Crying in the Wilderness? The British Anarchist Movement During the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939

Issue: 
Autumn 2019
Author(s): 

This article examines the British anarchist movement during the Spanish Civil War. It focuses on activists, rather than intellectual figures, and argues that the tendency to dismiss the work of the movement during the period is misplaced. British anarchists coordinated to organise solidarity for their Spanish comrades through organisations such as the CNT-FAI London Bureau, the AnarchoSyndicalist Union and Solidaridad Internacional Antifascista. Others travelled to Spain to produce propaganda for the CNT-FAI Foreign Language Division or to aid persecuted revolutionaries. The British movement certainly lacked a mass following during this period, but activists maintained a commitment to their ideals and continued to agitate for the cause, carrying on the tradition of anarchism in sometimes difficult circumstances. 

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