Barcelona May Days
Barcelona May Days is a term covering the events between May 3 and May 8 1937, when factions on the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War engaged each other in violent street battles in the city of Barcelona (Catalonia). It was the result of the deeper division between anarchists and Communists which had brewed for decades.
Clashes began when units of the Guardia Civil – under the influence of the Stalinist Communist Party of Spain and its local wing, the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (PSUC) – attempted to take over an anarchist-run telephone building in Barcelona. The telephone workers fought back, sparking a city-wide conflict. Five days of street fighting ensued, with anarchist workers and their allies (Friends of Durruti Group), supporters of the non-Stalinist Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), building barricades and exchanging fire with the Assault Guards, stormtroopers and PSUC.
Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) workers were eventually persuaded into a compromise by Juan García Oliver, amongst others. The Republican government sent 10,000 Assault Guard troops to Barcelona to quell the fighting. The ultimate result of the battle was the further erosion of worker control of the city and the consolidation of government power over the major labor organizations in Catalonia, the CNT and its sister group, the Federación Anarquista Ibérica (known collectively as the CNT-FAI).
The British author George Orwell describes these events, which he witnessed and took part in, in his famous book Homage to Catalonia. The Swedish socialists Ture Nerman and August Spångberg were also present in Barcelona, and they both write about their experiences in their autobiographies.== References ==
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