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(en) cnt-ait: Spain 1936, Ethiopia 2021 - the fight against fascism continues ...
Sat, 25 Sep 2021 08:43:44 +0300
leaflet distributed at the Vernet Concentration Camp on the occasion of Heritage
Days. Because memory is useless if it does not highlight today's struggles ...
---- Eighty years ago, at the concentration camp Vernet d'Ariège (France), Tecle
HAGOS died. The plaque on his grave reads «August 19, 1941, Ethiopian». Not much
is known about his life, except that he was probably part of a group of a dozen
students from the Horn of Africa who had traveled to Spain in summer 1936. The
announcement of a Revolution, made by workers and peasants, ordinary people which
had triumphed over Fascism on July 19, 1936, gave them some hope, they who had
seen this same Fascism seize their land in Africa few months before.
Were they Amhara, Tigrayan, Oromo, or some other Ethiopian ethnicity? We do not
know and frankly we are not interested to know. Tecle Hagos and his companions
had not come to give their youth for Catalonia, Aragon or Andalusia, not even for
Spain, but they came for ridding Humanity of Fascism. And also because they
shared with the Spanish revolutionaries a universal idea: that of establishing
Liberty through Equality and Solidarity.
There, in this Horn of Europe, these sons of the Horn of Africa had shared the
libertarian hopes of this people who began to dream aloud. They had also shared
its disillusionment, once the politicians had regained their power in the Spanish
Republic. Like the anarchists of the CNT-AIT and the militants of the POUM, some
Ethiopian freedom fighters were accused without any evidence by the Communists of
«treason» and eventually were slandered and also knew the the republican jails...
Finally they shared the dramatic end of the Spanish revolutionnaries, joining the
cohort of those who in the winter 39 took the paths of exile through the Pyrenees
mountains... They were then welcomed by the Republic - the French one this time -
which parked them as if they were beasts, in concentration camps. Spanish
anarchists, Ethiopian as Italian anti-fascists, german anti-nazis with stateless
Jews, all this mixed Humanity were seen by the Republic and the «self-righteous
persons", as «unwelcomed foreigners» to use the administrative term in use at
that time, or «the scum of the earth», to use the expression of the British
writer Artur Koestler who was also interned at the Vernet camp. They were
outcast? Well, so am I, as says the famous song of the Paris' Commune!
Today, Ethiopia is once again under the fascist threat. It no longer comes from
abroad, as in 1935. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, ironically winner of
the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, dreams of re-establishing the Ethiopian Empire and is
currently waging a war of annihilation against the Tigray province, by playing
the card of ethnic differentiation. Kidnapping and torture of opponents, mass
assassinations, rapes, the use of foreign mercenary troops and indigenous
militias ... the same methods Franco and his henchmen used in 1936 are applied
today in Ethiopia. These horrors would almost make you forget that the party in
power in Tigray (the Front for the Liberation of the People of Tigray, TPLF) is
worn out, authoritarian and corrupt, and hardly any better ...
Meanwhile, the UN sends out messages of outrage against massacres and organized
famine, as effective as those of the League of Nations in the 1936's days against
Fascism. Today, Russia signs military deal with Ethiopia, Turkey sends drones.
And France signed a military cooperation agreement in 2019 ... There will be no
International Brigades for Tigray, this conflict does not interest any party
because there is no electoral profit to be made by showing its solidarity with an
arid and poor area.
Few are those who - like our companions of the anarchists of the Horn of Africa -
dare to express in this fury of warlike madness their dream of another future,
anarchistic and finally rid of identity hatred, by launching an appeal to all the
belligerents so that they lay down their arms.
Freedom and solidarity!
Bilisummaa fi obbolummaa (Afaan Oromo)
Xorriyad iyo midnimo (Somali)
(Thank you to Pr. Matthew.F.Delmont, from Dartmouth College, for the Chicago
http://cnt-ait.info/2021/09/19/spain-1936-ethiopia-2021/ Spain 1936, Ethiopia
2021: the fight against fascism continues ...
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