Spain 68 (1968) - full transcript



Madrid, how well you resist!

Madrid, how well you resist!

Madrid, how well you resist!
Oh mother, dear!

They laugh at the bombs

They laugh at the bombs

The people of Madrid laugh at the bombs

The people of Madrid
Oh mother, dear!

The four generals

The four generals

The four generals
Oh mother, dear!

How mean they are!

For Christmas Eve

For Christmas Eve

For Christmas Eve
Oh, mother dear!

They shall be hanged!



We knew of only one lord

and watched as he became a cur.

Debased by his gut,
the love of his gut, by fear,

bent by the whip, forgetting, mad,
the reason that is his.

Gnawed by disease, he still licked

the hand the held him down in the mud.

It would have been easy
to make a wall out of his silence

impenetrable, soaring:
he chose the quiet shame of yapping.

But we could not let ourselves despair

of the beaten old man

and raised in the night
a song in shouts

for words burst with meaning.

For water, earth,
air and fire are yours,

if you dare to be who you are.

Then you must say "enough"

that you have the will to walk again

with your head high,
now and forever

a man saved in the people,
against the wind

Saved in the people,
master of all

not a servile dog,
but the only lord

But we could not let ourselves despair

of the beaten old man

But we could not let ourselves despair
of the beaten old man

The university movement in Barcelona

that in 1956 and 1957 carried out...

a number of actions
through free assemblies

will undergo a very harsh repression

that completely destroys
these attempts at renewal.

The main point was
the creation of free assemblies

where the university was discussed,

and which were
the starting point of the movement.

first in Barcelona and then
at the national level.

We managed to fight off the attempt
to transmit Fascist ideology

to those generations
that hadn't lived the war.

we saw that we had to do something.

We couldn't wait for solutions
to arrive, we had to create them.

And that's when the idea to create a free,
democratic, autonomous union came along

It began in Barcelona in 1966
with the 'Capuchinada de Sarri?'

Later on, it became a reality in Madrid
and almost every Spanish university.

This followed
a change in orientation in 1956,

where the regime
resigned themselves to stop

their proselytising at university,

and it became
a technocratic bureaucracy.

It was broken up
and disappeared in 1965.

And with it went the professors who had
taken a stance against repression

Aranguren, Tierno Galv?n,
Garc?a Calvo, among others.

There has been a political awakening
in Spanish universities

of the critical situation
the country is in.

Not regarding
its many social issues,

but those of
its very political institutions.

The student knows he wants to be
a citizen and he knows how to be one.

The only way of participating

in the political life of the country
today is through protest

For he has no legal way of joining in,
in a way that is not that of protesting,

In participating,
organizing and distributing power.

One must realize that
the role of the university

is no longer solely
learning and teaching

Nor merely to train students.

The student lives
the university as a civic object

It integrates him in
democratic society.

Its inner life is a
life of citizenship.

It does not aim to substitute
the professor or diminish him.

It does not aim to modify
intellectual hierarchies

Its government is
a common ground,

where students
and teachers meet as equals.

As citizens of a society...

where democratic principles
are part of the university.

The archaic university,

where professors towered
over students is antagonistic

with the options of liberty
that our youth needs.

The government has clearly shown
not to understand the student protests.

It assumed that
it was driven by no more...

a youthful inclination to rebellion.

A sporty manifestation of violence
that could not be otherwise channelled.

It is, however, much deeper than that,
and touches the university as a whole.

What has been
the government's answer?

A controlled repression.

In the general context of
the country, the university

is nothing more than a first symptom
of generalised dissatisfaction.

The protests are a concrete expression
of what all of Spanish society wants.

Not just as an intellectual,

but as
a European socialist militant

I am obliged to list the
reasons that drive our youth.

Our youth wants the
realization of a socialist society.

A society without privileges.
A society where equality reigns.

A society that by its very definition
is opposed to immorality.

Our youth calls for
a permanent principle,

that accounts for
all possible moral codes.

Man should not be exploited by man.

For it to be real democracy, it can't
be restricted to formal democracy

One like the French students
have been fighting against.

It has to have much loftier ambitions

The movement has called for
the end of the classist university.

Statistics show that
only about 1% of students...

are the children of workers.

Starting out from the analysis
of the situation in Barcelona,

there are two paths

One, to politicize
the students further,

or to try and maintain
coherent politics

that addresses the needs of the students
in order to have them join the union.

The main goal that all Spanish
students have is a Congress

Where we'd have representatives
from all districts of the country.

And where we make a
minimum program of demands,

and goals for the movement.

What we are trying to make...

is not opposed to unionism
or the democratic movement.

But we consider that trade-unionism
has merely a tactical value.

And that we must respond
to strategic challenges

with the proper organizations,
which are not trade unions.

We must organize a student movement
that takes into account

both the trade union aspect
as well as the need to further politicize

not just the student struggle content,
in new ways of struggle, in new paths.

The predominant ideology of the movement
is implicitly socialist.

But there are different understandings
of what socialism is

there are social-democratic
as well as revolutionary tendencies...

they coincide
in the goal of socialism,

but have different paths to achieve it

so the question is whether we get there
through gradual reform

or through a permanent autonomy
of the popular movement

and therefore a struggle not only against
Fascist but Capitalist social structures.

This ideology is the one that is
currently becoming majoritary

There's a general consensus
in the goal for a Socialist society.

According to economy data
for the country for 1968

The budget
of the Ministry of Education

amounted to about 10% of GDP.

Which amounts to
some 4.5 USD per capita.

The lowest in Europe,
below Portugal and Greece.

On the other hand,
the Defence budget,

divided between four ministries,

Eats up
some 20-25% of the State's budget.

The change
of Minister of Education

is a consequence
of the struggle of students

who all over the country protested
against the current structure.

There's not a necessary link between the
protests and the Minister's fall

But the students in Madrid

made it clear to the Dean
that the Minister had to go

and that police
should be out of campus.

that strengthened the movement.

I believe that this as far as it can go,
as you cannot have real political change

until you have general changes

and the movement
coordinates with other sectors.

No, no, they won't make us budge!
No, no, they won't make us budge!

Maybe we should have
much more systematic contacts...

than what we have had so far.

The struggle for Democracy
in Spain must unite all,

especially workers and students

evidently under the direction
of workers' organizations.



So in Catalonia, as in the rest
of Spain, we spontaneously

created Workers' Commissions,
as the workers needed them.

They struggle
for workers' rights,

union rights, and,
ultimately, democracy

There have been Workers' Commissions
since the end of the Civil War.

The Regime's unrepresentative
official trade unions forced

workers into creating these
spaces to defend themselves

They were spontaneous. It was much later
that workers realized

that this was
a new tool of struggle,

a new weapon.

And from 1964 onwards
they started creating branches

Construction, printing, chemicals,
transportation, all of it.

The communists are in the Commissions
as individuals

Within them they do not
defend the Party's platform

but rather their personal convictions.

The Commissions are a space...

that allow for the defence
of a number of issues

which are not allowed
in the State-directed union.

In the country's politics,

it represents a mirror
of the feelings of all democrats.

It is the dynamic force, the engine,
of the democratic forces of the country.

The working class, with this
effort, is at the fore

of the democratic struggle
in the country

A force that is palpable...

when reading newspapers and
court and police records

that show that it is the most important
and dynamic force in the country.

In the summer
we gave a show of solidarity

and in these conditions we managed to
organize 24h strikes in 40 businesses...

...40 factories

In Barcelona, in Catalonia, we had
hundreds of people arrested

so we had to gather a lot of money for
their bonds and to help their families

No family of a detainee
has had to go wanting for anything

Thanks to workers' solidarity,
even though they were also punished.

No family has gone wanting for moral
support. There were group visitations

of comrades from the Commissions and
even, in cases where there was pressure

regarding the visits,

we would gather at the
prison's door to reassure them before

they would go in
and to send them messages...

that they would soon
be back with us.

I went to see my soon in prison
and to bring him some food


because they don't get enough of it.

It's not enough food for an 18-year old
that has already spent 3 months there

for bringing food

to people detained for social reasons,
the factory workers

for defending the workers.

I come to the prison 3 times
a week to visit my husband

He was arrested after talking to
friends about the problems here

that there are 50.000
children with no school to go to.

that we lack water,
the doctors are very far away...

and the police came and arrested them.

As a consequence of being elected by
the workers, with 90% of labourers,

and 85% of technicians,

the State Union has
annulled the elections

though they notarised the results.
That didn't help.

Many provincial and local union reps
are in the same situation as my brother.

The repression is brutal.
The police is always after them.

I went to see my
boyfriend in jail, a comrade.

He was unfairly arrested at
the demo, after the elections...

He's 18, just another young man,
a member of the Commissions, like me.

We fight for our interests, but there's
this brutal repression of young people

Women in the Workers' Commissions
are one more part of the working class.

We are in the same situation

of oppression and injustice
as the rest of the workers

And even more as women, conditioned
because of the culture imposed on us

instead of being a housemaker,

we have to bring
our qualities to the movement.

We have links to all democratic
forces in the country.

Besides political parties

with underground trade unions,

with religious groups...

with lawyer groups, teachers,
priests, doctors, students

and this is where
all these forces,

this stream of democratic
forces, meet.

Understand that we are
in a country where,

first of all,
Fascism doesn't evolve,

Fascism repulses social strata around it
that are not quite the classical ones.

Today, many groups in the country are
affected. Not just the workers

We must join with them against
this common enemy

that blocks the democratic
evolution of our country.

And that is why it is a mistake

to isolate from the rest
of democratic forces...

and take a radical stance that would
only strengthen and prolong Francoism.

The current situation of Spain depends
on many factors

This country has always
had struggling opposing poles

We are all marked by the Reconquista...

In Spain the more reactionary
side has always won.

And we have a Church
that sides with the right

the right of landowners, aristocrats,

industrialists and the military.

All these elements have constituted
the country's superstructure.

But it has started to realize
its true evangelical mission

and priests their duty as men.

They live and share
the troubles and feelings...

of the people and live with it


with a social conscience

and something that is
almost a class conscience.

Calling us 'working-class priests'
is not quite right

We are only workers inasmuch
as we must earn our living

But we also have enough free
time to give to our communities.

This is not a premeditated experience,
but rather an issue of personal honour.

The Spanish state pays the
priests a monthly stipend,

which is not something
ecclesiastically sound

so we have begun in many places, 3 or 4
years ago, to put things in their place.

But any religious action has,
automatically, a political reaction

And the hierarchy, that
would seemingly accept

the refusal of these privileges,

once enough priests
and believers are for it.

Spain is a country with good
relations with the Vatican

and a stable country,
dictatorial that it is.

After the treaty with the
Vatican, it joined the UN and

agreed to host US military bases.

In the treaty with the Vatican,
the Civil War is recognized

as a Crusade supported by
most Spanish bishops.

And they have such influence
they are surprised

we follow a different line
from that of our superiors

Maybe it's because of these new
priests that have us believe myths.

I heard of a 25 year-old girl who
was convinced that priests didn't piss!

- After mass a girl asked a colleague
if he had to walk very far to Rome

- The Vatican is getting
farther by the day!

The Vatican is trying the same
as some bishops in Spain,

A renewal. But it starts
over false premises.

The question is not whether
to renew seminaries,

but whether they should exist!

The problem of reform is
to paint over something rotten.

It goes nowhere.

We need radical change.

They think we are stronger
than we actually are!

They fear us more than they should.

We are only beginning.
It's only the start.

There is no link between
workers' groups and priests

And I don't think there should be one.

We shouldn't become another collective.

Each may have their opinions,
but we shouldn't be a pressure group.

We shouldn't be given
too much importance.

We are not like the
French worker priests

who have reflected on workers' reality.
We don't have that. We are a few people

who share some problems but
that make up no coherent front.

For words burst with meaning.

For water, earth,
air and fire are yours,

if you dare to be who you are.

Then you must say "enough"

that you have the will to walk again

with your head high,
now and forever

a man saved in the people,
against the wind

Saved in the people,
master of all

not a servile dog,
but the only lord

But we could not let ourselves despair

of the beaten old man

But we could not ourselves despair
of the beaten old man

Antonio Machado