The following information has been received from AABI, the Spanish association of friends of the International Brigades, about their itinerary and arrangements for the international gathering on 17/18 February to mark the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Jarama…
The route of the walk in 2017 is dedicated to the XV International Brigade: we will visit the positions defended by the British Battalion between 12-14 February (stopping points 1 and 2) and then towards the positions of the Lincoln Battalion (stopping points 3 and 4) on the last day of the battle, 27 February. While following in their footsteps, we will also remember the fight of other Republican units that halted the Francoist offensive in these hills and valleys.
The walk will begin at the crossroads of La Cañada Galiana (Sunken Road), km 4.4 along the M-302 motorway. As there will be problems with parking, we would ask that wherever possible people use the coaches that AABI has hired. In any event, please take every care to park without encroaching on private land and use the parking spaces available, and making sure to leave access for the coaches and other vehicles.
The walk begins at 10am and the first stop will be on the level ground around the memorial to Kit Conway and the volunteers of the British Battalion. Our guide will be Miguel Ángel García, who will explain the historic events, as he did last year. There will be an English translation. During the walk there will be performances by AABI’s Musical Ensemble.
The second stop will be after an ascent to 700 metres in altitude, in a place where the Republican and Francoist frontlines were close. There we will see the remains of some of the fortified Francoist front line.
We continue the walk on a path near the Republican line, leaving to the right the trenches defended by battalions of the XV Brigade. We reach thus a small entrenched trenched hill where Miguel Ángel will explain the Republican attack of 27 February and the battles that took place over the following months up to June 1937.
The last stop will take place at the memorial to Charlie Donnelly and to the volunteers of the Lincoln Battalion. Here we will commemorate them together with all those who fought for liberty on the battlefield of Jarama.
After our commemoration is finished, our coaches will take us to the restaurant in Morata de Tajuña. Those participants who come in their own cars should drive carefully on the hard shoulder of the highway to where the coaches are parked (see the broken orange line).
The main event will be a homage held on 17 February at 19:00 in the Auditorium Pilar Bardem in Rivas Vaciamadrid. This event will include poetry, storytelling, music, speeches and audiovisual presentations. The aim is to reclaim and acknowledge that it is necessary to remember Jarama as a crucial historical episode in the defense of Peace and Solidarity.
Several delegations of International Brigade organisations from Europe and America will be attending this memorial weekend. The auditorium has a capacity for 1,000 people, and there will be a nominal charge of 2€ per ticket to contribute to the budget.
On Saturday 18 February, from 18:00 to midnight, a concert will be held in the Polideportivo Cerro del Telégrafo at Rivas Vacíamadrid. The performers include Irish bands and singers Gallo Rojo, na-mara, Andy Irvine, Calum Baird, as well as Spanish artists like Brigada Intergeneracional, Lucía Sócam and the Spanish band Boikot. This Polideportivo space has a capacity for 1000 people, and the ticket will cost 5€.
We hope that the memories of the battles of yesterday will serve to keep alive the spirit of resistance that inspired such heroes and follow the struggle for their ideals of liberty, peace and justice.
Friday 17 February
10:30 Coaches leave from Hotel Agumar
12:00 Tribute to the Brigaders killed and buried in Tarancón cemetery
14:00 Lunch in Tarancón
17:30 Coaches leave Tarancón for Rivas-Vaciamadrid
19:00 Act of commemoration at the Pilar Bardem Theatre in Rivas-Vaciamadrid
Saturday 18 February
9:00 Coaches leave from Hotel Agumar (please be there by 8:45)
10:00 Jarama Memorial March begins
14:00 Lunch at Mesón el Cid in Morata de Tajuña
19:00 Concert in Rivas Vaciamadrid
Posted on 16 January.