Catalonia situation

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MT
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Oct 5 2017 21:36
Fleur wrote:
MT:What's so fucking wonderful about the Catalan language? I don't know, I don't speak it. Ask someone who speaks Catalan. Why would anyone be so cavalier about people people being deprived of something as fundamentally a part of their humanity as the language they speak?

I did not ask you specifically...

Fleur wrote:
In an ideal world we shouldn't need laws to protect languages but I hate to break the bad news but we don't live in an ideal world and I seriously doubt it's on the horizon. We do live in a world where external pressures to conform to anodyne, homogenized standards of conformity, every little bit helps to resist that. My ideal world is not somewhere where everyone is the same, that sounds awful.

another strawman

Mike Harman
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Oct 5 2017 21:41
Fleur wrote:
Free language courses up to accreditation level, immigrants get paid to do French classes full time with highly subsidized childcare. It's a different situation in the UK where people don't have access to this.

Yes this is a very big difference, and the lack of access to free language tuition in the UK has an impact on everything not just employability.

Fleur
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Oct 5 2017 21:45

You may not have asked me specifically but it's still a pretty shitty, cruel and heartless attitude to suggest that someone's language and all that identity that goes with it ain't worth a fuck.

MT
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Oct 5 2017 21:47
Fleur wrote:
You may not have asked me specifically but it's still a pretty shitty, cruel and heartless attitude to suggest that someone's language and all that identity that goes with it ain't worth a fuck.

Which I indicate where?

Fleur
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Oct 5 2017 21:52

What's so great about Catalan language and history anyway? You compared people wanting to protect their language to people being racist or sexist. It was a crap analogy.

MT
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Oct 5 2017 21:56

please, read that post again. if you can't provide anything other than a strawman, be so kind and refrain from commenting my posts. thanks.

Jim
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Oct 5 2017 21:58

Can people start a new thread if they want to talk about languages? Seriously, it's like the least interesting thing about Catalonia and I am kind of surprised so many of you think it's worth discussing on this thread.

Fleur
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Oct 5 2017 22:07

I will absolutely refrain from commenting on your posts because all you can do is claim straw man when what I was saying, along with other posters, that protecting languages is a pretty good way of staving off nationalism. Clearly you cannot be bothered to read what other posters have said and have no better argument than to claim strawman.

melenas
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Oct 5 2017 22:16
Dannny wrote:
There are around 7000 languages currently spoken in the world. Is any one of them worth less than Catalan? Does that mean that they all require the protection of laws and states to ensure they don't die out? What's the point of being an anarchist if the preservation of culture, communication, history, depends on legislation?

We live in the world we live, of course no one of as like it, but till we are able to change it is what we have. what do I mean? As workers we fight against the exploitation and the lows that trap as, but if fighting we can get a low that improve our conditions is not going to be a bad news. as anarchist we don´t want the state, that doesn't mean that before we make the revolution we are not going to prefer better conditions base on lows. Now in France started a fight against the change of the working low.

For example during years there was free lessons of basque in CNT bilbao for immigrants and for basque people that never had the chance to learn it. The anarchy's movement is not even able to promote Esperanto between the militants now a days. we are to weak, hardly we are able to have organizations.

furbi
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Oct 5 2017 22:29
Quote:
please, read that post again. if you can't provide anything other than a strawman, be so kind and refrain from commenting my posts. thanks.

Maybe you could actually state your position, because it seems like nobody has been able to successfully engage with it to your satisfaction. Or, feel free not to; I don't think I have anything else to say.

In more relevant news, it appears that the Spanish parliament is passing regulations to make it much easier for Catalan companies to move their registered office to another part of Spain - this is what is allowing the Catalan banks to move so quickly out of Barcelona. It appears that at least some segments of the Catalan bourgeoisie are quite opposed to independence, at least financially.

Salvoechea
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Oct 6 2017 10:00

Hi burgueosie is opposed to Independence. If you take a ride through the richest neighbourhoods of Barcelona you'll see very few flags from Catalonia on the balconies, some spanish, and in some balconies both flags, symbolising unity. In working class districts, many with immigrants from the rest of Spain, the participation has been huge, while in the rich district not so much. There's a myth about the burgueosie leading the Process, which is that, a myth. It is middle class the one who leads. The process is supported by peasants, public sector workers, teachers, students, commerce, media... some owners and not banks. People is starting a campaign to cancel the accounts from those banks

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Oct 6 2017 10:47

The fact that the proletarians - who only a few years ago were engaged in important struggles on their own class ground (the Indignados movement) - are lining up behind Catalan flags is precisely what this situation such a negative and dangerous one for one of the most combative fractions of the world working class. The issue is not whether the rich are out in the street carrying Catalan flags. The issue is that nationalism is poison for the proletariat.

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jef costello
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Oct 6 2017 11:05

New thread for language discussion.

http://libcom.org/forums/general/catalan-minority-languages-06102017

Salvoechea
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Oct 6 2017 12:49

Indignados was also an interclass movement. Many people came from intellectual grounds, or middle class.

As I've told before, this is not a nationalist movement. It could have been that 10 years ago. But now it is more a movement for 'democracy' than nationalist. Many people don't care about been nationals of a new Republic, what they don't want is to be spanish anymore. If France offered Catalonia to join it I guess the answer could be a Yes. smile The situation is more similar to a liberal revolution from a century ago.
Many catalans are waiting for the rest of Spain rises against government. A federal republic could be a way out. However spanish left out from Madrid and Basque Country is paralised by Podemos.

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Oct 6 2017 13:05

Here's some analysis from North America:

https://itsgoingdown.org/anarchist-unions-take-lead-in-catalonia-general-strike/

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Oct 6 2017 13:59

Indignados was a class movement where a dominant idea - encouraged by leftists like 'Democracy Now' - was that 'we are a citizens' movement'. It was certainly confused about its own nature. But the participation of intellectuals or elements from the 'middle class' does not in itself make a movement lose its proletarian character. There has never been a mass proletarian movement that has not inspired the other non-exploiting layers and brought a part of them behind it.

A movement for democracy is no less bourgeois than a movement for the nation, and this one in Catalonia is dominated by both.

On this thread I appear to be in complete agreement with Red Marriot:

"Seems like today's anarcho-syndicalists have failed to learn the most important lessons from their own history. Once again, at the first test, basic anarchist principles are ditched by modern anarchists in favor of the latest flavour of populism. Seems to be the norm for this historical period; Rojava, anarcho-Corbynism etc.
"

wojtek
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Oct 6 2017 16:49

There was a Catalan trade unionist on the BBC calling for a five-day general strike from Tuesday next week.

nization
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Oct 6 2017 19:04

Massive step forward in the concreteness of this debate..m

nization
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Oct 6 2017 19:05

Massive step forward in the concreteness of this debate...

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Serge Forward
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Oct 6 2017 20:22
Alf wrote:
On this thread I appear to be in complete agreement with Red Marriot:

"Seems like today's anarcho-syndicalists have failed to learn the most important lessons from their own history. Once again, at the first test, basic anarchist principles are ditched by modern anarchists in favor of the latest flavour of populism. Seems to be the norm for this historical period; Rojava, anarcho-Corbynism etc.
"

Don't forget the pro-Maduro lot as well (at least one of which is on the pro nationalist flank on here).

Mark.
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Oct 6 2017 23:32

Another critical article by Tomas Ibáñez (in Spanish):

https://mobile.twitter.com/CGTBarcelona/status/916398154836144129

Mark.
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Oct 7 2017 10:25

Twitter thread and article from 'Enough is Enough!':

https://mobile.twitter.com/enough14/status/916251800575053824

baboon
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Oct 7 2017 11:40

Good, precise quote from Red Marriot by Alf above. It gets right to the heart of the matter and is applicable all over the globe over a period of many decades. I agree with Serge about the similarities here with the pro-Maduro movement - indeed all the Chavist-type supporters who directly attack class consciousness by presenting these Stalinist-leaning bourgeois factions as something that the workers should be struggling for or, and it comes to the same thing, against their enemies in their quest for power; in Maduro's case, the neo-liberal factions of the state and "Yankee imperialism". And, as Red indicates, you can throw Rojava and its Stalinist-type "revolution" into the pot on the side of the maintenance of capitalist order and its imperialist adventures. The Catalan bourgeoisie itself is divided into different factions which is par for the course for any aspiring ruling class elements but in common with the Spanish bourgeoisie and the rest of Europe they are conducting a serious attack on the consciousness of the working class not just in Catalonia, not just in Spain but in the whole of Europe.

melenas
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Oct 7 2017 12:23

Interesting text:

Anarquistas del Gobern vs Anarquistas del Gobierno, transformar la Independencia en Emancipación Catalana

Mark.
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Oct 7 2017 13:09

A view of the political situation as seen from Madrid:

https://medium.com/@nichtmitmachen/una-ración-de-calamares-notas-dispersas-sobre-catalunya-ac51f04663b2

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Oct 7 2017 20:47

I like to add a polemic about the Catalonia situation. It was published three days ago by Doris Ensinger. Doris was the compañera of the well known CNTista Luis Andrés Edo. She is living in Barcelona for more than 40 years now. Doris has published her memoirs „Quer denken – gerade leben. Erinnerungen an mein Leben und an Luis Andrés Edo“ in 2015 and a the Spanish edition in 2016.

The text was written in German for her publishers blog (https://muckracker.wordpress.com/). The English version is a raw machine translation with deepl.com. Nevertheless I guess it is quite understandable. I do not share everything Doris writes in her polemic. But I appreciate what she writes when it comes to the impacts of the present situation on the social movements and her critics of nationalism, may be it be Spanish or Catalonian.

Catalan Independence - No thanks!

During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. (George Orwell)

How I stand by the Rajoy government, how I see the past forty years of living here politically, is well known and can be read in my book. After the death of Franco, no democracy was created here, but only pseudo-democratic institutions in which, with a few exceptions, there is no democracy and no democratic spirit. There has never been a democratic culture here, and the political opponent is insulted in the worst way, not only in the parliament in Madrid, but in all the parliaments of Spain.

Why am I not euphoric about the recent events in Barcelona / Catalonia? Why am I sceptical, even hostile?

It is true that this part of the country suffered more from Franco than others, with the exception of the Basque Country, and repression was even worse. But since 1977-78 there is neither a ban on Catalan culture and language, nor has anyone been persecuted for using their mother tongue. One of the many arguments why the country should finally become independent, however, is precisely this one, namely to be able to speak one's own language at last. Practically all respondents say the same thing: finally - after three hundred years of Bourbon yoke - to regain the dignity of the country, to be no longer oppressed, no longer plundered by Madrid. It is irrelevant that many economists have shown that Catalonia does not pay as much in financial compensation as is claimed here by the Catalan government. And ubiquitous corruption does not only exist in Spain, but also in Catalonia, where Jordi Pujol and his mafia family (against his wife and six of the seven children is also under investigation) have been involved for 23 years in every corruption offence listed in the penal code: money laundering, illegal party financing, document falsification and so on. Catalonia is where the good corrupt sit. The referendum and the declaration of independence (morning, Monday?) have become a creed, a religion, and one cannot come up with rational arguments.

We are dealing with an escalation spiral that has been underway since 2012, since Artur Mas became president of the government and since the two nationalist organisations ANC and Omnium Cultural pushed forward the idea of a referendum and independence among the population, during the mass demonstrations on 11 September and on any propaganda, fraud, lies, manipulation and brazen rat-catching. The "trial referendum" of November 2014 was already declared invalid, A. Mas and three other politicians came to court for disobedience and misuse of public funds, and Mas was sentenced to a fine of more than 5 million. convicted. That's why he's begging the people now because he doesn't have the money, supposedly. How pathetic if someone doesn't stand by his actions and take responsibility. In September 2015,"plebiscite" parliamentary elections were convened, after which a new actor, the CUP (a cucumber troop of "antisistema, anticapitalistas and ex-communists as well as radical pro-independence activists), was added to the independence circus, which went into parliament with 10 MEPs and provided the governing party with the necessary parliamentary majority. Many forget that 52% of those voting in this election voted for other parties. All politics were from then on only concerned with the referendum, delegations = embassies abroad were established; the ruling party no longer cared about the other affairs of the country, and there would be much to regulate and improve (health care, education, all the needs of people in terms of housing shortage, excessive rents, unemployment, youth unemployment, tourism...).

Although the planned referendum was declared unconstitutional from the outset, the ruling party (a link between the so-called Left and the National Conservatives) and the CUP, which supported it, held fast to the goal once set, and so one provocative decision after another came without Rajoy having done anything; he passively looked at all the action and his government always issued warnings, pointing to the (...)

Legal, illegal, no matter what

If leftists and anarchists don't care about laws, that's one thing. That a state government adopts this sentence as its own, something quite different. I wonder whether a state government has ever called for a general strike, and also for "permanent mobilization of the population". The track is paved with breaches of the law and all kinds of violations of the rules until 1 October. The preparation of the illegal referendum was financed from tax revenue, which was the reason for the search of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the arrest of 14 senior officials on 20 September, which led to the first riots. Thousands of them besieged the ministry; the civil guards, who were sent by the Barcelona public prosecutor's office, were detained in the building until three o' clock in the morning and were only able to leave the building with the help of the Mossos d' Escuadra, the Catalan police. Under German law, this is called coercion and deprivation of liberty. A CUP woman then declared that Madrid had declared a state of emergency, that the right to freedom of opinion, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and political participation had been abolished. In the background, thousands of demonstrators were seen meeting spontaneously. A state of emergency looks different, and many Spaniards and Catalans still remember it from the Franco era.

The electoral rolls were illegally obtained in Madrid, Catalonia has no electoral lists, has not even managed to draft a proper democratic electoral law in forty years' time. Most of the ballots were confiscated during searches, so that every potential voter could/must print his or her own ballots at home in the computer. The election leader and his representatives were deposed so that they could not be sentenced to heavy fines for this illegal referendum. Madrid instructed the mayors and principals of the schools not to provide polling stations, so that the ballot papers could be handed in to churches, outpatient clinics and other places. It didn't have to be the polling station for the voters, you could vote wherever you wanted. There was a proven double voter on Sunday. Whoever carries out the counting, checks and declares it correct, nobody knows why it takes so long.

The most serious, however, are the two laws governing the referendum and the transitional period until the establishment of the Catalan Republic. They were flogged through Parliament in two days, without debate, practically excluding the opposition, contrary to the parliamentary regulations to which the judges expressly referred to the President. Contrary to international standards, the law does not contain a quorum; the referendum is considered to have been adopted because of the majority of votes in favour. Since the Statute of Autonomy is still in force, 90 members of parliament (two thirds majority) would have had to vote in favour of the Spin-off Act. The governing parties have 72, and that was enough in their opinion, the opposition was already excluded anyway. The Transitional Law stipulates that the Head of State is also the Head of Government and will appoint the judges of the Supreme Court. Greetings from Turkey and Poland. The four Judges' Associations immediately declared that no one had to obey this law, and in any case they did not feel bound by it.

During all the weeks and months of this and much more, Rajoy was unable to deal with the situation. In this farce, however, there are two stubborn minions, two fighting cocks, two guilty ones, and both sides are responsible for the riots on October 1, which have been reported all over the world. It is said that peaceful citizens wanted to exercise their fundamental democratic right to vote. Five days earlier, however, I had already been told how to secure the polling stations, and so from Friday afternoon onwards the polling stations were occupied in order to prevent the police from invading and preventing people from voting. Obviously, many of the young men you see in these pictures had also travelled from the rest of Spain and even abroad, because when the revolution is approaching, you have to be there. According to press reports, the Spanish police intervened after the Catalan police had been completely passive for hours and did not undermine any further illegal action. The police acted disproportionately, totally counterproductive, because the images that were immediately circulated through the media allegedly caused many to vote yes', who actually wanted to vote otherwise, and so this was not a vote on the split, but against police violence. In the forty years I have been here, I have witnessed many demos and seen images of brutal police actions by many others, and I wonder why the outcry this time was so great and not always when the police are taking tough action against demonstrators. Tomorrow, October 5th, the fourth anniversary of a man being beaten to death by the deaths of a friendly and peaceful Catalan policeman, a neighbour of the Mossos, on the street, after the dispute had already been settled, and in front of mobile phone cameras. And there are so many other cases where the same pictures were taken, especially here in Barcelona, and the outcry was always modest. It seems that it was all about students, squatters and anarchists, whose human dignity and physical integrity can be violated.

So why can't I be happy when the revolution has broken out? Or at least a rebellion against the hated fascist regime in Madrid. The project is not about the abolition of the state, but about the re-establishment of a capitalist, neo-liberal nation-state that wants to join the EU (money, money) and NATO, i. e. to establish an army. However, there are people who want something completely different, namely not hierarchical structures from top to bottom, but just the other way round.

More than half of Catalonia's population was and is against the separation of Madrid, for various reasons. For example, because they feel that they belong to both parts of the family in both parts, because they do not expect their living conditions to improve, but on the other hand, because they expect the separation to improve their living conditions. The first major company has already announced the relocation to Madrid, and others will follow. The two large Catalan banks will relocate their domicile, which will have no effect on the normal banking client, but will have an impact on the government baggage of the Catalans. And today the stock market plummeted, a sign of economic chaos?

Others, however, call the entire procedure a coup d' état, thinking of a possible state of emergency, especially after the King's speech last night. They say the military dictated this speech. We already have enough police on the streets, since September 11th I hear every day a helicopter crashing over the house and the sirens of the police every day. The independence operators have not made anything concrete, everything will happen, first of all the EU will mediate, and Puigdemont will manage to "stay in the EU, where Catalonia is already in," he thinks. The consequences of this madness will be unforeseeable, and it will not be those who have caused the shattered heap of debris who will be held responsible, but the ordinary citizen as usual, 60% of whom have nothing at all to do with splitting off, but they will be dragged down the abyss.

We can expect a further division of the Catalan population, more and more friendships and relationships will break up because we can no longer understand what is already happening. There will be only the good Catalans and the bad Madrid supporters = fascists. The filmmaker Isabel Coixet has already been molested on the street and abused as a fascist, the singer Juan Manuel Serrat, until recently a Catalan cultural asset, was also called a fascist because he had spoken out against the "irregular, non-transparent referendum". Other artists can do the same. I was made into a "Catalan nationalist hater" because I quoted Stefan Zweig in his sentence about nationalism, which he described as the biggest plague poisoning European culture, because I added that this phrase is still valid today. Black lists are already being prepared, a friend was threatened by former comrades-in-arms that he was the first to be shot. The children of the civil guards are bullied in school because of "what their fathers have done". Many people are now thinking about what they can say. This part of the country and probably the whole of Spain are facing turbulent, perhaps even violent times. And I find it disgusting that the Greens and the left are taking a one-sided stand for Catalonia in the European Parliament. Once again, more than half of the Catalans have spoken out against the separation of Madrid, which does not mean that they are in favour of Rajoy and his policies. Puigdemont and the other crooks, however, are unwaveringly preparing the declaration of independence and the celebration of independence when a torchlight procession will presumably take place on the occasion of the seizure of power. Hail, Catalunya!

Another anecdote about nationalism and Franco legends: three years ago, I was invited to a meeting with the UN rapporteur on the unresolved crimes in the civil war. It was about the disappeared (Luis Andrés's father is one of them), murdered people still in mass graves, blatant misjudgements with death penalty, mistreatment and torture of the prisoners. Finally, a woman spoke about Franco's "crimes" against Catalan culture. It was not only a question of the language ban, but also of "Franco moving the rural population from Murcia, Andalusia and other parts of Spain to Catalonia in the 1950s to colonise it and mix the population". Yes, dear people, this is the Catalan master race. All those who live beyond the Ebro are unable to cope with these efficient, tall, intelligent people. The fact that Catalonia, like almost any other European country, has been inhabited for decades or even centuries by people from other countries and contributed to the wealth of that country is not something that goes into nationalist minds.

Short is madness, long is repentance.

Doris Ensinger (in resistance),
4 October 2017

Publisher's note:

The banner of the fascist Catalan party Estat Català, which was already separately active in Catalonia before and during the Spanish Revolution, is the flag that today waving the most demonstrations of independence (see above). Estat Català fought with a paramilitary gang (oriented towards the German Freikorps or SA) especially the CNT and FAI.

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Red Marriott
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Oct 8 2017 00:13
baboon wrote:
Good, precise quote from Red Marriot by Alf above. It gets right to the heart of the matter and is applicable all over the globe over a period of many decades.

I feel obliged to remind all that not all anarchists can be tarred with the same brush: the more principled and sensible anarchists remain internationalist and resolutely anti-nationalist.

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Oct 8 2017 06:47

I agree with that as well

akai
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Oct 8 2017 08:16

Red Marriot, thanks for stressing this. Unfortunately, sometimes people use certain moments to make arguments against anarchism as an ideology or anarchists in general. The truth is that there is no consensus amongst people calling themselves anarchists and even that the label "anarchist" is often used, in my opinion, incorrectly. (For example, the immense confusion of some parts between anarchist specific organizations, anarchosyndicalist ones and syndicalist ones or the various anarchists whose politics are contradictory.) Furthermore, for many years one can see a great theoretical weekness amongst some, who more or less can be called "actionists" - meaning they get all excited any time people are on the streets. They want to be on the streets and supportive of the people and come close to populism in some aspects since there is sometimes the lack of a critical analysis. Finally, l venture to think that many (certainly my comrades) are strictly internationalist and not swayed by the logic and concerns of bourgeois democracy, which often just reflect the needs of the bourgeosie.

Mark.
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Oct 8 2017 09:55
Mark. wrote:
What are people's views on the call for a general strike?

I asked this the week before last but didn't really get much response. I'd still be interested to know if people would have been opposed to the general strike call out itself (as opposed to other statements made or positions taken). As far as I can make out there was disagreement about it in both the CGT and CNT in Catalonia,