The Knights Errant of Anarchy: London and the Italian Anarchist Diaspora (1880-1917)

By Pietro Di Paola | Go to book overview

3
The 1890s

Organisationalists and anti-organisationalists

During the 1890s the enclave of Italian anarchists in London grew and the relationships among political expatriates became more complex. The anarchists embedded themselves in the expanding community of Italian economic migrants. On their arrival, new refugees found an established colony and therefore could settle more easily. The arrival from the 1880s of a new wave of expatriates, mainly from France, revitalised the colony. In 1888, the embassy was notified about the transfer to London of five individualist anarchists from Paris: Alessandro Marocco, Vittorio Pini, Luigi Parmeggiani, Giacomo Merlino and Caio Zavoli. They were ‘more dangerous as a group of thieves rather than as a political group’. However, their political relations were of some importance and in Paris they had produced several inflammatory publications.1 In 1889, Malatesta and the members of the editorial committee (Luisa Minguzzi, Emilio Covelli and Francesco Pezzi) moved the printing of L’ Associazione from Nice to London. At the end of December 1889, the consulate’s informant reported that Galileo Palla–‘well-built and with a black thick beard’–had travelled from France to London with the young Venetian cook Vittorio Del Turco and the waiter from Magenta Giuseppe Stoppa.2 In 1891, a list of the anarchists in London included: Matteo Benassi (nicknamed ‘Gobbo’) from Carrara, unemployed; Pietro Bianchi, described as a very witty person from Lucca; Cesare Carpanetti, a forty eight year old from Imola; Demetrio Francini; Luigi Parmeggiani, shoemaker; Giacomo Marchello from Turin, a baker; Francesco Prodi, a waiter; Luigi Rosati, plaster figure maker; Ludovico

1 Italian consul to Italian ambassador, 11 January 1888, and De Martijs’s report, 10 January 1888. Asdmae, Pol. Int., b. 39, f. 1888.

2 Calvo’s reports, 27 and 30 December 1889, Asdmae, Serie politica P.

-59-

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The Knights Errant of Anarchy: London and the Italian Anarchist Diaspora (1880-1917)
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Abbreviations vii
  • List of Illustrations viii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1- The Fugitives- Anarchist Pathways toward London 14
  • 2- The Making of the Colony 37
  • 3- The 1890s 59
  • 4- The New Century 92
  • 5- The Surveillance of Italian Anarchists in London 122
  • 6- Politics and Sociability- The Anarchist Clubs 157
  • 7- The First World War- The Crisis of the London Anarchist Community 184
  • Conclusions 202
  • Biographies 211
  • Bibliography 220
  • Index 233
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