Gambone, Larry

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Gambone, Larry

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        1945-

        History

        Larry Gambone is a writer and publisher, SFU alumnus (1967-1970), and participant for over six decades in New Left, counter-culture and anarchist movements in Vancouver and later Montréal. He founded the Red Lion Press in 1984, now based in Nanaimo, BC.

        Gambone was born in 1945 in Philadelphia to parents Dominick and Adree Gambone. At age two, he came with his mother, grandmother and aunt to Victoria. There his mother met Bill Shenk, who became Gambone's step-father. The family moved to a property at Gold Stream, just outside Victoria, with subsequent moves to Duncan (1954) and Courtenay (1957). Gambone's political activism began in the summer of 1965 when he became involved in the Comox Project. This was a campaign against the storage of nuclear warheads at the Comox military base, culminating in in a 36-hour occupation of the base gates in August.

        After a brief stay in Toronto, travels to Mexico and participation in the Vietnam Teach-In in Victoria, Gambone enrolled at Simon Fraser University in September 1967. He joined the Political Science, Sociology and Anthropology (PSA) Department, graduating in 1970. At SFU, Gambone was a founding member of the Students for a Democratic University (SDU), helped organize an SFU branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and was involved in various campus campaigns and protests, including the occupation of the Administration Building in November 1968 and the PSA strike in 1969. He became printer for the Student Society in 1968 and helped produced the two issues of SFU IWW's Solidarity Magazine (1969).

        Through the 1970s and '80s, Gambone was active in Vancouver's political counter-culture and was involved in a number of groups and projects: Vancouver Yippie! (Youth International Party, 1970-1971), the Yellow Journal (1971), a commune in the Kootenays (1974), the Open Road anarchist newspaper (1975 and 1979-1987), the Anarchist Party of Canada (Groucho-Marxist), Spartacus Books, the Muckfunnel - Fanzine of the Irrational (1982-1987), and the Vancouver IWW. Gambone moved to London UK for several months in 1979. Returning to Vancouver, he took up the study of working class movements and the thinkers that influenced them. Out of this grew his interest in Joseph Dietzgen, the 19th-century German socialist philosopher. In 1984 Gambone founded the Red Lion Press and brought out an edition of Dietzgen's book, The Nature of Human Brain Work (originally published in 1869).

        In 1987 Gambone left Vancouver for Montréal, where he remained until 2006, working at warehousing and then as a housekeeper for the Montréal Children's Hospital. He participated in local anarchist circles and began producing numerous pamphlets through his Red Lion Press. During this period, Gambone also contributed articles for the libertarian left and anarchist press, and with Dick Martin produced the magazine Any Time Now from 1992-2007.

        Retiring from the hospital in 2006, Gambone returned to BC to Nanaimo. He continued his studies and his political, writing and publishing activities. Through Red Lion Press he published several collections of his own essays - The View From Anarchist Mountain (2010), Another View From Anarchist Mountain (2012), and Anarchic Essays (2014); several anthologies - The Impossibilists: The Socialist Party of Canada and the One Big Union - Selected Articles (2010) and the International Socialist Review Anthology (ca. 2020); and editions of works by other writers, including Kevin Carson, Fred Casey, Sebastian Faure, Hans Feldt, Jack Kavanagh, Ima Louette, and Bill Pritchard. He produced a new edition of Dietzgen's The Nature of Human Brain Work for PM Press (2010) and published two works with Edmonton's Black Cat Press - his memoir, No Regrets: Counter-culture and Anarchism in Vancouver (2014) and a history of the IWW, For Freedom We Will Fight: The Industrial Workers of the World in British Columbia, 1905-1990 (2021).

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