Odessa Anarchists Appeal to the city’s Underworld (1919)
Thieves and robbers!
The soviet of the Odessa Anarchist Federation has a request and a warning for you. We look upon you as the product of the accursed conditions of the regimen of exploitation and violence created by the bourgeoisie and which are still with us thanks to gangsters in the hire of the White Guard officers and their foreign bayonets.
If the bourgeoisie should suffer from your activities, too bad for it. It is reaping what it sowed and it is no part of our task to look to its protection.
In the new communist society and in the fight to create it, in which we call upon the Russian proletariat and the proletariat worldwide to play their part, everything will belong to us all, there will be no private property, no rich and no poor and so there will be no call for thievery and robbery.
In our struggle against capitalism and the powers-that-be, a struggle under way for some years now, the finest and bravest sons of our class, the disinherited and exploited have placed their heads in the hangman’s noose and stepped up on to the scaffold and now line up against the wall. In the name of the blessed liberation of the workers, and for the sake of our comrades who have fallen and are falling to the executioner in the full flower of their strength and health, the soviet of the Anarchist Federation calls upon all to desist immediately from the disgraceful misdeeds carried out among you lately and for an end to abuse of the memory of revolutionary heroes and for an end to demanding money in the name of anarchists.
At the same time, the Anarchist Federation’s soviet has a word of warning for those who hold nothing sacred any more, those who ignore the appeals of workers and revolutionaries and whosoever may persist in extorting funds in the name of anarchism whereas we regard them as parasites and bourgeois with but one preoccupation, how to line their pockets even more. We give them final warning that if it can be shown that they have misused our name, they will be shot down on the spot, by us.
Odessa Anarchist Federation
From: Published in Shtyrbul, AA “Anarkhistskoe dvizhenie v period krizisa Rossiiskoi tsivilizatsii (konets XIX – 1-ia chetvert XX vv.)” [“The Anarchist Movement on Russian Civilisation’s Time of Crisis (from the late 19th century to the first quarter of the 20th)”, Omsk, State Pedagogical University, 1998, p. 49.]. Translated by: Paul Sharkey.