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Members of Chernoe Znamia (Чёрное знамя or Black Banner in English), a Russian anarchist group formed in the early 1900s around the time of the First Russian Revolution. An Anarchist-Communist organization, that is, one which espoused Kropotkin’s goal of a free communal society in which each person would be rewarded according to his needs, however its immediate tactics of conspiracy and violence, were inspired by Bakunin.
Chernoe Znamia attracted its greatest following in the frontier provinces of the west and south. Students, artisans, and factory workers predominated, but there were also a few peasants from villages located near the larger towns, as well as a sprinkling of unemployed laborers, vagabonds, professional thieves, and self-styled Nietzschean supermen. Although many of the members were of Polish, Ukrainian, and Great Russian nationality, Jewish recruits were in the majority. A striking feature of the Chernoe Znamia organization was the extreme youth of its adherents, nineteen or twenty being the typical age. Some of the most active Chernoznamentsy were only fifteen or sixteen.
Nearly all the anarchists in Bialystok were members of Chernoe Znamia. The history of these youths was marked by reckless fanaticism and uninterrupted violence. Theirs was the first anarchist group to inaugurate a deliberate policy of terror against the established order. Gathering in their circles of ten or twelve members, they plotted vengeance upon ruler and boss. Their “Anarkhiia” (Anarchy) printing press poured forth a veritable torrent of inflammatory proclamations and manifestoes expressing a violent hatred of existing society and calling for its immediate destruction.” They were responsible for a number of bombings and assassinations during the Revolution and so dedicated to their beliefs that whenever one of them thought they were about to get arrested they would commit suicide instead. Those that were caught would usually deliver a rousing speech on Justice and Anarchy before they were executed, in the manner of Ravachol and Emile Henry.

Members of Chernoe Znamia (Чёрное знамя or Black Banner in English), a Russian anarchist group formed in the early 1900s around the time of the First Russian Revolution. An Anarchist-Communist organization, that is, one which espoused Kropotkin’s goal of a free communal society in which each person would be rewarded according to his needs, however its immediate tactics of conspiracy and violence, were inspired by Bakunin.

Chernoe Znamia attracted its greatest following in the frontier provinces of the west and south. Students, artisans, and factory workers predominated, but there were also a few peasants from villages located near the larger towns, as well as a sprinkling of unemployed laborers, vagabonds, professional thieves, and self-styled Nietzschean supermen. Although many of the members were of Polish, Ukrainian, and Great Russian nationality, Jewish recruits were in the majority. A striking feature of the Chernoe Znamia organization was the extreme youth of its adherents, nineteen or twenty being the typical age. Some of the most active Chernoznamentsy were only fifteen or sixteen.

Nearly all the anarchists in Bialystok were members of Chernoe Znamia. The history of these youths was marked by reckless fanaticism and uninterrupted violence. Theirs was the first anarchist group to inaugurate a deliberate policy of terror against the established order. Gathering in their circles of ten or twelve members, they plotted vengeance upon ruler and boss. Their “Anarkhiia” (Anarchy) printing press poured forth a veritable torrent of inflammatory proclamations and manifestoes expressing a violent hatred of existing society and calling for its immediate destruction.” They were responsible for a number of bombings and assassinations during the Revolution and so dedicated to their beliefs that whenever one of them thought they were about to get arrested they would commit suicide instead. Those that were caught would usually deliver a rousing speech on Justice and Anarchy before they were executed, in the manner of Ravachol and Emile Henry.

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