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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Victor Serge and Jules Bonnot

In 1910 Victor Serge moved to Paris and wrote for the leading anarchist journal, l'Anarchie. Serge became involved with a group of militant anarchists who became known as the illegalists. Their views were expressed in an article that appeared in l'Anarchie: "The anarchist is in a state of legitimate defence against society. Hardly is he born than the latter crushes him under a weight of laws, which are not of his doing, having been made before him, without him, against him. Capital imposes on him two attitudes: to be a slave or to be a rebel; and when, after reflection, he chooses rebellion, preferring to die proudly, facing the enemy, instead of dying slowly of tuberculosis, deprivation and poverty, do you dare to repudiate him? If the workers have, logically, the right to take back, even by force, the wealth that is stolen from them, and to defend, even by crime, the life that some want to tear away from them, then the isolated individual must have the same rights." http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/RUSserge.htm This group of illegalists established what became known as the Jules Bonnot gang. On 21st December, 1911 the gang robbed a messenger of the Société Générale Bank of 5,126 francs in broad daylight and then fled in a stolen Delaunay-Belleville car. It is claimed that they were the first to use a car to flee the scene of a crime. As Peter Sedgwick pointed out: "This was an astounding innovation when policemen were on foot or bicycle. Able to hide, thanks to the sympathies and traditional hospitality of other anarchists, they held off regiments of police, terrorized Paris, and grabbed headlines for half a year." http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ANA-Jules_Bonnot.htm

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