Library update (May 2022)

We hope you enjoy this issue, and that you think it’s better late than never. We hope you enjoyed the online NOT the Bulletins we did. Not sure when ‘normal service’ will resume. We’re doing the best that we can! 

Here are some recent articles from the KSL website that we didn’t have room for here. As you might expect, other people have been busy digging away at anarchist history too.

Anarchists in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union

The Kiev Lukyanovskaya Convict Prison by Olga Taratuta. An account from 1916 of the execution of three of her comrades for the 1905 bomb attack on the Café Libman in Odessa. Taratuta herself was sentenced by a military court to 17 years of hard labour (katorga). 

Prison Notes by Mark Mratchny. A founder of Confederation of Anarchist Organizations of Ukraine (Nabat), Mratchny was arrested by the Cheka at the Nabat congress in 1920. The article contains information on the many other anarchists arrested with him, in particular David Kogan. Mratchny recounts how he and a few others were released to attend Kropotkin’s funeral. With appendices: Letter by Mark Mrachny to a Swedish Anarcho-syndicalist and The Fates of Ivan Akhtyrsky and David Kogan. 

Futerfas Back in KSL Bulletin no. 86-87 (May 2016) we printed a photo of Anarchist Esperantist Natan Futerfas, and mentioned his appearance in Eugène Lanti’s Is socialism built in the Soviet Union? Now it has been translated from Esperanto: 


Glasgow Anarchist Anti-election manifesto ‘The time has come to realise that politicians—the sly, cringing, dough-faced lice of politics can do nothing for you, but can do plenty to you :— Rations, Bevin Boys, War, Conscription, Bureaus, Parishes, Means Tests, E.W.O.’s, Labour Camps.’

There’s anger & rage inside the prisons [Ian Purdie and Jake Prescott Defence Group leaflet, 1971] ‘We must not let them pick us off individually. Our friends who are brutalised, hassled or locked up must never be forgotten or left to rot.’ 

The Free-Winged Eagle Josie Giles writes about the anarchist newspaper from Orkney, and why it was ‘not absurd but inevitable’ 

E. Michaels Starting from a 1966 obituary in the Syndicalist Workers’ Federation Direct Action, ‘The Radical History of Hackney’ examine his political activity (and also where he lived in Hackney).

The Resistance to Franco

A Roll-call of Female Participants in the Guerrilla War against Franco: An Updated list of Women who took Part in the Post-civil War Direct Fight against Francoism by Imanol. A tireless chronicler of the resistance to the Francoist state after 1939 provides an updated list of women who joined the guerilla struggle. It can, at times, make for grim reading but we now know their names and we can search out their stories. 

The weight of the stars We are excited to see the publication of this biography of Octavio Alberola. Octavio played a major role in the anarchist resistance to the Francoist state. A close comrade and friend of Stuart Christie it is wonderful to see Octavio’s story finally told. 

Stuart and Albert

Without freedom there would be no equality and without equality no freedom, and without struggle there would be neither’– Stuart Christie. We hope copies of A Life for Anarchy: A Stuart Christie Reader will with AK in Edinburgh soon: 

The Stuart Christie Memorial Archive will open at the May Day Rooms in Fleet Street, London in June. 

We have recently put this article by Albert up, which gives an indication of his attitude at the start of the Second World War:

How will the war end? [1939] by Albert Meltzer. ‘What the war aims of the Allies are no one yet knows: To destroy “Hitlerism?” Yes. Positively – what? There will be talk of “peace, democracy, international federal union,” and what not, but these mean nothing. What do they actually aim at?’ 

Flags and Banners

In 2021 we were contacted by someone who had been trying to sell a banner of the Liverpool Anarchist Group. Nothing came of it, largely because looking after fabric is a different (and harder) thing than preserving books and papers. But we did get in touch with ex-LAG members, and this comment stayed with me:

The flag was never created as a commodity to be sold. At the end of the day it’s a piece of cloth with meaning only because of its association with an activist group. It’s not a religious icon to be venerated.’

The last we heard, the banner was being offered to the People’s History Museum in Manchester. Coincidentally, we saw that Chummy Fleming’s Anarchy flag is preserved in the State Library of Victoria. See it (and a letter of his we’ve just bought) via

Wishing you bread, freedom, health and peace. And something interesting to read!

KSL Collective, May 2022