Saturday, June 18, 2011

MEETING : The Spanish Revolution 1936-39

Speaker is Brian Bamford from the Solidarity Federation [Manchester]: Trades Council secretary, building worker, writer, and editor of Northern Voices.
8 p.m. on Wednesday 20th July, at Wood Green Social Club, Stuart Crescent N22-
Just up the hill from Wood Green tube station, across the gardens and the WGSC is on your right.

Seventy-five years ago many of the Spanish people launched a spirited defence of their country against an attempted coup by right-wing Spanish Army generals, supported by German and Italian military power. The popular insurrection took a ‘leftward turn’ as the armed people began to take over factories, depots, farms, estates, municipal authorities – indeed the whole of most of east Spain. Militias with 100,000 volunteers including the famous Durruti column, marched against the Nationalists under Franco.

In the rear, regions of Catalonia, Aragon, etc., became a workers’ republic, as chronicled by George Orwell and others. In a social experiment that last nearly three years, the people were in control and business institutions were collectivised or ‘adjusted’ to the new world. This can be regarded as the foremost example of workers’ power the world had ever seen, and remains so today.

Sadly fascism – Franco, Hitler, Mussolini – had armed forces and air power to ensure the eventual defeat of the people. There were divisions among the defenders, many were anarchists while the socialists/communists held more orthodox left-wing views, but armed might won out anyway. And the ‘civil’ war became a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the world war against the Axis powers that began within a few months. However we still celebrate the 1936 libertarian revolution, the breathtaking courage of the Spanish people, and the vision of a workers’ New World, not forgetting the international volunteers who went to assist them.

Already published on this blog about the Spanish revolution
Spain and the World : Aspects of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War
Women in the Spanish Revolution


  1. Thank you for remembering the anarchists of 1936.

    my name is anonymous.

  2. Brian Bamford's contribution to a later event (September 2017, Wakefield) discussing George Orwell & Socialism can be found at: