Sunday, 20 November 2016

Jose Buenaventura Durruti ( 14/7/1896 - 20/10/36) - A New World in our Hearts

"  We  have always  loved in slums and holes in the wall. We will  know how to accommodate ourselves for  time. For you must not forget we can also build. It is we who built the palaces and cities here in Spain and America and everywhere. We the workers, can build others to take their place. And better ones. We are not in the  least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth. There is  not the slightest  doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world, here in our hearts. That world is growing every minute."

Spain, Aragon , 1936

Jose Buenaventura Durruti, was  one of the key militants of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) A man of uncompromising belief. Durruti was a major figure in the anarchist movement, from his teenage years, the formation of affinity groups, and on to the greatest revolutionary event in human history, the Spanish Revolution (which this year marks it's 80th anniversary). He always fought for the poor and downtrodden, and against the State, whether of the social democratic, fascist or marxist varieties When Spanish fascists attempted to overthrow  the  Republican government on July 19th 1936, Durruti and other comrades helped put down the uprising in Barclenoa. He became a member of  the Anti fascist Militia Committee and led the "Durruti" Column an almost  mythical  group of CNT militants to the  Zaragoza front. The Durruti column was able to liberate  much of Aragon. He  was an inspiration to many as a partisan of the Spanish people with an internationalist vision, who for him personally revolutionary thought and action went hand in hand.
In 1936, after the liberation of Aragon from Franco's forces, Durruti was interviewed by Pierre van Paasen of the Toronto Star. In this interview he gives his views on Fascism, government and social revolution despite the fact that his remarks have only been reported in English - and were never actually written down by him in his native Spanish, well worth reading and can be found here
Tragically Durruti  would  die at dawn on 20th November 1936, receiving a bullet to his chest, as he rallied his militia  to continue their resistance after days of fighting without respite. His death was a tragedy for all free thinkers, in the fight against fascist tyranny. His death was a turning point in the Spanish Revolution and one of the events that lead to the defeat of the revolution.
When his body was returned to Barcelona  over 500,000  people took to the streets to follow his funeral procession,a tribute to the place he played in peoples hearts, his coffin draped with the familiar diagonal red and black flag. Many years later "we carry a new world, here in our hearts."

Durruti's grave at Montjuïc Cemetery, Barcelona

Further reading:-

Daniel Guerin - No Gods, no masters; 2006

Durruti - The people Armed - Abel Paz

Durruti in the Spanish Revolution - Abel Paz 

Spanish Civil War  (1936-37) (Buenaventura Durruti)

The above which also serves to mark the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, shows the period of revolution that gave in Spain in the years of civil war. The video highlights the hero killed by the bourgeoisie (Buenaventura Durruti).

Living Utopia - The Anarchists and the Spanish  Revolution

 Living Utopia is a unique documentary that blends the historical account of the origins and development of the Spanish anarchist movement, focussing on the 1936 war. A reflection on the philosophical underpinnings of such a movement and their practical application. As both an informative and inspiring piece of research it is considered a jewel amongst historians and rebel hearts.
This documentary-film by Juan Gamero consists of 30 interviews with survivors of the 1936-1939 Spanish Revolution, and is one of the best documentaries dealing with the theme. The testimony of the anarchist militants are very moving indeed, and are showing the constructive work of the social revolution in Spain. This "Anarchy in Action" meant: on the land around 7 million peasants form collectives, in the city 3000 workplaces collectivised, 150 000 join the anarchist militias to fight fascism, as well as cultural activities and the movement of the Mujeres Libres to free the women from patriarchy.

Spanish with english subtitles

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