Global union federation the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) today releases an illustrated booklet recounting the organization’s fight to support the lawful Republic during the Spanish Civil War, and how the lessons it learnt there allowed it to work with Allied intelligence to fight Nazism in World War Two.
It tells the inspiring story of how the ITF and its unions raised funds to send aid to Spain, donated ambulances, sought to interdict supplies to Franco’s rebels and even, according to one report, founded a unit to fight with the militias resisting the military takeover.
¡No Pasarán! The ITF and the Fight against Fascism is available for download in several languages at:
The booklet was written by Jim Jump, secretary of the International Brigade Memorial Trust, whose mother was one of the volunteer helpers who accompanied children being evacuated from Bilbao on the ship Habana in 1937. His father met her as a volunteer helper at the camp in England where many were initially housed. Afterwards he joined the British Battalion of the International Brigades and was mentioned in dispatches for bravery as a member of the battalion’s machine-gun company during the Battle of the Ebro in the summer of 1938.
ITF general secretary Steve Cotton commented: “The fight against fascism and Nazism was the great life and death struggle of the 1930s and 40s, but it is still relevant today. Those ideologies are the antithesis of everything that we as trade unionists believe in and have a continuing duty to fight for. That we do so in the footsteps of the generation recorded in this booklet is utterly humbling.”
ITF president Paddy Crumlin stated: “The Spanish Civil War was the harbinger of the great existential struggle of the last century. This new publication tells an almost forgotten story of the part played in it by the international transport unions and workers who showed true solidarity with those resisting the monstrosity that was Nazism.”
¡No Pasarán! The ITF and the Fight against Fascism is being launched at the ITF’s road and rail conference which begins today in Brussels – full details of this event can be seen at goo.gl/R7W96r
The new booklet is available for free download at the links above. A limited number of hard copies are available to historical and academic institutions. If you are one of these and would like to request a copy please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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