International Brigade 80th Anniversary

Scottish veterans at the unveiling of the international brigade memorial statue in 1985:

Spectacle was present in 1985 when the International Brigade memorial statue was erected and Scottish veterans gave their views about the war is the video shown above.  Thirty one years later, the 2nd of July marked the 80th anniversary of the start of the Spanish civil war. People gathered at the memorial at South Bank to pay their respects to the international brigade, 2100 of which were British, who fought against the nationalists during the civil war from 1936-39. The Nationalists were controlled by Franco’s government, who were fascists, and they had the support of Germany and Italy. The International Brigade was on the side of the second spanish republic and they were made up of volunteers from over 50 nations, there was an estimated 35, 000 of them. The International Brigade was made up of many different people such as communists, socialists, anarchists, jews, but they all had one thing in common and that is that they were anti-fascist. Their goal was to stop a fascist dictatorship from happening in Spain as it could have easily spread to other european countries that weren’t already controlled by fascists, such as France. Although the nationalists ultimately won and Franco continued to rule for a further 36 years it is clear that the work of the International Brigade is still valued to this day.

During the memorial held at Jubilee Gardens wreaths were laid for the 526 british volunteers who lost their lives to the cause and there was a minutes silence. Those present at the memorial included representatives from the spanish embassy, trade union veterans and the president of the madrid Association of Friends of the International Brigade. There was also performances from various artists and actors including songs from the upcoming play about the international brigade.

In the turbulent times we live in now is it possible we will need another International Brigade in the future and what form would it take?

Photos from the 80th anniversary:

IMG_5567 IMG_5576 IMG_5592IMG_5582

Watch our interview with John ‘Bosco’ Jones about being a member of the International Brigade.

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Murray Bookchin y el anarquismo español

Al comienzo de la Guerra Civil española Bookchin tenía tan solo 15 años. Era demasiado joven para viajar como brigadista internacional a luchar a favor de la causa republicana como hicieron algunos de sus amigos. Sin embargo, la que él y otros autores catalogaron como revolución española marcaría su pensamiento e ideología.

Frontpage of the book "To  Remember Spain"

En 1977 publicó el libro “Anarquistas españoles. Los años heroicos 1868-1936” un recorrido por el movimiento anarquista español desde sus orígenes hasta mediados de los años 30. Y aunque tenía en mente publicar otro libro que se centrase en el anarquismo durante los años de la guerra, nunca llegó a escribirlo. Pero si publicó “Para recordar a España” una colección de dos ensayos que complementan su primer libro sobre la tradicción anarquista española.

Murray Bookchin estaba especialmente fascinado por el carácter “extraordinariamente anárquico” de las formas de organización creadas por los obreros y los campesinos. Así que decidió viajar a España y también a Francia e Inglaterra (países en los que se encontraban exiliados miembros de la CNT-FAI) para reunir documentación y escribir el libro que serviría de legado a las generaciones posteriores de “un acontecimineto revolucionario inspirador”.

Aunque en su libro Bookchin reconoce que “en algunos momentos determinados grupos o personas de forma minoritaria hicieron uso de la violencia”,  defiende que “pocas imágenes de una sociedad libre han sido tan groseramente tragiversadas como las del anarquismo”. El autor norteamericano presenta el anarquismo como una doctrina basada en “el apoyo mutuo, respeto, solidaridad y hospitalidad. Un movimiento opuesto a toda jerarquía, que se impondría en la sociedad a través de una filosofía libertaria que impregnase a todos los miembros que la componen”.

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Visita nuestra página  Bookchin on Bookchin para más información y vídeos, las donaciones pueden ser hechas a través de Indegogo

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International Brigades Pyrenees Walk 2012

Watch these highlights of the 2012 Pyrenees commemorative walk,  as a small group of people retrace the path of the thousands of volunteers who crossed the Pyrenees into Spain to fight the Nationalist forces led by Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

On this long journey a memorial is held for the most recent members of the International Brigaders who died and many members of the group give a reading.

If you are interested in this topic, see Spectacle’s interview with the International Brigader, Bosco Jones, focusing discussion on history of the Spanish Civil War.

MUME website is http://www.museuexili.cat/

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