the matadors are left alone in the ring



Before the beginning of the season a century ago, the picadors united to demand improvements in their Labor conditions. The conflict, which led to the suspension of several bullfights and novilladas in various places, had its epicenter in the old Madrid bullring of the Aragon road, where the matadors found themselves alone in the ring, in what for ABC was a capea with the air of a mojiganga.

On Sunday, February 20, 1921, the second celebration of the season was announced. Heir bulls of Gregorio Campos for Jumillano, Barajas and Antonio Márquez, and in an ironic tone the alphabet chronicle signed by MR began: «The knights of the castoreño had asked the matadors to pay them a little more expensive the brownies that they usually give to the bulls and the costaladas that they give them in just correspondence ».

The matadors did not accept and the pikemen, “with the most complete satisfaction of the horses, agreed to go on strike. The banderilleros, out of solidarity with their companions, declared their arms down and a banderillero with the arms down it is as useless as taking a tram when one is in a hurry.

Convulsive social stage

In the middle of the conflict, one of the many that dotted all sectors in that convulsed social stage, the day of the celebration arrived and the matadors also expressed solidarity among themselves and “inspired by Juan Palomo, they decided to do it all themselves ». And the story continued: «This cbullfighting-social conflict, which gave a certain interest of curiosity to Sunday’s bullfight, it is to be supposed that it is easily resolved for the convenience of all, unless the bulls, scapegoats of this festival, agree sometime, and to defend their existence determine plantear un lock-out, or what is the same; that they decide not to attack, and in that case the conflict would be of greater importance.

In the paseo, behind the matadors, as pawns the matadors too Saleri, Emilio Méndez and Carnicerito, and the bullfighters Torquito II, Marquina, Rodalito, Rey, Mella and Castejón. Abundant palms and some whistles sounded, but it was shown that the strikers did not have many supporters in the public.

«We had no fun at all, the fight slid colorless, bland, boring on a cold afternoon and under a leaden sky that was shedding a fine and warm rain. No, this cannot persist, or the conflict is settled, or the runs are suspended. Mojigangas, no.

Message to the public

The six bugs, «plywood, carts and not much bravery. With pikemen in the ring they might have heard some thunder ». The first third, a capea, the flags the most interesting and the willing and brave bullfighters to save the afternoon.

The ABC chronicle ends with a message to the public «beloved and simple: Sometimes it is the companies that tease you, other times it is the ranchers who laugh at you, taking oxen from work to give them to you as fighting bulls; Sometimes they are the phenomena that do not get close even after jerks, and sometimes it is the pikemen and the pawns who get uncomfortable and make you see a cApea with the name of the run. For some things or for others, you always pay the consequences. Isn’t it time that you also think about going on strike?

That same day the bullfight announced in Barcelona was suspended, and the following Sunday, without yet reaching an agreement, the Castellón celebration fought it Manuel Granero alone after a demonstration to the Civil Government in protest against the suspension, which circumstances made it advisable to revoke. Bilbao and Barcelona were also affected, until the waters returned to their course.

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