Trade unionists in Madrid

Post date: 13/02/2017

Commemorations are under way in Spain for the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Jarama, in which over 120 members of the British Battalion were killed while resisting an attempt by Franco to encircle Madrid.


A group of more than 100 IBMT supporters and trade unionists marked the anniversary at events in and around the Spanish capital on 10/11 February in a trip organised by IBMT members in the North-West of England. 


British and Spanish trade unionists at the memorial in Madrid to the murdered Atocha lawyers.


With members of the Spanish CCOO trade union confederation they also remembered the 40th anniversary in January 1977 of the murder in Madrid’s Atocha Street of five left-wing lawyers by Spanish neo-fascists seeking to thwart moves towards the restoration of democracy after Franco’s death two years earlier. 


In a letter of greetings to the CCOO, IBMT Secretary Jim Jump noted that clandestine trade union activity had led the resistance to Franco during the years of dictatorship in Spain.


He added: “The Battle of Jarama showed that fascism could be checked on the battlefield. Your underground resistance to fascism, which underlined the illegitimacy of the Franco regime, was also an inspiration to people around the world.”



Tosh McDonald, president of ASLEF, gives Jaime Cedrún, general secretary of the CCOO Madrid region, a book of newspaper cuttings about the Spanish Civil War compiled by Pearl Bickerstaffe. Also pictured at the CCOO’s Madrid headquarters is Lynn Collins, regional secretary of the North West TUC.


Touring the Jarama battlefield.


On 17/18 February the IBMT’s sister organisation in Spain, the AABI, will host a gathering of International Brigade supporters from around the world. The programme includes a gala concert featuring performers from Britain, Ireland and Spain, among them Gallo Rojo, Na-mara, Andy Irvine, Calum Baird and Boikot.


Posted on 13 February 2017.

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