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An insight into the province of Cadiz on May 1st.

We kick off the month of May and cannot help but remember those who paid a high price in the struggle for decent working conditions.

Very recently, I came across one of these stories, set in the province of Cadiz, specifically in Alcalá de los Gazules, around the year 1887.

Let’s delve into the details…

The workers’ association of Alcalá de los Gazules, one of the most active in Spain.

By 1887, in the province of Cadiz, workers suffered precariousness and misery in the fields.

In the municipalities of the province, it was the Civil Guard who carried out the wishes of landowners, mayors, and local bosses.

The workers from Alcalá de los Gazules were forced to organize very actively, enduring all kinds of repression from those who held power.

The events…

One day, the Civil Guard showed up at the homes of the labor leaders to arrest them by order of the mayor.

The men were chained and informed that they were required to testify before the judge in the neighboring town of Grazalema.

This town was only 24 kilometers away from Alcalá de los Gazules, which at that time equated to a two-day journey.

However, what seemed like a straightforward two-day journey turned into a 15-day nightmare, as the Civil Guard took them on the following route:

From Alcalá de los Gazules to Medina Sidonia, Chiclana de la Frontera, San Fernando, Puerto Real, Puerto de Santa María, Jerez de la Frontera, Arcos de la Frontera, Las Cabezas de San Juan, back to Jerez de la Frontera and Arcos de la Frontera, Ubrique, and finally Grazalema… a total of 193 kilometers in nearly 15 days.

The trial.

When they were received by the judge in Grazalema, the workers appeared in a deplorable state and exhausted from the journey.

Ultimately, the judge, unable to accuse them, dismissed them with apologies.

And that’s because there was no law that prohibited affiliation with a workers’ party.

Punishment before verdict.

This was the scheme by which the mayor wielded his power, using the Civil Guard to impose the punishment he desired, even knowing that there was no crime.

If you enjoyed it, let me know in the comments. Thank you.
Remember, I’ll keep posting interesting topics here and on social media.

Carolina

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