Funny spring. While the epidemic seems to be receding, the good weather is setting in and sociability is breathing a little again, the death of our friend and comrade Marc Tomsin, on June 8, has shaken up the enthusiasm of the beautiful spring days.
Many in the libertarian movement knew this atypical anarchist, this Indian from Ménilmontant, a long figure with a calm gait, with his leather bag slung over the shoulder, always lined with small books carefully stored in plastic pockets. We do not damage the books ! Especially when it is beautiful work, as Marc loved him so much, he the meticulous little editor, child of printing and words.
A high school student in the storm of 68
It was in high school that Marc embraced anarchism, a philosophy that was not so foreign to him, his father, Jacques, having campaigned in the post-war libertarian movement. But the anarchism that he encountered then is undoubtedly a little different from that of his father, jostled and transformed by comet May-68, whose passage will have marked him permanently. Activist of the ephemeral Youth anarchist communist, Marc tramples the Parisian pavement of demonstration in riot and tastes the happy effervescence of the words released in general assembly. An entire commitment, which has never left him ; unlike other children of 68, Marc will never have been this liberal adult, puffed up by careerism and power, which we see today speak on television sets.
The Parisian Book Worker
In 1971, Marc joined the Nouvelles Messageries de la presse parisienne (NMPP), where he worked as a storekeeper. A first step in the vast extraordinary world of the Parisian Book, where the CGT gives the ” la “. A universe in which Marc will spend his entire professional career, changing jobs without ever deserting the Book. In 1973, he left the NMPP and became a delivery driver for the daily Le Monde, part-time, before “ entering correction” », As they say, in 1979. A profession that he learned from another anarchist, Georges Rubel, corrector by profession, engraver by passion. As it should be, Marc joined the Union of correctors – the scratching hair of the CGT, the foreign legion of the Book – and carried out his three years of work in various printing presses, before entering the Encyclopædia Universalis, then in the press Parisian, first to L’Humanité, then to the World, this newspaper that he had delivered so much in a van a few years before …
Marc never considered the union card as a simple work card in a world where membership in the CGT is compulsory to work. He gave of his time to the union, integrating its management body, the union committee, and taking responsibilities in its “ international solidarity ” sector . In 2001, he was even elected placement secretary, an important and essential mandate, which consists of distributing the work, every day, to the union’s rollers (sort of “ freelancers ” or temporary workers).
The anarchist who publishes books
If Marc readily claimed oral tradition, he nevertheless spent a lot of time publishing texts. Not only did he take part in many editorial adventures of the libertarian movement ( Workers’ information and correspondence, The Black Lantern, IRL, etc.), but he also developed a great activity as a publisher, which occupied a good part of his life. . He founded a first publishing house in 1985, with Angèle Soyaux, whom he baptized Ludd, in homage to the Luddits. With this small structure, he published around thirty books, mainly by Germanic authors, and took particular care in their production, which he entrusted to the Company of graphic workshops and printing houses, for a composition with the linotype and a printing at the lead.
This editorial adventure ended in 1998, but resumed less than ten years later, in 2007, with the creation of the Rue des Cascades editions , with a slightly different but very heterogeneous catalog: Zapatista writings, anarchist essays, pamphlets, testimonies and Memoirs. . With, always, this same requirement as for the quality of what is manufactured, that of the worker of the Book who likes a job well done.
In 2007, this child of the printing press also launched on the Web, by opening the website La Voie du Jaguar , which he presented as a network of information and correspondence for individual and collective autonomy. A voice for indigenous mobilizations, but not only: the lair of the jaguar welcomes the word of all who come into resistance against devastating capitalism and States.
Militant without borders, facilitator of struggles
Marc has always had international solidarity under his belt… and a passion for travel. If he was the man of a neighborhood, Ménilmontant, former territory of the Apaches, he was also on the move. And he’s dragged his Mexican boots to many latitudes. First in Spain, in Barcelona, where he settled at the end of the 1970s, in the effervescence of the end of the Franco dictatorship and the rise of the libertarian movement. He made encounters there that will be decisive for him, in particular with Diego Camacho, says Abel Paz, whose Memoirs he had started to publish, before leaving us abruptly (the first volume came out in 2020, Scorpions and prickly pears ).
At the end of the first millennium, it is Mexico who made a big splash in his life, with the insurgent Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, the 1 st January 1994. Marc was one of the first and most faithful companions road of these territories in revolution, figure of the Solidarity Committee for the peoples of Chiapas in struggle, main editor of the texts in French of the insurgent sub-commander Marcos and passionate host of conferences and evenings in support of the Zapatistas.
In the 2010s, he met Greece, under the benevolent wing of his friend Raoul Vaneigem. There he discovered the struggles of the Greeks, the dynamics of autonomy of territories in rebellion, the occupations, the district of Exarcheia… He fell under the spell of this small country martyred by the blows of liberalism, but irrigated by the struggles for life and dignity. In 2017, the Indian of Ménilmontant left Paris and settled in Athens. He was 71 when he died, after an accident while singing and dancing with fellow students to celebrate the takeover of the Rosa Nera squat in Chania, Crete.
The party, the struggle, until the end.
Guillaume Goutte (secretary of the editors of the CGT Book Union)