Jul 222014
 
Alain-Pecunia-1965

Alain Pecunia-1965 (Carabanchel Prison)

“Those were bright and happy years. Awesome times! We were out to make revolution. Was it worth it? On that I am clear; it was worth it!” So says an amiable and chatty Alain Pecunia in a phone conversation from his Paris home. Thereby summing up his teenage years back in the 60s, divided between De Gaulle’ France and Franco’s Spain. Alain Pecunia’s story is little known this side of the Pyrenees, although his life has a lot to do with Spain and anti-Francoism. In 2004 he wrote an account of those years in Les ombres ardentes. Un francais de 17 ans dans les prisons franquistes (The Burning Shadows. A 17 Year-Old Frenchman in Franco’s Prisons). “There is a lot of talk about the intellectuals who opposed Franco but very little is said of the workers and peasants who did so. Which is why I wrote the book”, he says. “In Carabanchel prison I ran into peasants from Valencia and miners from Mieres. I dedicate Les ombres ardentes to them, lest we forget about their struggle.” (en Français – en Español)

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Feb 132014
 

che_fidel_97Castro and Che Guevara in the early stages of the line-up that laid the groundwork in Mexico  for the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s. The aborted attempt on the life of dictator Franco in San Sebastian in 1962. These days the anarchist Octavio Alberola Surinach (born in Alaior in the Balearic Islands in 1928) is critical of Castroism and a zealous champion of historical memory.

 “In the 60s, a lot of young Cubans opposed to General Batista’s dictatorship started arriving in Mexico. By 1956, the Castro brothers’ movement, the 26 July Movement, was the largest Cuban revolutionary group in Mexico.” The dictator Batista had just pardoned them after they were arrested in connection with the failed attack on the Moncada barracks and among their number were the Castro brothers who then made contact with people eager and ready to assist them. One such person was the libertarian Octavio Alberola Surinach: “At the time I was a member of the Mexican student movement and had links with groups and trade union organisations that might hep them to organise propaganda events in support of the fight against the Cuban dictatorship”, Alberola says. Remember that this was an anarchist who arrived in Mexico aboard the vessel ‘Ipanema’ from France with hundreds more refuges, along  with his father who had been a teacher in the rationalist schools that operated in Spain up until 1939.

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Jan 072014
 

JuicioContraFrancoJuicio Contra Franco by Victor García (in Spanish). First published in 1963 by ‘Ruta’, Venezuela. This eBook (Kindle edition) is published by ChristieBooks in conjunction with the Grupo Cultural de Estudios Sociales de Melbourne and Acracia Publications —  Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles  NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £1.26/€1.51/$2.00  READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR!

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On 29 and 30 June 1962 three bombs exploded in Barcelona, one at the local Falange headquarters, another at the Monterols College — linked in those years to the far-right Opus Dei movement — the third in the National Insurance Institute. There were no casualties and damage was minimal.

On 19 September 1962 three young libertarian members of the local anti-fascist resistance were arrested and charged with carrying out these attacks: Jorge Conill, a chemistry student at the University of Barcelona; Marcelino Jiménez and Antonio Mur Peirón Cubas, both workers. On 22 September, the three youths were tried by a court martial on charges of terrorism and banditry and one of whom, Conill, was sentenced to death. In Milan, the Libertarian Youth Group attempted to prevent his execution by kidnapping Spain’s vice consul in the city.

Bertolo

Three of the accused anarchists in the Varese kidnap trial

The subject of this booklet is the 1962 trial, in Varese, Italy, of these libertarian activists and several supporters involved in the kidnapping— a trial that ended in a resounding condemnation of the Franco regime. The so-called democracies ignored the protest and continued supporting Franco’s clerico-fascist regime in Spain. And why not? After all, it provided them with a good, cheap, tourist destination, cheaper labour and, to complete the picture, all the military bases they so desperately needed to maintain the East-West balance of power in Europe.

Meanwhile, to save itself from impending economic collapse, Francoism saw only one possible salvation, entry into the European Common Market.
For this reason the regime turned all its diplomats, its influence and propaganda efforts to reinventing Francoism in a feverish PR exercise to convince democratic countries of the EC that the regime was changing and had had democratic aspirations.

Hence the easing of restrictions on the press, the election of trade union officials within the fascist syndicates (unions), the introduction into the Spanish political scene of an unusual vice-president of the Council — and the anticipation of the regency and the coronation of a Bourbon king.

Hence, too, the tiresome mantra spread by many deluded and some paid-for agents that “In Spain there are no political prisoners”.

The most dramatic rejection of this slogan was pronounced in the small Italian town of Varese during the trial of the young libertarians accused of kidnapping the vice-consul in Milan.

As witnesses and accused appeared in the Varese courtroom, it became clear that the principal accused was not among the defendants in the dock: Francisco Franco, Caudillo of Spain by the Grace of God.

On 16 November La Stampa’s Turin correspondent Gigi Ghirotti wrote: “Behind the accused in the dock looms the shadow of a dictatorship that subjects defendants of all political beliefs to closed trials without lawyers, sentences that are not subject to appeal, and courts that lack the courage to announce their verdicts to the condemned…”

In the world of today, any defiance of political oppression, any mass resistance to economic madness, any direct action to defend or regain living standards is all too often met with assault by the boss class’s lickspittle legal machine. This book provides a useful and heartening account of how the full force of the law was challenged and derailed in court to provide an exemplary victory for natural justice, with the defendants triumphantly acquitted outright of any wrongdoing, while instead the mask of innocence was torn away from the ultimate oppressors, who were themselves indicted with many of the grossest of crimes.

Jun 012013
 

Octavio_AlberolaPensar la utopía en la acción Trazas de un anarquista heterodoxo 1950-1975 : en el exilio y en la clandestinidad 1975-2013 : en la “Transición” y la “Democracia” por Octavio Alberola Surinach. ISBN 978-1-873976-05-0, ChristieBooks, PO Box 35, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1ZS (Check out all Kindle editions of ChristieBooks titles) NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE — £2.72/€3,18 READ INSIDE!  ¡LEER EL INTERIOR! See also Spanish anarchism and Revolutionary Action

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UtopiacoverPara el autor, “pensar la utopía es pensar una sociedad fundada en la anarquía, porque sólo rechazando la autoridad es posible la libertad, la igualdad y la fraternidad”. Y pensarla “en la acción” es por haberlo hecho durante su exilio en México, en donde  militó socialmente y colaboró con el Movimiento 26 de Julio en la lucha contra la dictadura del general Batista en Cuba, y luego al incorporarse en 1962 a la lucha clandestina antifranquista hasta la muerte de Franco en 1975 y comenzar la llamada ‘Transición a la democracia’ que “ha culminado hoy en la regentada por los herederos del franquismo”. 

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Sep 032012
 

 

Franco Me Hizo Terrorista. Memorias del anarquista que intentó matar al dictator Stuart Christie (Traducción y adaptación de General Franco Made Me A Terrorist por Jorge Barriuso con prólogo por Carlos Fonseca). ISBN 978-1-873976-60-9.

España ; France ; Germany ; Italy (€4,12); UK  (£3.25) ; US/Canada/India and RoW ($5.16)

De las calles de Glasgow a las cárceles de la España fascista, es éste el fascinante testimonio personal de un hombre que se enfrenta a los dilemas de una vida dedicada a la libertad. NOAM CHOMSKY

En el verano de 1964 y con dieciocho años recién cumplidos, el anarquista escocés Stuart Christie viajó a España con una carga de explosivos escondida bajo su ropa y con una misión: matar a Franco. Su temprana obsesión con el dictador había nacido algunos años antes, en los albores de su adolescencia, cuando sus familiares y su círculo de amigos adultos nutrían sus reuniones con anécdotas sobre la Guerra Civil y las Brigadas Internacionales, en las que muchos de ellos habían participado.

Pero quien más influyó en su vocación fue una figura mucho más fuerte y determinante en el ideario de Christie: su abuela. Siempre guiado por su curiosa musa inspiradora, Christie comenzaría a contactar con algunos exiliados de la España franquista, a quienes pronto les confesaría su más íntimo deseo: «Quiero hacer algo más que protestar y repartir panfletos», les dijo, y sus nuevas amistades no tardarían en complacerle. En agosto de 1964, cuando su mundo aún no se extendía más allá del sur de Inglaterra, Christie recibió instrucciones para cumplir con su primera misión internacional. Y así comenzó un viaje lleno de insólitas peripecias, que acabó de una manera ciertamente insospechada por su protagonista.

En estas extraordinarias memorias, Christie relata su experiencia, y dibuja un autorretrato digno de ser recordado en la memoria española como el de uno de los ultimo’s idealistas del convulso siglo XX.

Stuart Christie nació en Glasgow en 1946; anarquista convencido, viajó a España en 1964 cargado de explosivos como parte de una misión para matar a Franco, organizada por Defensa Interior, un ala radical de la CNT. Fue arrestado por la Brigada Político Social y sentenciado a una pena de veinte años de prisión en Carabanchel. En 1967 consiguió la libertad gracias a un indulto, pero tres años después fue arrestado y encarcelado en Londres como sospechoso de pertenecer al grupo terrorista Angry Brigade, cargo del que finalmente resultó absuelto.

Fue editor del Cienfuegos Press, donde ha publicado la Review of Anarchist Literature. Ha escrito numerosos libros, entre los que destacan The Floodgates of Anarchy (1970) (Anarquismo y Lucha de Clases – 2012), Stefano Delle Chiaíe: Portrait of a Black Terrorist (l984) y We, The Anarchists/ A Study of The Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) 1927-1937 (¡Nosotros Los Anarquistas! Un estudio de la Federación Anarquista Ibérica (FAI) 1927-1937). Franco me hizo terrorista forma parte de sus memorias, una trilogía bajo el nombre de The Christie Files, compuesta por My Granny Made Me an Anarchist (2002), General Franco Made Me a Terrorist (2003) y Edward Heath Made Me Angry (2004).

Jun 152012
 

Cipriano Mera’s challenge to Germinal Esgleas (1903–81) and Vicente Llansola (1915–96), 11 September 1964

Cipriano Mera Sanz (1897-1975)

I, Cipriano Mera*, hereby impugn Germinal Esgleas**, general secretary of the Intercontinental Secretariat (SI) of the National Confederation of Labour of Spain in Exile (CNTE), on the following grounds:

FIRST: For deliberately accepting the position he currently holds, despite the fact that the Congress which appointed him rubber-stamped the performance of the DI Section (Interior Defence, the clandestine action planning section of the CNT-FAI-FIJL) — from which he later resigned — whereas he was knowingly at odds with said performance and with the aims and objectives of the aforementioned Section (the DI), and for exploiting his position — from within and without — deliberately to sabotage said Section, right from its inception.

SECOND: As the person primarily responsible for the majority of the problems that thwarted the normal coordination of activities under the Defence (DI) remit, and because of his determination to torpedo its operations, as evidenced by his resignation some months in advance of the Confederal Congress at which he knew he would be proposed as candidate for the post of general secretary, thereby pre-empting any scrutiny of his conduct in respect of his obligations as a member of the DI.

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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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May 132011
 

In the early hours of 11 May 2011, 86-year-old Germinal García, a militant of the Juventudes Libertarias (FIJL) and the Paris Local Federation of the CNT in the 1950s and 1960s, passed away (in Paris). At the end of the Spanish Civil War, 13-year old Germinal had been interned in Argeles-sur-Mer concentration camp where an unknown English woman, to whom he was ever grateful, cared for him. Stowing away on a Danish freighter, the Kitty Skov, from the port of Barcelona, he escaped to the United States, where he remained for a time in New York, passing himself off as a French citizen, returning later to France to became active in the anti-Francoist struggle. Shunning the limelight, but always in the background with his strong sense of solidarity, Germinal’s apartment in the Rue Lancry was a safe haven for comrades who had escaped from Franco’s Spain — and for guerrillas such as Quico Sabaté whenever he was in Paris (it was also used by Stuart Christie prior to his trip to Spain in 1964). For that and for his ongoing service to the libertarian movement, Germinal won the respect and friendship of all who knew him. With his passing, we have the satisfying memories and the privilege of having known the friendship of a good comrade. Germinal’s remains were cremated in Paris on 17 May 2011.

Octavio Alberola, May 12, 2011

Note: In 1960, prior to the state visit to France of Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev, President De Gaulle’s security services knocked on his door early one morning and ordered him to pack a bag as he was leaving the country. Escorted to a military airfield on the outskirts of Paris along with other Spanish and French anarchists, they were put on board a French air force plane and flown to Corsica for the duration of Khruschev’s visit where the French government put them up in first class hotels, paid all their expenses and salaries — and apologised to their employers for the inconvenience caused by their temporary deportation  — Stuart Christie, May 12, 2011

Ha fallecido el compañero Germinal García

En París, en la madrugada del día 11 de mayo de 2011 y a la edad de 86 años, ha fallecido el compañero Germinal García, miembro activo de las Juventudes Libertarias y de la Federación Local de la CNT de París en los años sesenta. Al terminar la guerra, Germinal tenía 13 años y tras la Retirada estuvo internado en la ciudad de Argelés (Francia), en donde una mujer, ciudadana inglesa, se ocupaba de asistir a los jóvenes refugiados. Luego se embarcó como polizón en un buque que zarpaba de Francia hacia América. Descubierto, consiguió seguir viaje hacia Nueva York gracias a que, por su dominio de la lengua francesa, pudo hacerse pasar como súbdito francés. Poco después volvió a Francia en donde comenzó a militar en las Juventudes Libertarias de París. Anónimo, pero con una gran vocación por la solidaridad, el domicilio de Germinal estuvo siempre abierto para los compañeros que llegaban huidos de España. En algunas ocasiones, también el Quico Sabater utilizó el piso de la rue Lancry. En 1964, fue Stuart Christie quien pasó algunas noches en ese piso. Por ello y por su permanente disposición a servir al movimiento libertario, Germinal se ganó la simpatía de cuantos lo conocieron, de cuantos lo conocimos. Ahora, tras su desaparición, nos queda la satisfacción de haberle conocido y el recuerdo de un buen compañero.

Octavio Alberola, May 12, 2011

May 302010
 

Octavio Alberola

The Anarchist News Agency recently interviewed  Spanish anarchist activist Octavio Alberola about his life and his role in Defensa Interior, the clandestine planning body responsible for co-ordinating the attempts  on the life of the dictator General Franco in the 1960s, and in the Cuban libertarian movement from the mid-1950s through to the present day.
Click here to read an interview in PDF format

Apr 022010
 

Granado & Delgado – Doubly Victims
Granado Delgado deux fois victimes

Granado Delgado dos veces victimas

Sobre los atentados Valle de los Caidos DGS

Sobre los atentados del Valle de los Caídos y de la Dirección General de la Seguridad y sus consecuencias and Granado y Delgado: dos veces victimas (4 pdfs — Intro and commentary by Antonio Martin in French, Spanish and English, the fourth document, the transcript of the ‘examination in chief’ of Jacinto Guerrero Lucas, is in Spanish)

(English)
These two texts (in French and in Spanish) are the result of a debate held in Madrid on 17 October 2009 on CNT premises in the presence of Jacinto Guerrero Lucas and Antonio Martin and a number of the comrades jailed in connection with two attacks mounted in 1962 and 1963 on sites of symbolic significance to Francoism. The pdf entitled “On the attacks on the Valley of the Fallen and Security Directorate (Dirección General de Seguridad – DGS)— and their aftermath” is a verbatim transcript by Antonio Martin of the tape-recording made of that meeting. The pdf “Doubly Victims: Granado and Delgado’ is Antonio Martin’s commentary on the cross-examination of Jacinto Guerrero Lucas, in Madrid, on CNT premises, on 17 October 2009 in relation to the 1963 Valle de los Caidos and DGS bomb attacks and their aftermath, the arrest and judicial murder of Joaquin Delgado and Francisco Granado

(Español)
Estos dos textos resultan de la reunión contradictoria organizada en Madrid el 17 de octubre de 2009.en los locales de CNT en presencia de Jacinto Guerrero Lucas, de Antonio Martin y de compañeros encarcelados a raíz de dos atentados efectuados en 1962 y 1963 en lugares simbólicos del franquismo. El primer texto intitulado:”Sobre los atentados del Valle de los Caídos y de la Dirección General de la Seguridad y sus consecuencias” corresponde a la exacta trascripción por Antonio Martin de la grabación de la reunión hecha por CNT y el segundo texto al comentario “Granado y Delgado: dos veces victimas” por Antonio Martin de la reunión precitada.

(Français)
Ces deux textes résultent de la réunion contradictoire organisée à Madrid le 17 octobre 2009 dans les locaux de la CNT, en présence de Jacinto Guerrero Lucas, de Antonio Martin et de compagnons emprisonnés suite à deux attentats effectués à Madrid en 1962 et 1963 dans de lieux symboliques du franquisme. Le premier texte intitulé «Sur les attentats du Valle de los Caidos et de la Dirección General de la Seguridad y leurs conséquences” correspond à l’exacte transcription par Antonio Martin de l’enregistrement de la réunion faite par CNT et le second texte au commentaire « Granado et Delgado : deux fois victimes » par Antonio Martin de la réunion précitée