Allison Drew
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‘The mountain “was going communist”’
Peasant struggles on the Mitidja
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Reflecting Comintern pressure, in the early 1930s the urban-oriented Communist movement began organising peasants and agricultural workers in the Mitidja and other rural areas against expropriation and used electoral campaigns to promote their ideas. The Mitidja case signalled the importance of alliances, both for peasants and for Communists, who were most successful when they engaged in with land, national and religious struggles that reinforced each other. But by the mid-1930s the overwhelmingly European Communist movement, predisposed to prioritise urban workers and with little desire to traverse the rough roads and mountainous terrain by bus or donkey, refocused on the towns. Nonetheless, the political triangle of city – countryside – mountain was in place.

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