Sunday, July 31, 2011

Spanish Revolution Meeting Report

RaHN, which had not met for some months, kicked off again this week with a well attended meeting to celebrate the Spanish revolution of 1936. The military invasion by General Franco, aided by Hitler and Mussolini, sparked off the immediate resistance of much of eastern Spain. Everyone took to the streets, disarmed the troops, stormed the barracks and prisons then occupied their workplaces in factories, depots, mines and the land. It took nearly three years of civil war to dislodge them, aided even so by the so-called helpers of the communists who also turfed out occupiers. People paid tribute to the International Brigades who went to the country to defend the people's action. In the end, the fascists won, and this became a curtain raiser for WW2 a few months later.
The speaker, Brian Bamford from Manchester, gave an interesting discourse on the events, covering various historical sources and views. Speakers from the floor emphasised what was and still is the greatest mobilization of ordinary people fighting to control their lives. There were people at the meeting from the Haringey Solidarity Campaign, some visitors from Walthamstow and two Spanish students who were able to add details about the recent big demonstrations all over Spain.
There was a good supply of literature available including the recently published book on the workers' control in this period and a pamphlet on the war from Manchester. A reprint of a booklet on Women in the Spanish Revolution had been made. The RaHN blog which has had many hits on this subject was publicized. Housmans of Kings Cross supplied a bookstall.

The forthcoming RaHN programme:

14 September The Closure of the Post Office. After one and a half centuries of the Post Office as a publicly owned business, it is now facing privisation with the undermining of workers' rights. Local resident Rowland Hill introduced the national system. Merlin Reader, a union representative for the Communications Workers Union, outlines the Post Office history and the current struggle.

12 October  Joe Jacobs. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the famous Cable Street events of 1936, we remind people that Joe's magnificent struggle against the fascists is recorded in detail in a working class classic Out Of the Ghetto. Alan Woodward has written up the second half of his life after 1940 and introduces his booklet.

22 October Anarchist Book fair, Queen Mary, University of London , Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS. All day Saturday, 10 am to 7 pm. Come and talk to us at the Radical History Network stall.

9 November : to be arranged

14 December The Luddites Remembered. It is 200 years since the clothing workers smashed up the machinery that was destroying their jobs. Many regard modern technology as similarly destructive but a better way is needed to deal with it this time round. We examine the prospects.

Spain and the World: Aspects of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War online pamphlet by supporters of the RaHN - click on this link

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