Stuart Christie, one of the most influential British anarchists of modern times, has died from lung cancer aged 74.
Most famous for his attempt, aged 18, on the life of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, Christie went on to work closely with Albert Meltzer. Together they founded Black Flag, which was probably the most prominent anarchist publication of the 1970s.
His most enduring legacy will be as a publisher, founding both the Cienfuegos Press and, later, Christiebooks (https://christiebooks.co.uk/), which hosts possibly the largest open anarchist film archive available today. Christie leaves an immense body of work behind him, and is a great loss to anarchism not just in Britain but internationally.
The above announcement does not capture the depth of Christie's contribution and Freedom will be looking to produce a full obituary in due course.■
Rest In Power Ewan Brown, who went missing yesterday and started our Mayday was sad news. A popular face up in the North East and Newcastle, Ewan was well known for being an lovely guy full of creative spark and a passion for making the world a better place.
From Active Disto;
"Ewan Brown, a wonderfully enthusiastic and caring person has died. He helped out on Active stalls, at the northern warehouse, designed posters and stickers, and always bubbled with ideas.
He made the world a better place, not only by caring, but my making it beautiful. His artwork can be seen on a number of walls around Newcastle - and through them, and the memories we have of him, his spirit lives on."
His auntie Carol said of him;
"Ewan was always trying to put the world to rights and fix our broken society in his utterly unique and innocent way and I thought he’d always be there putting himself in harms way to makes things better - because of course ‘right’ and ‘fair’ often are at odds with norms and rules.
"I just can’t believe we all couldn’t by pure force of will make this a happy ending.
Be kinder and speak out for the underdogs .. be more Ewan x"
Next time you're in Freedom check out his Kropotkin poster and keep his name alive.
Below is some of his art up on a Newcastle wall.
Take a moment out to watch this short piece about Ewan, about his deafness and his music with "Through Deaf Ears - Life of a profoundly born Deaf musician"
At the start of the year we lost a long time comrade and a dear friend of several members to her own hands. She was a lively soul who would often get lost in science fiction and loved to share the ideas for a better worlds she found in her reading, Worlds she worked towards by putting her considerable skills to work for several groups working hard to make the world a better place.
I first met Danielle, in a midge infested Scottish field where they were fighting against the industrial destruction of the environment for capitalist gains. She was full of passion and fire, we had a wonderful hike running recon that I'll never forget, A few days later we spent the day lay down, locked on, talking about The Culture series. We spent a night in the cells together for that and what a night. We spent it discussing and arguing politics, science fiction and boardgames. She spoke against the atrocities of this world with an erudite, compassionate voice and changed fundamentally who I am and how I approached the revolution.
She taught me to listen, to understand and put mutual aid and solidarity with the oppressed at the core of my politics. I'm sure on her travels she planted many such seeds and made the world a better place.
Unfortunately the world is not always a better place and when it came to transitioning she was hit with an uphill struggle. In the words of her close friend Alice:
“In a large
part, it was transphobia that meant she could no longer face life.
It was having her gender questioned and doubted and fetishised and mocked in popular culture, and most painfully of all, amongst those that pre TERF wars, (TERF is someone who is anti trans people, but claim to come from a progressive, feminist, perspective) she would have thought were on the same side as her, as an Anarchist. ... She is not with us because the world is transphobic. When we argue with those who use language that insults, minimises, fetishises or stigmatises trans people its not just an abstract political theoretical debate. These things matter. Real people suffer. Their lives are made unliveable. And we lose dear people from the world, and from progressive political movements.”
knew her will mourn her passing with love and fury in their hearts.
Please take time to reflect on those around you, touch base with your mates and hug your comrades. Suicide can sometimes happen in a moment of passion but often it builds up over time, the depression permeating every aspect of your life until you feel unable to carry on. If your mate's sharing dark memes, check in on them, let them know you love 'em. Give your transitioning pals a hug and tell them they are valid and worthy.
We will miss
you forever sister.
Thank you for the last night we had playing games and chatting shit.
As she might have qouted “The light that burns twice as bright, burns half as long.” and she burned so very, very brightly.
She will not be forgotten.■
Rest in Power x
If you are suffering from depression, trauma and/or suicidal thoughts, please contact a friend or family member before you do anything drastic. Let them know what you are going through, contact a helpline, talk to folk, surround yourself with people and weather through this storm with those who love you.
You are not alone, you don't have to go through this on your own. You are not an island and your existence is important to those around you.
MindLine Trans+ - 0300 330 5468
Samaritans - 116 123
LGBT+ helpline – 0300 330 0630
Young Minds Crisis Messanger - Text 85268