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Tributes paid to the International Brigade volunteers

TRIBUTES took place nationwide over the weekend to commemorate the International Brigade volunteers.

About 2,500 volunteers from Britain and Ireland went to Spain in the 1930s as part of the International Brigades to fight fascism and defend the Spanish Republic and 526 did not return.

October 17 1938 was the day the International Brigades left Spain, after being honoured in Barcelona by the Spanish people alongside whom they fought.

The commemorations were organised by the Communist Party of Britain, and supported by the International Brigades Memorial Trust (IBMT).

An event in Manchester, organised by north-west district of the Communist Party, was attended by people from Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire and Cheshire and members of the International Brigade greater Manchester group.

Also present were members of the Communist Parties of Ireland and Spain.

Speeches took place outside Manchester Central Library followed by wreath-laying and displays of banners and flags at Manchester’s new Peterloo memorial.

Dolores Long of the IBMT and International Brigade Greater Manchester Group was among the speakers.

She delivered the famous “you are legend” farewell speech of gratitude by the Spanish communist MP La Pasionaria to International Brigade volunteers as they left Barcelona.

Paul Ward spoke about volunteers from the north-west and said: “Today in an increasingly troubled world with a Prime Minister in Britain who is openly racist, homophobic, misogynistic and promotes Islamophobia, we can all join the fight against racism and fascism.

“We are all internationalists. We are all anti-fascist.”

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