Laurens Otter

Laurens Otter is an old friend, now in his 80s. While my history of political activism has been erratic and inconsistent, with little to show for it, Laurens and his lovely wife Celia (who sadly died 1 January 2014) were always people I could turn to – though we were very different in so many ways, not least our political beliefs.

Laurens was born in 1930 and developed his radical politics in the aftermath of WW2 and the use of the A-Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He has been a life-long campaigner against nuclear weapons and a practitioner of anarchist non-violence throughout most of his life as an activist. He has also been a lifelong Christian, something that has not always been respected in anarchist circles.

Rather than me describe his political development, I persuaded him to write his own memoirs covering his early life and the development of his ideas and beliefs. It is a fascinating and, in many ways, unusual story that deserves to be wider known, especially among the new generation of activists growing up in the early years of the 21st Century.

While we did manage to print a few copies of the memoirs, in the interests of wider circulation we have decided to make a PDF version of the memoir available for free download: The Accidental Making of an Anarchist. All we ask is that you respect the copyright in this document as that of Laurens Otter and his family, though you may quote them freely in the spirit of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International. Do let me have any feedback.


Celia and Laurens Otter with me in 1996 in York
Celia and Laurens Otter with me in 1996 in York

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