“closely resembling stupidity”

1) Laura Norder reports: It is 25 years today since an anarchist died while trying to blow up the Wanganui police computer building.

Neil Roberts was protesting against what he considered was ‘creeping fascism’ and a ‘police state’ driven by then Prime Minister Robert “Piggy” Muldoon. A short film about the anarchist and punk rocker, called The Maintenance of Silence (1985) directed by William Kendall, is being screened in Auckland this evening to mark (but not celebrate) the anniversary of his death in 1982.

The screening is being held at the launch of a new book: Rabble Rousers and Merry Pranksters – A History of Anarchism in Aotearoa/New Zealand from the mid-1950s to the early 1980s, written by Toby Boraman.

This book covers New Zealand events such as the worker-student siege of parliament in June 1968; the “Jumping Sundays” or the liberation of Albert Park in Auckland in 1969; the Mount John “rock festival” of 1972, when anti-US military bases protesters sabotaged the only access road to the Mount John US military installation; the 1974 ferry case when a near general strike spontaneously occurred over the imprisonment of union official Bill Andersen by the Labour Government; and the anarchist involvement in the formation of Peace Movement Aotearoa and the successful Save Aramoana Campaign.

The book is the first major history of anarchism in New Zealand.

2) Several police injured during unofficial antifascist demo
November 18, 2007

Around a thousand people took part in an unauthorised anti-fascist demonstration in Barcelona last night that was organised to protest at the murder of a 16 year old youth in a clash between fascists and anti-fascists at Legazpi Metro station in Madrid last Saturday lunchtime.

    Los participantes en la manifestación, que no estaba autorizada, entonaron consignas como ‘Ninguna agresión sin respuesta’, ‘Sin justicia no habrá paz’, ‘Carlos hermano, nosotros no olvidamos’ y ‘No, no, nazis no’.

As the demonstration descended into a series of pitched battles, ten regional police officers – as well as an unconfirmed number of protesters – were injured. One officer required hospitalisation after being knocked unconscious when he was hit in the face with a missile, possibly a bottle.

In total, seven protesters were arrested, and there are reports of substantial material damage all along the march route, although the worst affected building was the regional Interior ministry on the Via Laietana near the Plaza Urquinaona.

There were similar demonstrations in a number of Spanish towns yesterday, including Madrid [above], Zaragoza, Valladolid and Jaén, all of which passed off without incident.


3) Police Attack Anti-Fascist Protesters in Madrid On 25th Anniversary of Franco’s Death
Democracy Now!
November 20, 2000

Spanish police charged against anti-fascist demonstrators in Madrid yesterday on the 25th anniversary of the death of Francisco Franco, Western Europe’s longest reigning dictator of the 20th Century.

The demonstrators were countering a fascist rally that praised Franco’s leadership of Spain when police began to club them with batons and shoot rubber bullets. Demonstrators say that the police also fired live ammunition as warning shots. Forty people were injured and seven were arrested…


4) 20,000 Join a Fascist March In Madrid Backing Argentina
April 20, 1982

About 20,000 Spaniards, their right arms raised in the fascist salute, marched through Madrid tonight, chanting their support for Argentina’s invasion of the Falkland Islands

Earlier still…

5) “Madrid did not ‘fall’ in the conventional military sense of occupation by elements of the opposing army. No Nationalist [Fascist] troops formally entered the capital before the surrender by the commander of Republican forces in central Spain, Lieutenant-Colonel Prada, to Colonel Losas, head of Nationalist forces in the University City, at one o’clock in the afternoon. Farce rather than heroism marked the formal entry of Nationalists into the capital. The first organized party to leave Nationalist lines for Madrid following the surrender, according to Wing Commander A.W.H. James, a British Conservative MP who visited Madrid on the 29th, contained ‘some 30 journalists, accompanied by one charming lady’. When this party became tired of ‘stumbling over the defences and across no-man’s land’, it took the Metro to get to the city centre.” ~ Julius Ruiz, Franco’s Justice: Repression in Madrid after The Spanish Civil War, Oxford University Press, 2005, p.29

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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3 Responses to “closely resembling stupidity”

  1. The Patriot Jr says:

    Portrait Of The 1985 Handsworth Riots – Pogus Caesar – BBC1 TV – Inside Out. Broadcast 25 Oct 2010.


    Birmingham film maker and photographer Pogus Caesar knows Handsworth well. He found himself in the centre of the 1985 riots and spent two days capturing a series of startling images. Caesar kept them hidden for 20 years. Why? And how does he see Handsworth now?

    The stark black and white photographs featured in the film provide a rare, valuable and historical record of the raw emotion, heartbreak and violence that unfolded during those dark and fateful days in September 1985.

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