This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
BRITISH socialists swooped on controversial site Plaza de Margaret Thatcher in Madrid last night, staging a snap protest to demand that International Brigades hero Jack Jones is honoured instead.
More than 100 trades unionists and anti-fascist activists descended on the square in posh Salamanca district.
They symbolically renamed the square by covering street signs bearing the hated Tory’s name with their “Plaza de Jack Jones” banner.
The stunt was the latest protest since the square was opened last September by politicians from the right-wing Popular Party — founded by a minister in dictator General Franco’s government.
Just 24 hours after its unveiling, street signs were plastered with Hillsborough Justice Campaign stickers by angry British visitors.
Unemployed Spanish youths, who joined in, replacingthe signs with new ones saying “Plaza de la Juventud Exiliada” (Exiled Youth.)
Now campaigners are calling for Thatcher’s name to be scrubbed off Madrid’s street map permanently.
They want the square to be re-named Plaza de Jack Jones to remember the famed trade unionist and his fellow British socialists who fought Franco’s fascists in the 1936 Spanish civil war.
The Liverpool-born docker was seriously wounded while serving with the International Brigade, and went on to become the general secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union in 1968.
Terry Craven, who took part in the protest, said: “Jack Jones is a name we’re proud to remember. Thatcher is one we’d like to forget, frankly.”
Mr Craven is a member of the Unite union’s Casa community branch, a centre established in Liverpool to celebrate British volunteers of the brigade.
“Jack was a true working-class hero,” added Mr Craven.
“He worked all his life to help the underdog, fighting against poverty, unemployment, inequality and repression. Thatcher did none of those things.”
Socialists and trade union members living in Madrid were among the group that seized the square last night.
Most travelled from Britain to take part in the International Bridade’s Memorial Trust’s annual commemoration of the battle of Jarama.
The bloody clash, which began on February 11 1937, saw 150 British volunteers killed.
The heroics of the International Brigade stopped Franco’s 40,000-strong force surrounding Madrid in the early days of the civil war.
IBMT secretary Jim Jump called on Madrid politicians to honour the men who defended their city by renaming Plaza de Margaret Thatcher.
He told the Star: “It’s very insensitive of the Madrid authorities to name a square after someone who was an admirer of General Pinochet.
“He modelled himself on Spanish dictator General Franco, whose military coup and brutal dictatorship was responsible for the death, murder and execution of tens of thousands of Spaniards.
“The Madrid authorities should remember the heroism of the International Brigades rather than someone who was a friend of Franco.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.