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(en) cab anarquista: International Declaration: 85 years of the Spanish Revolution July 19, 2021

Date Sat, 24 Jul 2021 09:41:41 +0300

On July 19, 1936, the people achieved a historic victory in the face of a military uprising organized against the government and the Spanish Republic. The uprising was a military and civil plot that had the support of all reactionary sectors of society (Church, Carlists, Falangists, Conservatives, landowners and industrialists) and with the financing of right-wing bankers and even Mussolini's Italy. ---- Faced with this well-organized plot to overthrow a government, there were only a handful of loyal military personnel and a few public order forces of dubious trust. Despite this, the people understood their historical role perfectly and overcame any expectation of resistance. The working masses took over entire cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Gijón, San Sebastián and Valencia.

The defeat of this coup d'état led to a civil war in full swing, as the military had triumphed in some cities and regions (Navarra, Castile, Seville, Cordoba, Cádiz and Galicia). They had the African colonial army and the support of the fascist powers. Franco's victory was consolidated thanks to international aid. Despite this, the war lasted 33 months.

Due to the coup, the republican state collapsed. The advance of popular forces was such that resistance created a social revolution in all fields of life. This revolution was led by the organized forces of the National Confederation of Labour, the Iberian Anarchist Federation, the Free Women organization, the Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youths and, to a lesser extent, the Marxist Unification Workers Party, but it must be recognized that it affected the grassroots. of all parties whose common people also participated in the revolutionary climate.

The workers' forces created militias with the weapons that took over the barracks. The popular impulse expelled the fascist military columns and created a whole army of militias essentially financed by the unions, political organizations and municipalities. Over time, the central government created a People's Army with the purpose of responding to the enemy with its own weapons. Even so, this army was on its way to appease the revolutionary spirit of the militias, the authentic expression of the "people in arms" and channel it towards a conventional war.

The revolution had started with the takeover and companies and land whose owners fled abroad. The working class took over the means of production and put them into operation thanks to the unions. Therefore, in a matter of weeks, numerous expropriations were carried out, creating collectives of factories and fields. Thanks to this revolution, a military industry was built from scratch. Later, these collectivities grouped together with the aim of socializing the entire economy, which did not happen due to the government reaction and the appearance of counter-revolutionary forces that prevented them (in particular, the Communist Party). In the revolutionary process, millions of people participated.

Examples of the popular construction of the social revolution are: peasant collectivizations, through the recovery of property and the common management of lands; industrial and service communities based on self-management of companies and workers' planning through union federations; the almost total schooling of the child and youth population, in addition to the implementation of a pedagogy based on the principles of Ferrer and Guardia and on rationalist and libertarian pedagogy; the improvement of living conditions (housing, health, essential services) of the population; the promulgation of norms establishing co-education in schools, free and free abortion, free unions, etc. Definitely, Iberian anarchism and anarcho-syndicalistism managed to put into practice for months those ideas and proposals that they developed and for which they fought,

Queremos recordar também de outro 19 de julho, mas de 2012, no qual Rojava declarou sua autonomia em relação ao estado sírio. A autonomia curda também é um processo revolucionário, uma poderosa chama acesa no Oriente Próximo. Sua luta durante os 9 anos de autonomia mantém no alto as aspirações revolucionárias dos povos ao longo do tempo. Não podemos mais que ter solidariedade plena com sua luta.

The 19th of July represents the victory of a people against a militarized and well-prepared reaction. This day reminds us that victory is possible, that utopia can be put into practice. It shows our strength when we organize to win. It also represents the eternal threat of imperialist and reactionary intervention by the global powers, which have not hesitated to crush any process of transformation. Therefore, internationalist solidarity and the extension of these revolutionary processes to other places is essential.

Some lessons that the Spanish Revolution left us
In the first place, we could point out the need for popular protagonism and previous processes of construction of this protagonism, which we call Popular Power and which is nothing more or less than the people, the oppressed classes, taking in their hands the resolution of all the social problems and issues, including the struggle to stop a coup d'état such as the reactionary and fascist military.

It was in Barcelona, and by extension in Catalonia, where the people took to the streets for the first time, took quarters and defeated the reaction, all in an organized and planned way, applying a high and complex level of direct action through the Defense Committees of the CNT , defeating the fascist uprising. The accumulated experience of street fighting and action groups was expressed in all its splendor on 19 July. Barcelona and Catalonia came under the hands of the Catalan working and peasant class.

But it was also there that the first problems and limitations began to appear, in a process that would not be simple and that, like any revolutionary process, would be far from being a dream. In Barcelona and Catalonia, a kind of dual power was installed, with the Generalitat remaining as a power of the State and the Committee of Anti-Fascist Militias and of collectivities appearing, in turn, as an organism inspired by the libertarian movement. With social strength and victory in hand, the CNT and the FAi allowed the maintenance of state bodies, which would soon turn against the revolution. They did not want to impose anarchist predominance even though they were the majority, but on the other hand, they opened the doors to the Communist Party's maneuvers and to the intervention of the Soviet Union through it.

In this sense, we can also point out two aspects for evaluation: the first, to allow the strengthening of forces that were not in favor of a revolutionary process and that intended to maintain the Republic as a form of government. This aspect had its culmination in the clashes of the May 1937 Days, in which a counter-revolution driven by communists and republicans politically defeated the party forces of the Revolution.

The second aspect, that the victory gave a greater margin to advance in the materialization of popular organizations that completely supplanted the State and allowed the rehearsal of new forms of self-management and federalism at an advanced level. In this sense, the slogan of anarchism that "war and revolution are inseparable" was totally correct. For millions of people, the Revolution was an essential issue to fight for. According to the agreements of the Congress of Zaragoza of the CNT, practically the entire Catalan economy was collectivized. But as soon as the Republic killed that revolution, morale plummeted across the rear. The war had reduced the battle between the two competing armies. Since then, people's hopes have been based on seeking mere survival amid growing discouragement: in the rear,

The central dilemma that Spanish anarchism had to face in the midst of the Revolution was entry into the government of the Republic. It is possible to debate whether this decision was correct or not, which goes against the principles of our ideology, but it must be taken into account that it was operating under adverse conditions in several aspects (lack of weapons, little international support and the imminent threat to Madrid) and the totally unprecedented situation in which the strength of anarchist organizations varied in different areas of Spanish territory.

The main lack of Spanish anarchism in this entire scenario was that of a political organization that had its own strategy and proposals for such an unprecedented and difficult situation, and that was not tied to the strategies of other political forces. Undoubtedly, much had to be agreed upon, but it is always preferable to do so based on your own proposals and with your own strength.

O fato de o anarquismo não ter sido organizado politicamente na Espanha impactou até mesmo no terreno da guerra e da ação direta, já que outras formas de organização de milícias e níveis mais complexos poderiam ter sido explorados naquele plano (na verdade havia várias propostas nesse sentido), sem cair na plena militarização estatal, que passou o controle do exército ao Estado (controlado pelo governo, com o peso crescente do Partido Comunista) e indiretamente, à União Soviética.

Far from our aspiration to say what should have been done. There, men and women of the city fought and gave their lives, our sisters and brothers of ideas, who faced fascism with tremendous courage. The revolutionary process was a product of the accumulation of struggles of the Spanish people before 1936, struggles that included deportations, exile and imprisonment, but also an atmosphere of debate and action that existed between the popular classes and the different levels of direct action that developed daily . Groups such as "Los Solidarios" (which in 1936 was called "Nosotros" and which led the proletarian uprising of July 19 in Barcelona through the Local Defense Committee) were in Latin America providing funding for this process that was already projected in the evaluations for years before. In this process, the existence of an anarchist political organization would have provided clear guidance at all levels of the struggle and would have allowed debates within the anarchist movement to proceed differently. Also, taking into account that anarchism was not the only existing force and that other political forces were also active and had their own political projects and alliances.

While Spanish anarchism was adapting to the difficult situation it was experiencing, taking on a program of anti-fascist unity, other revolutionary opposition groups emerged, such as "Los Amigos de Durruti". His proposal in May 1937 of "a program and rifles" proposing a Revolutionary Junta to take power, highlighted the need for the political organization we have indicated.

For us, political organization is decisive, even more so in a process of change. Our organization is not at the forefront, it does not go before the people to lead. But, on the contrary, it is a small engine that drives popular organizations, that helps, that encourages the people to be the builder of their destiny and advances together with these people, with their problems and limitations, but also with what they are capable of ramp up.

This is why politically organized anarchists speak of an unprecedented conception of power. We understand power as the people's capacity for action and that is why we speak of Popular Power or other concepts that express the same idea: that it is the people who must build the revolutionary process and the socialist and libertarian society that we aspire to. This concept has nothing to do with state power, it is much more: it is the possibility of destroying the state and replacing capitalist society with a new social order.

Political organization, People Power and the conviction that a libertarian society is not established overnight after the revolution, but after a transition process where various forces will continue to push each one for their project and where anarchists should having sufficient capacity and strength to consolidate our proposals are key elements of a revolutionary process with a clear anarchist and anti-authoritarian orientation.

We believe with complete modesty that these may be some of the lessons that the Spanish Revolution leaves for organized anarchism. With the construction of a new society realized - albeit partially, but which lasted until 1939 - people got used to living in Collectivizations, including, in some cases, eliminating money and supporting the war effort.

We must emphasize that many and many of the surviving comrades and comrades who took refuge in France and were locked up in veritable concentration camps actively participated in the struggle against the Nazi occupation of French territory and even Spanish anarchist militants were among the first and the first to enter the liberated Paris. Other comrades and comrades continued militating in Latin America and contributing their experience of struggle to organizations in other latitudes. Many, many internationalist militants participated in the battlefronts and in the rear, as an example we will cite Simón Radowitzky, who after serving a long sentence in Ushuaia (Argentina) went to fight in Spain. Like him, so many others continued to fight, after the Revolution, in their respective countries.

The legacy of the Spanish Revolution is not a dead past, it is part of the history and struggle of those below, of the processes of emancipation that our class carried out and of the yearnings for a different tomorrow that is being disputed from today onwards. In Spain, a little bit of all this was developed. It is a concrete experience which oppressed peoples all over the world must study and learn, draw conclusions, see the limitations that existed, and also take into account the creative potential of people in times of Revolution.

We call you to continue your legacy and your work and also to reflect on all the teachings that this rich popular historical process left us.

At 85 years of the Spanish Revolution, VIVA!

Embat (Organitzacio Libertaria de Catalunya)
FAU ( Federación Anarquista Uruguaya)
Anarchist Federation (Greece)
Libertare Aktion (Switzerland)
FAR ( Federación Anarquista de Rosario, Argentina)
Die Plattform (Germany)
ZACF (Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front, South Africa)
OAC ( Organización Anarquista de Córdoba, Argentina)
AWSM (Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement, Aotearoa - New Zealand)
Grupo Libertario Vía Libre (Colombia)
CAB (Brazilian Anarchist Coordination)
OSL (Organización Socialista Libertaria, Switzerland)
FAS (Federación Anarquista Santiago, Chile)
OAT ( Organización Anarquista de Tucumán, Argentina)
AL/FDCA Alternative Libertaria (Italy)
UCL (Union Communiste Libertaire, France)

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