Durruti, Ascaso and ‘Combina’ were arrested on Sunday 2 April 1933 as they left the Andalusia-Extremadura Regional Congress. The grounds offered for this action by the police were as follows: they were “to answer for the criminal notions they had voiced at the closing rally”, which is to say, a thought crime and this was a breach of the most fundamental freedom of personal expression.
On Sunday 9 April in Barcelona, the leading lights of Estat Català (EC) and Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), assembled to pay tribute to the fascist Josep Dencàs who at the time was their Health Minister, believed that the arrests in Seville had decapitated the FAI and that said organisation could now be regarded as a dead duck. This was wishful thinking, the sort of thing regularly encountered among those running the bourgeois apparatus of repression when they seek to boil complex, deep-seated social and political issues to specific or run-of-the-mill “terrorist” and public order issues embodied by a few leaders or scapegoats. Josep Dencàs had, with the Badía brothers, been one of the main founders and sponsors of the pro-(Catalan)independence fascist escamots of the JEREC (Juventudes de Esquerra Republicana-Estat Català — Esquerra Republicana-Estat Català Youth)
On Sunday 2 April 1933, Durruti, Ascaso and ‘Combina’ were arrested leaving the Andalusian-Extremaduran Regional Congress in Seville charged with promulgating the ‘criminal’ ideas discussed during the closing session.”  This was blatant ‘thought crime’ and flew in face of the Second Republic’s much vaunted right to freedom of expression. On Sunday 9 April, the representative leaders from Estat Catalá and the ERC (Republican Left of Catalonia) gathered in Barcelona to pay tribute to the fascist Josep Dencás (the Minister of Health at the time); they believed the Seville arrests had decapitated the FAI and that that organisation could now be considered a spent force. Such declarations amounted to wishful thinking, commonplace among those directing the bourgeois machinery of repression when they set out to resolve complicated and deep-seated social issues and concomitant bitter and run-of-the-mill terrorist and public order implications by reducing the issues to a few individual leaders and scapegoats. Josep Dencás was one of the founders, prime movers – along with the Badía brothers – and sponsors of the fascistic, pro-independence escamots of the JEREC (Republican Left Youth-Estat Catalá).
THE ABC of ANARCHISM was first published in 1929, by the Vanguard Press of New York, under the title What is Communist Anarchism? It comprised three parts: “Now”, “Anarchism”, and The Social Revolution”. It was re-issued in 1936, by Frei Arbeiter Stimme of New York, with the new title of Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism. Freedom Press first published it in Britain, this time as TheABC of Anarchism, in May 1942, but without part one. The ABC of Anarchism is now an historic document. Indeed, George Woodcock (for whatever his opinion is worth!) has called it a minor classic of libertarian literature. That however is not the reason for its republication. The reason is that it still remains one of the best introductions to the ideas of anarchism, written from the communist-anarchist viewpoint, in the English language. Its author, Alexander Berkman, was no mere theoretician or “intellectual”. He had been a militant activist for much of his life.
Antonio Martín Escudero, better known by the derogatory nickname “El Cojo de Málaga” (‘The Malaga Gimp’), was born in Belvis de Monroy (Cceres). He was the son of Celestino Martín Muñoz, farmer, and Ascensión Escudero Jara, “her sex being her trade”. Both were 26 years old at the time Antonio was born. The limp from which he suffered was due to a wound sustained during the revolutionary events of Tragic Week in Barcelona (1909). Other sources put the limp down to osteoathritis.
As a smuggler he, along with Cosme Paules, specialised in the smuggling of weapons across the border for the use of action groups. By 1922 he and Paules were regular active collaborators with the Los Solidarios group to which they belonged. Between 1924 and 1934 Antonio was in exile in France. He ran a tiny little shoe repair stand in a yard adjacent to an Auvergne coal-yard on the Boulevard Montparnasse in Paris. In 1927, being resident in Aubervilliers, he had a daughter by the name of Florida Martín Sanmartín (she outlived him after he was killed in 1937): The mother’s name is not known to us. In Aubervilliers he worked, first, in construction and later in a garage.
The Death of Durrutiby Joan Llarch (translated by Raymond Batkin); 174pp, 230mm x 152mm, photos/illustrations, bibliography and index, £9.95 (p+p UK £1.80; Europe £4.50; US/Canada £7.00). ISBN 978-1-873976-61-6 READ INSIDE!
Buenaventura Durruti was the most outstanding figure in Spanish anarchist history. Born in León on 14 July 1896, of Basque and Catalan parents, he dedicated his life from the age of 16 until his untimely death at 40 to the struggle for justice, social revolution and the anarchist idea. It was his commitment to the ‘idea’ that led Durruti to spend the rest of his life in clandestinity, jail, exile and — ultimately — as the inspirational figurehead of the social revolution that confronted the clerical-fascist-military uprising of July 1936. Shortly after mid-day on 19 November 1936, at the height of the Francoist assault on Madrid, Durruti, accompanied by his driver and military advisers, was mortally wounded in mysterious circumstances and died in the early hours of 20 November. The circumstances surrounding his death have never been satisfactorily explained. La Muerte de Durruti (The Death of Durruti), first published in 1973, remains, forty years on, the only book devoted, exclusively, to the events leading up to — and after — the anarchist’s death, some four months after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Written in the style of investigative journalism, the author sets out the many conflicting theories circulating at the time, and which have remained the subject of debate up to the present day. In addition he has interviewed those who either knew Durruti or had served in the Durruti column up to the time of his death