard Our Island --- once so dear! In vain your beauty now ye spread, For we are numbered with the dead: A robber band has seized the land, And we are exiles here. The moonlight glides along the shore And silvers all the sands, It gleams on halls and castles hoar Built by our father's hands. But from the scene its beauty fades, The light dies out along the glades: A robber band has seized the land, And we are exiles here. The plowman plows, the sower sow; The reaper reaps the ear, The woodman to the forest goes Before the day grows clear; But of our toil no fruit we see, The harvest's not for you and me: A robber band has sei... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Our Russian correspondent writes: The details of the events which took place last November in the convict Prison of Kara in Eastern Siberia, are now too generally known to need -petition. No further news has yet arrived. The Russian Government, so far has taken no steps in the matter; neither Commander Mossionkov, whose behavior to the female prisoners was the cause of the "starvation strikes I, nor Baron, Korff who ordered the flogging Of Nadyezhda Sigida, have 'been dismissed. It is well known that Ostashkine, the Governor of Yakutsk, received a decoration after the slaughter of exiles last year. The letters from Siberia speak of a report that all the female political prisoners in Kara are to be transferred to the Criminal Department. An ... (From : AnarchyArchives.)
Kropotkin, Peter. The Terror in Russia. London: Methuen & Co., 1909. 4th Ed. PART I CHAPTER I THE PRISONS A.--Overcrowding and Typhus Numbers of Prisoners. Overcrowding.--From an official document communicated to the State Council on March 15, 1909, by the administration of the prisons, it appears that on February 1, 1909, there were in the lock-ups of the Empire 181,137 inmates. This figure, however, does not include those prisoners who are in transportation, and the numbers of whom are estimated officially at about 30,000. Nor does it include an immense number of persons detained at the police lock-ups, both in the towns and in the villages. No approximate idea as to the number of this last category can be obtained, but it has been suggested in the Russian Press that it may be anything between 50,000 and 100,000. The worst is that it is especially in the Police lock...
Published Essays and Pamphlets The Tragedy of the Political Exiles by Emma Goldman [Published in The Nation, Oct. 10, 1934.] DURING my ninety days in the United States old friends and new, including people I had never met before, spoke much of my years in exile. It seemed incredible to them that I had been able to withstand the vicissitudes of banishment and come back unbroken in health and spirit and with my ideal unmarred. I confess I was deeply moved by their generous tribute. But also I was embarrassed, not because I suffer from false modesty or believe that kind things should be said about people only after their death, but rather because the plight of hosts of political exiles scattered over Europe is so tragic that my struggle to sur... (From : University of Berkeley.)