Anarchists vis a vis the current dictatorship

The US government’s dictatorship is operating at full throttle. That much is plain to see! Anybody daring to oppose the criminal designs of the rulers and capitalists by refusing to comply with the conscription laws is to be jailed and given a harsh sentence.

Anybody daring to express his anarchist beliefs and trying to persuade others to destroy bourgeois society, releasing men from all this exploitation and tyranny, is to be jailed and, if he is an alien, is to be expelled to another country under the new legislation passed in February of this year.

The dictatorship has already begun to enforce its despotic laws, filling its jails with anti-militarists and anarchists, those who do not fear to express their beliefs like virile, strong men.

In the city of Los Angeles, Calfornia, we already have two of our comrades in jail - O. Luna and Rafael Palma - charged with “being anarchists” and thus liable to deportation because they were born in Mexico.

This dictatorial move has prompted us Los Angeles anarchists to meet a number of times in a number of places and to affirm that we will not be silenced and that, in spite of the new law, we stand ready to express our beliefs everywhere and at every opportunity, regardless of the harassment and deportation orders that the government may pass against us.

No less than five rallies have already taken place in this city in order to reaffirm our anarchist ideals and those rallies have served to bind our individual strengths together, banishing all personal rivalries as if by magic, as well as the differing views we each, may hold with regard to the struggle and propaganda.

The dictators have no doubt failed to take this on board as they enforce the new law against anarchists, which provides even better proof that, the greater their despotism, the more intense the propagation of the ideas they are trying to destroy.

And this country, where struggle and propaganda used to be conducted within the legal framework of bourgeois laws, will shortly be turned into an arena for anonymous rebellions .Operating silently and unapplauded in the shadows, carrying out systematic work of individual defence, with a revival of thosegallant deeds by old time anarchists that took the world by surprise and they will lift the lid on robust conviction and steely virility

We anarchists, refusing to bow the knee to the new dictatorship, are moving in that direction and we consider that we have been provoked by the despotic measures lately adopted which amount to an out-and-out affront to our ideals and to our selves, which are worth a lot more than all criminal, exploitative ideals and the whole crew of rulers and capitalists, by virtue both of the inherent moral values encapsulated in our anarchist ideals as well as the dignity displayed by their champions.

Go on, heap even more fuel on this new machinery of dictatorship: stoke the fires so that the pressure grows even stronger and more violent, It will not be we anarchists who open the safety-valve and wait calmly and quietly for the booming explosion which is going to be the logical outcome of bourgeois Lunacy andthe stupidities of those in Government

And that explosion isgoing to be inevitable. It will be the rapid mobilisation of the free men whose steely fingers will tie knots in this hateful dictatorship, so as to proclaim the freedom of the peoples, banishing the ghastly chaos that bourgeois society has brought about over the centuries, as currently personified in the so-called European war!

J. VIDAL

Los Angeles, Cal., 4 May 1917

From: Germinal (Tampico), 28 June 1917. Translated by: Paul Sharkey.