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Giuseppe Fanelli (13 October 1827 - 5 January 1877) was a nineteenth-century Italian revolutionary anarchist. Born in Naples, Italy, he visited Spain in 1868 on a journey planned by anarchist Mikhail Bakunin in order to recruit members for the First International. He died of tuberculosis in Naples in 1877.
He was active in the revolutionary enterprises in Lombardy and Rome in 1848 - 1849. He went on to fight alongside Garibaldi's Thousand in Sicily. He also fought in the Polish uprising (1862-63). He was elected to Italian Parliament in November 1865 and fought against the Austrians in 1866. He met Bakunin at Ischia in 1866. He arrived in Barcelona in October 1868, introducing anarchism to Spain. In February 1869 he left for Barcelona where he met up with Pellicer, Farga and others whom he helped to establish the IWMA’s Barcelona section as well as the Alliance section. This trip to Spain was costly to him in terms of financial costs as well as in terms of the problems arising from it (he was accused of exploiting Reclus’s republican friends to spread anarchism) by which he was much affected and in the end he distanced himself from militant Bakuninism after that. His last meeting with the Madrid Anarchists was on January 25, 1869.
Perceptions of others in regard to Fanelli
Fanelli was a tall man with a kind and grave expression, a thick black beard and large black expressive eyes which flashed like lightning or took on the appearance of kindly compassion according to the sentiments which dominated him. His voice had a metallic tone and was susceptible to all the inflexions appropriate to what he was saying, passing rapidly from accents of anger and menace against tyrants and exploiters to take on those of suffering, regret and consolation when he spoke of the pains of the exploited, either as one who without suffering them himself understands them, or as one who through his altruistic feelings delights in presenting the ultra-revolutionary ideas of peace and fraternity. He spoke in French and Italian, but we could understand his expressive mimicry and follow his speech.
— Anselmo Lorenzo, Spanish Anarchist, cit. in H.M. Enzensberger, "Der kurze Sommer der Anarchie"
For Fanelli, revolution was a way of life, not merely a distant theoretical goal, and his latter years as a deputy were spent on the railways, preaching social revolution during the day in peasant villages throughout Italy, later returning to sleep in the train at night.
— Murray Bookchin, The Spanish Anarchists: the heroic years (1868-1936)
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