Jun 132014
 
Dockstrike

Report on the Dockers’ Strike of 1889

CHAPTER 3: SYNDICALISM AS PROPHYLACTIC

According to the syndicalist doctrine, it is essential to transfer the revolutionary centre of gravity of the proletariat from the political party to the trade union. The union is conceived as a politically neutral organism, one which does not adhere to any party, but which is socialist in inspiration and aim.

It is the great merit of the syndicalists that they have understood how disastrous would be isolated syndicalist activity, devoid of any general theory, living simply from day to day; and to have advocated with much energy the indissoluble union of the working class, organized in its trade unions, with the socialist idea as spiritus rector and as ultimate aim. The syndicalists desire (and here, for once, they agree with the Marxist politicians) to diffuse among the organized workers the conviction that the trade union cannot attain its aim except by the elimination of capitalism, that is to say, by the abolition of the existing economic order. But the syndicalists also desire (and here they are in open conflict with all the other currents of contemporary socialism) that the trade union should not merely be an asylum for socialist ideas, but that it should also directly promote socialist activity, pursuing not simply a trade- unionist policy in the amplest sense of the term, but in addition and above all a socialist policy. Syndicalism is to put an end to the dualism of the labour movement by substituting for the party, whose sole functions are politico-electoral, and for the trade union, whose sole functions are economic, a completer organism that shall represent a synthesis of the political and of the economic function.1

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Mar 282014
 

FrancoCoverGENERAL FRANCO MADE ME A TERRORIST. The Christie File: part 2, 1964-1967 (The interesting years abroad of a West of Scotland ‘Baby-boomer’) Stuart Christie ISBN 1 873976 19 4 (Kindle edition).  Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  — £2.50/€2.99/$4.00  READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR! UK : £2.50 ; USA : $4.00 ; Germany : €2.99 ; France :  €2.99 ; Spain:  €2.99 ; Italy:  €2.99 ; Japan: ¥ 409 ; India: R244 : Canada: CDN$ 4.49 ; Brazil: R$9.30 ; Mexico: $52.93 ; Australia: $4.40

‘This volume picks up where the last one ended, namely his leaving Britain to take part in an anarchist plan to assassinate Franco. Christie, however, was arrested by Franco’s secret police long before he completed his mission to give the explosives he smuggled into Spain to those who were planning the assassination. Christie recounts his experiences being arrested and his time in various Spanish prisons with assurance, humanity and wit. He is not afraid to talk about the failures and cock-ups, the bickering and the surreal along with the bravery and dedication. As such, it is a real treat to read, giving the human side which history books never really manage to do. His account of the characters he met and the life of political prisoners in Franco’s regime is engrossing. Flag Blackened

Jan 112014
 

CoverGrannywebMy Granny Made me an Anarchist: The Christie File: Part 1, 1946-1964. First published by ChristieBooks in 2002 in a limited edition of 100 copies, this fully revised, updated, unabridged eBook (Kindle edition, 2014) is published by Christie(e)Books  —  Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £2.51/€3.03/$4.00  READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!

UK : £2.51 ; USA : $4.00 ; Germany : €3.03 ; France :  €3.03 ; Spain:  €3.03 ; Italy:  €3.03 ; Japan: ¥ 419 ; India: R249.00 : Canada: CDN$ 4.25 ; Brazil: R$9.51 ; Mexico: $52.43 ; Australia: $4.47

“This fascinating personal account offers a remarkable picture of the late-20th century, seen through sensitive eyes and interpreted by a compassionate, searching soul.” Noam Chomsky

“Stuart Christie’s granny might well disagree, given the chance, but her qualities of honesty and self-respect in a hard life were part of his development from flash Glaswegian teenager — the haircut at 15 is terrific — to the 18-year old who sets off to Spain at the end of the book as part of a plan to assassinate the Spanish dictator Franco. In the meanwhile we get a vivid picture of 1950s and early 1960s Glasgow, its cinemas, coffee bars and dance halls as well as the politics of the city, a politics informed by a whole tradition of Scottish radicalism. Not just Glasgow, because Stuart was all over Scotland living with different parts of his family, and in these chapters of the book there is a lyrical tone to the writing amplified by a sense of history of each different place. When we reach the 1960s we get a flavour of that explosion of working class creativity and talent that marked the time, as well as the real fear of nuclear war and the bold tactics used against nuclear weapons bases. It is through this period of cultural shake-up that Stuart clambers through the obstructive wreckage of labour and Bolshevik politics, and finds a still extant politics of libertarian communism that better fitted the mood of those times. Now, in 2002,it is Stuart who finds himself quoted in an Earth First pamphlet as the new generation of activists for Global Justice by-pass the dead hand of Trotskyist parties and renew the libertarian tradition.” John Barker

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Apr 032013
 

GreatDeceptionTHE GREAT DECEPTION. How Parliamentary Democracy Duped the WorkersDonovan Pedelty (ISBN 978-1-873976-00-5),  £2.71, ChristieBooks. PO Box 35, Hastings, East Sussex, TN341ZS. First published by Prometheus Press, Powys, Wales, in 1997 as The Rape of Socialism. This fully revised ChristieBooks (Kindle eBook) edition published 2013   Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE

UK : £2.71 ; USA : $4.12 ; Germany€3,21 ; France€3,21 ; Spain€3,21 ; Italy : €3,21 ; Japan : ¥ 377 ; Canada : CDN$ 4.07 ; Brazil : R$ 8,09

‘An elegantly argued and searing indictment of the economic and sociological background of the British political system of “representative” democracy in general, and parliamentary socialism in particular. The first hundred pages or so examine the evolution of the British Conservative Party over the past two centuries; the remaining four-fifths of the book focuses on the British Labour Party and how it corrupted the socialist ideal. An important and challenging book that should be read by ANYONE interested in politics, especially those who put their faith in the “Labour Movement”’ — Stuart Christie

A hundred years or so ago socialist thinking, in tune with the rising tide of labour protest, presented a serious challenge to the capitalist hegemony. However much they differed over ultimate objectives and how to reach them, the socialists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were at one in their conviction that possessive, individualistic, capitalism would have to be overcome to establish a just, equitable and sane society. They were equally certain that the huge advance in productive capacity which capitalism had helped to bring about, by proving that poverty could be abolished, had made such a transformation possible, immediately or at least within the near future.

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Sep 022012
 

Anarquismo y Lucha de Clases (Floodgates of Anarchy)

 

Anarquismo y Lucha de Clases por Stuart Christie y Albert Meltzer (traducción directa de Floodgates of Anarchy por Eduardo Prieto). ISBN 978-1-873976-59-3 (€4,12/£3.25/ $5.14)

España ; France ; Germany ; Italy ; UK ; US/Canada/India and RoW

Las compuertas que contienen las caudalosas aguas de la anarquía se están resquebrajando. Los liberales aligerarían la presión desviando parte de la corriente; los conservadores apuntalarían diques; los totalitarios construirían una presa todavía más resistente. ¿Pero es la anarquía una fuerza destructiva? La ausencia de gobierno puede alarmar al autoritario, pero ¿es realmente un pueblo liberado su propio peor enemigo? o ¿son el verdadero enemigo de la humanidad –como postulan los anarquistas– los medios por los que se le gobierna? Sin gobierno el mundo podría conseguir acabar con la explotación y la guerra. La anarquía no debería confundirse con un gobierno débil, dividido o múltiple. Solo con la total abolición del gobierno puede la sociedad desarrollarse en libertad. Estos son los argumentos presentados por los revolucionarios Christie y Meltzer.

“Quien quiera conocer qué es el anarquismo en el mundo contemporáneo hará bien en empezar por leer ANARQUISMO Y LUCHA DE CLASES. (…) Nos obliga a replantear nuestra mirada hacia ciertos problemas morales y políticos que otras doctrinas más sofisticadas eluden” – The Sunday Times

“Lúcida exposición de teoría revolucionaria anarquista”  - Peace News

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Jul 162012
 

 

October 1934. Face to face with the Guardia Civil © Helios Gómez

‘We do not make war just for the sake of making war. Were our movement compelled to be encapsulated by one blunt adjective that adjective would not be “warlike”, but “revolutionary”.

There is yet time for us to express ourselves in the most readily understood form possible. Definite facts and definite ideas must be given their proper names. There must be an end to this mistake of double entendres that complicate the dictionary. And the fact is that frequently a play on words is followed up by the fait accompli. “War” has been so loudly trumpeted as a synonym for “revolution” that we have been induced to invest in this war with all of the bellicose accoutrements that were always odious to us: the regular army and discipline. The same thing has happened with discipline in the proper sense. There have been comrades aplenty who, despite their bona fides, have flirted with the term and spoken to us of discipline while painting this in colours diametrically opposed to freedom.

This, far from rendering discipline more humane, is a bestialisation of freedom. It is not so very long ago that an attempt was made in our circles to peddle a version of discipline implying order and responsibility comparable with anarchy. Such an endeavour always called to our minds the idea of “good government” or “tutelary authority”, as opposed to despotic or blatantly authoritarian government. And just as it has not been possible to sort governments into good ones and bad ones — since in fact there are, rather, only bad ones and worse ones — we have come to learn with the passage of time that all discipline is a tributary of regimentation.

We aver that all wars are inauspicious. Were it our belief that we are making a war, we should be the first to desert. The fact is that war never erupts to the advantage of those who inflict and suffer its ravages.

We are not fighting here to advance anyone’s private interests, though there will be no shortage of elitists and aparatchiks who will seek to commandeer the fruits of our struggle and gamble on the ups and downs of our successes and our reverses, turning our rearguard into a stockjobbers’ lot.

Our fight is against privilege and not for the nation, a fight for liberty and not for the fatherland, a fight for anarchy and not for the Republic. We risk our lives for the collective good and not for a privileged caste. While one of us remains standing, the social revolution, which is the driving force behind our liberation movement, will never want for defenders and combatants, whether they use pen, fist, word or rifle.

‘Picking up the banner’ (after Gely Mikhailovich Korzhev-Chuvelev)

We do not make war; war is always made for the purposes of someone else, and fought out between the brethren who are poor in spirit. We make revolution for the benefit of all human beings and against the cliques who are hangovers from parasitism and self-centredness. And as we are making revolution, not one square metre of reconquered ground must be subtracted from the process of transformation, despite the froglike croaking of those whose lack of spirit and mettle inclines them to dabble in the stagnant waters of politicking.’

— Editorial from Acracia (Lleida), 1936-7

The CNT in the Spanish Revolution (Vol 1) by José Peirats Valls (676 pages), ISBN 978-1-901172-05-8  (Kindle eBook). Edited and introduced by Chris Ealham (Translated by Paul Sharkey and Chris Ealham) (5.90/$9.27/€7,32)  Kindle UK, Kindle US/Canada, Kindle Spain, Kindle France, Kindle Germany, Kindle Italy (Check here information on CNT … Volumes 2-3)

Contents of Volume 1 (1911-1936) (676 pages)
Glossary of organisations
The history of a history by Chris Ealham
Introduction to the First Edition by José Peirats Valls

Chapter One: From the Bellas Artes Congress to the Primo de Rivera dictatorship
Genesis of the CNT. The consequences of the August general strike. Spanish anarcho-syndicalism affirms its apolitical ideology. The Sants regional congress. The organised working class discovers its own might. The ‘La Canadiense’ strike. The employers’ backlash. The ‘lock-out’. The confederal congress in the La Comedia theatre. The CNT’s declaration of principles. The Confederation’s stance vis-à-vis the Russian Revolution. Provisional adherence to the Third International. The Río Tinto strike and the compact with the UGT. Reasons behind the breakdown of the alliance. The viceroyalty of Martínez Anido-Arlegui. The Lleida plenum. Delegations to Russia. The Zaragoza conference. The break with Moscow and adherence to the AIT. A chapter of errors. The victims of white terrorism.

Chapter Two: From the military Directory to the Second Republic
Impact of government terrorism. Loss of militants. The people execute the executioner of the Barcelona High Court. Unions repressed and shut down. The Vera de Bidasoa and Atarazanas incidents. The regime of preventive detention and show trials. Clandestine activity and doctrinal propaganda. First stirrings of reformism in the Confederation. The Peiró-Pestaña polemic. The anarchist conference of Valencia. The stance of the FAI. The backlash against reformism. The fall of the dictatorship. The union re-opened. Intensive reorganisational activity. The era of conspiracy. Joan Peiró and the Intel·ligència Republicana manifesto. The políticos and the CNT.

Casas Viejas, January 1933

Chapter Three: The Republic of Casas Viejas
14 April 1931. The end of the celebrations. Legalistic interval. Largo Caballero as Minister of Labour. The Law of 8 April. The Law for the Defence of the Republic and the Law against Vagrants and Deviants. The instruction to ‘fire at will’. The Confederation’s congress in the El Conservatorio. The crisis within the Confederation. Debate on the “National Industrial Federations”. “The CNT stance towards the Constituent Cortes”. The manifesto of the ‘Treinta’. The backlash against treintismo. The reactionary handiwork of Catalonia’s autonomous government. The insurrection of the miners of Figols. Deportations. The Terrasa events. Maura of the 108 deaths. The incidents of Maria Luisa park, Arnedo, Epila and Castilblanco. ‘Spain’s soul’ and the attempted military putsch of 10 August 1932. The Esquerra and its escamots. The revolt of 8 January 1933. The nature of this revolt. The republican-socialist repression. Casas Viejas! The Sabadell Plenum. The ‘Opposition Unions’. The Syndicalist Party. The expulsion of the Sabadell union. The ‘Committee to rebuild the CNT’. Muscovite intrigue thwarted.

Garrote-vil © Helios Gómez

Chapter Four: From the November elections to the October Revolution
The republican-socialist biennium assessed. The right fights back. The fall of the Azaña government. The dissolution of parliament and the November elections. The CNT’s abstentionist campaign. The left defeated at the polls. The rising of 8 December. The repression. The puppet government of Lerroux. Gil Robles, arbiter of the situation. The revisionist work of the new parliament. The socialists hoist on their own petard. The Public Order legislation. The ‘Spanish Lenin’. Evolution of the alliance question. The voice of Orobón Fernández. The National Plenum of Regionals Committees. The UGT urged to make public its revolutionary aspirations. The ‘pro-alliance’ stance of the Asturian Regional Committee of the CNT. Clauses of the revolutionary alliance between the CNT and the UGT in Asturias.

Asturias, October 1934 by Helios Gómez: the Asturian miners’ strike of 1934 was brutally repressed by the Republic’s colonial troops, mainly those of the Spanish Foreign Legion and Moroccan mercenaries under General Franco. Rape, looting and summary executions were the order of the day

Chapter Five: 6 October 1934 in Asturias and in Catalonia
The Asturian Revolution. Forces on the ground. Gijón and La Felguera. The socialist party assumes the reins. The CNT’s intensive involvement. The first crucial battles. The struggle in the mining basins and the march on Oviedo. The delicate position of the cenetistas in Gijón. War industry in La Felguera. The loss of Gijón, José María Martínez perishes. The troops of the Foreign Legion and the regulares advance with air support. The last manifesto from the Revolutionary Committee. Faces of the revolution. The movement elsewhere in Spain. The revolutionary programme of the PSOE. Catalonia’s 8 October. The repression.

Chapter Six: The end of the ‘black biennium’ and the Popular Front triumphant
The caretaker government of Portela Valladares. The build-up to the elections. 30,000 prisoners as an election issue. The Popular Front and the enigma of the Confederation. ‘Beware of the Red Card!’. The emergence of a climate favouring alliance. Catalonia’s unions urgently summoned to meet. The Regional Conference of unions. Historic document from the AIT. The CNT’s stance vis-à-vis the elections. The proposition on revolutionary alliances. The result of the elections. Agitation in military circles. A prophetic manifesto from the CNT National Committee. The transferral of power. A disgraceful memorandum from the Minister of War. ”The Spanish military are the very models of selflessness and loyalty”. Parliamentary exchanges. Azaña’s speech.

Chapter Seven: From the Zaragoza congress to 19 July 1936
The confederal congress in Zaragoza. The schism healed. Analysis of activities. The scheme for a revolutionary alliance. The CNT’s peasant membership and the agrarian reform. The Confederation’s concept of libertarian communism. Strikes, repression, provocations and attentats. The state of emergency and clamp-down on the press. General Franco on the horizon. The ‘belligerent’ government. The death of Calvo Sotelo. Mussolini, godfather of the revolt. The right declares civil war from the very floor of parliament. “Radio Valencia here!” The tragic jocularity of the Prime Minister.

Chapter Eight: Spain in flames
The revolt breaks out. The government boasts that it has the wherewithal to restore normality. The attitude of the Popular Front. Casares Quiroga steps down. The makeshift government of Martínez Barrio. The War Ministry offered to General Mola. The CNT response. The CNT crushes fascism in Barcelona. The epic contest in Madrid. The Delegates Junta in Valencia. How Zaragoza was brought to heel. Asturias and the ‘Mola Plan’. The Basque Country springs a surprise. Galicia the martyr. The battle for Andalusia. A map of Spain on 19 July. Bridge across the Straits. The race for Madrid. The glorious feats of the sailors.

Chapter Nine: The revolutionary achievement
The CNT-FAI victory in Catalonia. ‘Dictatorship or collaboration’. President Companys places himself in the hands of the CNT–FAI. The Anti-fascist Militias’ Committee. Durruti on the road to Zaragoza. “Comrade, do not allow yourself be disarmed!” The Local Federation of Unions orders a return to work. “Twenty centuries are watching us!” The revolutionary timidity of the superior committees. The revolution springs from the people. The unions get the wheels of industry and the economy rolling. The taboo on foreign holidays. Seizures and collectivisations. Foreign fleets standing by to intervene and mount a blockade. The revolution’s order. “Avengers, yes! Murderers, never!” Revolutionary justice. Blueshirt cannibalism.

Chapter Ten: The dilemma of revolution and war
The power and determination of the union. A manifesto from the CNT National Committee. The central government orders all call-up of conscripts. The draftees refused to return to the barracks. The CNT-FAI against the military mobilisation order. Mobilisation by Anti-Fascist Militias’ Committee. The Workers’ and Soldiers’ Councils. The first CNT-FAI rally. The Control Patrols. The Economic Council. The New Unified School. The CNT, UGT, FAI and PSUC Liaison Committee. An article by Peiró: “Facing facts”.

Chapter Eleven: The CNT in the government of Catalonia
Largo Caballero as premier. The CNT is invited to collaborate. ‘The futility of the government’. The significance of the new cabinet. ‘First win the war‘. The CNT’s National Plenum of Regional Committees. The National Defence Council. The period of grace expires. Address to public opinion. The first Regional Plenum of the unions of Catalonia. The financial blockade. The CNT incorporated in the Generalitat government. Comments and explanations. Political declaration of the new government. The Anti-Fascist Militias’ Committee dissolved. Durruti in the rearguard and in the front lines. “We renounce everything, except victory”.

Chapter Twelve: The CNT in the government of the Republic
The Regional Council of Aragón. The Council’s declaration. Opposition from Stalinists and from the government. The evolution of the Council. The Basque Statute. The Asturian Regional Council. The CNT in the municipal councils. The pact with the communists. The rally in the Monumental bullring. The Collectivisations Decree. Peiró’s speech. The ‘transitional regime’. The CNT joins the central government. The cabinet reshuffle. The Confederation beatifies the government and the state. The fatalist mentality. Reactions from anarchists abroad. The natural bias.

Chapter Thirteen: Politics and revolution
Durruti in Madrid. The hero’s death. The government moves to Valencia. The Delegated Defence Junta. Towards the ‘’People’s Army’. The disarmament of the populace proceeds. The first clash. The Central Regional Committee’s statement on the Yagüe incident. The ‘Iron Column’ in the rearguard. A step towards trade union unity from above. “Either the government is surplus to requirements or the committees are”. The nation’s gold en route to Moscow. The Trojan horse of Soviet aid. The petite bourgeoisie. The apple of discord. Antonov-Ovseenko, polemicist. “How come no attack along the Aragón front?” The crisis in the Generalitat. Declaration by the CNT Regional Committee. The new ‘non-party’ government.

Chapter Fourteen: Consequences of the Confederation’s collaboration
Transfiguration of the CNT. Compromise and dualism. The government army in the rear. The Security militias. The return of the Alfonsine brass hats. The ‘dialectic of history’. The Unified Security Corps. The anarchist opposition. The organisational life of the Confederation. The first plenums. The Supply Committees. The crisis of functional federalism. The first regional congress of peasants. The confederal norms to be adhered to.

Chapter Fifteen: The Collectivisations
Review of the Spanish economy prior to 19 July. Foreign investment in Spain. Distribution of landed property. Agrarian reform and revolutionary collectivism. The revolution in the Catalan countryside. In the Aragonese countryside. In the Levante region. In Castile. The revolution in industry. Control committees. Collectivised enterprises. The family wage. Text of the Collectivisations Decree of 24 October 1936.

A chronology of José Peirats’s major writings

Index

LIVING UTOPIA (One of the finest documentaries on the social achievements of the Spanish Revolution of 1936-1937)

Jul 092012
 

Twenty Years in Franco’s Jails. An Anarchist In Franco’s Prisons by Juan Busquets Verges. ISBN 978-1-873976-58-6 (Kindle eBook). Prologue by Ángel Urzáiz and Introduction by Stuart Christie. Translated by Paul Sharkey (£5.98, $9.26, Eur 7,55) Kindle UK, Kindle US/Canada, Kindle Spain, Kindle France, Kindle Germany, Kindle Italy

Juan Busquets Verges, 1948

First arrested in 1944, aged 16, Juan Busquets Verges was an apprentice fitter in the Hispano Suiza factory in Barcelona, a member of the clandestine anarcho-syndicalist labour union, the CNT (Confederación Nacional Del Trabajo — and a member of the factory strike committee. In 1947 he crossed into France where he contacted the Spanish Libertarian Movement in Exile (MLE) in Toulouse, and found employment in the mines of Cransac. The following year he joined Marcelino Massana Bancells’s (‘Pancho’) anti-Francoist guerrilla group and took part in a number of operations inside Spain including, in June 1949, the dynamiting of more than 40 electricity pylons and the uprooting of a kilometre of railway lines in the vicinity of Terrasa.

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Jul 052012
 

‘I salute my sun and I salute my land
I salute you Spain
Will I again see your sky in the silver moon
Of enchanted nights?
My heart is heavy and tired.
I leave you my country
Juan de Pena

José Peiratss ‘The CNT in the Spanish Revolution’ is a landmark in the historiography of the Spanish Civil War. Without it, the role of anarchism in that conflict could never be reconstructed. It is effectively the official CNT history of the war, passionate, partisan but, above all, intelligent. Its huge sweeping canvas covers all areas of the anarchist experience — the spontaneous militias, the revolutionary collectives, the moral dilemmas occasioned by the clash of revolutionary ideals and the stark reality of the war effort against Franco and his German Nazi and Italian Fascist allies.

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May 272012
 

Press clippings relating to First of May Group (Grupo Primero de Mayo) actions

Spanish anarchism and revolutionary action – 1961-1974 by Octavio Alberola and Ariane Gransac with Prologue by Luis Andrés Edo, ChristieBooks (Kindle edition only – for the moment): KINDLE UK, USA, FRANCE, GERMANY, SPAIN, ITALY

This account of the role of anarchist activism in Europe between 1961 and 1974 (by two of the principal protagonists in the events they describe) was first published in Spanish and French in 1975, shortly after the authors’ release from prison following the kidnapping Francoist banker Baltasar Suárez. To this day it remains  essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the history and development of the libertarian opposition to the Franco Dictatorship subsequent to the urban and rural guerrilla tactics as practised by Sabaté, Facerías, and Caraquemada, etc. It examines the birth of the clandestine ‘Defensa Interior’ Section of the Spanish Libertarian Movement (MLE – CNT-FAI-FIJL) through to ‘The First of May Group‘ and its influence on — and links with — other European action groups of the later 1960s and early 1970s, groups such as ‘The Angry Brigade‘, the ‘Grupos Autonomos de Combate — GAC‘, 2nd June Group, the Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación — ‘MIL‘, Gruppo d’Azione Partigiano – GAP, Grupos de Acción Revolucionaria Internacional — ‘GARI‘, etc.

The authors: Ariane Gransac and Octavio Alberola, Bruges April 1968. The photo was taken soon after their release from their respective Belgian prisons. Ariane had been subsequently expelled but had returned clandestinely with other comrades to meet with Octavio.

The story begins in late 1961 with the creation of Sección DEFENSA INTERIOR (DI), the clandestine planning and action organisation set up at the Limoges Congress in France by the Defence Commission of the recently reunited three wings of the exiled Spanish libertarian movement (MLE — Movimiento Libertario Español) — the CNT, the Spanish anarcho-syndicalist trade union; the FAI, the Iberian Anarchist Federation, and the FIJL, the Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth. One of the DI’s principal objectives was to organise and carry out attempts on the life of General Franco. Its other role was to generate examples of resistance by means of propaganda by deed. The DI’s short-term objectives were: to remind the world, unremittingly, that Franco’s brutal and repressive dictatorship had not only survived WWII but was now flourishing through tourism and US financial and diplomatic support; to provide solidarity for those continuining the struggle within Spain; to polarise public opinion and focus attention on the plight of the steadily increasing number of political prisoners in Franco’s jails; to interrupt the conduct of Francoist commercial and diplomatic life; undermine its financial basis — tourism; to take the struggle against Franco into the international sphere by showing the world that Franco did not enjoy unchallenged power and that there was resistance to the regime within and beyond Spain’s borders.

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Apr 202012
 

KINDLE edition available here (click on image)

This compelling and moving book, first published in Spanish in 1972 (and in English in 1974, and now republished for Kindle), examines the life of one of the best-known of all the Spanish resistance fighters — Francisco Sabaté Llopart, known as El Quico, General Franco’s ‘Public Enemy No. 1’. But it is more than this, for the author, Antonio Téllez, traces in detail what has been called ‘a little-known period of Spanish history’, the period that saw the development of the Anarchist resistance to the Fascist regime following the tragic end of the Spanish Civil War, a resistance that continues to this day (1974). It paints a striking picture not only of the development of resistance in Spain, but also of its too-long ignored influence on contemporary (1960s and 1970s) urban guerrilla movements in South America and in Europe.

It is a sad story: of a man who would not compromise his ideals nor treat with a system he found tyrannical and vile, a man who devoted his adult life to freeing the most openly oppressed people in Europe. But Sabaté ‘s story does not end in 1960, as did his life, in the dusty street in San Celoni surrounded by Militia and Guardia Civil and broken by their bullets. His struggle was taken up by men and women throughout Spain. As Téllez demonstrates, Sabaté proved by his selfless battle that the individual is never helpless; there is always a possibility of rebelling and defending an idea one considers just. Francisco Sabaté, unquenchably brave, undismayed by failure, unmarked by treachery, gave to his people and to the free world the knowledge of the rightness of his cause.

‘Soy El Quico!’ 1Soy El Quico‘ – 2 — El Maquis a Catalunya

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