A Protest Too Far

Mike Walsh

During my 15-year leadership of the British National Socialist Movement life was rarely dull. Certainly, there was the tedium of routine; mailings, dealing with correspondence, working out strategies and responding to crisis.

However, there were occasions when circumstance and situations changed dramatically. During the late 1970s I recall a letter bearing Spanish postage stamps which was followed up by a couple of telephone calls. The translation was poor but I gathered a protest was to be made in Spain against the continued imprisonment of Rudolf Hess, once Deputy Fuhrer of the Democratic German Reich.

Barcelona-based CEDADE (El Círculo Español de Amigos de Europa) were the organisers of the protest. In place already were Spanish volunteers, as well as French, German and American activists. I was invited to join the protest so that Britain could be represented.

CEDADE activists

In the mid-1970s Generalissimo Francisco Franco had recently died. Spain was still going through their post-Fascist transition to elected government and the return of the Spanish monarchy.

Back then there was no internet and there were no budget airlines. If I answered the ‘call of duty’ my journey would involve a 36-hour coach trip. This would take me half the length of Britain. I would then cross the English Channel; another coach would then complete the odyssey through France and Spain.

There are times when a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. Biting the bullet I accepted the invitation but I had little or no idea as to what the protest actually entailed. Had I known beforehand I would likely have opted out of the Spanish Inquisition.

On reaching Barcelona I was warmly greeted by Pedro Varela and comrades. Pedro is a veteran National Socialist. The owner of Libreria Europa, Varela was doing time, persecuted and heavily fined before Adam was a lad.

Leon Degrelle with CEDADE members

CEDADE has its origins in the Belgian Rexist Party, Waffen SS Leon Degrelle and the Spanish Blue Division. That evening in Barcelona our small party of protesters and organisers took the overnight train to Madrid. Still having little idea of what the arrangements were I allowed unfolding events to do the translating for me.

The following morning we activists arrived at the U.S Embassy in the Spanish capital, Madrid. An imposing edifice the embassy dominates a broad avenue that is home to various other embassies, consulates and government buildings.

As one might expect the U.S embassy is heavily guarded and its well-kept gardens defended by formidable gates and railings. I must confess to smiling weakly as my wrists and those of my comrades were fettered to a long and heavy chain. This chain was then shackled to the Embassy’s railings.

Demanding Liberty

Simultaneously, the unshackled protesters unfurled their banners which in various languages called for the release of Rudolf Hess. At this time the Reich’s Deputy Fuhrer had endured over 35 years in solitary confinement. The German peace envoy’s imprisonment was retribution for his having attempted to stop England’s war against Germany in 1941.

Madrid media had been forewarned of the protest and half a dozen photojournalists recorded the protest. I am the placard carrying activist in the middle of the three males in the picture. The photographers had to be quick about it. Long before the shackles chaffed our wrists we activists heard the screaming sirens. Traffic along the broad boulevard was brought to a standstill as Spain’s National Police and Guardia Civil used bolt cutters to do their work.

I must say it was rather fun to find oneself handcuffed and held down in a foetal position in a Spanish police car as with sirens screaming the convoy screeched its way to the city’s central police station.

Upon our arrival we hapless protesters were ordered to await our fate on benches upon which were sat various other miscreants. Occasionally, a name would be called and a felon registered before being taken down a long flight of stone steps.

Pedro Varela

We of course had no inkling of what might be found down those steps but we did have a clue. From the floor below could be heard repeated blows, oaths, gasps and the repeated sound of flesh hitting flesh. I was not a happy bunny and I viewed my impending fate with considerable trepidation.

Finally, my name, badly translated, was called out. Defiantly, I completed the registration process after which an officer of the Guardia Civil led me to those Doomsday steps. I was on my way to the cells but what first awaited me; brutal interrogation no doubt.

You can imagine my relief to then discover that the police station’s basement was used as a sports centre by police officers. There was the usual gym apparatus and a boxing ring in which a pair of pugilists were punching shit out of each other. This then was the source of the earlier heard curses and sounds of flesh pummelling flesh.

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My relief and that of others was short-lived as soon afterwards we found ourselves in the most fetid cells imaginable. The stink of human depravities and body movements was enough to make one wretch. If one was obliged to use the loo one was escorted to a pipe-sized hole in the floor. The aim of the ‘toilet’s’ previous users left much to be desired. We certainly weren’t putting on the Ritz.

After a long period of reflection I later found myself taken before a magistrate. Perhaps a Fascist, or at least nurtured in Fascist Spain, I was invited to explain myself. I did so with dignity and pride. Smiling, the magistrate wished me well and told me I was free to go. The 625 km return journey to Barcelona was taken through the foggy night. It was job done and homeward bound.

Was it all worth it? When I finally arrived at London’s Victoria Bus Station I took my seat and settled down for the six hour journey to Liverpool. As the coach pulled away from the stand a man occupying the seat in front of me opened his newspaper. As he did so I was confronted by a paperback-sized picture of me in that day’s news story.

The newspaper coverage related to our protest at the U.S Embassy in Madrid. It was a gratifying moment added to by the later news that the protest had made the main channels on American television and newspaper main stories. There is indeed much more than rhetoric and pen-pushing to political leadership of the then British Movement.

 

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Published in: on February 9, 2017 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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