SPANISH anarchists are celebrating 100 years of social activism.
Founded in Barcelona in November 1910, the Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) movement was particularly popular among the landless labourers of Andalucia, as well as in Catalunya.
While today anarchism is mainly associated with hooliganism at anti-capitalist demonstrations, the movement has played a vital role in the development of modern Spanish democracy.
Despite CNT’s political naivety, professor of political science at Madrid’s Universidad Autonoma, Carlos Taibo, said the movement deserves enormous merit.
“CNT gave dignity to the working classes by developing grassroots networks of workshops, farms and cooperatives,” he said.
“It also promoted brave educational and cultural initiatives,” he added.
CNT reached its peak during the Spanish Civil War when it became the first and only anarchist movement in the world to gain political power.
The treacherous suppression of anarchists by their Communist allies in 1937 contributed significantly to the defeat of the Republic cause.
CNT currently has 35,000 members, down from a high of 1.5 million, with Andalucía continuing to be the organization’s stronghold.