A look at how the Barcelona rent strike of 1931 prepared the ground for the revolution of 1936.
by Dermot Sreenan The Barcelona Rent Strike of 1931 not only served to reduce rent costs for working class families but was also an education in self-organisation for thousands of workers. It, along with other struggles in those years, created an organised working class that in 1936 made the most successful attempt yet to overthrow capitalism and create libertarian communism.
The CNT was an illegal organisation during the 1920’s and thus many members had been reduced to the role of passive spectators as dedicated militants battled with the police and pistoleros. The dictator, Primo de Rivera, had fallen in 1930 and the new government (who declared a republic in ’31) let the CNT re-emerge.
As anarchists, the CNT wished to widen the union into a real participatory social movement. To do this they had to broaden its realm of influence. They knew that only via mass organisation, participation and struggle could the foundations be laid so that people would acquire the skills to construct a new society. Continue reading “Road to Revolution: The Barcelona Rent Strike of 1931.”