Marti, Vicente, 1926-2006

A short biography of Spanish anarchist Vicente Marti who fought in the resistance to Franco and was involved in the anarchist movement in France.

Submitted by Steven. on November 15, 2006

Vicente Marti
Aka Vincent Marti, born 1926 – Madrid, Spain, died 14 June 2006, France

Vicente Marti was born in Madrid in 1926. His parents were anarcho-syndicalist militants who had to move abode because of their activities.

At the age of 10 he witnessed the Spanish Revolution in the Levant. He saw the creation of the collectives and the burning of money. After the Francoist victory his family had to live underground. In 1948 Vicente and his family fled across the Pyrenees on foot in deep winter to France.

Vicente settled at Avignon and became a turner, learning French of which he was totally ignorant. He became a total master of French as well as Provencal slang words.

He discovered anarchist ideas and militated in the anarchist union the CNT, the anarchist federation the FAI and anarchist youth organization the FIJL. He felt most at ease in the FIJL. At the beginning of the 60s he participated in underground resistance activities against the Francoist regime: the handling of vehicles and arms, bomb attacks on Spanish tourist offices. He knew Delgado and Granados, who were garroted by the Francoist regime in summer 1963, for an act that they had not committed. Vicente campaigned hard for their rehabilitation, still not granted at this point in time.

Vicente was also a workplace militant, particularly in 1968. A week after the riots in Paris, he met together with other militants in Avignon and organised the strike that quickly led on to the occupations in Avignon and the surrounding area.

Between 1961 and 1976 he actively participated in the organisation of libertarian summer camps in the South of France. Young and not so young from all over Europe met together. He often installed toilets at these camps before the arrival of the campers.

At the end of 1976 King Juan Carlos of Spain made an official visit to France. Several militants were put under house arrest at Belle Ile en Mer in the Morbihan district. Vicente was one of them. The film Vacances Royals (Royal holidays) directed by Gabriel Auer in 1976 deals with these events, which had their amusing moments.

In retirement Vicente remained active. He took disadvantaged and disturbed young people on sea cruises. He put his know-how as a worker at the service of the International Centre for Research on Anarchism (CIRA) in Lausanne and the Comunidad del Sur in Montevideo in Uruguay, as well as a lot of renovation and repair work for the Italian Anarchist Federation printshop Tipografia, at Carrara (he was a good friend of Alfonso Nicolazzi). He built most of the house he lived in at Le Pontet near Avignon and even built a concrete boat in his garden! I remember visiting him there one hot summer in the early 70s and the delicious apple sponge cake cooked that afternoon.

Part of the story of his life is recounted in La saveur des patates douces (the taste of sweet potatoes) edited by Atelier de creation libertaire (1998)

In the last few years health problems limited his activity. He died on 14th June 2006.

Nick Heath