Libertarian Youth

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Logo of the FIJL

The Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth[1] (FIJL, Spanish: Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias), sometimes abbreviated as Libertarian Youth (Juventudes Libertarias), is a libertarian socialist[2] organisation created in 1932 in Madrid.[3] It exists until today.


The FIJL was created in 1932 in Madrid.[3] In February 1937 the FIJL organised a plenum of regional organisations (second congress of FIJL). In October 1938, from the 16th through the 30th in Barcelona, the FIJL participated in a national plenum of the libertarian movement, also attended by members of the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) and the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI).[4]

Poster of the FIJL from the 1930s

During the purge of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM) and other dissident organisations that took place in Barcelona towards the end of the Spanish Civil War many FIJL members were murdered by those who were acting on the orders of Joseph Stalin.[5] After the Civil War FIJL acted in two branches, one in exile situated in Paris and one domestic as secret and illegal organisation under Franco's regime. Some FIJL members were associated with the militant First of May Group.[6] FIJL was banned in France in 1963.[7]

The organisation's most famous member was Federico Borrell García who was the subject of Robert Capa's most well known photograph, The Falling Soldier. This image, taken in 1936, depicts the moment of a republican soldier's death during the Spanish Civil War.

Offices of the Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias (FIJL). De la Paz street in Valencia in the 1930s

Cotemporary developments[edit]

During the first years of the 2000s, the FIJL started to evolve towards insurrectionist positions and its differences with anarcho-syndicalism became more evident due to the influence of the Black block in alterglobalization protests and the examples of developments from Italy and Greece. Afterwards it will receive some important repression from the state which leads it towards inactivity.[8]

A new generation of anarchist youth decides to establish a new FIJL since 2006. It starts trying to establish a clear difference with the other insurrectionist FIJL while defending anarcho-syndicalism critically.[9] In the year 2007 it re-establishes itself as the FIJL since it did not have news from the other insurrectionist organization, but after finding out of a communique by the insurrectionist organization[8] it decides to name itself "Iberian Youth of Anarchist Youth" (spa: Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Anarquistas or FIJA but knwing that they are the continuing organization to the previous FIJL from the 1990s to the past.[10] They publish a newspaper called El Fuelle.

In march of 2012 the FIJL of insurrectionist tendencies decides to not continue[11] and so the FIJA goes to call itself again FIJL.[12] Today, the FIJL has presence in Asturias, Cádiz, Donosti, Granada, Lorca (Murcia) and Madrid.[13]


  1. ^ The FIJL is referred to as the "Iberian Federation of Libertarian Youth" in, inter alia:
    • George Richard Esenwein, The Spanish Civil War: a Modern Tragedy, 2005, p 269.
    • Alexandre Skirda, Facing the Enemy: a History of Anarchist Organization from Proudhon to May 1968, 2002, p 158.
    • Peter Marshall, Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism, 2010, p 466.
    • Graham Kelsey, Anarchosyndicalism, Libertarian Communism, and the State: the CNT in Zaragoza and Aragon, 1930-1937, 1991, p 250.
  2. ^ José Peirats & Chris Ealham, The CNT in the Spanish Revolution, Volume 2, 2001, p. 76. "The anarchist youth movement had been founded soon after the birth of the Second Republic.... Later, they spread throughout the whole of Spain until they came to represent the third branch of the great libertarian family.... The FIJL had agreed upon the following statement of principles: '...This Association shall strive to invest young people with a libertarian conviction, as to equip them individually to struggle against authority in all its forms, whether in trade union matters or in ideological ones, so as to attain a libertarian social arrangement'"
  3. ^ a b Esenwein, p.269
  4. ^ Gómez Casas, p.237
  5. ^ Beevor(1982) The Spanish Civil War, London, Cassell, p. 275; photograph p.304.
  6. ^ Meltzer, Albert (1996). I Couldn't Paint Golden Angels. Edinburgh: AK Press. ISBN 1-873176-93-7. 
  7. ^ Alted Vigil, Alicia, and Lucienne Domergue. El exilio republicano español en Toulouse (1939 - 1999). Madrid: Univ. Nacional de Educación a Distancia, 2004. p. 116
  8. ^ a b Comunicado de la FIJL
  9. ^ Juventudes Anarquistas de León, "La Teoría de Cuerdas del Sindicalismo" o Grupo Bandera Negra "Lo que es y no es el 19 de julio"
  10. ^ "Nace la Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Anarquistas". 11 August 2007. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Comunicado de disolución de la Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias (FIJL)
  12. ^ "Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias – F.I.J.L". 5 April 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  13. ^ Directorio de la Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias


  • Esenwein, George Richard. The Spanish Civil War: A Modern Tragedy, Routledge, 2005.
  • Gómez Casas, Juan (1986). Anarchist Organisation: The History of the F.A.I., Black Rose Books Ltd., ISBN 0-920057-38-1.

External links[edit]