Sunday, June 2, 2013

First Tour of 2013 - Return to the Plaza, June 8

Los Angeles has a rich anarchist history, but sadly most of that history has been forgotten or lost in the pages of time. Due to a disconnect of today’s anarchists with their past, combined with never ending redevelopment of the city’s landscape, anarchists in the city constantly walk past important landmarks for our community, unaware of their existence.

But all is not lost. The Los Angeles Anarchist Black Cross (with support from the Flores Magon I.W.W.) will be hosting the Black Rose Society Anarchist Historical Tour. The walking tour will take us around the Plaza and into Chinatown where we will rediscover our movement’s history. We will visit the sites of anarchist riots and where several of our martyrs have fallen. We visit locations where Magonista and IWW offices once stood. We will follow in the paths where some of the greatest and most noble anarchists once traveled.

Black Rose Society - Uncovering the Anarchist History of Los Angeles - photo by Lane Farnham

With 13 stops and 20 specific sites, we will reconnect with our roots and through the past we will begin to build a new anarchist movement.

So please, join us and learn a little about our city’s great anarchist history.

When, Where and How Much?
We will gather on June 8th at 5:00 pm on the south side of Los Angeles Plaza (near the Pico House and Sanchez Street.) The tour will take approximately 1 – 1 ½ hours. We are asking for a $5 donation, but no one will be turned away.

We are also looking for individuals interested in helping out with the event. This will involve publicly reading a statement about one or more of the locations we visit. Please contact us at:

LAT/LON 34.056908,-118.239416

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Visit to Lizzie Sundstedt's Grave

As part of our work we try and track down the graves of the people whose story we tell. This past summer we were able to find the grave of Lizzie/Lisa Sundstedt in Wilmington Cemetery. Stunsted was beaten during the June 14 raid on the IWW Hall in San Pedro by member of the KKK and other anti-IWW organizations. She died a few days later from her injuries.

If you are interested in visiting the cemetery is at the corner of Eubank Ave and East O street  in Wilmington. If you walk to the end of the main path the grave is to the right of the water spigot.

LAT/LON LAT/LON 33.793004,-118.255217

Friday, August 17, 2012

Upcoming Events - August & September 2012

Photo by Lane Farnham - Black Rose Society - Uncovering the Anarchist History of Los Angeles - Photo by Lane Farnham
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Southern California Anarchist Gathering
Come join us at the Southern California Anarchist Gathering on Saturday, August 18, 2012, 12 PM - 6 PM at the Southern California Library of Social Studies and Research, 6120 S. Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA. 90044. We will be doing a workshop on the anarchist history of Los Angeles, focusing on the forgotten and rarely recognized Women of LA Anarchism.

Sunday, September 2, 2012
Running Down the Walls  
On Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 at 10 AM, the Los Angeles Anarchist Black Cross will host a 5K Run/Walk/Jog/Bike around MacArthur Park. This Run is designed to raise much-needed funds for the Anarchist Black Cross Federation's Warchest program and for Revolutionary Autonomous Communities (RAC). We are attempting to reach the goal of $5,000 with the run. Funds will be divided between the two programs:

ABCF Warchest:
The ABCF Warchest program was created in November of 1994. Its purpose is to send monthly financial support to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War (PP/POWs). The Warchest funds are divided and distributed through monthly stipends to political prisoners who receive little or no financial aid. Prisoners use this money to cover the basic necessities of everyday living. These funds have been used by prisoners to pay for stamps, shoes, clothes, as well as assisting their families with what little they can.

Revolutionary Autonomous Communities (RAC):
In the aftermath of the May Day 2007 police riot targeting migrant workers who dared stand up for our human rights, members of the MacArthur Park area and others joined together to support those with no papers and those with no means. RAC-LA came forward to aid the community in self-organizing such that with the help of each other we might make an inhuman way of living a bit more bearable while at same time acquiring the means to one day transform this system into an image of our own humanity.

Saturday, September 8, 2012
4th Annual Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair
The LA Anarchist Black Cross Federation and Black Rose Society will be attending the 4th Annual Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair at the Barndall Art Park (4800 Hollywood Boulevard) in Los Angeles from 10 AM - 6 PM. This once-a-year event is for friends, comrades and the curious to build bridges in our existing and emerging struggles, and with our cities' radical past. Come out and celebrate with anti-authoritarian rebel rousers as well as those curious abut anarchism.

Saturday, September 15, 2012
San Pedro Anarchist/IWW Tour
Please join us for our 3rd Anarchist Historical Tour of 2012 - a two hour walking tour of San Pedro. Meet-up at 11 AM at the John S. Gibson Park (next to the Harry Bridges memorial), Harbor Blvd between 5th & 6th Streets. Additional details and tour promotional material will be available shortly.

Black Rose Society Downtown Los Angeles - July 2012 - photo by Lane Farnham

Sunday, July 29, 2012

333 S. Main Street - DLA1 #24

Home of Bob Bigelow

This was once the residence of Bob Bigelow, a member of the IWW. Bigelow joined the IWW in 1923 as part of the Building Construction Union. He joined shortly after his mother and sister began visiting Wobblies who were standing trial for Criminal Syndicalism.

In April of 1924, while visiting an ill member of the IWW in the county jail, Bigelow was arrested and was also charged with criminal syndicalism. He was in prison for one month before his case was dismissed.

Less than three weeks later, on June 14, 1924, several dozen sailors, Klansmen and loyal citizens raided the IWW hall in San Pedro. They attacked the occupants, including women and children. Seven children were intentionally pushed or dipped into scolding hot coffee. Seven IWW members, including Bob Bigelow, were loaded on trucks by Klansmen and taken to Santa Ana Canyon where they were beaten, tarred and feathered. Undeterred, the men returned to San Pedro by the next day.

LAT/LON 34.049063,-118.246309

239 N. Grand Avenue - DLA1 #7

John 'Juan' Creaghe
Home of John "Juan" Creaghe

Dr. John O’Dwyer Creaghe (1841 – February 19, 1920) was an Irish-born international anarchist whose name is most often associated with anarchism in England and Argentina, where he helped pioneer a movement of critical importance to Argentina and South American Labor history.

Creaghe became an anarchist after emigrating to Buenos Aires. It is believed he became an anarchist under the tutelage of Errico Malatesta. He published several anarchist journals and helped to form the Federacion Obrera Regional Argentina (FORA), the mighty anarcho-syndicalist union that took park in the events of the Tragic Week of January 1919, when the army fired into a crowd on strike killing about 1,000 persons in eight days. He was also involved in the Free School movement in Buenos Aires and was the director of the Rationalist School in Lujan.

He came to the US in Los Angeles and became active in Anarchist circles including supporting the Magonistas. He helped to produce Regeneracion and participated in the revolution in Baja Mexico. While the PLM occupied the house on Alpine and Yale, he set up a doctor’s office to assist working people with inexpensive medical assistance. He even was the attending doctor for the birth of Enrique Flores Magon’s child. Creaghe eventually moved to Washington where he died in utter poverty in February 1920. It is rumored that he died under a streetlamp with a gun in one hand and anarchist propaganda in the other.

LAT/LON 34.057871,-118.246758

With The Poor People Of The Earth: A Biography Of Doctor John Creaghe of Sheffield & Buenos Aires by Alan O’Toole. Kate Sharpley Library: 2005, 36 pages

1st Street & Los Angeles Street – DLA1 #1

Lucy Parsons - 1920
Lucy Parsons - 1920
Arrest of Lucy Parsons

During the height of the Free Speech fight in San Diego, the I.W.W. held daily meetings at this corner.
In April 13, 1913, Lucy Parsons – the anarchist hellraiser and wife of Haymarket Martyr, Albert Parsons – was arrested with partner George Merkstall for selling anarchist literature without a license. They were held incommunicado for 24 hours. The jail matron stripped Lucy and forcibly removed the ring from her finger, despite the fact the couple as only charged with a misdemeanor. The city objected less to the violation of the peddling ordinance than they did to the content of the pamphlets. A court date was set for April 24; the judge took the case under advisement until April 30th and dismissed the case and released the defendants on their own recognizance on May 9, 1913.

LAT/LON 34.051346,-118.242344

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mortimer Downing, Los Angeles IWW & 'Silent Defendant'

Mortimer Downing (1862-1949)
Mortimer Downing (1862-1949) was an early IWW member and was one of those who were tried in the "Silent Defenders" trial of the IWW*.

Money raised from the Saturday July 21, 2012 Downtown Los Angeles - Part 1 Anarchist Historical tour will go to purchasing a grave marker for Mortimer Downing.

For more than 5 decades the Downing grave has been unmarked in a LA cemetery. The Black Rose Society is determined to correct this matter.

* The Silent Defenders, Courts and Capitalism in California: A Brief History of the Up Hill Struggle of the Industrial  Workers of the World in California and Expose  of the Sacramento Frame-Up and Conviction 
PDF of IWW pamphlet by Harvey Duff, 1920 (5.6 MB)