Anarchism in Azerbaijan
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Anarchism is small minority political movement in Azerbaijan, although it has unique roots.
First anarchists appeared in 1904 around suburbs of Baku. Peak of activism was around 1906-1907, when number of anarchist organizations in Azerbaijan were up to 40. However, members were not so many according to local authorities
The most influential organizations were established in 1905 by anarcho-communists - "Anarkhiya" (Anarchy) hailing from city center and Bibi Eybat based "Borba" (Struggle). At the same time several groups formed like "Bunt" (from Balakhany) and "The Internationale" (from Black City). It is interesting to note that during the formation of the "Anarchy", it included several social democrats working in Baku factories. In 1 July 1906 a faction of "Anarchy" organized a new group which adopted the name "Krasnaya sotnya"(Red Hundred). These "redhundreders" explained their choice by criticism of office bureaucracy of "Anarchy", as well as their commitment to effective methods of struggle. Later many small anarchist groups formed: "Individualist Anarchists", "Black Crow", "Anarchist Bombers", "Red Flag", "Terror", "Land and Freedom", "Azad" (Free) and others.
According to police reports, the national composition of anarchist organizations were exclusively Russian (except of "Azad"). However, many organizations included a large number of Armenians who were former Hunchakian, Dashnak, who broke with their party. Anarchist Jews - former Social Democrats, chose terrorist methods of struggle and acted mostly against Zionist organizations. Group "Red hundred" also included eight Georgians. The average age in these organizations was 28–30 years (the youngest was 19 years old, most "old" - 35).
"Anarkhiya" was founded by former Hunchakian S.Kalashyants who issued a pamphlet named "To struggle and anarchy" in early 1906. He was killed in 5 September 1906 by dashnaks as a revenge of murder of I.Dolukhanov - a wealthy factory owner dashnak.
It was founded in 1906 and was considered the largest of then existing small groups like "Riot","Terror", etc. They had 15 members at their peak. Its members included former gang members who became local anarchists. The group was led by 2 brothers: Aga Karim and Aga Sanguli. "Azad" feuded with local millionaires, which were headed by Teimur Ashurbekov (grandfather of Sara Ashurbeyli). At the end of 1907, Karim Aga and Ashurbekov both were arrested, "Azad" ceased to exist and remaining members joined other groups.
Anarchists of Baku mostly consisted of two separate ideological subdivisions:
- Anarcho-communists: "Anarchy", "Black Crow", "Azad", "Red Hundred", "Red Flag", "Bunt", "Land and Freedom", "The Internationale"
- Anarcho-individualists: "Terror", "Anarchist Bombers", "Individualist Anarchists" and "Baku society of terrorists and anarchist individualists" (founded by P.F.Kalinin in 1906, 1 may)
Anarchist organizations lost many followers because of their brutal ways of fighting against system, murdering and bombings. In March 1908, 50 members of the "Red hundred" arrested and all of them were sentenced to exile in Siberia. In 1909, almost all members of "Black Crow", "Terror ", "Red Flag" arrested. The remaining small groups disbanded themselves. After the mass repressions of 1908-1909, anarchist movement in Azerbaijan has failed to recover and got away from the political arena.
In February 2013, "Baku Individual Anarchists Association" (BIAA) was founded by three Azeri. Group considers itself successor to "Baku society of terrorists and anarchist individualists" which was founded by P.F.Kalinin, thus considers itself oldest functioning non-governmental organization in history of Azerbaijan.
- "Anarchist activism ocherk in Caucasus", in magazine "Anarchist",1907. № 1, p.36
- ГАРФ. ф.102. ДПОО, 1906, он.235, д.20, ч. 43, л.13
- "Baku". 1906. 24 sept.: 15 oct.": "Kaspii". 1906. 1 sept.
- ГИА АР, ф.46, оп.1, д.221, лл.81-120; д.370, л.5об.
- ГАППОД АР, ф.276, оп. 2, д.45, лл.16-17
- ГАРФ, ф.102, ДПОО, 1907, д.12, ч.З, л. 10
- S.M. Efendiev "The history of the revolutionary movement of the Turkic proletariat", Baku, 1923, p. 40
- Magazine. "Azerbaijan" (in Turkish. Lang.) 1955, № 12, Saturday issue
- BIAA Manifesto (in Azeri)
- I.S.Bagirova - Political parties and organizations Azerbaijan in early 20th century (PDF in Russian)
- Official BIAA Website