Anarchists in the Gulag (and prison and exile)

Bolshevik repression of anarchists after 1917

The Anarchists in Russia [Anarchist prisoners in Russia, circa-1972]

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Recently the Union of Former Zionist Prisoners (a Russian Jewish organisation in Israel) met in Habimah (Tel Aviv) for its annual convention. It was adressed by Absorbption Minister Natan Peled, who called for economic attacks upon the USSR (something which does not move their policies: he obviously does not understand the State Socialism of Russia has, after all, dispensed internally with many capitalist myths, even though replacing them with new ones). Secretary of the Union, Mr Yehiel Perelovitch, called for a ‘permanent petition’ of free peoples – a typical liberal gesture.
From the floor, however, Mrs Tevye Weinberger made an attack on such policies and called for direct action inside Russia, which was denounced from the platform as provocative. Mrs Weinberger said that “the anarchist prisoners in Russia stick together and fight for what they think. They will never get what they want but we are only asking to get out … we can succeed.”
Asked later by a reporter whether in fact there were any dissidents in Russia, Mrs Weinberger said, “Trotskyists, socialists, anarchists, you find them all in the prison camps. I mentioned the anarchists because I was witha  group of anarchist women. There are students, there are grandmothers … they have been there since before Stalin.”
It is not clear if Mrs Weinberger meant to say that there are some individual prisoners still in prison from before Stalin, which is possible though it hardly seem credible (nearly fifty years) or if she just meant, what is a fact, that anarchists were in Russian jails under the Tsar and under Lenin. It is interesting to note, however, that the Russian Anarchists, long cut off from contact with the outside world, still survive and fight (“there are students…”) and that Mrs Weinberger approved of their direct actionist methods, though exactly what they were did not come over in the report in the Israel papers, understandable in the present climate of opinion there.

“Black Flag” vol. 2, no.14, October 1972, p.16
Presumably written by Albert Meltzer

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Written by gulaganarchists

20, January 2009 at 9:56 am

Posted in Texts

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