Letter from ALBA: For an Anti-Fascist Education

December 15, 2019
By and

Dear Friends,

On November 11, ALBA joined several other educational organizations in Pittsburgh for an inspiring Conference on Anti-Semitism, Hate, and Social Responsibility. Organized by Classrooms without Borders, the gathering was held to commemorate the horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018. As part of the meeting, ALBA offered two workshops on the rise of the far-right in Europe and the United States.

The topic was timely. Just the day before, on November 10, Spain went to the polls to elect a new parliament, for the fourth time in as many years. At the most recent elections, in April, the new far-right party Vox had entered the 350-seat chamber for the first time, with a stunning 24 deputies. On Sunday, the party more than doubled that number, claiming 52 seats, representing more than 15 percent of the electorate. More than 3.5 million Spaniards voted for a party that is rabidly Spanish nationalist, anti-immigrant, homophobic, and reactionary; that rejects protections for women who are the victim of gender violence as a construct of “gender ideology”; and that defends Spaniards’ right to celebrate the legacy of Francisco Franco against the “dictatorship of progressive morality.”

The worrisome growth of Vox comes at a time of upheaval in Spain. In late October, the government finally removed Franco’s remains from the Valley of the Fallen (see p. 3-4). Earlier that month, hundreds of thousands of Catalans reacted indignantly to the Supreme Court’s decision to sentence nine pro-independence politicians and activists to heavy prison sentences. The progressive government coalition that the Socialist Party and Podemos announced as this issue went to press will have its hands full.

Education was the focus of the Pittsburgh conference. How can we leverage our educational system into a building block for an anti-fascist front? This has long been the key question behind ALBA’s work. This fall and spring, our teaching workshops and film screenings take us all over the United States. Because the United States, too, has important questions to settle when it comes to its violent past.

There is still so much work to do. No one at ALBA doubts that the road ahead will be difficult. But we know that, with your unstinting support, we can keep fighting the good fight.

Thanks for all that you do. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation before the end of the year. (Donate with PayPal or send a check to ALBA, 239 West 14th Street, Suite 2 New York, NY 10011, info@alba-valb.org, ph. 212-674-5398.)


Peter N. Carroll & Sebastiaan Faber, editors