YCL100: ‘The Defence of Madrid’ by Phil Gillan (1937)

Phil Gillan, a Young Communist League member from Glasgow, was the first of 549 volunteers from Scotland to join the Spanish Civil War. Fresh from the battlefield, he writes about his time training in the Tom Mann Centuria before serving within the Thälmann Battalion, and the realities of war against the fascists. After miraculously surviving a serious injury inflicted by German Nazis, he returned home where he told his story, and helped to recruit many others to join in the united fight for freedom.

Remembering Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954) was born in the early 20th century in an era of global political upheaval, revolutionary uprisings and world war. In turn, the artist´s native country was not immune to such instability and in 1910 Mexico was plunged into revolution. Kahlo´s childhood was set against a backdrop of armed rebellion against the suppression of the peasant classes, calls for land reforms and nationalisation of resources.

Challenge archive: Keep the Tories out

the heated 1979 general elections, Margaret Thatcher broke headlines with her profoundly anti-working-class rhetoric. Challenge made the case for why Labour’s right-wing candidate is not the best representative for the anti-Thatcher youth as well as the importance of communists having an independent political campaign due to the swinging ideological pendulum of Labour leaders. Labour leader James Callaghan went on to lose to Thatcher, bringing on 11 years of union-busting and neoliberalisation of the British economy. Never have these words rang more true and more relevant than today.

Cuba: ‘The US blockade asphyxiates and kills, just like the virus, and must end!’

Last month the United Nations General Assembly once again overwhelmingly voted in favour of Cuba’s resolution demanding the end of the US blockade. In a strong show of support for the socialist island, 184 countries voted in favour, and only 2 against (USA and Israel), while 3 countries abstained (Brazil, Colombia and Ukraine). Challenge proudly carries in full the address by Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodriguez, to present the draft resolution “Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 23 June 2021.

Colombia: Jesus Santrich assassination straight out of the CIA playbook

The Farc leader, killed by Colombian commandos in Venezuela, was a victim of the hybrid warfare techniques taught by the US and Israel, explains Oliver Dodd.