By New Worker correspondent
OVER 100 people gathered in Jubilee Gardens on London’s South Bank on Saturday 7th July at the memorial to the International Brigaders to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the start of the Spanish war against fascism.
Among them was David Solomon, London’s last surviving member of the
International Brigades – the army of volunteers who went to Spain between 1936 and 39 to help the people of Spain defend their elected Republican government against the fascist revolt led by General Francisco Franco and his army recruited in Morocco, which was backed by Hitler and Mussolini.
Outwardly the governments of Britain and France preached a policy of non-intervention and Hitler and Mussolini supplied arms, troops and an air force to Franco. But behind the scenes British upper class right-wing mercenaries, spies and adventurers also played a big role in helping to launch Franco’s invasion.
There were speeches from members of the International Brigades Association – and their Spanish equivalent, who presented David Solomon with a commemorative banner.
Many organisations and individuals laid wreaths at the memorial, including three from trade unions. There was music from Spanish guitarist and singer Paco Marin, folk singer Ewan McLennan, and folk duo Na-Mara. Performance poet Francesca Beard also paid tribute to the Brigaders.
After the wreath-laying and the speeches David Solomon unveiled a new plaque at the foot of the memorial, dedicated to those who gave their lives in Spain in the fight against fascism.