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IBMT Scotland Secretary Mike Arnott writes…

On 12 July, Pablo Hernández, representing the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH in Spanish) in Tarancón, Spain, paid his respects at memorials in Perth, Dundee and Kirkcaldy to those who lost their lives fighting fascism in the Spanish Civil War as part of the International Brigade.

By Marshall Mateer (IBMT Film Coordinator)

Many IBMT members will already know the story of the three garment workers from Stepney in the East End of London – Nat Cohen, Sam Masters and Alec Sheller – trade unionists and members of International Labour Defence and the Communist Party.

They were on a cycling holiday in Spain when, on hearing of the outbreak of fighting in Spain on 17 July 1936, rode straight to Barcelona where they joined the Republican militias.

This Early Day Motion was tabled in the House of Commons on 4 July:

The following appeal has been received for funds to make a documentary about the new play telling the story of the International Brigade volunteers from Hull…

We are trying to make a documentary about ‘Ocho’. ‘Ocho’ is a fantastic piece of work that tells the story of eight men from Hull who joined the International Brigade to fight in the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s. It is perfomed by students from the Archbishop Sentamu Academy in East Yorkshire.

The IBMT has only recently come across this interesting story of a Spanish Republican fighter, Miguel Ramírez Fajardo, who made his home in Britain and who died aged 101 in January this year. The following is the eulogy read at Miguel’s funeral…

We were saddened that the representative of Ajex (Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen & Women) walked out of our commemoration yesterday (1 July 2017), which honours the International Brigade volunteers in the Spanish Civil War.

Martin Sugarman has attended this annual event over many years in order to lay a wreath on behalf of Ajex at the memorial to the International Brigades on London’s Southbank.

We understand that Martin took exception to statements made in a speech by one of our guest speakers, Tosh McDonald, President of the train drivers’ union ASLEF.

Hundreds gathered at the International Brigade memorial on London’s Southbank on Saturday I July to remember the 2,500 volunteers from Britain and Ireland who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War.

They heard speeches from Len McCluskey, General Secreray of Unite, and Tosh MacDonald, President of ASLEF, who both praised the inspirational example of international solidarity set 80 years ago by the International Brigades.

Nominate an activist or organisation for the 2018 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism

We would like to invite to Warsaw representatives of all associations commemorating the International Brigades to honour Polish volunteers fighting against international fascism in Spain.

We are planning events for 15/16 July 2017, coinciding with the anniversary of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, as Polish anti-fascists were fighting against fascists from the first day of the war.

As part of the IBMT’s Annual General Meeting weekend a visit has been organised on Sunday 15 October to the National Mining Museum at Big Pit.

10.15am: Coach will leave Cardiff and travel to the museum at Big Pit, Blaenavon. Cost of the coach will be £10 per person. Entry to the museum is free.
11.30am: Commemoration at Big Pit and re-dedication of the memorial to the Welsh miners who went to Spain to fight for the Spanish Republic.
12pm: A short talk by Graham Davies about his book ‘You Are Legend – Welsh Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War’.

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