El Ateneo Libertario was founded of the 9th February 1991 with a
squat at the former railway station at Utrillas. The collectives which
participated were Equipi (A), CUAL, Anarchist Students and non-
aligned individuals. At the time we were fully occupied with
demonstrations against the Gulf War and we had just seen judgements
against 4 students on campus and at Ibercaja in December 1988.
After having restored the enormous building we had occupied we
started to put together various activities: talks, an atheist demo, a stall
on March 5th, debates (autonomy, sexism and anti-militarism), concerts
and propaganda. Then there was the logo of AL made up with the
black star (used by autonomists and anarchists), a broken arrow (used
by the squatters) and a stork, due to the fact that a tower behind the
Utrillas station was the home to you would find the last of the storks in
Zaragoza. As the months passed the Ateneo Libertario moved on from
being simply a physical space to being a collective proper. It took part
in numerous campaigns: *insumision* (see previous postings), draft
resistance, demos against the Immigration Law along with the
Immigrants Defence Committee of Aragon... From one of the meetings
attended by many groups in the Spanish State came the seed of what
was to become *insumision total*.
The House of Peace.
The summer saw a fall off in activity and the Utrillas Railway Station
which has many entrances was constantly invaded by vagrants who
destroyed everything they could. In September it was decided to
abandon Utrillas and after various debates the collective reorganised
itself and decided to take over the House of Peace, at the time empty
and inactive. Everyone has heard of the revitalisation of The House of
Peace, its continuous activities and the joining up of new collectives.
This stage ended with the eviction of the House of Peace by the police
After other occupations frustrated by quick evictions 1991 saw a new
project: the Centro Social Angel Chueca, firstly at Pza Roboleria and
now at el Coso.
The Ateneo's activities have been many and varied. Exhibition and
debate concerning the various consequences linked to the funereal
celebrations of 1992 (Olympics, 500th anniversary, EXPO and
Actanica. An antimilitarist group at the ateneo was at the centre of the
*insumision* campaign, participating in state level meetings in Valencia
of groups in favour of total *insumision*, some months later CAMPI-
Aragon was formed. Other groups which came out of the meetings at
Ateneo Libertario were Mala Raza (alternative distribution, October
92), Ruda (feminism, January 93).
There is also international solidarity: exhibition relating to the indigenous
people of Ecuador, a talk about the Sahara, workshops on Palestine in
association with the International Solidarity Committee (also attended
by a member invited from the FDLP), presentation of the book 'Zapata
Vive'. We also participated in the Platform for Help for Chiapas. Active
participation in the anti 500th centenary events of 1991 and 1992.
Ecology: participation in the campaign against the Somport tunnel,
action and propaganda relating to animal liberation and against the fur
trade. Currently protesting against nuclear testing.
Solidarity with prisoners, especially the libertarian worker Pablo
Serrano and the sending of materials to many prisoners (*insumisos*,
political, social...).Throughout this year we have been active in the
campaign to liberate the Afro-American libertarian political prisoner
Mumia Abu-Jamal. We have supported workers struggles by
participating in strikes and demos. Most recently we have been
supporting actions of the CNT, CUT, TIB y CATA.
We have also participated in squatters meetings at a state level. We
have been invited to take part in various libertarian conferences
(Madrid, Salamanca, Granada). At an international level we have
attended the international meetings of Class War (London October
1991, the Congress of the IWW/AIT (Colonia April 1992) and
international camps organised by the Young Revolutionaries (4th
In collaboration with the CNT and Libertarian Youth we organised a
two week meeting in February 1994 of libertarian workshops which
were well attended.
We began discussions on this topic years ago when other groups were
ignoring the problem and labelling us as alarmist. On 20th November
1992 we fought off an attack by fascists on the House of Peace and in
1993 we began to go out onto the street to demonstrate against fascism.
The Ateneo Libertario participated extensively in the setting up of the
PAZ (Antifascist Platform of Zarragoza) and has attended meetings of
anti-fascist groups at state level.
And of course we cannot overlook the publication of our journal EL
ACRATADOR which this month completes its sixth year and the
weekly broadcast of two radio ACRATADORES on Radio La Granja
and Radio Topo. There is an exchange of material, information and
publications with about 300 collectives within the Spanish state, Europe
and America. We are also using 'e'-mail and the Internet to receive and
send counterinformation and currently we have a server for EL
Who Are we?
El Ateneo Libertario is a group of people who work in different fields
from a libertarian perspective functioning according to autonomist and
collective principles. We are a global organisation, we deal with every
kind of issue and we are ready to work with any organisation in
struggles which call capitalism into question and which functions in an
open and collective manner. Our notion of libertarianism does not
presuppose a fortress mentality rather we are fully open to the rich and
varied currents of anarchist, autonomist, collective and anti-authoritarian
thought. Recently we have concentrated our efforts on working with and
strengthening various collective struggles even at the expense of our
activities as a collective.
Today, with new people coming into the group, we have restructured
the group and without forgetting those movements we are involved in via
other collectives we are seeking to relaunch Ateneo Libertario as a
group with our own activities.
If you feel you identify with us, if you would like to help us in any way, if
you wish to debate, struggle arm in arm with us we are open to your
collaboration. Make contact with us and join the Resistance. Organise
and fight back.