The Slow Burning Fuse

an atheisitic anarchistic scorcher

today in anarchist history



7 May:  Albert Meltzer anarchist activist and writer died on this day in 1996.




Albert Meltzer, described by Emma Goldman as a “hooligan and rascal who knows nothing of anarchism and syndicalism” was actively involved in the class struggle for the vast majority of his life. He is the author of numerous works on anarchism and its practice.

During the Spanish civil war he organised solidarity appeals, ran arms from Hamburg to the CNT, and acted as the contact point in London for the Spanish anarchists.

Albert Meltzer was a contributor in the 1950s to the long-running anarchist paper Freedom before leaving in 1965 to start his own venture Wooden Shoe Press.  Shortly after he fell into  a feud with the freedom group denouncing them as liberals.

He was a co-founder of the Black Flag paper and the Anarchist Black Cross which helped anarchists in prison and contrasts itself with Amnesty who only help prisoners of conscience refusing to defend those accused of encouraging violence  He also helped to found the Kate Sharpley Library, the library dedicated to anarchist texts and history.


 In the 1980s he joined the Direct Action Movement and its successor the Solidarity Federation.

John Patten writing in Freedom on 10 aAugust 2002 paid tribute to him by writing,

 Anarchists of today, if they ever wonder what one person can do, could learn a lot from the life of Albert Meltzer. Albert has left many legacies to the Anarchist movement, from a frank and justified scepticism of the value of academic ‘experts’ on or media exposes about Anarchism, to a supply of scathing anecdotes about most political ideologies.

 His funeral cortege in London was preceded by a brass band and followed by 300 flag carrying anarchists decked out in black and red.

His biography I Couldn’t Paint Golden Angels: Sixty Years of Commonplace Life and Anarchist Agitation was published in 1996.




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This entry was posted on May 6, 2013 by in anarchy, history and tagged , .
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