THE CNT IN THE SPANISH REVOLUTION Vol. 2 — José Peirats

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CONTENTS of Vol 2 (1936-1937)

Glossary of organisations

The life and struggles of José Peirats by Chris Ealham

Chapter 1: Spain and the World

‘Preventive neutrality’ by the democracies. The Giral government. The secret Italo-Spanish pact. Count Ciano’s diaries. Prieto reacts to the Non-Intervention Pact. America’s neutrality law. Rome and Berlin recognise Franco. Republican government manifesto. Franco-British mediation. The CNT warns against intervention. Against the recruitment of volunteers. The march of war. Assault on Madrid. Fall of Irún, San Sebastian, Badajoz, Toledo, ‘the night Madrid was saved’. ‘Blond Moors’ in Jarama. Disaster in Guadalajara. Militarisation of the confederal militias. Durango and Guernica. Views of international anti-fascism. Role of the Internationals. The voice of León Felipe.

Chapter 2: Organisational life and Trade Union Unity

Regional Plenum of CNT Peasants in Catalonia. National Plenum of the CNT’s Communications Unions. Regional Plenum of the Anarchist Groups of Catalonia. National Plenum of the Steel and Metalworking industries. Definition of the Unions and National Industrial Federations (NIF). National Plenum of the Union of of the Agricultural, Fishing and Food Industries. Regional Plenum of the Transport Unions of the Centre. National Plenum of the Federation of Railwayworkers. Towards a National Plenum of Technicians. Regional Congress of Castilian Peasants. National Plenum of FIJL Regional Committees. The events of Vilanesa. Soviet press defamation. CNT-UGT Alliance. State of the Problem. The Only Party of the Proletariat. The Alliance in Aragón.

Chapter 3: The Shadow of the Kremlin

The National Committee of the CNT and the Central Committee of the Communist Party establish bases of compromise. Stalinist duplicity. Clandestine prisons. The Maroto Case. The confederal National Committee takes sides. Press censorship and prosecution. Communist terrorism in the villages of Castile. The Cazorla affair. Dissolution of the Madrid Defence Junta. Reforming Madrid’s Municipal Council. Murcia under the Communist Checas. Protest by the National Committee of the CNT. People’s Tribunals. Revolutionary legislation.

Chapter 4: The miracle of the war industries

The Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth. The Libertarian Youth of Catalonia. Tendencies and positions. A pact with the JSY. The meeting in the Plaça de Catalunya. The crisis of the Pact. Alliance Youth Congress in Madrid. What happened between the Northern CNT and the government of Euskadi. The JSU as a front for the Communist Party. Against the Catalan war industries. An ignoble campaign. The miracle of a popular creation. From Lluís Companys to Indalecio Prieto. Soviet intrigues in the nationalised industries. Scandal of the purchasing commission. A Plenum of Libertarian Movement regional committees.

Chapter 5: The tide of counter-revolution

Education and propaganda. Press and publications. School for militants. Information and propaganda offices. The Coliseum conferences. ‘Anarchism and the Spanish reality’. More on the December crisis. The POUM’s sacrifice. War of slogans and injuries. ‘Above all else, win the war’. Comorera’s political intrigues. Soviet ships. The re-emergence of Rodríguez Sala. ‘Energetic declarations’. The work of the enterprise cells. The mourners of the liaison committees. Anti-collectivist congress. The events of La Fatarella. The mystery of the twelve stolen tanks. Fresh crisis in the Generalitat. The aborting of a solution. The solutionless solution.

Chapter 6: The bloody events of May

The events of Puigcerdà. A chain of provocations. A sombre First of May. ‘No one must allow themselves to be disarmed!’ The attack on the Barcelona Telephone Exchange. Popular mobilisation and first confrontations. Cease fire! Armistice negotiations. ‘The friends of Durruti’. The checas in action. The murder of Camilo Berneri. The threat of foreign intervention. Attempt on the life of Federica Montseny. Central government intervention. The peace of the cemeteries. Provocations continue. The murder of the hostages. The kidnapping of Andreu Nin. Bloody repercussions. Response of the front-line militias. The ‘pacification programme’. Press censorship and disarmament. A manifesto from the National Committee. The motives behind the provocation. The black hand of Stalin. Conclusions.

Chapter 7: The crisis of the Caballero government

The breakdown of public order in Catalonia. The Executive Council of the Generalitat. Military gangs of the Generalitat. Beginnings of a crisis. A historic Council of Ministers. The crisis deepens. Political breakdown. The Negrín government. The CNT and UGT despair of government. More on the deepening crisis. The CNT in opposition. Confederal ex-ministers explain themselves. Speeces of Juan López, García Oliver, Joan Peiró and Federica Montseny. Crisis in the Socialist Party.

Chapter 8: The political demise of the CNT

Police repression throughout Catalonia. Denouncing new provocations. National Plenum of Regional Committees. Towards a new stage of collaboration. A FAI circular. ‘Minimum programme of government’. Regional Plenum of Unions and Anarchist Groups. Plenum resolutions. Meeting in the Paris Winter Velodrome. Peasant activities. The Catalan Federation of Agricultural Industries.. Towards the National Federation of Peasants. An extraordinary Plenum of the International Workingmen’s Association (AIT). The death of Mola and the fall of Bilbao. The Marxist Bloc. Confederal Meeting in Valencia. The CNT justifies its involvement in the central government. A fresh crisis for for the Generalitat. Exclusion of the CNT. Manifesto of the Regional Committee of Catalonia. The birds of ill-omen return.

Chapter 9: Ironies of a first anniversary

Historic Plenum of the FAI. A new structure is announced. Anarchist intervention in public institutions. The specific organisation of the masses. Towards a new political party? The groups react. Against the Special Tribunals. The growing offensive against the POUM. The CNT protests. First anniversary of the revolution. Denouncing a crime of state: the murder of Andreu Nin. Timid explanations by the minister of justice. The churches reopen. Trial opens of the ‘Tortosa affair’, A new Stalinist creation: the GEPCI. Complications in the socialist crisis. Largo Caballero under attack. A new CNT-UGT pact.

Chapter 10: Destruction of the Council of Aragón

The offensive begins. The imaginary terrorist plot. The attempt on the life of the president of the Barcelona High Court. Soviet ‘untouchables’. Comorera and the ‘tribes’. The Barbastro Assembly and the Alcañiz Plenum. Joaquín Ascaso’s speech. A confederal meeting. The dissolution of the Council of Aragón. Lìster’s 11th Division. Orchestration of the communist press. Repression. The destruction of the collectives and the municipal councils. The CNT protests. Political horse-trading. Towards normality. The Caspe Plenum. Reorganisation. Victorious offensive on the south-Ebro front. Artillery barrage from Zaragoza. Tragic collapse of the northern front. Conjectures. Lìster’s cynical telegram to General Miaja.

Chapter 11: The crisis of the socialist movement

More on the ‘only party of the proletariat’. Stalin’s diplomatic messenger. The ‘United Socialist Party’ of Jaén. A new diplomatic charm offensive. Assault on the ‘Escalopios’. Preparations for attack on the UGT executive. Ultimatum. The meeting on the stairs. Schism. Caballero’s speech in the Pardiñas cinema. Intervention by the International Federation of Trade Unions. Attack on La Correspondencia de Valencia. León Jouhaux arbitrates. Unification. The communists win the game.

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CONTENTS of Vol 2 (1936-1937) Glossary of organisations The life and struggles of José Peirats by Chris Ealham Chapter 1: Spain and the World ‘Preventive neutrality’ by the democracies. The Giral government. The secret Italo-Spanish pact. Count Ciano’s diaries. Prieto reacts to the Non-Intervention Pact. America’s neutrality law. Rome and Berlin recognise Franco. Republican government manifesto. Franco-British mediation. The CNT warns against intervention. Against the recruitment of volunteers. The march of war. Assault on Madrid. Fall of Irún, San Sebastian, Badajoz, Toledo, ‘the night Madrid was saved’. ‘Blond Moors’ in Jarama. Disaster in Guadalajara. Militarisation of the confederal militias. Durango and Guernica. Views of international anti-fascism. Role of the Internationals. The voice of León Felipe. Chapter 2: Organisational life and Trade Union Unity Regional Plenum of CNT Peasants in Catalonia. National Plenum of the CNT’s Communications Unions. Regional Plenum of the Anarchist Groups of Catalonia. National Plenum of the Steel and Metalworking industries. Definition of the Unions and National Industrial Federations (NIF). National Plenum of the Union of of the Agricultural, Fishing and Food Industries. Regional Plenum of the Transport Unions of the Centre. National Plenum of the Federation of Railwayworkers. Towards a National Plenum of Technicians. Regional Congress of Castilian Peasants. National Plenum of FIJL Regional Committees. The events of Vilanesa. Soviet press defamation. CNT-UGT Alliance. State of the Problem. The Only Party of the Proletariat. The Alliance in Aragón. Chapter 3: The Shadow of the Kremlin The National Committee of the CNT and the Central Committee of the Communist Party establish bases of compromise. Stalinist duplicity. Clandestine prisons. The Maroto Case. The confederal National Committee takes sides. Press censorship and prosecution. Communist terrorism in the villages of Castile. The Cazorla affair. Dissolution of the Madrid Defence Junta. Reforming Madrid’s Municipal Council. Murcia under the Communist Checas. Protest by the National Committee of the CNT. People’s Tribunals. Revolutionary legislation. Chapter 4: The miracle of the war industries The Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth. The Libertarian Youth of Catalonia. Tendencies and positions. A pact with the JSY. The meeting in the Plaça de Catalunya. The crisis of the Pact. Alliance Youth Congress in Madrid. What happened between the Northern CNT and the government of Euskadi. The JSU as a front for the Communist Party. Against the Catalan war industries. An ignoble campaign. The miracle of a popular creation. From Lluís Companys to Indalecio Prieto. Soviet intrigues in the nationalised industries. Scandal of the purchasing commission. A Plenum of Libertarian Movement regional committees. Chapter 5: The tide of counter-revolution Education and propaganda. Press and publications. School for militants. Information and propaganda offices. The Coliseum conferences. ‘Anarchism and the Spanish reality’. More on the December crisis. The POUM’s sacrifice. War of slogans and injuries. ‘Above all else, win the war’. Comorera’s political intrigues. Soviet ships. The re-emergence of Rodríguez Sala. ‘Energetic declarations’. The work of the enterprise cells. The mourners of the liaison committees. Anti-collectivist congress. The events of La Fatarella. The mystery of the twelve stolen tanks. Fresh crisis in the Generalitat. The aborting of a solution. The solutionless solution. Chapter 6: The bloody events of May The events of Puigcerdà. A chain of provocations. A sombre First of May. ‘No one must allow themselves to be disarmed!’ The attack on the Barcelona Telephone Exchange. Popular mobilisation and first confrontations. Cease fire! Armistice negotiations. ‘The friends of Durruti’. The checas in action. The murder of Camilo Berneri. The threat of foreign intervention. Attempt on the life of Federica Montseny. Central government intervention. The peace of the cemeteries. Provocations continue. The murder of the hostages. The kidnapping of Andreu Nin. Bloody repercussions. Response of the front-line militias. The ‘pacification programme’. Press censorship and disarmament. A manifesto from the National Committee. The motives behind the provocation. The black hand of Stalin. Conclusions. Chapter 7: The crisis of the Caballero government The breakdown of public order in Catalonia. The Executive Council of the Generalitat. Military gangs of the Generalitat. Beginnings of a crisis. A historic Council of Ministers. The crisis deepens. Political breakdown. The Negrín government. The CNT and UGT despair of government. More on the deepening crisis. The CNT in opposition. Confederal ex-ministers explain themselves. Speeces of Juan López, García Oliver, Joan Peiró and Federica Montseny. Crisis in the Socialist Party. Chapter 8: The political demise of the CNT Police repression throughout Catalonia. Denouncing new provocations. National Plenum of Regional Committees. Towards a new stage of collaboration. A FAI circular. ‘Minimum programme of government’. Regional Plenum of Unions and Anarchist Groups. Plenum resolutions. Meeting in the Paris Winter Velodrome. Peasant activities. The Catalan Federation of Agricultural Industries.. Towards the National Federation of Peasants. An extraordinary Plenum of the International Workingmen’s Association (AIT). The death of Mola and the fall of Bilbao. The Marxist Bloc. Confederal Meeting in Valencia. The CNT justifies its involvement in the central government. A fresh crisis for for the Generalitat. Exclusion of the CNT. Manifesto of the Regional Committee of Catalonia. The birds of ill-omen return. Chapter 9: Ironies of a first anniversary Historic Plenum of the FAI. A new structure is announced. Anarchist intervention in public institutions. The specific organisation of the masses. Towards a new political party? The groups react. Against the Special Tribunals. The growing offensive against the POUM. The CNT protests. First anniversary of the revolution. Denouncing a crime of state: the murder of Andreu Nin. Timid explanations by the minister of justice. The churches reopen. Trial opens of the ‘Tortosa affair’, A new Stalinist creation: the GEPCI. Complications in the socialist crisis. Largo Caballero under attack. A new CNT-UGT pact. Chapter 10: Destruction of the Council of Aragón The offensive begins. The imaginary terrorist plot. The attempt on the life of the president of the Barcelona High Court. Soviet ‘untouchables’. Comorera and the ‘tribes’. The Barbastro Assembly and the Alcañiz Plenum. Joaquín Ascaso’s speech. A confederal meeting. The dissolution of the Council of Aragón. Lìster’s 11th Division. Orchestration of the communist press. Repression. The destruction of the collectives and the municipal councils. The CNT protests. Political horse-trading. Towards normality. The Caspe Plenum. Reorganisation. Victorious offensive on the south-Ebro front. Artillery barrage from Zaragoza. Tragic collapse of the northern front. Conjectures. Lìster’s cynical telegram to General Miaja. Chapter 11: The crisis of the socialist movement More on the ‘only party of the proletariat’. Stalin’s diplomatic messenger. The ‘United Socialist Party’ of Jaén. A new diplomatic charm offensive. Assault on the ‘Escalopios’. Preparations for attack on the UGT executive. Ultimatum. The meeting on the stairs. Schism. Caballero’s speech in the Pardiñas cinema. Intervention by the International Federation of Trade Unions. Attack on La Correspondencia de Valencia. León Jouhaux arbitrates. Unification. The communists win the game.