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Scots and the Spanish Civil WarSolidarity, Activism and Humanitarianism$
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Fraser Raeburn

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474459471

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474459471.001.0001

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Coalitions of the Willing: Spanish Aid Committees in Scotland

Coalitions of the Willing: Spanish Aid Committees in Scotland

(p.147) 6 Coalitions of the Willing: Spanish Aid Committees in Scotland
Scots and the Spanish Civil War

Fraser Raeburn

Edinburgh University Press

A distinctive feature of pro-Republican solidarity movements in Britain was the formation of local, regional and national ‘Spanish Aid Committees’, which brought together diverse groups in order to campaign and raise funds on behalf of Republican Spain. Their widespread success across Britain has been taken both as evidence of either the success of the Communist Party of Great Britain’s efforts to build progressive political coalitions in line with their aspirations for a ‘Popular Front’, or as representing their failure to do so, with such committees taking on a chiefly humanitarian rather than political outlook. By exploring regional case studies across Scotland, this chapter argues that while this communist strategy was more successful in Scotland than elsewhere, this success exposed the limitations of this model of activism, with the committee-based approach proving considerably less successful than previously assumed in key contexts such as Glasgow.

Keywords:   Aid Spain, Spanish Aid Committees, Popular Front, Humanitarianism, Activism, Solidarity, Glasgow, Communist Party of Great Britain

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