Subversive Historian – 10/13/08

The Execution of Francisco Ferrer

Ninety-nine years ago on this day in people’s history, anarchist philosopher Francisco Ferrer was executed in Spain. On October 13th, 1909, with no evidence of wrong doing, he was put to death before a firing squad as martial law cracked down on Spanish society. Ferrer had drawn the ire of the establishment when eight years prior to his death, he established the first “escuela moderna,” or modern school. At the turn of the century, Spain’s educational system was highly clerical, and Ferrer’s school sought to be a secular alternative. Instruction at the institution sought to transcend the divisiveness of concepts such as property and country while letting students learn at their own pace and interest.

In 1906, Ferrer spent a year in prison under suspicion of bombing King Alphonso XIII’s wedding party, but was released for lack of evidence. His “Modern School” closed in his absence, and would never be opened again.

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