The CNT in the 70s and 80s: the transition, the 5th congress and the CNT-CGT split

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Mark.
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Feb 16 2017 18:13
The CNT in the 70s and 80s: the transition, the 5th congress and the CNT-CGT split

An interesting thread on alasbarricadas on the CNT from the 5th congress in 1979 to the 1989 court case over the use of the initials. This is actually quite a constructive discussion from people involved, on both sides of the split, about what happened and the reasons things turned out as they did.

http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=61614&start=15

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Este es un hilo para opinar sobre el V congreso de la CNT, para hablar ( mal), de las Organizaciones que surgieron a partir del mismo, y del Juicio de las Siglas que dio el nombre de CNT a una , y la otra decidio desde entonces llamarse CGT.

Aqui no se puede hablar de nada posterior a 1989. Terminantemente prohibido. Todos los cotilleos, comentarios e insultos deben tener como referencia una fecha anterior.

Se valora especialmente que a poder ser sean movidas desde el 79 al 84.

Mark.
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Feb 22 2017 17:06

A split from the above thread on how the CNT actually functioned from 1910 to 1939:

http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=61632

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Steven.
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Feb 23 2017 18:47

Sounds interesting, but unfortunately I don't speak Spanish. Any chance you could write up a short something, maybe we could put it in history section?

Mark.
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Feb 23 2017 19:40

tbh I'd find it very hard to write anything on this. It's all involved and complicated, and the history is disputed. Apologies to non-Spanish speakers - I just thought that there are enough people on here who read Spanish to make it worthwhile posting the links. Generally I think there's a lack of worthwhile material in English on the CNT during and after the transition.

I do find it positive that there's some reasonable discussion going on on alasbarricadas without people taking intransigent positions and denouncing each other. One factor in this is that the disputes of the 70s and 80s are now a long time in the past, before most current CNT and CGT members became involved and I suppose before many of them were born.

syndicalist
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Feb 23 2017 20:16

Are those engaged in the conversation the same who want to "refound" the IWA?

Mark.
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Feb 23 2017 20:46

I think only one person has posted from the pro-IWA side. It's mainly people from the majority side in the CNT. That doesn't mean they were all in favour of "refounding" the IWA. I think there are people with different views. In any case I'd say the thread is worth reading for it's own sake. There's a serious attempt to get to grips with the history. You don't have to agree or see yourself on the same side for it to be interesting.

syndicalist
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Feb 23 2017 20:56

That's what it looked like from a very, very fast glance.

Mark.
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Feb 23 2017 21:00

If you do read through it I'd be interested in your thoughts.

syndicalist
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Feb 24 2017 02:56

I think I'd like to see what sort of tactical shifts some current non-IWA CNT people may indicate in the current context. that might give me a better sense of some of the shifts in tone and discussion as it relates to the splits of the past.

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Feb 24 2017 08:39
syndicalist wrote:
I think I'd like to see what sort of tactical shifts some current non-IWA CNT people may indicate in the current context.

The thread is not about the impacts on the current situation.It is strictly limited to the «transicion» and people try to respect this. It's really worth reading it for the historical context, because it gives (us outsiders) a new facts and interpretations concerning few myth from the past. Just to give you example - there is a very good (and AFAIK correct) interpretation of the rise and fall of the Puerto Real shipyard CNT union in the thread.

Ragnar
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Feb 24 2017 14:23

I am curious to know how you see it from outside Spain. And since it seems that you find this topic interesting here. I'm talking about "Transición" 79-84.

Particularly I find it much more interesting post "the CNT actually functioned from 1910 to 1939"

syndicalist
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Feb 24 2017 18:24

Yes, I realize it's not about the present. But tactical discussion,even of a historical nature inform about peoples general thoughts and thinking. Sometimes current perspectives are reflections of past positives and past errors. Or building or learning from those positives or negatives.

Anyway, I will eventually work my way through it.

Mark.
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Feb 25 2017 18:25

Ragnar - The transition is roughly the period when I had some involvement, on and off, with the IWA, and I guess that's why it's of interest to me personally. I'm not sure how much it should matter to anyone who wasn't around at the time. I was in Barcelona in October or November 1979 - the original idea had been to be there for the fifth congress which ended up being postponed and held in Madrid in December. It's probably just as well we missed it, and as none of us spoke any Spanish I'm not sure what being there would have achieved. As it is we had no idea about the crisis the CNT was going though. A Spanish speaking Canadian academic we met tried to explain it to us but I don't think we paid much attention. When the news of the split came a couple of months later it was quite unexpected. I'd say the language barrier remained an issue in the years that followed, and that I only ever got a partial and distorted idea of what was happening in Spain - and hence the unanswered questions I was left with.

Mark.
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Feb 25 2017 00:16
syndicalist wrote:
I think I'd like to see what sort of tactical shifts some current non-IWA CNT people may indicate in the current context. that might give me a better sense of some of the shifts in tone and discussion as it relates to the splits of the past.

There's now another thread split off which is more about this:

http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=61639&start=0

Mark.
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Feb 25 2017 18:35

Dissertation (in Spanish) on the CNT split in Asturias and the construction of collective memory, based on interviews with people involved:

http://transicionyruptura.info/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/TFM_GonzalezPerezHector_cnt_asturias.pdf

Radio interview with the writer of this, Héctor González. The interview is linked to and discussed on the alasbarricadas thread. I'd recommend it but found it a bit of a test of my listening skills:

http://anabasis.radioqk.org/21-ruptura-en-cnt/

syndicalist
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Feb 25 2017 20:30

BTW, this is a very interesting contemporary (1977) english translation interview with CNT-AIT Sec. Luis Edo: https://libcom.org/library/black-flag-vol-iv-no15-0

English speaking comrades might want to look at "Black Flag" from this time period as it carried a lot of stuff (in english) on the Spanish situation: https://libcom.org/library/black-flag

syndicalist
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Feb 25 2017 21:28

A Canadian comrade of ours was that the 5th Congress. His report appears in the February/March 1980 issue of The North American Anarchist I will try and cut and past his article, which dealt with certain internal issues relative to the social movements, the exiles and classical CNT-AIT unionism. Additional 5th Congress reporting appears in the April/May 1980 issue The North American Anarchist as well.

Apparently we were hearing stuff about workplace elections , mainly coming from CNT-Victoria (Michelin tire workers) and Madrid Metro (subway workers) prior to the V Congress, knew there
were high tensions brewing and some of us figured (well, read the incoming press) that the shit was about ready to hit the fan. Which, it obviously did.

Even with the split, both segments pursued their own unionist paths.

The North American Anarchist was the newspaper of the Anarchist-Communist Federation of North America.

Mark.
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Feb 25 2017 22:38

Yes, I'd be interested to see that report on the 5th Congress.

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robot
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Feb 26 2017 07:17
Mark. wrote:
Yes, I'd be interested to see that report on the 5th Congress.

I second

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Steven.
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Feb 26 2017 14:41

Yeah thanks, syndicalist. And no worries about an article, Mark just thought I would ask!

Mark.
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Feb 26 2017 17:54

A translation of the Héctor González dissertation might be the ideal thing on this, but that would be a major undertaking.

syndicalist
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Feb 26 2017 19:44
Mark. wrote:
A translation of the Héctor González dissertation might be the ideal thing on this, but that would be a major undertaking.

What's the title?

I'm assuming this is the same author: "La escisión de la CNT en Asturias y la construcción de la memoria colectiva." Por Héctor González. http://transicionyruptura.info/?p=315

Mark.
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Feb 26 2017 20:45

Yes, that's the one. It's the pdf link there.

syndicalist
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Feb 26 2017 22:33

Posted "CNT Debates Future" (NAA article) on libcom

Mark.
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Feb 26 2017 22:39
Thanks.
syndicalist
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Feb 26 2017 23:20
Mark. wrote:
Thanks.

Another one posted on libcom.... "CNT 5th Congress" and "interview with FAI Militant"
from The North American Anarchist