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Criterion Miscellany - No 16. Ambush, Herbert Read, Faber & Faber First Blood Snow falling all night: in the morning the world will be white. The earth will be covered with a nice new coat of paint, to hide the scars and pockmarks. For the earth is in a bad way-a battered old scarecrow, blackened, ragged, her fingers and toes all splintered. Oh such a mess! Sanctuary Wood: the god of this sacred place is Moloch, and he is a very fierce old god, and people say that to seek sanctuary in his arms is to say goodbye to your beloved's. His sanctuary a wood, a dark gloomy glade, full of caves and ditches. If you wait till daylight you will find that the trees have no branches, but are whiskered with splinters. Tatterdemalion trees, you might s... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The ResurrectionAfter the last words of the prisoners had been heard, and the lengthy arguments over the form in which the questions were to be put to the jury were over, the questions were finally agreed upon, and the justiciary began to deliver his instructions to the jury. Although he was anxious to finish the case, he was so carried away that when he started to speak he could not stop himself. He told the jury at great length that if they found the prisoners guilty, they had the right to return a verdict of guilty, and if they found them not guilty, they had the right to return a verdict of not guilty. If, however they found them guilty of one charge, and not guilty of the other, they might bring in a verdict of guilty of the one and not guilty of the other. He further explained to them that they must exercise this power intelligently. He also intended to explain to them that if they gave an affirmative answer to a question, they would thereby affirm everything involve...


The Death Penalty La Peine de Mort Translated by Natalya Ratan and Virginia Anton. By Elisée Reclus I do not have the honor of being a Swiss Citizen and know only imperfectly the means to petition the removal of an article, but it is an issue of human agitation in all civilized countries As an international citizen I have the right to address this issue. Unfortunately I also am French and my motherland is also a country of executioners and the guillotine, that we have invented and use everyday Enemies of the death penalty. I must try to find their origins. Is if justifiable that it takes away from the right to self defense? If it is, it will be difficult to oppose it because we all have the right to self defense, against beasts and a... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


A Defense for Fugitive Slaves, against the Acts of Congress of February 12, 1793, and September 18, 1850 (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1850). Lysander Spooner Table of Contents Poverty, Its Illegal Causes and Legal Cure.—part I. By Lysander Spooner. Recommendations. Act of Congress of 1793.: An Act Respecting Fugitives From Justice, and Persons Escaping From the Service of Their Masters. Act of Congress of 1850.: An Act to Amend, and Supplementary to the Act, Entitled "an Act Respecting Fugitives From Justice, and Persons Escaping From the Service of Their Masters," Approved February 12, 1793. A Defense For Fugitive Slaves. Chapter I.: Unconstitutionality of the Acts of Congress of 1793 and 1850. Chapter II.: The Right of Resistance, and the R... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

My first acquaintance with Russian prisons was made in Siberia. It was in 1862. I had then just arrived at Irkutsk--a young Lieutenant of Cossacks, not fully twenty years of age,--and a couple of months after my arrival I was appointed secretary to a committee for the reform of prisons. A few words of explanation are necessary, I suppose, for my English readers. The education I had received was only what a military school could give. Much of our time had been devoted, of course, to mathematics and physical sciences; still more to the science of warfare, to the art of destroying men on battle-fields. But we were living, then, in Russia at the time of the great revival of thought which followed in our country the Crimean defeat; and even the education in military schools felt the influence of this great movement. Something superior to more militarism penetrated even the walls of the Corps des Pages. The Press had received some freedom of expres...


Selected Letters of Nicola Sacco from the Dedham Jail November 30, 1921. Dedham Jail DEAR BARTOLO: Saturday the 26th my Rosie and the children came to visit me, and this was the first time I seen the children since the time you left Dedham. You can imagine how happy I felt to see them so joyful and so gay and in the best of health, if only you could see little Ines. She got so fat, she is really a dolly, Dante also looks very good. He writes to me every week. Rosa also looks very good after the operation she is gaining daily. I feel very good and I don't do nothing but exercise, read and write. I am very sorry that no one comes and see you, no one comes to see me neither, but Rosie . . . [Rosie and Rosa refer to Sacco’s wife Rosina. I... (From : umkc.edu.)


Selected Letters of Nicola Sacco from the Charlestown State Prison July 19, 1927 MY DEAR INES: I would like that you should understand what I am going to say to you, and I wish I could write you so plain, for I long so much to have you hear all the heart-beat, eagemess of your father, for I love you so much as you are the dearest little beloved one. It is quite hard indeed to make you understand in your young age, but I am going to try from the bottom of my heart to make you understand how dear you are to your father's soul. If I cannot succeed in doing that, I know that you will save this letter and read it over in future years to come and you will see and feel the same heart-beat affection as your father feels in writing it to you. I will... (From : umkc.edu.)


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.)


Post Office Box 7 Leavenworth, Kansas May 9, 1921 Mr. Harry Weinberger Counselor at Law New York City My Dear Mr. Weinberger: Your letter of the 25th of last April and a copy of Mr. Daugherty's letter to you received. You want me to furnish you with data regarding the sentence which ended on January 19, 1914; but in order for you to judge whether I have been the victim of a conspiracy bent on keeping in bondage the Mexican peon, or not, I am going to furnish you with an abstract of the persecution I have suffered ever since I took refuge in this country. I must, before going any further, beg your pardon for my keeping your attention from other business undoubtedly more important than mine. After years, many years, of an unequal struggle in ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Here was one guard, and here was the other at this end. I was here opposite the gate. You know those problems in geometry of the hare and the hounds, they never run straight, but always in a curve, so, see? And the guard was no smarter than the dogs. If he had run straight he would have caught me. It was Peter Kropotkin telling of his escape from the Petro-Paulovsky fortress. Three crumbs on the table marked the relative position of the outwitted guards and the fugitive prisoner; the speaker had broken them from the bread on which he was lunching and dropped them on the table with an amused grin. The suggested triangle had been the starting point of the life long exile of the greatest man, save Tolstoy alone, that Russia has produced: from ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


Published: The Masses, January, 1917. Transcribed: Sally Ryan for marxists.org in October, 2002. Many of our friends fail to appreciate the magnitude of the Minnesota strike, involving 15,000 miners and the United States Steel Corporation, and are beguiling themselves into the belief that the murder cases pending are not serious. Mrs. Masonovitch, the woman prisoner, wife of one of the strikers, is a particularly pathetic and appealing figure, a young and beautiful Montenegrin woman, mother of five children, one a nursing baby. She speaks little English, does not understand the proceedings, looks frightened and bewildered and clings frantically to her children. If the parents should he convicted these little ones would be practically orphan... (From : Marxists.org.)


Naked Warriors Herbert Read, London: Art & Letters, 1919. PREFACE I would like to speak for a generation to following effect: We, who in manhood's dawn have been compelled to care not a damn for life or death, now care less still for the convention of glory and the intellectual apologies for what can never be to us other than a riot of ghastliness and horror, of inhumanity and negation. May we, therefore, for the sake of life itself, be resolved to live with a cleaner and more direct realization of natural values. May we be unafraid of our frank emotions, and may we maintain a callous indifference to falsely-artistic prettifying of life. Then, as the reflex of such beauty where hitherto it has had no absolute existence. From sickness of... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


PETER KROPOTKIN's first political book, 'Paroles d'un Révolté' -- a collection of articles from 'LeRévolté', the paper he had founded In Geneva in 1879 -- was published in France in 1885, while he was serving a five-year prison sentence. It has been translated into nearly all the main languages of the world but, though most of its nineteen chapters have appeared in English at various times and in various places as articles or pamphlets or both, there has never been a complete translation. The first English language edition of the whole book will be published by the Libertarian Book Club of New York next year, In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of Kropotkin's death, under the title 'Words of a Rebel' (co... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

I Weeks and months pass without clarifying plans of escape. Every step, every movement, is so closely guarded, I seem to be hoping against hope. I am restive and nervous, in a constant state of excitement. Conditions in the shop tend to aggravate my frame of mind. The task of the machine men has been increased; in consequence, I am falling behind in my work. My repeated requests for assistance have been ignored by the overseer, who improves every opportunity to insult and humiliate me. His feet wide apart, arms akimbo, belly disgustingly protruding, he measures me with narrow, fat eyes. "Oh, what's the matter with you," he drawls, "get a move on, won't you, Berk?" Then, changing his tone, he vociferates, "Don't stand there like a fool, d'ye hear? Nex' time I report you, to th' hole you go. That's me talkin', understand?" Often I feel the spirit of Cain stirring within me. But for the hope of escape, I should not be able to bear this abuse a...


IN 1849 Feodor Dostoyevsky wrote on the wall of his prison cell the following story of The Priest and the Devil: "'Hello, you little fat father!' the devil said to the priest. 'What made you lie so to those poor, misled people? What tortures of hell did you depict? Don't you know they are already suffering the tortures of hell in their earthly lives? Don't you know that you and the authorities of the State are my representatives on earth? It is you that make them suffer the pains of hell with which you threaten them. Don't you know this? Well, then, come with me!' "The devil grabbed the priest by the collar, lifted him high in the air, and carried him to a factory, to an iron foundry. He saw the workmen there running and hurrying to and fro... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


There is no question with which Anarchists are more commonly met than, "What is to be done with criminals in a society where there is no government? You say that the present system of coercion is a cruel wrong to human nature; you say that the masses, when they rise to overthrow the economic tyranny of the property owners, will destroy all this elaborate machinery of law-court and prison, and indeed it is a fact that the opening of prison doors has been a prominent feature of popular revolts; but surely you cannot wish and intend to let the criminal class loose upon society?" And the most selfish and brutal of respectable objectors will go on discoursing about the "criminal class" in the tone of the Pharisee of all ages when be has occasion... (From : AnarchyArchives.)

The present conditions in Russia are so desperate that it is a public duty to lay before this country a statement of these conditions, with a solemn appeal to all lovers of liberty and progress for moral support in the struggle that is now going on for the conquest of political freedom. In the struggle for freedom each country must work out its own salvation; but we should not forget that there exists a web of international solidarity between all civilized countries. It is true that the loans contracted by the heads of despotic states in foreign countries contribute to support despotism. But Russian exiles also know from their own experience how the moral support which the fighters for liberty have never failed to find in the enlightened portions of the civilized nations has been helpful to them, and how much it has aided them to maintain faith in the ultimate victory of freedom and justice. It has been decided, therefore, to issue the present statement,in...


THOMAS DREW vs. JOHN M. CLARK. ARGUMENT FOR PETITIONER. Lysander Spooner The alleged contempt for which the petitioner was condemned consisted in his refusal to be sworn before a committee of the legislature; not in his refusal to answer questions after he had been sworn, but in his refusal to be sworn. His objection to being sworn did not arise from any conscientious scruples as to taking an oath; nor from any fear of criminating himself; nor from any objection whatever to testifying before a committee of the legislature; nor from any objection to testifying in regard to any subject-matter whatever which the legislature has authority to investigate by compulsory testimony. He concedes fully that, if anybody could be compelled to be sworn i... (From : Anarchy Archives.)


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 survive was hardly worth mentioning. The lot of political refugees, even prior to the war, was never free from stress and povert... (From : University of Berkeley.)


Published Essays and Pamphlets An Unexpected Dash Through Spain by Emma Goldman [Published in The Road to Freedom (New York)] [Part I, Vol. 5, no. 8, April, 1929] SITTING tucked away in quiet St. Tropez, at work on my autobiography, I was as far from the thought of a trip to Spain as if I had been living in Tokio, Shanghai or Kamchatka. I did plan a rest away from my book during the Christmas holidays. One needs a break, even in the most ideal love life, and the process of reliving and writing one's past is anything but ideal. Au contraire, as we say in France! It is very painful, with much of the bitter and nothing of the sweet that love represents. Writing strenuously for five months entitled me to a rest; even my enemies couldn't grudge ... (From : University of Berkeley.)


(The last word of Angiolillo.) GERMINAL!--The Field of Mars is plowing, And hard the steel that cuts, and hot the breath Of the great Oxen, straining flanks and bowing Beneath his goad, who guides the share of Death. GERMINAL!--The Dragon's teeth are sowing, And stern and white the sower flings the seed He shall not gather, though full swift the growing; Straight down Death's furrow treads, and does not heed. GERMINAL!--The Helmet Heads are springing Far up the Field of Mars in gleaming files; With wild war notes the bursting earth is ringing. &... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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