The Spanish Civil War:

Anarchism in Action

Glossary


CNT (Confederacion Nacional de Trabajo) - anarchist-Syndicalist trade union founded in 1911. The most militant and revolutionary union. Sought to organise all workers into one big union. Based itself on the ideas of anarchism and revolutionary syndicalism.

FAI (Federacion Anarquista Iberica) - loose federation of anarchist groups in Spain and Portugal, formed in 1927. Primary purpose was to combat reformist tendencies in the CNT and maintain it's anarchist profile. Also acted as the 'armed wing' of the CNT at the time employers were hiring pistoleros to murder leading CNT members. In so far as the FAI had a theory about the role of a revolutionary organisation it was a belief that a minority could, by insurrection, light a spark that would inflame the masses for revolution. They organised risings in January 1932, January 1933 and December 1933 all of which were unsuccessful.

FIJL (Federaction Iberica de Juventudes Libertarias) - anarchist youth organisation

Friends of Durruti - left opposition group within the CNT, FAI and FIJL founded in early 1937. Was against CNT entry into government and argued for complete social revolution as the only way to defeat Franco. Named after the famous anarchist militia leader killed in November 1936.

Mujeres Libres - anarchist womens' organisation.

PCE (Partido Communista de Espana) - pro- Russian Communist Party founded in 1921.

POUM (Partido Obrero de Unificacion Marxista) - anti-Stalinist Communist party formed in 1935 with the joining together of a Trotskyist group and dissidents from the PCE. Contained many revolutionaries but was essentially a party that vacillated between reformism and revolution. The writer George Orwell fought in their militia.

PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol) - known as the 'Socialist Party'. A democratic party formed in 1879.

PUSC (Partilo Socialista Unificado de Cataluna) - the United Catalan Socialist Party. Formed in 1936 from a merger of Socialist and Communist groups. Affiliated to the Commintern and effectively the PCE in Catalonia.

Republican Party - party of the radical middle class founded in 1934.

Republican Union - a split from the government party of 1933-35.

UGT (Union General de Trabajadores) - trade union connected with the PSOE