18 Nov, 2010 @ 17:57
1 min read

Anarchy in Spain

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.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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  1. Absolutely true – the Red Fascists were by and large crap soldiers, they had the best weapons but refused to share them with either the Anarchists or the Socialists and the sqeaky voiced little south Ossetian also kept Spain’s (by way of south America) gold and has never returned it, to this day.

    A lot of the International Brigade members were Anarchists as well.

  2. “today anarchism is mainly associated with hooliganism at anti-capitalist demonstrations” That is how anarchists are portrayed by the main stream media I’d say. Anarchy means “no leaders”. Might be a refreshing change from where our “leaders” have led us.

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