Victor Serge Library in Moscow (fwd)

Tony Tracy tony at
Thu Mar 1 10:43:56 MST 2001

I thought this might be of interest to other members of the list -- I
apologize for the poor formatting, but have received this as a forward
looking this way...

 - Tony

---------- Forwarded message ----------

> Please circulate widely.
> Appeal: Support the Victor Serge Public Library in
> Moscow
> The Victor Serge Public Library in Moscow has been
> operating for more
> than three years. Named after the well-known
> socialist writer and fighter
> against totalitarianism, the library aims to
> acquaint the public with the
> greath wealth of radical and alternative ideas that
> were forbidden in
> Soviet times and are hardly heard in present-day
> Russia, including the
> many strands of democratic and libertarian socialism
> which opposed
> Stalinism.
> The library opened in May 1997, when we were able to
> find a public space
> in high-rent Moscow to house a container-load of
> radical books donated by
> sympathizers in the US. Today the library1s unique
> collection has grown
> to 3,000 books, pamphlets and journals in Russian
> and other languages. It
> is the only place in Russia where readers can find
> many works written
> from critical perspectives on literature, social
> science, Marxism,
> anarchism, syndicalism, Trotskyism, feminism, trade
> unionism and the
> history of workers1 movement in various countries.
> The library is thus a treasure house for Russian
> students, academics,
> activists and young readers who are trying to
> develop a critical view of
> the world and thinking about how to change it. The
> library is also used
> as a sort of club where discussions, lectures,
> seminars and gatherings of
> various left-wing organisations take place.
> In 1999 the library1s supporters formed the Praxis
> Research and Study
> Center to undertake publications, research and the
> organization of
> conferences on political and social themes. The
> Center1s first
> publication - our Russian translation (the first
> ever) of Memoirs of A
> Revolutionary, by Victor Serge - is due out later
> this year. Other
> projects, including a translation of Serge1s novel
> Conquered City, and a
> collection of previously unpublished documents from
> the communist
> opposition of the 1920s, will follow.
> The steady growth both of our collection and of our
> readership mean that
> we badly need to move to new premises. We need to
> establish an internet
> site, refine our computerized catalog, and ensure
> the regular receipt of
> periodicals. We need to grow, and that requires
> funds.
> Since we opened the library, we have made many
> friends around the world -
> radicals and progressives in academia, left-wing
> activists and others.
> Your collaboration and support mean a great deal to
> us. Now we propose to
> set up the Friends of the Victor Serge Library as an
> international
> organization to unite all those who have become, or
> are happy to become,
> our friends. The future of this library, unique in
> Russia, depends to a
> large extent on the solidarity of those who
> understand the importance of
> establishing genuine socialist traditions in our
> country - which has
> played in the past, and will play in the future,
> such a vital part in the
> development of international movements of social
> liberation.
> This appeal is supported by:
> Tariq Ali, writer and broadcaster, UK
> Bob Arnot, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
> Ian Birchall, writer and translator, UK
> Terry Brotherstone, historian, University of
> Aberdeen, UK
> Pierre Broue, historian, France
> Alex Buchwald, former bodyguard of Leon Trotsky and
> labor activist, USA
> Kirill Buketov, Moscow representative, International
> Union of Food,
> Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco
> and Allied Workers
> Associations (IUF) (in a personal capacity), Russia
> Aleksandr Buzgalin, editor of Alternativy, Moscow
> State University,
> Russia Marc Cooper, producer of Radio Nation, author
> of Roll Over Che
> Guevara and Pinochet and Me, USA
> Samuel Farber, Professor of Political Science,
> Brooklyn College, City
> University of New York, USA
> Don Filtzer, historian of Soviet labour, UK
> Frank Fried, veteran labor activist, USA
> Dan Gallin, chair, Global Labor Institute,
> Switzerland
> Richard Greeman, translator of Victor Serge1s
> novels, France
> Aleksei Gusev, historian, Moscow State University,
> Russia
> Christopher Hitchens, author and columnist for The
> Nation and Vanity
> Fair, USA
> Michael Hudson, president of Institute for the Study
> of Long Term
> Economic Trends, USA
> Boris Kagarlitsky, author and journalist, Russia
> Vladislav Kibalchich, son of Victor Serge, Mexico
> Ken Loach, film director (Land and Freedom, Carla1s
> Song, My Name Is Joe,
> and many others), UK
> Jean-Jacques Marie, historian, France
> Ardeshir Mehrdad, editor, Iran Bulletin, Iran
> Cathy Nugent, editor, Action for Solidarity, UK
> Stephen Schwarz, journalist, USA
> Mohamad Reza Shalgouni, author, Iran
> Ahmed Shawki, editor, International Socialist
> Review, USA
> Daniel Singer, author of Whose Millennium? Theirs or
> Ours?, USA
> (deceased) Francisco Sobrino, editorial board of
> Herramienta, Argentina
> David Temple, former Durham Mechanics executive
> member, National Union of
> Mineworkers, and organiser of solidarity with
> Russian and Ukrainian
> miners, UK
> Hillel Ticktin, University of Glasgow, UK
> Esteban Volkov, grandson of Leon Trotsky, Mexico
> Mikhail Voyekov, Institute of Economics of the
> Russian Academy of
> Sciences, Russia
> Alan Wald, author and cultural editor of Against the
> Current, USA
> Suzi Weissman, St Mary1s College, USA
> Please return this letter to us, indicating what
> support you are able to
> give:
> 1. I would like to become a Friend of the library,
> sign this letter for
> further circulation, and receive information about
> the library.
> 2. I agree to make an annual donation of ( ) $50, (
> ) $100 ( ) other. 3.
> I would like to donate some books. Please get in
> touch.
> How to get in touch with the Victor Serge library
> Correspondence to the library should marked for "BOX
> 385" and sent by fax
> to +7 095 292 6511.
> The postal address is: Russia, Moscow 113639,
> Balaklavskii prospekt
> 4-6-365, Obshchestvennaya biblioteka imeni Viktora
> Serzha.
> The library is ten minutes by foot from
> Chertanovskaya metro station
> (about 20 minutes from the centre of Moscow). We are
> open every Saturday
> from 12.0 to 17.0, and every Tuesday from 18.0 to
> 21.0. It is advisable
> to let us know in advance if you are coming a long
> way!
> To send donations and/or join the Friends of the
> Victor Serge library
> You may post letters and cheques to: Friends of
> Victor Serge Library, PO
> Box 32417, London SE18 2WY, United Kingdom. Cheques
> may be in sterling,
> euros or dollars.
> Sterling and euro cheques may be credited directly
> to our account:
> Friends of Victor Serge Library, a/c number
> 20096078, Unity Trust bank, 9
> Brindleyplace, 4 Oozells Square, Birmingham B1 2HB,
> United Kingdom. Sort
> code 086001. Dollar cheques may be sent to our UK
> post office box; we
> expect to have a dollar account soon and will let
> you know the details on
> request.
> Send correspondence for the Friends of the Victor
> Serge Library to
> friendsvsl at, or by fax to +44 20 8333
> 2152. Please note these
> should NOT be used for correspondence to the library
> itself.

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