This poem by Nestor Makhno was written when he was 23 years old and had been in prison for two years for “illegal subversive association.”
Let us rise in revolt, brethren, and with us the people
Beneath the black flag of Anarchy will revolt.
We will surge boldly forward, under the fire
of enemy bullets in the battle
for faith in libertarian communism,
Our just regime.
We shall cast down all thrones and
bring low the power of Capital.
We will seize the gold and purple sceptre
And pay no more honour to anything.
Through savage struggle
We shall rid ourselves of the State and its laws.
We have suffered long under the yoke
Of chains, prisons and teeming gangs of executioners.
The time has come to rise in rebellion and close ranks.
Forward beneath the black flag of Anarchy, on to the great struggle!
Enough of serving tyrants as their tools,
That is the source of all their might.
Insurrection, brethren, labouring people!
We will sweep away all carrion.
That’s the way we shall reply to the lies of tyrants,
We free workers, armed with our determination.
Long live freedom, brethren. Long live the free commune.
Death to all tyrants and their jailers!
Let us rise, brethren, on the agreed signal,
Beneath the black flag of Anarchy, against every one of them,
Let us destroy all authorities and their cowardly restraints,
that push us into bloody battle!