gesture politics

Stuart Christie

Stuart Christie (born July 10, 1946 in the Partick area of Glasgow, Scotland) is a Glaswegian anarchist writer and publisher. He became an anarchist at a young age and joined the Anarchist Federation in Glasgow in 1962, at the age of 16. He became active in the CND movement and took part in the confrontational Faslane Naval Base CND demonstration on February 14 1963 among others. Christie is most well-known for his attempt to assassinate the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. He was arrested in 1964 while carrying explosives to assassinate 'El Caudillo'. He was later alleged to be a member of the Angry Brigade, but was acquitted of related charges. He went on to found the Cienfuegos Press publishing house, later ChristieBooks and in 2008 the "Anarchist Film Channel", which hosts over 350 films and documetary about Anarchism.

Would-be assassin

On the last day of July 1964 an 18-year-old Christie departed London for Paris and then Madrid on a mission to kill General Francisco Franco. This was to be the last of at least 30 attempts on the autocrat's life.

Before he left England, he was interviewed for a television programme with Malcolm Muggeridge, a known MI6 contact, and was asked whether he felt the assassination of Franco would be right. He answered that it would; when the programme was broadcast after his arrest in Spain, these comments were edited out.


Christie hitchhiked into Spain and was arrested in Madrid on August 11, 1964. At the time he was in possession of explosives. Christie faced a military trial and a possible execution sentence by garrote, but was instead ordered to serve twenty years in prison. An accomplice, Fernando Carballo Blanco, was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. After serving only three years Christie was freed September 21, 1967 thanks to international pressure, with support from notables such as Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Back in Britain

After his release he continued his activism in the anarchist movement in the United Kingdom, re-formed the Anarchist Black Cross and Black Flag with Albert Meltzer, was acquitted of involvement with the Angry Brigade, and started the publishing house Cienfuegos Press (later Refract Publications), which for a number of years he operated from the remote island of Sanday, Orkney where he also edited and published a local Orcadian newspaper 'The Free-Winged Eagle'.

Christie has had various writing and journalistic jobs including as editor of an unauthorised British edition of Pravda and Argumenty i Fakty (Arguments and Facts International) during the late years of the Soviet Union and the early years of the Russian Federation. He also worked as Production Editor with IT Matters, publishers of The House Magazine, the weekly UK journal for both Houses of Parliament, during the late 80s.

Published work

An updated version of his autobiography Granny Made me an Anarchist was published in 2004 by Scribner (UK). (Also see Part 2, The Christie File, General Franco Made Me A Terrorist and Part 3 Edward Heath Made Me Angry ) Christie attracted criticism from some fellow anarchists for making a gestural protest vote against Labour and its war in Iraq by voting for George Galloway's Respect - The Unity Coalition in the European Parliament elections that year

He also wrote The Floodgates of Anarchy with Meltzer. This includes an early version of the political compass.

Stefano Delle Chiaie: Portrait of a Black Terrorist, London: Anarchy Magazine/Refract Publications, 1984. 182 pages (ISBN 0-946222-09-6) (on Italian terrorist Stefano Delle Chiaie, founder of Avanguardia Nazionale and member of P2 masonic lodge, involved in Gladio's strategy of tension)

He is also the author of We, the Anarchists! A study of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) 1927-1937 (2000).

As a publisher Christie founded Cienfuegos Press (1972) and edited the Cienfuegos Anarchist Review (1977? - 82?), Refract Publications (1982), The Meltzer Press (1996) and Christiebooks/ 'N' Noir. He also edited 'The Hastings Trawler' a monthly magazine which ran from December 2005 until December 2006.

Christie also translated into English the biography of Francisco Sabate Llopart Sabate: An Extraordinary Guerrilla, by Antonio Téllez Solá.



External links

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