Courtesy Reuters

Revolutionary Forces in Catalonia

BARCELONA is breathing again, carrying on after the cruelest episode of street warfare in its history. On May 3 -- just a week ago, as these lines are written -- workers were in arms against workers, making war on each other from behind stone barricades, from windows, from armored cars in the streets. Today the abandoned barricades stand like stone-age ruins, monuments to the fleeting tragedy.

Only a week or so before May 3 all those forces which in Spain had fundamental notions about the right of man to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- Republicans, liberals, peasants and workers alike -- seemed united against what they perforce regarded as dark powers sprung from the tomb of dark ages, compounding revolution with sinister forces from outside Spain to crush everything that free man held sacred. On May 3 that common front seemed broken. The workers' solidarity seemed crumbling away. Over in the Basque country the common enemy was cruelly wiping out towns, snuffing out the lives of the innocent, smashing churches and convents, killing their priests and their nuns as it invoked the name of religion. It was slaughtering the Basque workers. It was threatening to come on the morrow to Barcelona. And yet to all this the Catalan workers suddenly seemed oblivious, seemed actuated by passions even deeper than their love of life and freedom. Or was this warfare between workers the result of those same passions reduced to more elemental and concrete modalities? If so, what was their meaning for the future of the broad general struggle against Fascism in Spain?

Before trying to answer these questions let us try to get a picture of the general situation in Catalonia. It will reveal that Catalonia is in some sense a cross section of the Spanish revolutionary movement. Anarcho-Syndicalist, Socialist, Communist and other active elements radiate their influence from Barcelona into the country at large.


The "capture" of the Barcelona telephone building by the shock police on the afternoon of

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