Manzoor Ahmed, Pakistani MP and president of the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC) met with leaders of the Spanish UGT (General Workers’ Union) on July 3, establishing links between the Pakistani and Spanish workers.

On June 18, a referendum was held in Catalonia (Spain) on the new Estatut.A big majority voted “yes” but the level of abstention was very high, with only 49.5% turning out on the day. Abstention was particularly high in the working class areas. The massive “yes” vote was more a vote againstthe right-wing PP than an enthusiastic vote for the Estatut itself.

The Madrid Book Fair organisers have taken a decision to exclude the F. Engels Foundation from this year’s book fair. The FFE is the main publisher and distributor of Marxist books in Spain and has been participating in the Madrid book fair since 1998. The growing interest that it has generated is seen as a threat by the organisers and sponsors of the Fair. The organising committee is meeting for the last time before the book fair on Monday April 24th. We have received an appeal for protest letters to be sent to the organisers asking them to review their position. There is a model letter in...

A militant mood is developing among Spanish workers. Thanks to their mobilisations a PSOE government is in office. Now reaction has reared its ugly head, including army officers, but the leaders of the left and the trade unions are doing everything they can to hold back the workers. At the same time the bosses are on the offensive, announcing plant closures and sackings. However, the workers are not always prepared to stay calm and do nothing.

Last year the PSOE leader Zapatero was swept to power on the back of mass mobilisations against the war in Iraq in the aftermath of the Madrid bombings. He has introduced some minor reforms, but has not tackled the real issues facing the Spanish working class. Now the PP, backed by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, has been mobilising the most reactionary layers of Spanish society. The “two Spains” are back.

Ezker Marxista and El Militante organised a speaking tour last week throughout the Basque Country, with Gerry Rudy and Danny of the IRSP (Irish Republican Socialist Party) speaking in many Basque working class neighbourhoods, drawing the lessons of the experiences in Ireland and linking these to the struggle for national liberation of the Basque Country. The common thread was the need for the organised working class to take a lead in the struggle and link it to a socialist perspective.

One year ago the Zapatero PSOE government came to power after a truly gigantic mobilisation of the masses. Apart from a few minor reforms the direction of this government has not changed in any fundamental way from that of the previous PP government. The workers and youth are watching and drawing lessons. Sooner or later this government will face the wrath of the Spanish workers. Editorial statement of El Militante, the journal of the Spanish Marxists.

On November 12, 13 and 14, the XII National Congress of the Spanish Students’ Union took place in Madrid. There were 130 students present from all over the country. The Congress was extremely useful in strengthening the organization and there were lively debates which allowed the Union to ideologically arm themselves to face the events that will take place in the next period.

70 years ago the mining and industrial region of Asturias in Spain witnessed one of the most fascinating revolutions in the history of the 20th century. During the course of 15 days men and women fought to establish a new society free of exploitation and ruled by the principles of workers’ democracy. This was the beginning of the Asturian Commune.

The present period of world history is characterised by colossal and unprecedented instability on a global scale. This expresses itself in sudden and violent swings in the mood of both the ruling class and the masses. Moods of despair alternate with moods of euphoria. Violent swings to the right are followed by even more violent swings to the left. The past few days in Spain confirm this.

Today hundreds of thousands of people marched through the streets of Madrid and other Spanish cities in a spontaneous outpouring of pain, grief and rage. The people of the Basque Country were to the fore in expressing their indignation at the massacre in Madrid. Ordinary working class people extended their hand in friendship and solidarity from one end of the country to another.

Marxists condemn the terrible slaughter that took place today in Madrid. Ordinary men, women and children were mercilessly butchered. But the reason for our opposition has nothing to do with the hypocrisy of the bourgeois politicians who are not averse to violence and bloodshed when it suits them. We oppose individual terrorism because it is counterproductive and always produces results that are diametrically opposed to those intended. This act will strengthen the right.

With great sadness we have just learned of the sudden death of comrade Angel Val Mendizabal at the age of 81. The father of a remarkable family of revolutionaries, Angel was a proletarian class fighter all his life.

The impressive mobilisation against the war has been non-stop since February. Millions of demonstrators have come out onto the streets again and again to show their absolute opposition to the imperialist slaughter in Iraq and to the servile support which the Spanish conservative government is giving to this war. The start of the war on March 20th brought about real social turmoil. Around 800,000 high school and university students took to the streets paralysing the cities of Spain. The students' movement had made their own the call of the Sindicato de Estudiantes to demonstrate on the day the war started. Since then, the situation has been one of ceaseless activity: demonstrations and


The pressure that is piling up has increased after yesterday's student demos. This should help to convince the leaders of the unions to organise for the General Strike to force the resignation of the Government. The demonstrations called by the Students Union have been a great success, bringing on to the streets thousands of students. 30,000 in Madrid, 20,000 in Barcelona, 10,000 in Seville, etc are proof that the students will not stop until a real 24 hour general strike is called.

Today, March 26, the Sindicato de Estudiantes (Spanish School Student’s Union), together with other student organisations, organised another mobilisation against the war. We organised a student general strike in the high schools and universities and demonstrations in more than 70 different towns all over Spain. The turnout was hugely successful. A very high number of students (more than 90%) took part, both in the schools and the universities. A total of more than a million students took part in the demonstrations.