by Ricard de Vargas Golarons, Translated by Peter Gelderloos
The name Salvador Puig Antich and the events surrounding the so-called Transition from fascism are famous within Spain, but largely unknown elsewhere. This collection, originally published in Catalan on the forty-fifth anniversary of Puig Antich's execution, remedies that.
In the early 1970s, Salvador Puig Antich of the Iberian Liberation Movement (MIL) was engaged in a fight to the death with Franco's brutal fascist dictatorship over the future of Spain. They expropriated banks and smuggled clandestine literature in support of the growing movement of wildcat workers' strikes. In 1974, the Franco regime garroted Puig Antich--literally strangled him to death. The charge was for shooting a policeman during his arrest, the details of which were contested. Puig Antich's case became a cause célèbre internationally. This book makes sense of his life and death by placing them in their historical and political context. Some contributors describe the intensity of life in an armed group, others focus on the political debates in the MIL and the broader movement. Puig Antich's comrades speak of the contemporary strike movement, his family members recount the wait for his execution. Sometimes perspectives clash, a testament to the conflicts, debates, and contradictions that form an integral part of this history of struggle.
This edition also includes a new Introduction by Peter Gelderloos for English-language readers, as well as photos, documents, a glossary, and a selection of Puig Antich's letters and other writings.
About the Contributors:
Ricard de Vargas Golarons, member of the armed anticapitalist groups MIL and OLLA, was imprisoned in Spain at the end of the Franco dictatorship. Upon his release, he became a movement historian, preserving the memory of generations of struggle against oppression and for human dignity. While leftwing parties struck a deal with the fascists upon Franco's death, creating a democracy that redressed none of the power imbalances nor wrongs after forty years of fascist rule, Ricard's has been an important voice for remembering those who dedicated their lives to fighting against the dictatorship, and preserving the dreams they were actually fighting for.