On Saturday 16th July, the James Larkin Society will hold its annual March and Rally. The March will Assemble at 12.30pm at Combermere Street (Larkin’s birthplace), off Park Road, Liverpool 8, and proceed to the city centre for a Rally.
The main theme of the event this year is to mark the start of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939)in July 1936, and to honour all the Merseyside volunteers who enlisted in the International Brigade and fought against Fascism and to defend democracy in Spain.
Over 200 volunteers from Merseyside fought against Fascism in Spain. They included Communists, Socialists, Trade Unionists and Irish Republicans. Over 30 were killed in action.
One of the most famous Merseyside volunteers was Jack ”James Larkin” Jones (1913-2009), a Liverpool docker who went on to become leader of the Transport and General Workers Union. Jack and his comrades saw the struggle in Spain in the context of battling Mosleyite Fascists more locally, and as a precursor to the struggle against Hitler and the Nazis in World War Two. As he stated in an interview years later:
”For many men who went, it wasn’t a sense of adventure by any means. It was a feeling we were on the right side – the side of justice. For us it was the battle against fascism, including our local Mosley crowd, and that inspired me and encouraged me to do what I could against it, even if it meant laying down my life for it”
The Liverpool March and Rally on 16th July will remember all the Merseyside volunteers of the International Brigade with pride and respect.
In the context of the current rise of Far Right, racist and Fascist groups across Europe, the message of the International Brigades, of hope against fear, is more relevant than ever.
The James Larkin Society would like to encourage all Trade Unionists, and community groups to take part in the event, and to bring along their banners.
Notes for Editors:
The James Larkin Society was formed in Liverpool in 2003, to celebrate the life and work of the Liverpool-born Irish Trade Unionist and Socialist, James Larkin (1876-1947), and to highlight the relevance of the message of his struggle and achievements to today’s world.