Brazilian Anarchist Chronology 1823-1937

1823 The Ypiranga Declaration declares Brazil independent of Portugal and the former Portuguese Regent becomes Pedro I of Brazil.

1840 The French engineer Louis Léger Vauthier arrives in Recife, Brazil to work. He spreads the ideas of Fourier, influencing intellectuals such as Antonio Pedro Figueiredo.

1841 An attempt is made to establish a phalanstery [community] in the Saí region (São Francisco in Santa Catarina state) by a French group led by the Fourierist doctor Benoît Jules Mure.

1845 In Rio de Janeiro, Benoît Jules Mure, after the frustration of the phalanstery in Saí, launches one of the first socialist newspapers, O Socialista da Provincia do Rio de Janeiro.

1848 Intellectuals influenced by utopian socialism take part in the Praiera Revolution in Recife.

1865 In a report to the London IWMA Conference, Charles Limousin and Ribourg write that 'steps are being taken to establish correspondence with Rio de Janeiro and with the French colonies in Guadaloupe and Martinique.'

1874 A Portuguese edition of Proudhon's On the Federative Principle appears in Portugal.

1886 Kropotkin's Anarchy in Socialist Evolution is published in Portugal, the first of his books to appear in Portuguese.

1888 Arrival in São Paulo of Artur Campagnoli who establishes a commune in Guararema. Slavery abolished in Brazil.

1889 In Santos, Silverio Fontes sets up the Socialist Centre, one of the first groups dedicated to the spread of socialist ideas in Brazil. Fontes's son, Martins Fontes will be an anarchist militant. Pedro II deposed and republic introduced.

1890 The first group of anarchists sails for Brazil to found the Cecilia Colony in Paraná.

1892 Italian immigrants publish Gli Schiavi Bianchi, one of the first Brazilian anarchist newspapers. Brazil's first workers' congress held in Rio de Janeiro. The majority of delegates are anarchists.

1893 In Italy, Giovanni Rossi, a vet and anarchist behind the Cecilia Colony publishes Cecilia, An Experimental Anarchist Community. Publication begins in São Paulo of the anarchist paper Il Risveglio, which survives until 1899.

1896 In Portugal, Silva Mendes publishes his book, Libertarian Socialism or Anarchism.

1897 Foundation of the International Workers' League (LOI), co-founded by the 'Homens Livres' anarchist group in Rio Grande do Sul.

1898 The first congress of workers' organisations at state level takes place in Rio Grande do Sul. Publication of Rio de Janeiro's first ever anarcho-communist paper O Despertar (October to December) published by the 'Grupo Angiolillo' and under the supervision of hat-maker José Sarmento Marques. After that ceases publication, O Protesto is published under the supervision of the Portuguese worker J. Mota Assunção.

1899 In Pernambuco, O Almanaque publishes 'The Anarchists' Ten Commandments'.

1900 Publication in Rio de Janeiro of the book The United States of Brazil (the chapter of Elisée Reclus's Universal Geography dealing with Brazil). Formation in Santos of the 'First of May Society'.

1901 The lawyer and anarchist militant Neno Vasco (real name Dr Gregorio Nanianzeno Queiroz de Vasconcelos) arrives in São Paulo from Portugal.

1903 The writer and anarchist militant Fabio Luz publishes O Ideólogo, the first Brazilian novel with a libertarian inspiration. Neno Vasco begins publication of O Amigo do Povo. The 'Revolutionary Syndicalist Movement' promotes the setting up of hundreds of workers' clubs.

1904 In March, the libertarian review Kultur is launched. The team behind it helps to launch the People's University from the local of the Rio de Janeiro Painters' Union.

1905 The so-called Adolfo Gordo Law empowers the government to deport 'foreign agitators.' Foundation in Rio de Janeiro of the 'Novo Rumo' libertarian group.

1906 In São Paulo, the first Brazilian Workers' Congress endorses an anarcho-syndicalist line and launches the Brazilian Workers' Confederation (COB). Publication in Campinas of A Voz Operária, the organ of the Printworkers' Union: under the supervision of the anarchist Virgilio Pessagne, it will last until 13 January 1920.

1907 General strike in São Paulo. In Campinas, the 'Workers' League' sets up a Free School under Renato Salles. Foundation in São Paulo of the 'Germinal' libertarian group.

1908 The COB mouthpiece A Voz do Trabalho, Brazil's leading anarcho-syndicalist paper, begins publication in Rio de Janeiro.

1910 Republican revolution in Portugal, involving workers and anarchist militants. Brazilian anarchists set up a Revolutionary Support Committee in solidarity with the victimised Argentinian anarchists. They also throw their weight behind a revolt in the Brazilian navy against brutal discipline.

1911 The anarchist activist and journalist Neno Vasco leaves for Portugal to carry on with his activities there. His departure deals a death blow to his paper A Terra Livre, of which 62 issues have been published since 1905.

1913 Second Brazilian Workers' Congress, held in Rio de Janeiro, confirms the revolutionary syndicalist policy. In Lisbon, the Brazilian-Portuguese Pinto Quartim launches the newspaper Terra Livre. In Santos, a dock strike is put down with violence.

1914 In Rio de Janeiro A Vida, the leading Brazilian 20th century anarchist review, begins publication with a campaign against the war. In Porto Alegre, anarchists launch the 'Anti-War League'. A get-together of anarchist groups is held in São Paulo.

1915 Representatives from several Brazilian states attend the International Peace Congress in Rio de Janeiro. A South American Anarchist Congress attracting delegates from Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay meets in Rio de Janeiro. The Modern University is launched in São Paulo at the instigation of Spanish-born anarchist Florentino de Carvalho.

1917 A Plebe, the main Brazilian anarchist newspaper, begins publication. In October Brazil declares war on Germany and begins to round up, jail or deport agitators. A general strike in São Paulo and Santos is broken by the army. Edgard Leuenroth is charged with promoting it.

1918 Revolutionary general strike in Rio de Janeiro. It comes to be known as the Anarchist Uprising of Rio de Janeiro. Anarchists throughout Brazil set up People's Committees to protest against the cost of living.

1919 In Portugal, the anarchist Manuel Ribeiro launches the Portuguese Maximalist Federation, the first organisation in Portugal to champion Leninism and midwife to the Communist Party of Portugal. In Rio de Janeiro a so-called Communist Party is established by anarchists; it is a blend of anarchism and maximalism and does not have Comintern approval. Edgard Leuenroth and Hélio Negro (Antônio Candeias Duarte) publish What is Maximalism or Bolshevism?

1920 Untimely death in Portugal of Neno Vasco. The Third Brazilian Workers' Congress is held in Rio de Janeiro, with representatives from 11 states of Brazil. Publication of the daily A Voz do Povo, organ of the Rio de Janeiro Workers' Federation. José Oiticica sets out his objections to the Bolshevik revolution in a series in the paper entitled 'The Wrong Road'.

1921 Edgard Leuenroth is approached by Comintern representative 'Renison Soubiroff' (in reality the Swiss former pastor Jules Humbert-Droz) to form the Communist Party of Brazil (PCB). Leuenroth declines but refers 'Soubiroff' to Astrojildo Pereira, another anarchist. While Leuenroth is hospitalised, João da Costa Pimento, a leninist supporter, seizes the assets of A Vanguarda (Leuenroth's paper), presses and all. In Rio Grande do Sul A Revista Liberal begins publication under Polidoro Santos as a 'champion of anarchism and the Modern School.'

1922 Death of the leading writer Lima Barreto, a regular contributor to the labour press and an anarchist sympathiser. In March, Astrojildo Pereira launches the Communist Party of Brazil (PCB) with eleven ex-anarchists and one socialist. The PCB launches its own paper, Movimento Comunista. The São Paulo anarchist paper A Plebe publishes a manifesto attacking 'State communism'.

1923 Publication of Neno Vasco's The Anarchist Conception of Syndicalism, one of the most important Portuguese-language anarchist books.

1924 Demonstrations in Brazil on behalf of Sacco and Vanzetti. Anarchist support for a military revolt in São Paulo draws down repression upon their heads when it fails. The government deports some 'foreign agitator' anarchists and sends others to their death in the Oiapoque concentration camp. The Colombian anarchist Biófilo Panclasta (real name Vicente R. Lizcano) is arrested while promoting a coffee workers' strike in São Paulo and sent to the Oiapoque concentration camp but escapes to Cayenne and Martinique.

1927 The 4th Rio Grande do Sul congress is anarcho-syndicalism's final labour congress. Anarcho-syndicalists are increasingly squeezed between the Communist Party line (centralised organisation, alliances across the class barrier and participation in politics) and growing state meddling in union affairs.

1929 A Brazilian General Labour Confederation (CGT) is established with PCB support. Brazil's anarcho-syndicalists rally round the CNT which is affiliated to the revolutionary syndicalist ACAT (American Continental Workers' Association).

1930 A coup by the Liberal Alliance in Brazil paves the way for Getúlio Vargas's dictatorship. Anarcho-syndicalists from the São Paulo Workers' Federation promote a long textile strike and many are jailed as a result.

1931 Vargas introduces labour regulations based on Mussolini's Labour Charter. Industrial unions are banned, 2/3 of the union membership must be native-born or naturalised Brazilians and union officers have to have been resident in Brazil for 10 years (if naturalised) or 30 years (if foreign-born). This decree removes most of the class-conscious workers from positions of influence. Corporatist legislation and deportations do the rest.

1935 Libertarians lose their last remaining stronghold, the premises of the Anti-Clerical League in Rio de Janeiro. Communists (including Francisco Mangabeira) sent to disrupt a talk given there by José Oiticica call the police when they fail in the attempt. Eight anarchists are arrested and the centre is closed down along with its newspaper A Lanterna.

1937 Establishment of a dictatorship under the Estado Novo of Getúlio Vargas who introduces a fascist-style constitution and unleashes a crackdown on labour autonomy and the anarchists.

From Against All Tyranny : Essays on Anarchism in Brazil by Edgar Rodrigues, Renato Ramos and Alexandre Samis. Translated and edited by Paul Sharkey.

Translated by: Paul Sharkey.