The Fighting Call (1936)

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The Fighting Call was a monthly bulletin, produced jointly by the London-based Freedom Group and Glasgow’s Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation, in support of the Spanish Revolution, and specifically the National Confederation of Workers (CNT).

Among the writers in this eight-page bulletin were Jack White, formerly of the Irish Citizen Army, giving his impression of the mood in revolutionary Barcelona; and Mat Kavanagh, originally from Limerick, putting the case for the International Working Men’s Association (which later changed its name to International Workers’ Association).  White also compared the problems of clerical power in Ireland and Spain:

“Again and again in Ireland the revolutionary Republican movement comes a bit of the way towards Socialism, and scurries back in terror when the Roman Catholic Church looses its artificial thunder of condemnation and excommunication.

“I come of an Ulster Protestant family. There is a saying in Ulster (the north-east province of Ireland) :— ” Rome is a lamb in adversity, a snake in equality, and a lion in prosperity.” I am glad that in Catluna you have made Rome into a lamb.  In Ireland, Rome is still a lion, or rather a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  The priests inflame the mob and then pretend to deplore the mob-violence which they have instigated.  Last Easter Sunday, I had myself to fight for three kilometres against the Catholic actionists, who attacked us on the streets as we were marching to honour the memory of the Republican dead who fell in Easter week, 1916.  The pious hooligans actually came inside the cemetery and tore up the grave rails to attack us.”

This refers to an attack on the left-wing Republican Congress‘s Easter Commemoration at Glasnevin cemetary that year.

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‘Scattered internationalists: Irish anarchism in the interwar world.’

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Frank Barcena and Irish-American anarchist Pat Read with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain

 

The Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour & Class held a conference on November 13th/14th, 2015 to mark the centenary of the birth of Dr Noel Browne.

Among the contributors was Morris Brodie of Queens University Belfast whose paper, ‘Scattered internationalists: Irish anarchism in the interwar world’, looked at the part played by Irish emigrants in the 1920s & 1930s anarchist movement in Britain and the USA; and at the almost forgotten Irish who fought with anarchist columns in the Spanish Civil War.

This link will bring you to the conference web site and Brodie’s talk begins 22.30 on the audio file for Panel 5 – Ireland and the International Left

The other papers in that panel are David Convery (NUIG) – ‘John Wheatley: Irish-born Minister of Health in Britain’s First Labour Government’ and Liam O’Discin (UCD) – ‘Catholics, Communists and Steelworkers, 1936-1948.’