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Anarchism in Glasgow

Some may find this article on the history of anarchist and socialist activity in Glasgow of interest.

The earliest known Glasgow anarchist history centres around the figure of Duncan Dundonald, a Clydeside-based engineering worker who is said to have met Mikhail Bakunin in Geneva in 1869, translated the Revolutionary Catechism in 1870, and then returned to Scotland to carry out anarchist propaganda and revolutionary sabotage. His obscurity to later generations of Glasgow anarchists could be related to the fact that he emigrated to Australia, possibly in the 1890s, where he settled in Melbourne and continued his activities under the assumed name of Donald Duncan.

In 1884 was the founding of the Social Democratic Federation branch in Glasgow. Many of those involved in the SDF had been members of the Democratic Club and/or the Republican Club in the city, and were in the main ardently anti-parliamentarian. This caused divisions as happened elsewhere, and when William Morris broke away to form the more vibrant Socialist League, most Glasgow SDF members simply de-camped to the new body. Branches then quickly appeared in other parts of Scotland.

In 1886 there was the visit to Glasgow of Peter Kropotkin. In 1888,  Lucy Parsons, partner of Albert Parsons, one of the executed Haymarket martyrs. Emma Goldman made her firstvisit in 1894. Voltairine de Cleyre in 1897 and 1903

By 1937, there were 3 groups of libertarians in Glasgow, Aldred's United Socialist Movement, Wm McDougall's Anti-Parlimentarian Communist Federation and Anarchist Federation of Frank Leech.


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