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105. Todestag von Voltairine de Cleyre

Voltairine de Cleyre im Alter von 35 Jahren

"Die Vorstellung, Menschen könnten nicht zusammenarbeiten, wenn sie keinen Antreiber haben, (...) widerspricht sowohl dem gesunden Menschenverstand als auch den beobachtbaren Tatsachen. In der Regel machen die Bosse die Verwirrung nur noch schlimmer, wenn sie sich in ein Problem einmischen, das bei der Arbeit auftaucht, wovon jeder Handwerker den praktischen Nachweis schon einmal erlebt hat." (Aus: Anarchismus, 1901)

Heute vor 105 Jahren starb die bedeutende Anarchofeministin, Antimilitaristin, Poetin und Freidenkerin Voltairine de Cleyre (* 17. November 1866 in Leslie, Michigan; † 20. Juni 1912 in Chicago).

Ich hatte vor Jahren von ihr den Text "Anarchismus" von 1901 verlinkt.

Aus Anlass ihres Todestages heute das den Straßenbauarbeitern des Fairmount Parks gewidmete Poem:

The Road Builders

("Who built the beautiful roads?" queried a friend of the present order, as we walked one day along the macadamized driveway of Fairmount Park.)

I saw them toiling in the blistering sun,
Their dull, dark faces leaning toward the stone,
Their knotted fingers grasping the rude tools,
Their rounded shoulders narrowing in their chest,
The sweat drops dripping in great painful beads.
I saw one fall, his forehead on the rock,
The helpless hand still clutching at the spade,
The slack mouth full of earth.

And he was dead.
His comrades gently turned his face, until
The fierce sun glittered hard upon his eyes,
Wide open, staring at the cruel sky.
The blood yet ran upon the jagged stone;
But it was ended. He was quite, quite dead:
Driven to death beneath the burning sun,
Driven to death upon the road he built.

He was no "hero", he; a poor, black man,
Taking "the will of God" and asking naught;
Think of him thus, when next your horse's feet
Strike out the flint spark from the gleaming road;
Think that for this, this common thing, The Road,
A human creature died; 'tis a blood gift,
To an o'erreaching world that does not thank.
Ignorant, mean and soulless was he? Well,— 
Still human; and you drive upon his corpse.

— Philadelphia, 24 Juli 1900


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