A Pile of Ruins? Pierre van Paassen and the Mythical Durruti

The most famous utterance of Spain’s most famous anarchist is a fabrication!

With the aid of some historical sleuthing, Danny Evans makes a convincing case that the oft-repeated Buenaventura Durruti quotation from 1936, containing the phrase ‘We are not in the least afraid of ruins’, was in fact made up by an ethically dubious journalist. However, the invented interview succeeded in encapsulating Durruti’s real practice, and van Paassen (however unintentionally) contributed to the creation of a romantic and celebrated figure.

A Pile of Ruins? Pierre van Paassen and the Mythical Durruti

AnarchistStudies.Blog at AntiUniversity Now – Friday 16th September, London


The editors of AnarchistStudies.Blog are running a workshop that will provide practical advice on getting your ideas published with us, with the aim of demystifying the process and opening access to a wider pool of potential writers.

The workshop is part of AntiUniversity Now 2022 and will be held at:

MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1DH, London, UK.


Friday 16th September 2022, 2pm to 4pm.

It’s free, but capacity is limited, please register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/antiuniversity-festival-2022-anarchist-studies-blog-writing-workshop-tickets-398556251477

Why are we doing this?

Many sites that publish research put up a number of barriers to entry, such as application fees or strict academic requirements. This all works to prevent a true reflection of the diversity of ideas and approaches that exist within and outside of universities.

We want to help break down those barriers and meet with anyone who has ideas and a desire to get them heard.

While we’re keen to welcome new writers and thoughts to AnarchistStudies.Blog in particular, the knowledge shared will be transferable to approaching other outlets, and self-published blogs too.

What will you need?

If you have an idea you’d like to discuss and develop, please feel free to bring it along. This isn’t a requirement though, there will be time to chat about potential topics as a group. No one will be put on the spot to share unless they’re comfortable to.

You can also send us questions in advance if there’s something you’d like to hear covered.

What is AnarchistStudies.Blog?

An online, rapid publication format featuring anarchist comment and critique, partnered with Anarchist Studies journal. It brings you bursts of informed opinion and critical debate on anarchist activism, anarchist academia, and the wider world as viewed through an anarchist lens.

Editors Jim Donaghey and Cassidy Ferrari will be facilitating the workshop.

Workshop accessibility

Standard measures will include:

  • Accessible formatting of written material
  • Avoiding or defining academic jargon
  • Pauses for questions
  • No forced engagement

If you have any access needs we can adapt to, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll accommodate as best we can.

MayDay Rooms accessibility

88 Fleet Street was built in 1902 and, due to the physical constraints of the building, has limited access. It is compliant with ‘ambulant disabled’ and provision for broader access is currently under review.

Herd Mentality, Deathbed Radicalism and Other Things On My Not-To-Do List

This article takes a personal and reflective view of forms of activism that have come to prominence in recent years in the UK, such as Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil. Nora Ziegler critiques the ways in which unequal distributions of power create barriers to participation, and the limitations of deploying concepts rooted in misanthropy or individualism as a means of overcoming apathy and climate denial. The article is informed by several years as a live-in volunteer at the London Catholic Worker, which operated as a house of hospitality for refugees and migrants, while also hosting activists and engaging in activism.

Herd Mentality, Deathbed Radicalism and Other Things On My Not-To-Do List

ASN7 ‘Anarchist Futures’ Conference 24-26 August 2022 – registration now open!

Registration for the 7th international Anarchist Studies Network conference is now OPEN! Full programme and abstracts available at the ASN webpage.


Like last time, the conference costs a minimum amount for security reasons. If you would rather not pay, please let us know and we can send you a free ticket code. This time we have also introduced a supporter ticket. Please feel free to choose this option if you can afford it and wish to do so. The funds we gather will be used to fund low-waged participants during the conference or during other ASN projects.

Please send any questions, funding requests, accessibility needs and feedback to asn.conference@protonmail.com

In the meantime, check out the Anarchist Studies blog, the Anarchist Studies journal and the Anarchist Research Group (ARG) on Twitter and YouTube. Please also read our Code of Conduct.

Look forward to seeing you there!

“Death to All Who Stand in the Way of Freedom for the Working People”: Anarchy’s False Flag

The near-inevitability of error is a perpetual thorn in the side of historians. Of particular interest to anarchists, the Makhnovist movement provides numerous examples of historiographical myth production – a key example is the famous black flag displaying the skull-and-crossbones and the slogan in white Ukrainian lettering, ‘Death to all who stand in the way of freedom for the working people’ [‘Smertʹ vsim, khto na pereshkodi dobut’ia vilʹnosti trudovomu liudu’].

The flag has cycled through a multitude of meanings, from Bolshevik attempts to associate it with anti-Semitic pogroms, to an international source of inspiration for anarchist resistance, to a symbol of regional pride in Makhno’s hometown, and a declaration of defiance against Russian invasion. But, as Sean Patterson explains in this article, despite its near-universal reputation as the primary symbol of Ukrainian anarchism, the flag is not Makhnovist. Even so, the flag and its slogan will surely survive and continue its march through time.

“Death to All Who Stand in the Way of Freedom for the Working People”: Anarchy’s False Flag

Doing-It-Together: Mutual aid and grassroots activism in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines

‘We will do it ourselves, because the government won’t do it for us.

But we must do it together, because we are stronger as a collective than we are as individuals.’

Elise Imray Papineau compares the mutual aid responses to the Covid 19 pandemic in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines, arguing that the proliferation and consistency of mutual aid initiatives is affected not only by need, but also by the reach of the state and the pervasiveness of political apathy.

Doing-It-Together: Mutual aid and grassroots activism in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines


Anarchist Studies Conference 2022 Call for papers

Anarchist Studies Network // 7th International Conference // Online

Bitte scrollen Sie nach unten für andere Sprachen/ Por favor, desplácese hacia abajo para otros idiomas/ Veuillez faire défiler vers le bas pour d’autres langues/ Si prega di scorrere verso il basso per altre lingue/Информация на других языках доступна ниже

Call for Papers: Anarchist Futures

Often called idealists, dreamers, unrealistic, anarchists have a complex relationship to the future. We imagine it, theorise it, work for it. We try to bring it to the present. We draw blueprints of what it might be like. We nurture connections that reflect our hopes. We imagine new worlds, living in the future whilst changing the present. However, utopian thought can be considered both an incentive and a discouragement to action. Its complexity and relationship to the future is particularly meaningful for anarchists. After all, how can political thought be fully understood without projecting ourselves and collectively into the future? Anarchist utopias from the early News Of Nowhere (William Morris, 1890) to The Dispossessed (Ursula K Le Guin, 1974) and other recent fiction has underlined the role of imagining the future in order to build a better world.

Anarchist Futures is a call to think about possibilities, gaps and interstices where anarchist futures exist. It is an encouragement to walk the bridge of time and make the future present. It is a hope that we can draw lines of solidarity and community which redefine the current state of affairs so that the future is anarchist.

The 7th International Conference of the Anarchist Studies Network will be held as an online event on 24th-26th August, subject to change to hybrid if we find a suitable location. ASN conferences aim to broach new frontiers in anarchist scholarship and encourage cross-pollination between disciplines. We also invite people who don’t usually reside in or feel comfortable in academia to do workshops, talk about their work, projects, plans and build connections.

The central theme for this conference is Anarchist Futures. A list of suggested topics includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • How do we imagine the future? What does an anarchist society look like?
  • How do we imagine a world without prisons, the state or police?
  • How did anarchists in the past imagine the future? Did we get there?
  • How does literature and art envision an anarchist future?
  • How do we act for the future now?
  • What is needed to change the future?
  • Who are the actors of change?
  • What is the role of imagination in changing the world?
  • What is the relationship between anarchist theory and the future?

As usual, ASN also welcomes submissions that do not reference the main topic but are related to anarchist theory and practice. We also welcome panels and streams on a particular topic. We particularly welcome submissions outside the traditional academic format, such as performances, exhibitions, workshops, among others. We are happy to accommodate papers in any language, but please send an abstract in English. Please indicate whether you want to present online or in person. Abstracts should be sent by 30 April 2022 to asn.conference@protonmail.com

We aim to facilitate and accommodate all accessibility needs, including but not limited to wheelchair access, hearing loops, quiet rooms, child-care and material support for low-waged participants.  Please do get in touch with any specific questions, needs or comments and we will do our best to meet them.

Call in other languages:

Español   Français    Italiano   Русски   Ελληνικά   Deutsch



‘A nation of shopkeepers’. The real lost history of British anarchism?

‘When most people today think of the Co-op, they probably think of the supermarket …’

Máirtín Ó Catháin argues that the co-operative movement, as a non-state and democratic economic strategy built from the bottom up by workers themselves, is long overdue for recognition as a native manifestation of British anarchism.

‘A nation of shopkeepers’. The real lost history of British anarchism?

Intellectual Property is Theft – Towards an Anarchist Culture of Knowledge Sharing & Translation

Intellectual property, enforced by the State and chiefly benefitting corporate enterprise, is a major obstacle to the universal exchange of knowledge. Against this unethical and exploitative hoarding of information, Luke Ray Di Marco Campbell argues that we must ‘Liberate to Educate!’, highlighting the practice of collective and co-constructed translation as a key circumvention of privileged copyright. In the spirit of Emma:

‘If you’re interested, ask to participate in the research process. If they won’t allow you, ask to access, comment on, critique, share, and further develop the work. If they won’t share it, take it from Sci-Hub or The Anarchist Library and do what you will.’

Intellectual Property is Theft – Towards an Anarchist Culture of Knowledge Sharing & Translation