Ethel MacDonald in Barcelona

    Ethel MacDonald was a Glaswegian anarchist and activist who worked during the Spanish Civil War as a propagandist on Barcelona Anarchist radio.

    Videos

    Great video about Ethel MacDonald here this drama-documentary intersperses original reportage with drama and expert interviews and tells the remarkable story of her life, particularly in Barcelona during the Civil War.

    Official film site: Ethel MacDonald – An Anarchist Story by Mark Littlewood

    Life

    Wikipedia In October 1936 MacDonald travelled to Barcelona with Guy Aldred’s partner, Jenny Patrick, to represent and show the support of the Scottish anarchist movement for the Republican (Loyalist) side in the Spanish Civil War. In January 1937 she began to transmit regular English-language reports on the war on Barcelona’s widely-heard Anarchist radio station run by the Confederacion Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) [National Workers Confederation]. In the crackdown following the events of May 1937 she assisted the escape of anarchists wanted by the Communist secret police and smuggled into prison letters and food for fellow anarchists held by regional authorities. Through her activities in helping anarchists escape Spain, she became renowned in the British press as the “Scots Scarlet Pimpernel“. Between July and November 1937, she was a national figure in the newspapers, with daily reports and inquiries as to her whereabouts and activities. Eventually she herself was arrested by a faction of the Loyalist forces, but later released. She returned to Glasgow that November, following speaking engagements in France and Amsterdam.

    See also

    Biography by John Couzin: “Life story of one of Glasgow’s women anarchists that I feel very strongly is worth remembering

    Biography of Ethel MacDonald