Madrid council to name square after International Brigades

Post date: 20/11/2015

Message from the AABI Spanish Friends of the International Brigades:


We are thrilled to bring you the good news that the town council in Vicálvaro (southern Madrid) has tonight (19.11.15) approved the dedication of a square to the International Brigades. 


This is something that the PSOE socialist party had been campaigning for since 2008, and tonight we were happy to witness the historic moment when the proposal was passed and approved. Much to the chagrin of the rightwing PP and Ciudadanos councillors, Ahora Madrid and the PSOE remembered the fight for freedom that the International Brigades stood for and they voted in favour. The whole room clapped when the proposal was approved – this was a plenary session of the town council which is open to the public (pictured below).  


This is excellent news for the memory of the volunteers, and Vicálvaro can now be proud to be leading the way amongst Madrid's city districts to recognise and honour the role and the spirit of the International Brigades.


As you can read on our website, there are already streets and squares named after the volunteers in other municipalities of Madrid such as Móstoles and Getafe, and in other towns all over Spain. 


It was rather ironic that the same party who agreed to grant Spanish citizenship to the surviving Brigaders in 1996 has turned around to claim that the volunteers were not defending democracy or freedom. PP councillors perhaps need to do some reading, including the royal decree of 19 January 1996 which read:  'It is a matter of justice to recognise the work in defence of freedom and democracy done by the volunteers in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939. The survivving veterans from the war deserve to see in a tangible way the gratitude of our Nation.'


Also rather interesting is the fact that these PP councillors seem to ignore the fact that amongst the 11 cities and towns in Spain where the International Brigades have been honoured with a street or square, some of them were ruled by PP when the decision was approved to name those places after the volunteers. 


In any case, we celebrate the great news that Vicálvaro, whose recent history is intrinsically linked to that of the International Brigades in 1936 and 1937 because it was here that the XI and the XII Brigades (including the Garibaldi, Dombrowski and André Marty Battalions) were quartered, will finally have a public space honouring the memory of the Brigaders. 


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