ISL Declaration on the Catalan People’s Revolt
1- On Monday, October 14, the Supreme Court of Spain announced the decision of the Show Trial of the leaders of Procés, which resulted in sentences of 9 to 13 years in prison for sedition and embezzlement, with disqualification from public office. The condemnation of the twelve political prisoners rounded out the punishment of the two million Catalans who exercised their right to self-determination by voting in the 1-O Referendum in 2017. It is an unjust, vengeful and repudiable ruling, dictated to exemplify what can happen to those who mobilize with the common goal of achieving independence.
2- However, far from causing fear, the sentence deepened the people’s rupture with Spain, generated more outrage and a massive revolt. As soon as the ruling was made public, students began a strike and there were demonstrations in each City Hall and important square of Catalonia. Thousands of people mobilized towards El Prat Airport, collapsing its operation during hours of resistance against police charges. On Wednesday, the “Freedom Marches” began. Huge columns with stared flags parted from the provinces walking along the roads to Barcelona, where they came together on Friday in a historic day of general strike. Massive demonstrations called by the ANC – Òmnium, Democratic Tsunami, the Intersindical CSC and the CDRs were repeated every day of the week. A new moment of greater polarization and a dynamic that will depend on the class struggle at the local and international levels has begun.
3- A powerful youth has risen in these events. They are tired of the attacks against freedoms, of feminist posing as electoral formality to fit well with society, of the xenophobia against immigrants, of the austerity, be it from the Spanish State or the Catalan bourgeoisie. In short, it is a youth that is tired of the conditions imposed by capitalism. They are the children and grandchildren of those who heroically confronted Franco, who never accepted the Francoist transition and its “exemplary democracy.” They want to turn everything around and they act according to that desire.
4- The youth have placed themselves on the front line, erecting barricades to defend themselves against the repression of the National Police and the Mossos d´Esquadra that have so far caused: 21 detainees, more than 600 wounded, four of whom lost an eye from rubber bullets, one lost a testicle and another person is in serious condition. In addition, the youth is at the forefront of the direct confrontation with the groups that provoke people with the Spanish flag in one hand and the Nazi salute in the other.
5- There are those who argue that the Catalans are violent and point them out as terrorists. These are outrageous lies. The truth is that they defend themselves from repression, as did entire generations of Spaniards against Franco. Violent is the state that beats protesters who have their arms raised, are sitting on the floor or voting. Violent is the state that punishes and jails those who determined themselves and organized a democratic referendum, the state that persecutes and prosecutes activists. Violent is the oppressor, not the oppressed who defend themselves as they can. It is a shame that there are people that say they are republican, progressive, democratic and leftist and do not clearly support the demands of the Catalan people, objectively putting themselves on the side of the King, his repressive forces and his right-wing parties. Podemos and the Comunes want to conciliate with both sides, in an equidistante position that places them closer to the oppressors than the oppressed.
6 – The government of Pedro Sánchez (PSOE), the PP, Ciudadanos and the far-right of VOX not only endorse the ruling, but also press for the adoption of exceptional measures. Far from offering a political solution to a political problem, they intend to continue prosecuting the protest. They are the exponents of a monarchical-parliamentary regime, embodied in the Constitution of 1978, which is totally exhausted, can not provide any progressive response to the nationalities of the Iberian peninsula, nor to workers, pensioners or women. It only offers servility to the European Union, an enemy of self-determination, guarantor of the bail outs of big business and banks and an administratot of the cutting of democratic and social rights.
7- The people have kicked the board again and placed the Catalan majority parties in the dilemma of raising themselves to the circumstances or being overwhelmed. The continuity of the attacks of the central power clariflies that moderate measures are useless: the regime is either defeated or the oppression intensifies. This was demonstrated with the symbolic declaration of independence, despite the popular will to make the Republic effective with the Constitutional Process and taking thing to their final consequences. That is why there is growing discontent with those who, from the Government and the Parliament, say one thing and do another: they speak of the Republic, but they set the course for autonomy. They encourage disobedience, but endorse the repression of the Mossos or justify the arrests. They demand social measures, but maintain cuts in health, state salaries and the disastrous Aragonese Law of privatizations. It is necessary to turn our backs on their “master plays” and make way for the direct role of mobilization, strikes and mass organization with new leaders at the front. It is on the streets that the people defend themselves: release of detainees, self-determination and disobedience mark the way forward, as well as confronting the Catalan bourgeoisie.
8- In Chile, Lebanon, Hong Kong, Ecuador, Algeria, France, Syria, in short, in every continent, great battles are being fought. With each triumph, the fight against the exploiters and oppressors, the capitalist system and imperialism is strengthened. Therefore, we call for the broadest unity of action to support the struggle of the Catalan people and from the sentence. The International Socialist League has redoubled its solidarity campaign with actions at the Spanish embassies and consulates in different countries. Thus we will continue, against repression, for the freedom of political prisoners and exiles, of those detained in the protests, for the fall of the regime shaped by Francoism. This would be an immensely progressive, though insufficient, step. Revolutionary socialists will continue to push forward, we do not advocate a substitution of the Spanish bosses for the Catalan bosses, the exploitative bourgeoisie is the same, it has no flags. We mobilize for democratic conquests as an indispensable step in the strategy of breaking with the imperialist bloc of the EU, of establishing a government of the workers and the people and a free Federation of Socialist Republics of the Iberian Peninsula.
October 20, 2019.