Anarchist Images: Posters from the Labadie Collection

anarchist posters: Europe

The Three Compromises Les 3 Compéres…? (The Three Compromises…?) (detail)

Height: 24.1 cm Width: 33 cm.
France, c1968.

This poster bears the stamp of the French Anarchist group, Organisation Revolutionnaire Anarchiste (ORA). Primarily a student anarchist group, they evolved out of the 1968 student protests which culminated with a near social revolution in France. ORA combated capitalism and government control and also advocated university reform and supported the rights of laborers. Pictured to the left is a detail of the poster which asks the question "the three compromises…? ". Represented in the graphic is the prominent CGT labor leader Georges Seguy. He appears to be intervening between a forced compromise between a laborer and a government official who offers him a "contract of progress."

Lovers of Liberty Lovers of Liberty!!

Height: 36.2 cm Width: 25.4 cm.
Scotland, 1984.

The Clydeside Anarchists was a group which originated in Glasgow, Scotland in the early 1980’s. Their viewpoints included the total abolition of authority, monarchy, patriarchy, and government. They also believed in the creation of a libertarian, classless society through social revolution, "achieved by the daily refusal to accept capitalist and statist values." This poster calls out to all "lovers of liberty" to join their weekly free speech street meetings.

Revolt on the Clyde Revolt on the Clyde

Height: 35.5 cm Width: 25.4 cm.
Scotland, 1984.

Prolific publishers of posters, the Clydeside Anarchists used the medium as a means of communicating their views. They also produced a number of smaller posters which were used to inform their community of upcoming public meetings and events. In this example, the poster shows a picture of a bus being overturned in the Glasgow General Strike of 1919. The title reads "How it was…How it must be again!"

Esci dal Compromesso con le Istituzioni della Guerra! Esci dal Compromesso con le Istituzioni della Guerra! (Avoid Compromise with the Institution of War!).

Offset lithography.
Height: 50 cm Width: 35 cm.
Italy, 1985.

The Antimilitaristi Anarchici published this poster which deplores the imprisonment of a Sicilian anarchist by the name of Pippo Scarso. Scarso was arrested in October of 1984 and imprisoned for 12 months for refusing to serve in the military. The message of the poster translates in to English as "out with American nuclear bases!" and "oppose all the (military) maneuvers!" The graphic in the poster shows Pippo Scarso being released from his prison cell, against the silhouette of a solider. This poster was originally distributed as a supplement to the Italian anarchist journal "Senzapatria," a publication devoted to antimilitarist issues.

Politieagenten Zijn ook Mensen Politieagenten Zijn ook Mensen (Police Officers are People Too)

Photography and lithography.
Height: 48.3 cm Width: 33 cm.
The Netherlands, c1970.

Published by the Society for the Rescue of Society, this poster shows a young protester being beaten by policemen. The title ironically reads "Police Officers are People Too." The photograph was believed to have been taken during a violent confrontation between an anarchist group known as the Provos and police in March of 1966. Little is known about the group who produced this poster, however much is understood about anarchism in Holland. Dutch anarchists have been credited with developing one of the most original and innovative anarchist movements in Europe. They have had a significant impact on the political landscape, including the establishment of the Green movement in Holland.

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Exhibit Designer: Cameron Trowbridge