2>Andres Nin

The White Terror

The Victims of the bourgeois
Repression in Spain

(8 March 1923)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 3 No. 24, 8 March 1923, p. 189.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

For three years, the Spanish proletariat has been the victim of the most unbearable persecutions. The slender guarantees of the constitution have been discarded and, with diem, the freedom of assembly, of speech, and of propaganda, the trade unions have been outlawed, the Communist Party has developed its propaganda under the greatest difficulties, thousands of comrades, syndicalists, anarchists and communists, have been imprisoned, hundreds deported and scores assassinated by hands of Whites and by the police. Within the last few months, the situation has slightly changed, the constitutional liberties have been re-established, the trade unions have regained their legality, and revolutionary propaganda can go on with a certain degree of freedom. The governor of Barcelona, General Martinez Anido, and the chief of police, General Ariegui, two of the principle instruments of the White Terror, have been driven from their posts. Once more the Spanish proletariat begins to breathe freely after the tragic darkness of the last three years.

But it would be an illusion to suppose that all danger is past and that every reason for anxiety had been cleared away.

The bourgeoisie is busy organizing Fascismo. The constitutional guarantees may be suspended again, on some pretext or other, and the militant revolutionaries again thrown to the mercy of the police prefects and the White Guards. We must not forget, that although a great number of comrades were released upon the re-establishment of constitutional rights, there are still many remaining in prison. During these three years of fierce repression, some monstrous criminal procedures have been worked up, thanks to confessions extracted by torture. The judiciary power, whose independence under the bourgeois regime we know too well, has become the instrument of the enemies of the proletarian class and has kept in prison and condemned dozens of militant revolutionaries marked for capitalistic vindictiveness. Many of them have already been sentenced to ten and twenty years of servitude. Other outrageous trials are still in process. In other countries it is impossible to realize how justice is administered in Spain. Only very recently, a worker front Bilbao was condemned to twelve years imprisonment under the accusation of wounding a policeman, although everyone knew that he was entirely innocent and that the real author of the deed had escaped abroad, the military tribunal knew quite well that he was innocent; but military institutions with us are considered as something sacred and in inviolable, and a punishment had to be administered as an example, even though the victim was entirely innocent. In the same way in 1920, upon the assassination of two policemen, four men were shot although they were completely innocent. And less than a year ago two more workers were executed at Barcelona on the unfounded charge that they had assassinated an employer.

These examples, chosen from among a thousand, will prove to the revolutionaries of every country how justice is administered in Spain, and should move them to energetic action in favor of the hundreds of comrades who are in prison and whose lives and liberties are so seriously menaced. We call particular attention to the trial for the assassination of the government head, M. Dato. More than twenty-one comrades are under trial as authors of the deed or as accomplices. The condemnation of any one of these comrades should be prevented at all costs. The Spanish proletariat expects derisive action on the part of the working class of the other countries.

Last updated on 9 August 2020