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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Even the olives are bleeding -- Solidarity with Palestine and Remembering the International Brigades

Monument erected to International Brigades on the site of the Jarama Battlefield -- Dennisbluie, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Powerful statement from the Workers Party of Ireland: Solidarity with Palestine and Remembering the International Brigades

This is the anniversary of the battle of Jarama which was fought from 6–27 February 1937, in the Jarama River valley a few kilometres east of Madrid. Franco’s fascist nationalist forces, which were supported by Italy and Nazi Germany, attacked positions held by the inexperienced but heroic volunteers of the International Brigades. At the end of three weeks, the death count was high. The young poet, Charlie Donnelly, one of the brigadiers from Ireland said "even the olives are bleeding", before being gunned down by a burst of machine gun fire and killed.

In Gaza, the olives continue to bleed. The disgraceful “non-intervention” policy pursued by the capitalist countries during the Spanish Civil War was, in fact, intervention on the side of fascism and against democracy. Today, that policy is continued in the shameful stance of those imperialist powers and their sycophants which oppose the popular demands for an immediate ceasefire and an end to Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The deafening silence and the refusal to demand an end to the Israeli atrocities demonstrate complicity in the ethnic cleansing of Gaza, the destruction of its infrastructure and the mass murder, injury and displacement of Palestinians.

That is why the Workers Party continues its protests and demands for an immediate ceasefire. Silence is complicity. Socialist internationalism demands our solidarity with the people of Palestine. Dark forces cannot be permitted to prevail.

Gerry Grainger

International Secretary


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