Tag Archives: History

A collection of Spanish anarchist fiction from revolutionary Spain

La Novela Libre #44 - Mujeres libres

When I was in Amsterdam I spent several days at the International Institute of Social History, which actually has a fascinating history of its own (such as smuggling documents out of Spain as fascist forces sweep through). Anyhow, the place is the world’s largest repository of anarchist history. Of particular note to me, it houses almost-complete collections of La Novela Ideal and La Novela Libre, two long-running, regular, widely distributed fiction magazines published by anarchists in Spain up into the Spanish civil war.

So I went and I photographed a lot of stuff, which I’ve put up on my Flickr. The catch is that I can’t really read enough Spanish to understand these things. So please, anyone with interest in this stuff, let me know. If the stories are good, I’d be happy to make them available in zine format. And if anyone is feeling really inspired, I’d be happy to print English translations as well.

Specifically, I’ve posted (books are in Spanish unless noted):


I didn’t realize that it’s obligatory to do a year-in-review post when you have a blog. My apologies. As you might have noticed, I don’t really talk about my personal life online, so that will more or less be left out of it.

  • I did a mini-tour as a drummer for Ego Likeness.
  • I published SteamPunk Magazine #4, which will be my last SteamPunk as primary editor.
  • I tabled anarchist bookfaires and the portland zine symposium, always fun.
  • I apprenticed as an offset printer with anarchist publishers Eberhardt Press.
  • I had my first art show as a photographer.
  • I traveled the southwest, saw the grand canyon and death valley. I visited Seattle for the first time, and then went back repeatedly, making awesome friends in the process. I ended a long relationship and moved from Portland to Baltimore.
  • I played my first (and second, third, fourth, and I think fifth) show as a solo accordion player.
  • I released two albums: We Are Not In The Least Afraid of Ruins, with my industrial band Attack Attack Attack, and Demo 08, a solo accordion thing.
  • I finished a comic book that will be coming out soon.
  • I wrote and published a number of small zines.
  • I found out that a project of mine on anarchist fiction writers will be published by AK Press: my first book deal.

Next year? I don’t really make resolutions, but I will say I will be disappointed if I haven’t finished a longer form fiction work by the end of it. But yeah, more shows, more zines, more photography, more books, more traveling.

1925 Steamroller

There are some fun pictures of a 1925 steamroller over on Shorpy [1, 2, and 3]. Today’s fun steamroller fact: steamrollers were still in use until the 1960s, making them one of the longest lasting steam machines I can think of. (Turns out the modern ones are called “road rollers” which is a much worse name. Though I could imagine being a “road punk” would be kind of cool. And it would fit on your knuckles. But I digress.)

Folk Hero, Cop-Killer Anarchist Gets Plaques In London

Update: This is not a picture of Peter afterall! See the new post!

Peter the Painter, a notorious latvian revolutionary who holed up in London for a bit, has been honored with two commerative plaques on housing projects that have been named after him, much to the ire of the police.

Peter the Painter was the possibly fictional person responsible for the shooting death of three police officers… he and his gang (I find it humorous that all accounts talk about the “leader” of this or that anarchist gang) had been robbing a jewelry store to fund their revolutionary activity when they were stopped by police. They won that shoot-out.

Then there was the Siege of Sidney Street. The police tracked down Peter and his gang to a house on Sidney street and well, you guessed it, laid siege. In a perfectly Waco-like moment, “a fire broke out” and the firefighters were prevented from putting out the fire. Winston Churchill himself was present and nearly got pwned when a bullet flew through his top hat. Apparently, this moment was caught on film. I’d love to see it. So anyhow, there was a fire, but the anarchists inside didn’t just surrender out the front door. When police finally entered, they found Fritz Svaars and William Sokolow, anarchists, dead on the floor. No Peter the Painter.

Unfortunately, there’s a chance that Peter was another name for Yakov Peters, who was actually tried and acquitted (7 people, 5 men and 2 women, were tried and acquitted in the aftermath of the siege. None of them cops.), went on to go the Bolshevik route, ruining any good reputation he may have had, and helping form the Cheka, the first soviet secret police. He got his comeuppance in the great purge of 1938.

Now of course, the police in london are calling these plaques an outrage since they defend a “murderer”. Obviously, who gets to call whom a murderer is a matter of who wins the fight in the end… are revolutionaries murderers? Perhaps some of them. Perhaps even all of them. But if so, so are police, presidents, soldiers, executioners (hell, judge and jury at that)… the list goes on. Here were people committed to a purpose, one they considered noble, of human emancipation, when agents of the state came to try and take away their freedom. They defended themselves. I’m glad they’ve got a plaque or two.

Strange Maps & the NWO

My friend Willow just told me about one of the best time-sinks in the known internet, Strange Maps. The picture above is from a a post about how the New World Order was going to divide the world after beating back the axis powers. [Remember kids, WWII was about beating nazis, and the civil war was about emancipation. WWI? Did that even happen?]

The site is filled with an ungodly number of interesting maps. The map may not be the territory, but these ones sure explain things you don’t usually see explained.