A Batalha

03 March 2021

On this day, February 23, 1919, the first issue of what will be the oldest political newspaper in Portugal, “A Batalha”, was published. From September onwards, will become the official organ of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) , anarcho-syndicalist workers’ center.

In its first issue, it announced what was coming: “a newspaper where the trampled, whose number we belong to, find a passionate defender and the powerful class a stubborn opponent of the prerogatives that it enjoys illegitimately”.

In September 1919, following a period of great intensification of social struggles and still under the specter of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the end of World War I, the CGT was to be founded. Throughout the Republic and the Military Dictatorship, the CGT will lead countless workers’ struggles, suffering the repression, imprisonment and deportation of many of its militants.

With the Military Dictatorship, the publication of “A Batalha” was interrupted in May after its headquarters were destroyed and looted and the equipment destroyed. During the Estado Novo, in the 30s and 40s, reflecting the reflux and loss of capacity and influence of anarcho-syndicalism that is unable to adapt to the conditions of clandestinity, the frequency of publication was reduced, starting from clandestine printers

It would be published again after the 25th of April by the hand of the historic Emídio Santana. After 102 years it continues to go to newsstands, having celebrated its centenary in 2019.

Photo: Front page of The battle: spokesman for the Portuguese workers’ organization / propr. National Workers Union. – A. 1, nº 1 (23 feb. 1919) BNP J. 2136 G. [http://purl.pt/24911]

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