New year greetings from our friends in the AABI, the Madrid-based Association of Friends of the International Brigades (www.brigadasinternacionales.org)…
We want to send you our best wishes for the new year 2015 before we all get caught up in the usual whirlwind associated to this season, and we hope it brings us all a true change for the better. We also would like to take this opportunity to let you know the following news:
We held our yearly tribute to the International Brigades in November to commemorate their role in the defence of Madrid. Amongst the events that we organised, and which you can read about in our website, we would like you to take a look at the ceremony that took place beside the IB memorial at the University City.
We also continued our long campaign to achieve the dedication of a square to the International Brigades. Despite our efforts, together with the Socialist Party, the ruling PP party in Madrid's city council rejected the Socialists' motion to name a square in Vicálvaro on November 26th. We will not give up in our campaign until we succeed, which might happen after the upcoming local elections next year.
Rosa Sánchez, from the independent media channel Tmex (producer of the previous video), sent us an excelent video on the homage to the Spanish Republicans who fought against fascism and helped liberate Paris and the rest of France, a homage that took place in Paris last August. Even if a bit late, it is worth watching.
Between the 9th and 13th December the first Congress on Archeology of the Spanish Civil War took place. We are hoping that this signals the beginning of a new effort in researching this field, which is much needed to expand our knowledge of the subject. Among the topics covered in the Congress there was a section dedicated to the IBAP, the International Brigades Archeological Project, that commenced this year with some excavations around Belchite. This could be the start of a wider project which will hopefully cover other areas in the future. (See photo report by Oscar Rodriguez)
Since we are still in the year of commemoration of Norman Bethune –although the events in Spain have been closed with the exhibition held in Madrid Norman Bethune, the Trail of Solidarity – we attach this link with the CIRFA video that summarizes this year commemoration.
We wish Virgilio a speedy recovery from the injury he sustained last October, and we hope that Juan Miguel de Mora may overcome his recent health problem as soon as possible. We extend our best wishes to all our dear Brigaders.
We say goodbye to a bad year, marked by the rise of current fascism, slowly coming out like larvae, or, as Bob Doyle described it, fascism wearing a suit and tie (for example, we have had to witness the approval in Spain of a “Gag Law” that criminalises protests and cuts down on political rights; the sentencing of fighters such as Alfón in Vallecas; the insistence on defending the impunity for crimes committed under Franco's regime etc.), together with the neoliberal tsunami that is wiping away the social rights conquered with such difficulty by the workers in the past, and we can gather a perverse future announced by the Europe-USA treaty, the TTIP, or the theatrical shows that have become the conferences on hunger or world climate.
We hope that the fight of the people of Spain and the rest of the world can stop such savage attacks and that we can redirect humanity towards a horizon of justice and freedom, as the International Brigaders and the Internationalist women did 80 years ago.
Salud y República.