Saturday, January 09, 2010

Here is a preliminary press release from the Spanish CGT on the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the CNT in Barcelona. The following English translation comes from the A-Infos site. I have slightly edited the translation below (mostly in terms of the definite article) to make it less grating to the English ear. As to the rather florid style, I'd like to assure the reader that this is a normal way of writing in Spain for almost all political persuasions, not just anarchists.


History: 100 YEARS OF ANARCHO-SYNDICALISM (1910-2010):

A hundred years ago, a handful of women and men, with their courage and rebelliousness, started to change the World.

---- Being conscious that the workers emancipation could only be achieved through direct action and be made by the workers themselves, subjugated peoples of all conditions and trades decided to organize autonomously and to assume their destiny in community without any master, government or superstition.

---- That was how anarcho-syndicalism was born under the historical names of the Confederaci√≥n General de Trabajo (General Workers’ Confederation) and the Confederaci√≥n Nacional del Trabajo (National Workers’ Confederation)( uh-not exactly. it is more the "present" names than the "historical" names-Molly ), inspired in the principles that invigorated the First International, the most democratic, humanist and revolutionary expression of political and social self-determination that modern times have known.

Experience has shown how these antiauthoritarian ideals were the ones that promoted the most important and ambitious historical social changes. They rejected the submission culture, preached by the ruling classes, the oligarchy and the Church, fighting on the ground the intolerance of the predatory bourgeoisie, and setting a great example of solidarity, and they disputed with totalitarianism the achievements attained with so much sacrifice.

Pioneers in the denunciation of every injustice and always ahead of their time, the anarcho-syndicalists wrenched the eight-hour day from the capitalists. They also conquered, after centuries of humiliation, social equity for women bringing their ideas about social revolution, full, complete and libertarian, throughout the World and especially to Latin America, a land that from that moment turned into the second home of that heroic proletarian activism.

It was also the libertarian resistance that in a first and critical moment checked the onslaught of the mercenary Nazi fascists troops that were called up by the Francoist dictatorship to subdue the Spanish people and punish their revolutionary insolence. Even nowadays, the Spanish revolution developed from 1936 to 1939 continues to amaze the world and is considered as an historical milestone. At the same time, here in Spain, in the scene of that unequal contest, revanchism and conspiratorial forgetfulness remain, sparing with the ethical legacy of those people that had a new World in their hearts.

That’s why, when we are celebrating the first century of that brightness that still lightens the fertile path of freedom and solidarity, when the terrible mirages of the autocratic and statist power have revealed themselves as fellow travellers of domination and exploitation, we, the anarcho-syndicalists, recall ourselves to condemn the new and unforeseen threats that are putting in danger the existence of our planet and the decent coexistence of the peoples and to reassert our faith in working humanity and in the final defeat of capitalist barbarism and its representatives.

In the beginning of 21st Century, we are convinced that the homeland of the oppressed is the entire World and that their family is the whole of humanity, women and men, young and elderly, native and foreigner, and we defend rebelliousness and peace and call for the breaking up of the recent and invisible chains of voluntary servitude.

When everything in the highest levels of society is conspiring to stifle the cry against established injustice, the anarcho-syndicalists, revolutionary trade-unionists, anarchists, libertarians, anticapitalists and antiauthoritarians, acting as repositories of the authentic democracy of direct action, state that we are the people in its infinite rebelliousness, and recognise the enormous debt contracted with the previous generation that fought for freedom, justice and dignity.

Because our idea of anarchy symbolize the highest expression of order.

Because when all the people govern, as the ideal of true democracy hopes, no one rules, as anarchism fights towards.
Jose Pascual Rubio Cano
Scr Relaciones Internacionales CGT
Coordination mailing list
From: CGT Internacional

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