Spain and the World. Vol. 1, no. 11
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SPAIN AND THE WORLD VOLUME 1, NUMBER 11. MAY 1st, 1937. PRICE 2d.—U.S.A. 5 CENTS. Consider the origin of all fortunes, whether arising out of commerce, finance, manufactures, or the land. Everywhere you will find that the wealth of the wealthy springs from the poverty of the poor. KROPOTKIN. (Conquest of Bread) Iran, San Sebastien, Durango .... to-day Guernica. Franco, Spanish Patriot and Christian, massacres women and children from the air, while British and French politicians discuss further means of betrayal. Workers! Show your solidarity with the Basque comrades by imposing your will. Demand active intervention in favour of the Spanish workers fighting for liberty against Italian and German regular Army and Air Force. Now .... before Bilbao and its heroic people are wiped out. MAY 1st, 1937: ITS SIGNIFICANCE It seems appropriate to us that a whole page of this issue should be dedicated to our brave Comrades of Catalonia. For it is they who are defending not only Spanish territory with their armed fists, but they are also defending the noble ideals which prompted the workers of Spain to take up arms against Fascist invasion. They are advancing with the Social Revolution: new enterprises are springing up everywhere, thereby freeing the country from foreign Capital; villages and small towns are being collectivized even where the C.N.T. and F.A.I. have not yet penetrated, such as the village of Peza which boasts of 5,000 inhabitants, or as at Llerena where 500 armed workers confiscated the land from the landowners, and defended themselves against the assault guards with such success that the latter had to leave the village in hurried confusion. To-day, the workers of this country will be celebrating the 1st May. Are they going to flock in their thousands to Hyde Park and just listen to their M.P.s or labour leaders speak from the coal-cart pulpits, uttering their usual stock phrases of workers' emancipation, and working class Freedom without accompanying them by action. This year perhaps will be added the fact that Mr. Lansbury thinks Hitler a great fellow; that he has had the honour of shaking hands with one murderer and hopes soon to go to Italy and shake hands with the other murderer, and remark what a good, and peaceful fellow he really is. The workers of this country should resolve that this May 1st, should be the beginning of a thorough and not half-hearted campaign on behalf of our Spanish comrades. Let us take as an inspiration the Chicago Martyrs, and the Spanish Martyrs; the hundreds of thousands of Spaniards, the Durrutis. the Ascasos, who have so generously shed their blood in the name of workers' freedom and emancipation. Italy and Germany have succumbed under the mailed fist of Fascism. Spain was to have suffered the same fate at the hands of International Fascism. The people resisted. They have checked the advance of fascism; in many parts they have defeated it. They have succeeded where others have failed because from the outset they were masters of their actions. They had not men of the Bevin type to consult for every step they took toward their Freedom. This is the lesson to the British workers. This is the lesson to the thousands of transport workers who are to-day threatening a strike. The successful outcome of their action depends on their own sense of responsibility. Once they put power into the hands of their leaders their movement is doomed to failure. Workers! Return to your homes this May Day resolved that your efforts on behalf of the Spanish workers cause will be intensified, by voice of mouth, through our press and by direct action. That you will resolve to contribute to the best of your ability to the work of human solidarity that is being carried out for the relief of suffering and exposure of the civilian population to the murderous attacks of Franco's war planes and warships. Finally, that you will not neglect the workers' struggle in your own country. For, by intensifying your activity for your Freedom as well as the Freedom of your fellow workers, you are fighting indirectly for the Spanish workers' cause. A strong, militant working class in this country could have avoided all this bloodshed in Spain. Your submission to the Bevins and Citrines of your Unions has brought about the betrayal of the Spanish workers. Enough of these bourgeois leaders! The Unions need a rank and file of conscious, militant and convinced workers. Let this be your resolution this May Day, in the most momentous year of International workers' struggle against Capital and Oppression! THE FALL OF MALAGA Government's Criminal Negligence Responsible Regarding the Fall of Malaga, reports appeared from various sources which did not altogether correspond with the true facts of the case. Some went so far as to actually lay the blame for its fall on the heads of the Anarchists. The Communist and Socialist organs of the World Press even did not hesitate to repeat these lies - lies which can only serve the interests of the Fascists and by no means those of the Anti-Fascist United Front in Spain. We give below details on the Fall of Mallaga which were reported by persons actually engaged in the fight and belonging to the various parties. As far back as AUGUST last, the representative of the C.N.T., R. PERA, as well as GIRALT, the representative of the Popular Front and the U.G.T., reported that the Fascists were marching in the direction of Algeciras, and that it was imperative to strengthen the defensive forces. A demand was made for 10,000 rifles, 16 machine guns, 3 cannons of 17.5 and 10.5. In OCTOBER a delegation of the Popular Front waited upon Largo CABALLERO, to present the necessity for strengthening the defence of Malaga and to ask for more arms. Caballero's reply was that not a single rifle, nor a single cartridge could be given for Malaga. There were no anti-aircraft guns available, although the town was being daily attacked by machine guns from the air and from as low a height as 200 metres. Colonel LUIS ROMERO (a member of the Communist Party since 1931) communicated daily this fact, either by telephone or telegraphically, to the Government. Romero's reports were supported by the F.A.I. of Malaga. Yet nothing was done. The C.N.T. of Malaga established a munition factory where 1,000 persons were busy manufacturing equipment for the troops. In November, another deputation was sent to interview Caballero, to put full details before him as to the position of Malaga and to impress on him the dangerous state of affairs. The Government's reply was again in the negative. An Economic Committee was appointed in Malaga, composed of representatives from all parties. The Committee again applied to the Government. They pointed out that this Committee, consisting of representatives from all parties, Marxists, Anarchists, etc., of the Popular United Front, was urgently in need of munitions in order to fight against Fascism. The C.N.T. -F.A.I. represented the majority of the militiamen in this region. Their request was left unheeded. General JOSE ASENSIO (Caballero's Minister for War), the Deputy State Secretary-General, refused to supply any arms for Malaga. At this juncture, the Defence Committee of Barcelona sent 500 grenades of 17.5, 600 bombs, and a number of cartridges to Malaga. Malaga Completely Neglected The Socialist Government of Madrid had completely neglected Malaga. The War Commissar of Malaga took away even the last three cannons from the Federal Column, which cannons had been posted in the district of Estepona, and handed them over to the Marxist battalion MEJICO. Also some machine guns were withdrawn from the Federal Column of Estepona. The Commandant PELAYO was relieved of his command, because he was under suspicion to be in sympathy with the Confederates, i.e., the C.N.T. As a result of this, Estepona fell into the hands of the Fascists three days later, and thereby they moved 25 kilometres nearer to Malaga. After this defeat of our forces, brought about by the withdrawal of arms, the Government relieved Colonel HERNANDEZ ARTECA of his post and replaced him by Colonel Villalba. The latter came from the Aragon Front, where he had by no means distinguished himself. Between the fall of Estepona and the fall of Malaga there was an interval of twenty days. During that time, the Government at Valencia was daily adjured to send munitions, in view of the fact that the imminent fall of Malaga became daily more threatening. The Scouting Service of the Confederates' Column "Juan Arcos," informed the Government that 32,000 Italians and Moroccans, equipped with 150 tanks and a proportionate amount of other war material, were advancing towards Malaga. Colonel CREMEN, too, supported this, and insisted on the demand addressed to the Government for immediate supply of arms. Only Four Machine Guns In the meantime, the Fascists continued their advance. Safarraya was hard pressed by them. On February 5th a Conference was held of all the Anti-Fascist organisations and parties, where the dangerous situation was discussed. It was decided to put up resistance. They only had at their disposal 28,000 cartridges, a very inadequate quantity of hand grenades and 4 machine guns. They hoped for continued overleaf BUJARALOZ Bujaraloz is a large township of some 2,000 inhabitants. It possessed three churches and seven chapels. None were destroyed. The People's Committee has its headquarters in the former town hall. As at Fraja and countless other communes which we crossed after leaving Lerida, Libertarian Communism has been established and extends in fact over a larger area than that through which we have passed. Money has been abolished and the principles of Federalism have been applied to the entire social and economic life of the people. New Villages Before the revolution there were two syndicates; the U.G.T. and the C.N.T. At the time of the Fascist rising, the two organisations, which had concluded a pact of revolutionary alliance as a result of the Congress at Saragossa held by the C.N.T. in May 1936, declared a general strike and began expropriation. The Fascists, in their flight, seized three comrades whose fate is not yet known. The food cards are in red and black, the colours of the C.N.T.-F.A.I. Members of the delegation have been asking in view of the fact that money has been abolished, how correspondence is franked, and how newspapers are received. The numbers of the People's Committee have replied that a free newspaper service is offered to all the libertarian communes and that in place of the stamp the mark of the two syndicalist organisations, U.G.T. and C.N.T., is affixed. In any case, in the cities where money circulates all organisations use the same method for franking postage. The Responsibility of the U.G.T. and the C.N.T. in the Communal Life A committee for exchanges with the outside world is also in operation and has been set up by the syndicalist organisations. Conversations are in progress so as to establish regional statistics and, later, to place the whole on a national basis, including the other libertarian communes. Education The School, before the revolution, consisted of four schoolmasters and schoolmistresses. The School now includes seven members for the instruction of the pupils. They live on the same basis as the rest of the population. The Communal Organisation of Work All workers are arranged into groups; each day the group appoints a new delegate. In the morning each group calls at the Committee to obtain instructions as to the work to be done on that day. Each assembly of the people fixes the work to be done between any two meetings and the Committee divides it between the various groups or teams. In the evening the representative of each group (his power ceases after the day's work) gives an account of the work done and gives the name of the group representative for the next day, who will see to the next day's work. It is easy to see that it is the people who set themselves the task, and that all traces of authority have disappeared. A Memory of the Sombre Past Here is a picture of the existence of the rural populations before the revolution, a people who to-day have been reborn into a new existence. A few landed proprietors possessed almost all the land and the agricultural equipment available. The peasant, who hired the land necessary for him to live together with his family, gave 50% of the crop instead of money. As he was too poor to own the equipment necessary to carry out the work in the fields as well as the harvest and the threshing of the corn, he was dependent on the owner who possessed all the equipment and thus he was obliged to give a further 10 or 15% of his harvest for the use of the equipment. Add to that the various contributions and taxes with which a capitalist society burdened him, (whatever such a society may have called itself) and we realise that a peasant was deprived of at least two-thirds of his work. As for the agricultural workers, they earned 4 pesetas 50 per day; they had to board and feed themselves on such a sum. The Squires A rich owner of land in Bujaraloz owned 14 threshing machines and earned with his son 25 pesetas each from the government in virtue of their work as agriculturalists!
|Archive collection||Publications from the archive of Henry Sara and Frank Maitland|
|Archive folder||Journal of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Union : Spain and the World|
|Document title||Spain and the World. Vol. 1, no. 11|
|Issuing organisation||Anarcho-Syndicalist-Union (Shepherd's Bush (London, England))|
|Author||Souchy, Agustín, 1892-|
|Document date||1 May 1937|
|Copyright status||Copyright expired. With the exception of the article by Augustin Souchy: current copyright holder unknown.|