Submitted by Juan Conatz on September 22, 2017

On the road right now so unable to track down any links but thought I'd start a thread so other could post stuff.

So apparantly there was a about to be an independence referendum in Catalonia that the Spanish government deemed illegal. They've sent 5,000 police and military to arrest the organizers of the vote and try to stop the vote from happening. I think there's talk of strikes? Also saw on FB that CNT workers refused to let a ship of state police dock, although not sure how credible that was.

Mark.

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I posted some links (mostly in Spanish) on the dockworkers thread:

https://libcom.org/forums/organise/spainish-dock-workers-union-19032014?page=5#comment-598327

There's an interesting discussion on alasbarricadas, mainly around what position the CNT should take:

http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=54033&start=1815

The CGT is proposing a general strike in Catalonia, starting on 3 October. This still has to be ratified by the membership. Some smaller leftist and independentista unions are supporting the strike call. The CNT hasn't made a decision as yet.

Steven.

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah it's interesting. It seems like massive mismanagement by the Spanish government. Recent polls put support for Catalan independence around 41%, so it seems the government should have just let the independence referendum take place, and they would probably win.

With the Scottish independence referendum, if the UK government, instead of letting it happen, had sent in police to seize all of the ballot papers and arrest loads of politicians and civil servants it would have backfired massively, and the government could have ended up losing the referendum.

Entdinglichung

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan Conatz

Also saw on FB that CNT workers refused to let a ship of state police dock, although not sure how credible that was.

there were according to the facebook feed from someone I do trust (but not necessarily agree with) meetings of port workers in Barcelona and Tarragona which decided to boycott the ships which serve as accommodation of several thousand guardia civil cops in these ports, there was also constant honking of ship's horns last night close to these ships ... CNT members among others took part in the successful defense of the left-nationalist CUP's headquarter against a guardia civil raid on Wednesday ... the police of the Catalan autonomous region btw. follows currently the orders of the central government, don't think that it will change, my general perception is that the focus of the struggle has due to the hated guardia civil's intervention shifted from an argument about national independence towards one about repression

OliverTwister

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The CNT Port Workers union is tweeting about all of the threats they have been receiving from police "unions."

Oh also CCOO have pleaded for everyone to stay calm.

Craftwork

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[quote=Freedom]dockworkers suspect that at least one of the boats has been deliberately repainted to “throw off” inquiries by the international community:[/quote]

The cops are holed-up in a fucking Looney Tunes ship :D

nization

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, that's all very well and hilarious. What's not so funny, however, is what the leader of ERC's (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya) parliamentary group, Gabriel Rufián, said just a few minutes ago (adressing himself to Rajoy): "Take your dirty hands off of OUR police." (Referring to the central government's attempt to "coordinate" all police forces, including the Mossos...)

wojtek

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The latest in the LRB here.

robot

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

nization

(...) What's not so funny, however, is what the leader of ERC's (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya) parliamentary group, Gabriel Rufián, said just a few minutes ago (adressing himself to Rajoy): "Take your dirty hands off of OUR police."

Yep, ERC's very personal mossos that protected a fascist demonstration in Barcelona yesterday and did not even intervene when a journalist was stabbed by a fascist thug. Anyhow this quote shows pretty much the dilemma of that sort of "progressive nationalism" – no matter when the cops beat you, as long as they are your "own" ones.

Meanwhile the port of the Barcelona is being flooded by Spanish national police vehicles. Reports say, a couple of hundreds of UIP cars are already in the port.

robot

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

CNT unions from Catalonia and the Balearic islands issued a statement yesterday:

The CNT local unions from Catalonia and the Balearic Islands publicly state our support for the self-determination of the Catalan people.

As anarcho-syndicalists, we don’t think that political reforms within a capitalist framework can reflect our desire for social transformation, a change that would place production and consumption means in workers’ hands. Because of this, our daily struggles do not focus on creating new states or backing parliamentary initiatives.

However, we can’t look the other way when regular people are being attacked and repressed by any state. A state that has, in this case, removed its mask and revealed itself as an authoritarian rule, the true heir of the Franco regime. This is something that could be glimpsed before through many instances, such as labour law reforms, bank bail-outs, cuts on health and education, mass evictions of out-of-work families…many of which were implemented by the Catalan government itself.

CNT Catalonia and the Balearic greet this spirit of disobedience against a dictatorial state, a discriminatory and fascist state, and want to assert our strongest denunciation of repression against workers and of those who carry it out.

The men and women in CNT will stand as one to defend their neighbours and townsfolks, as couldn´t be otherwise with an anarcho-syndicalist, and henceforth revolutionary, organisation.

(The catalan and spanish version can be found here: https://cntlhospitalet.wordpress.com/)

nization

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The real issue here (or, at least, the one that matters to more people, both inside and outside Catalonia) is not the self-determination of the Catalan "people" (all social classes included, and led, of course, by local capitalists both big and small, and protected by "THEIR" police), but the ongoing crisis of the so-called '78 regime. This regime had already run its course by 2011 (as the 15-M and the subsequent rise of Podemos made clear), and now the crisis is out in the open again as a result of the Catalan referendum. Rajoy can't get his budget approved because he has been deserted by the Basque nationalists, whose support he needs to rule, on account of his handling of the Catalan question. So the Spanish government's legal victory over the Generalitat (which intends to capitalize the "moral" victory) will indeed be a Pyrrhic one; it's highly unlikely that Rajoy's government can go on for long (if, of course, the opposition forces decide to take over the reins and handle the Catalan issue by setting a date for a "proper" referendum). This is what remains to be seen, as well as the overall consequences (the right will be crying "treason" all over the place for years to come and politics will no doubt get uglier)

Khawaga

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks for that analysis nization. What is the Generalitat? I don't think I've ever come across that name when reading about Catalonia and Spain.

OliverTwister

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Generalitat is the name for the regional government of Catalonia.

Spikymike

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Do supporters of the CNT (which one?) really think that the first paragraph is compatible with the rest in that short translated statement by robot? They seem to be straight contradictions to me!

Steven.

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Spikymike

Do supporters of the CNT (which one?) really think that the first paragraph is compatible with the rest in that short translated statement by robot? They seem to be straight contradictions to me!

yes it does. Can someone confirm, does that mean the CNT will be calling for people to vote Yes for independence? Or calling for a boycott? As it certainly sounds like they support a vote for independence…

Khawaga

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Generalitat is the name for the regional government of Catalonia.

Thanks Oliver.

robot

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As far as I understood the texts in Catalan and Spanish, CNT Catalunya / Balears gave no proposal on whether to vote for something or not. They just say, that they are in favor of the right of the people to decide on their affairs if they like to.

When we translated the text into German, we did not use the English translation from CNT Hospitallets website because we found it not to be a good translation of the original text in Catalan and Spanish. There are quite a couple of things that are quite different in the English translation compared with the Catalan / Spanish one.

robot

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Generalitat is a corpus of limited self administration the Spanish kings granted to Catalunya from the early 18th century onward. The present Generalitat is the 130th.

nization

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, the CNT has a certain

tradition

of not proposing to vote or not when it comes to sticky situations, dating back to the 1936 elections which got the Popular Front into power. Just their way of saying "go ahead and vote, but we didn't tell you to, because we are anarchists"...

Also, I reiterate: it's interesting to see that CNT believe in the existence of "the people", a class-free entity entitled to "decide on their affairs"... via the ballot box, as opposed to through the overthrow of the existing relations of production... Hmm...

MT

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

yeah, the cnt statement feels like a really bad joke...

OliverTwister

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Seems to me like they're doing exactly what a revolutionary union should be doing in a situation like this. They aren't taking a stand on independence or not, but are against repression, and for mass disobedience against militarization of society.

If there a revolutionary union in St Louis, this is exactly what they would be doing.

Good thing they don't need to please the internet commentariat.

Khawaga

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

As a piece of popular agitation, I have no problem with the statement per se. Obviously, if I out on my ideological reading glasses, I have have some problems. I am with OliverTwister on this one; it makes sense to make such a statement and in using language that people will understand (e.g. using the category of the "people"). Fit your language to the context.

Steven.

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

OliverTwister

Seems to me like they're doing exactly what a revolutionary union should be doing in a situation like this. They aren't taking a stand on independence or not, but are against repression, and for mass disobedience against militarization of society.

it seems like you sometimes feel the need to defend the CNT. However in this instance, with the background of a vote on national independence, saying they "support… the self-determination of the Catalan people", to pretty much everyone that looks like they are supporting independence. Which is not what a revolutionary union should do. Especially as one of the big arguments (the biggest?) for independence is that Catalonia is richer than the rest of Spain, so they shouldn't have to pay money to Spain to provide services to poorer people, including other CNT members elsewhere in the Spanish state.

A revolutionary union should be saying the nationality of the bosses is irrelevant, what's important is to fight for our interests as workers of all countries.

wojtek

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Maybe some useful links:
https://mobile.twitter.com/marxistJorge/status/910508613814321152

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

CNT to 1-O: Facing repression, defend the rights and freedoms
http://lasoli.cnt.cat/20/09/2017/cnt-davant-l1-enfront-repressio-defensar-drets-llibertats/
http://cnt.es/noticias/cnt-ante-el-1-o-frente-la-represi%C3%B3n-defender-los-derechos-y-libertades

Statement of the Catalan CNT in favor of the right of self-determination of the Catalan people
http://lasoli.cnt.cat/22/09/2017/comunicat-cnt-catalana-favor-dret-dautodeterminacio-poble-catala/

In Spanish the words like: the people or the society used by the unions like CGT or CNT refer to the working class, is a more populist way to speak to reach the receiver of the message.

Also say that careful to judge what is happening in Catalonia these days as something that holds the Catalan bourgeoisie, this is more interested in a negotiation with the central government of Spain than with independence, the high Catalan bourgeoisie is clearly opposed, from the CEOE employers' union or Catalan regional. (Its in Català but talks about how political parties ERC and PDeCAT are retracting their speech: http://www.elnacional.cat/es/opinion/jordi-graupera-momento-verdad_194472_102.html) There is a working class majority behind the freedoms and referendum committees in the provinces and city districts. Many in turn are neither nationalists nor independentistas, can be seen as a new "15M" to the Catalan version.

This committes:
It is only the beginning. we decided everything
https://decidimhotot.wordpress.com/

Spain has ended up entering the institutional and social crisis that began in the 15M movement. The 78 regime is in an identity, territorial and institutional crisis. The questioned monarchy, the system of autonomy of the regions in a deadlock and the plurinationality of the country becomes visible. In my opinion Spain is entering a cycle of identity reconstruction towards perhaps a Confederal Republic or a rise of regional nationalisms and Spanish nationalism philofascist without a mask.

A summary of the performance of the philofascist and conservative PP government:
More than 700 imputed mayors, the Civil Guard entering simultaneously in institutions of the Generalitat (Catalan regional government), arrests of officials and positions of the regional government, seizures by the police of material for the referendum in the own presses, registry of the the political headquarters of the CUP (Independence and Municipalist Party), arrests and fines of dozens of activists for posting posters for the referendum, three ships with thousands of police in the Port of Barcelona, in the rest of Spain some prohibitions on acts in support of Catalan civil disobedience or simply to discuss about what happens in Catalonia.

The CGT, IAC, COS and CNT call to general strike in Catalonia of 3-Oct with support of independentists, CUP and Podems. It is an unprecedented political strike (as they are prohibited by law, such as class solidarity strikes) against repression, in favor of basic freedoms, the right of association and assembly. This is a question that recalls the claims of the beginning of the Spanish transition over the years 78.

Red Marriott

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The anarcho-syndicalists then we should not defend postulates as "Against repression, in favor of basic freedoms, the right of association and assembly"?
What basic anarchist principles are ditched?

nization

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This thread was supposed to be about the situation in Catalonia, not about what the CNT has to say about the situation in Catalonia.

Libcom readers may -or may not- care about what the CNT has to say (I certainly do not), but generally speaking, the "people" of Catalonia (both in the dubious/hazy definition given by Ragnar -after all, it's not the working class who's being asked to participate in the referendum, it's the entire Catalan population- and in its proper sense) couldn't care less about the CNT's statements or its "support", for the very simple reason that for the vast majority of people the CNT is non-existent, a non-entity, and they have no reason to take any interest in it. The CGT, for better or for worse, is another story, as it actually has a certain - though not much- degree of relevance as a union...

nization

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That said, though I disagree with much that he says, at least Ragnar has posted some actual docs from the "real movement"... which bear witness, in my opinion, to the groundless illusions underlying it... namely, that independence is some sort of trampoline for "changing everything"...

MT

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ragnar

The anarcho-syndicalists then we should not defend postulates as "Against repression, in favor of basic freedoms, the right of association and assembly"?
What basic anarchist principles are ditched?

vs.

The CNT local unions from Catalonia and the Balearic Islands publicly state our support for the self-determination of the Catalan people.

If you cannot see the obvious problem already explained by nization, then at least refrain from using a straw-man. To put out a statement against repression (and add ideas against "people's" belief in the state and the police) is fine, but CNT statement is not about that (only). If this populist bullshit is in line with anarchist principles, then it just shows in what pity state anarchism is at the moment.

Steven.

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

MT

The CNT local unions from Catalonia and the Balearic Islands publicly state our support for the self-determination of the Catalan people.

If you cannot see the obvious problem already explained by nization, then at least refrain from using a straw-man. To put out a statement against repression (and add ideas against "people's" belief in the state and the police) is fine, but CNT statement is not about that (only). If this populist bullshit is in line with anarchist principles, then it just shows in what pity state anarchism is at the moment.

most polls put support for independence as a minority view, so think if anything it's more nationalist than "populist".

Especially considering the planned strike, can anyone clarify when the CNT says they support self-determination, does that mean they are for the right to hold a referendum, without repression from the Spanish state? Or does that mean they support a vote for independence?

Initially I thought maybe they meant the former (which wouldn't contradict anarchist principles), but if they are calling a strike in solidarity with the pro-independence parties, then it looks like they mean the latter (which do).

That seems like a particular worrying development, as it would mean risking workplace unity over disagreements on nationalism (in terms of whether workers decide to take part in the strike or not). Did CNT members vote on whether or not to strike? If so what was the result, and what was the specific question asked?

On a historical note related to this question, this text has been recommended as reading: https://libcom.org/history/catalan-cnt-asturias-uprising

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The definition of people, sociological, given by Spanish anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists has not changed over time, remains the same as that given by Bakunin and the first internationals up to the present day of the Spanish libertarian movement, the people = working class, proletariat.
It can be tracked perfectly in the press itself year after year. I remember reading that Camilo Berneri complained about this partisan and populist use of the word the people.

The CNT and the CGT are not irrelevant, places like Olot, Granollers and other provinces or more rural areas the CNT and CGT have a significant influence on local activism. In Barcelona also it is remarkable the port docks of CNT; the maritime CGT in Tarragona and Barcelona, as well as in general has strength in public sector: admins, transport and education.
Obviously they are not front line unions, but they have to be taken into account. This is well known by IAC and CUP.

These documents of the "real movement" as you say, have been created by the left, at the initiative of the CUP have formed defense committees in all towns and neighborhoods of Catalonia, in which maxists, socialists, anarchists, anarcho-syndicalists and people not very politicized that is being politicized as a result of all this.

In my opinion analyze that Catalonia is going to get independence with this "popular revolt" is too innocent. What we see is a new space of massiveness for the social and economic struggles in Catalonia, a new cycle that will kick off with the general strike of 3-Otc. This new cycle will also influence the left in a more republican position and the confederal model. That seems to me.

Seriously MT, I'm curious, where is the problem in that statement that comes from a congress in the Spanish transition?

Mark.

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

Especially considering the planned strike, can anyone clarify when the CNT says they support self-determination, does that mean they are for the right to hold a referendum, without repression from the Spanish state? Or does that mean they support a vote for independence?

Initially I thought maybe they meant the former (which wouldn't contradict anarchist principles), but if they are calling a strike in solidarity with the pro-independence parties, then it looks like they mean the latter (which do).

That seems like a particular worrying development, as it would mean risking workplace unity over disagreements on nationalism (in terms of whether workers decide to take part in the strike or not). Did CNT members vote on whether or not to strike? If so what was the result, and what was the specific question asked?

The call for a general strike came from the CGT so I suppose the practical question for the CNT was whether it was going to support it. The article in Rojo y Negro on the strike call has been taken down - I don't know whether this indicates disagreement within the CGT or whether there's some other reason. These articles are still up and give an idea of the CGT's position:

http://cgt.org.es/sites/default/files/Catalunya%201-O.docx

http://rojoynegro.info/articulo/ideas/la-cgt-ante-la-represión-desatada-el-estado-catalunya

http://cgt.org.es/noticias-cgt/comunicados/cgt-en-defensa-de-las-libertades-y-de-la-democracia-directa

As far as I can see the statements are about opposing repression and there's no call for a vote for independence.

Edit: statement from assembly of CGT in the port of Barcelona (in Catalan):

http://www.cgtcatalunya.cat/spip.php?article12615#.WcjkodHTWhA

Notice of strike action from CGT Catalunya (in Catalan). This is a notice that had to be sent out for legal reasons. Again I see no suggestion here of a call for a vote for independence:

http://www.cgtcatalunya.cat/IMG/pdf/vaga_cgtcat_3oct.pdf

MT

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ragnar

Seriously MT, I'm curious, where is the problem in that statement that comes from a congress in the Spanish transition?

Which statement do you mean? I read only the English statement.
So, if you say "people", the general population automatically knows that you mean "the wage labourers"? Not bosses, not small-owners, not little profit making business(wo)men who live like the rest of the "normal" working class in the same neighbourhoods and basically poorly? That is what you are trying to say? That "people" represents just an innocent synonym for the "class"? Because that is hard to believe. This term is common aslo in Slovakia and (some say) it represents the same thing as in Spain. But I think it is a rather artificial and populist "crutch" for those who are desperate to have influence (and power) and try to adjust to the general autoritarian leftist terminology to attract attention.

Furthermore, the capitalist concept of basic freedoms? Like the right to private property? I can see that sometimes you have to use language of law in struggles against bosses, fine, but at least you should be specific and avoid populist nonsense of "basic freedoms". An dif being specific menas saing "the right to self-determination" then that is extremely poor as this means, of course, the state. Again, just another leftist bullshit. What comes next "we support the right and will of the people to fight in the war of "our nation/nationality" against another "nation/nationality" (waged by the capitalists and politicians, or if you like by the "autonomous communities of the people"...)? I know that the example is an exaggeration and I hope the discussion won't get derailed by it, but shouldn't one of the first things the anarchist should be wary of be the acknowledgement that "assemblies" can agree on many things democratically including lynches, pogroms, war, national independence etc. etc.? Or is it anarchist to just go with the flow, forget about anarchism and support what "the people" wish?

My main issue with the statement is that its beginning and ending are populist and as Steven says, perhaps even nationalist. On the other hand, I have no issue with these parts:

As anarcho-syndicalists, we don’t think that political reforms within a capitalist framework can reflect our desire for social transformation, a change that would place production and consumption means in workers’ hands. Because of this, our daily struggles do not focus on creating new states or backing parliamentary initiatives.

However, we can’t look the other way when regular people are being attacked and repressed by any state. A state that has, in this case, removed its mask and revealed itself as an authoritarian rule, the true heir of the Franco regime. This is something that could be glimpsed before through many instances, such as labour law reforms, bank bail-outs, cuts on health and education, mass evictions of out-of-work families…many of which were implemented by the Catalan government itself.

But the issue is the statement as a whole. And the statement should be seen as a whole.

nization

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The definition of people, sociological, given by Spanish anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists has not changed over time, remains the same as that given by Bakunin and the first internationals up to the present day of the Spanish libertarian movement, the people = working class, proletariat.
It can be tracked perfectly in the press itself year after year. I remember reading that Camilo Berneri complained about this partisan and populist use of the word the people.

I suspect Camilo Berneri had good reasons for doing so... and just because Bakunin's definition has remained the same doesn't mean it isn't a dubious one... it was already dubious in its time.

And I've never said that the CGT was irrelevant... as for the CNT, that would lead to a debate regarding the definition of the word "relevant" which I have no interest in at all...

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If Steve is the first: "does that mean they are for the right to hold a referendum"

I gonna said again the reasons for general strike in Catalonia:
"The CGT, IAC, COS and CNT call to general strike in Catalonia of 3-Oct with support of independentists, CUP and Podems. It is an unprecedented political strike (as they are prohibited by law, such as class solidarity strikes) against repression, in favor of basic freedoms, the right of association and assembly. This is a question that recalls the claims of the beginning of the Spanish transition over the years 78. "
These issues are always vindicated when one is emerging from a dictatorship. It was made before the Second Spanish Republic, was made before the current Spanish Parliamentary Monarchy.

I feel that it does not seem true to us that the Spaniards use populist words as a people to say the working class MT, "the people will make the social revolution" if you track the newspaper Solidaridad Obrera until the 30s you can see that interested use, for example.

Basic freedoms are very necessary to make revolutionary syndicalism, periods of repression or clandestinity are not good for syndicalisme. They are also useful to weave ties in communities, creating cultural, political, vindictive associations, and to have social impact. Also to have certain de facto rights that give you security when starting campaigns, protests and be able to grow numerically to be able to overflow the capitalist framework.
The rights and freedoms of expression, demostration/protest and association are a basic pillar to be able to build our new society, do not you think?

MT

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think you've answered my questions. If you want to go on in a straw-man offtopic posting, then sorry, I'm not interested in such a debate.

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://lasoli.cnt.cat/25/09/2017/posicionament-cnt-catalunya-balears-davant-situacio-catalana/

Positioning of the CNT of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands in the face of the Catalan situation

Every state is based on repression and, in the last term, it is maintained about violence - as unfortunately we are checking out on our skin the people who live in Catalonia. When the State has threatened its territorial integrity, it has not hesitated to use repressive forces indiscriminately.

These attacks are born of the fear of the powers established for the effective use of collective freedoms for the exploited and oppressed people of the territory. And it is that nothing fears any institutionalized power as much as the working classes take their own destiny into their own hands: they can not allow any form of dissent to get hold of their hands.

But from the CNT we celebrate dissent and rebellion as a song to freedom in the construction of a world where people can decide on themselves about everything that affects them.

We also use this moment to appeal to overcome the fear, organize and get rid of the backlogs that workers and workers have suffered these years.

Let us take advantage of any moment of weakness of our oppressors to conquer what is legitimately ours: the richness of humanity, which has created a generation after generation of working classes and which seek to appropriate States and Capital! Let's do this by extending the protestive struggle in all corners of Catalonia, the Peninsula and the world.

And for all this, we invite you to join the General Strike calls that will be made soon, as well as any call made by our unions and other libertarian organizations.

Partners! Mates! In the streets! The time has come for you to act!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

OliverTwister

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This thread is hilarious.

Presumably people think that the CCOO/UGT position of "wait for the restoration of normalcy" is more in line with anarchist principles. Presumably CNT members should sit tight, ignore police repression and fascist provocations in their neighborhoods, allow police ships to dock in the port, etc.

Maybe the CNT's national committee should overrule the decisions of the Catalan branches, and the Catalan region. Or maybe they need an international secretariat which can tell them they are wrong.

A general strike against police repression, for freedom of assembly, etc ... yes, that is exactly what a revolutionary union should be doing in a situation where society is being militarized. As I said, if there were a revolutionary union in St Louis, I would hope that they would be trying for the same.

The idea that I automatically defend the CNT is insulting and a poor argument. I actually think that their Catalan branches are taking the right steps here, and are doing well to avoid nationalist traps, while also being relevant to the current struggles. Moreover, I trust that they are figuring this out collectively and democratically based on their experience of being in the thick of it, rather than being keyboard warriors checking whether Bakunin or Berneri said this was OK.

MT

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

thanks ragnar for posting the strike call. it sounds fine. however, the discussion here evolved around the stamenet which is here: http://libcom.org/forums/news/catalonia-situation-22092017#comment-598368

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The chronology is:

This is the first statement:

http://cnt.es/noticias/cnt-ante-el-1-o-frente-la-represi%C3%B3n-defender-los-derechos-y-libertades

CNT before the 1-O: Faced with repression, to defend the rights and freedoms

Faced with the escalating repression we are suffering after the call for referendum on self-determination in Catalonia on 1 October, the National Labor Confederation neither wants nor can remain silent:

- CNT has always been in favor of the right of self-determination of peoples in their congressional agreements. We find no reason to rethink our position in the case of the Catalan referendum.

- Citizens of Catalonia must be able to express themselves freely. The right to decide on all aspects that affect our lives is the basic pillar for the construction of a free and equal society.

- The Constitution imposed by the regime of 78 can not serve as an excuse to appeal to try to deny the word to society or when social demands do not like parties in power. The legitimacy, more than questionable of a constitution imposed under conditions of democratic exception, does not flounder in the same way when these same parties end up with universal health, destroy public education, deepen social inequality with their neoliberal policies or cut our fundamental liberties.

- Society must advance in the pursuit of rights and freedoms without fear that their struggle involves infringing unjust laws. On the contrary, historically, civil disobedience has been a motor of progress in calling into question seemingly immovable structures of power.

- That is why CNT will denounce and combat all repressive movements of the State that try to coerce or prevent the people, in this case the Catalan, from expressing their will in complete freedom.

#SensePor #Not afraid

Permanent Secretariat National Confederation of Labor

Bilbao on 20/09/2017

Later come the statement of CNT Catalonia and the Balearic Islands that robot put how we can see in the link of MT ;) and yestarday in the end the statement to general strike on 3-Otc

MT

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

that was not the chronology in this thread, but anyway, the first statement is as bad as the one that came later which was put here by robot. if not worse, as it operates with category of citizenship. I really can't remind myself of any anarchist organization that would use such terminology in public statements and I think of even the lamest... I can imagine a situation where one would ask after readig the first statement: "CNT? what kind of NGO is that?" :)

nization

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The idea that I automatically defend the CNT is insulting

Whereas this one isn't:

[quote]Presumably people think that the CCOO/UGT position of "wait for the restoration of normalcy" is more in line with anarchist principles.[quote]

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This kind of terminology is for my parents that are not have too muchs politics ideas or they are like a commons workers to they understanded what we want to said. The Basque fellow workers who currently play the role of the SP of CNT know well how to deal with these issues, having lived the Basque social context when ETA operated and the state repressed.
In the other hand, well... in fact, CNT or CGT or whatever union is not a anarchist organization that for example FAI, FAC or Embat they are.

Spikymike

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well I'm not at all convinced that the CNT is ''doing well to avoid nationalist traps'' with these statements that add the rights of 'citizens' to the 'rights of peoples to self-determination' in a situation which is pitting two branches of state and their respective political power mongers against each other whilst seeking to rally the workers or 'people' behind their own capitalist ambitions. A straightforward statement of opposition to both the central government and the Catalan regional government even if of necessity with the stress being against the latest central government provocations would have been more convincing. In this situation it would seem that the manipulation by both arms of the state are likely to have more results favourable to them than the CNT's optimistic hope that the general sympathy for Catalan autonomous democracy in the face of those provocations will produce something that can escape the political boundaries of both, but we will see I suppose.

MT

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ragnar

What basic anarchist principles are ditched?

make up your mind, then. it is really hard to debate with people who act like acrobats...

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

it is not about acrobats, if not about having a communicative policy to reach the whole working class with the terminology they understand.

no1

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ragnar

This kind of terminology is for my parents that are not have too muchs politics ideas or they are like a commons workers to they understanded what we want to said.

So the CNT is talking about the "right of self-determination of peoples" and about the basic rights of the "citizens of Catalonia" because workers are not educated enough to understand basic internationalist concepts?? Workers are a bit thick, Is that what you're saying?

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I am rather speaking that cultural hegemony was won by capitalism. And today terms like proletariado or bourgeoisie for example for many working class they sound old and history. Or that if you want to reach broad layers of the working class that contemptuously is called choni or cani in spain (your Chavs) or are not almost politicized does not come with the same slang/argot that we use here, we are presupposed a theoretical knowledge in politics and ideology.
These are propaganda, advertising and marketing.

MT

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

- Citizens of Catalonia must be able to express themselves freely.

So, you say that no-one could find anything more consistent with anarchosyndicalist principles, like for example "In CNT we believe in freedom of expression." (it took me 10 seconds to come up with this...).

The thing is that this terminology really doesn't seem to be a simple unfortunate use of the terms. Rather, it seems to be a left-wing terminology most probaby written down by leftists in a leftist organization.

MT

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ragnar

I am rather speaking that cultural hegemony was won by capitalism. And today terms like proletariado or bourgeoisie for example for many working class they sound old and history. Or that if you want to reach broad layers of the working class that contemptuously is called choni or cani in spain (your Chavs) or are not almost politicized does not come with the same slang/argot that we use here, we are presupposed a theoretical knowledge in politics and ideology.
These are propaganda, advertising and marketing.

If you are not able to speak with unpoliticized people in their own language only with or only without using "proletariat" or "working class" etc., then you are a hell of a bad propagandists and know really little about how people speak and what they understand or not...

And like if that was not enough, you create another acrobat stunt. You say that this terminology is for the "people" and one should speak in their language. You imply that those who criticize this are some kind of dreamers or losers or whatever arrogant idea you have about them, who in their practice use a sterile politological terminology only. Not only it is bullshit, but you forget to at least check the first CNT statement that contradicts your claims (and yeah, this language is surely the common languange of the "people"...):

"And it is that nothing fears any institutionalized power as much as the working classes take their own destiny into their own hands: they can not allow any form of dissent to get hold of their hands."
"Let us take advantage of any moment of weakness of our oppressors to conquer what is legitimately ours: the richness of humanity, which has created a generation after generation of working classes and which seek to appropriate States and Capital!"
http://libcom.org/forums/news/catalonia-situation-22092017?page=1#comment-598411

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Almost, but you are close to understanding why we express the Spanish anarcho-syndicalists in these ways and why it works for us.
And now I have to go to work. have a nice day.

nization

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

you are close to understanding why we express the Spanish anarcho-syndicalists in these ways and why it works for us.

Nuff said... haven't you thickos got it yet?

MT

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I wonder which post is it that Ragnar responds to... His post makes no sense.

OliverTwister

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

With anarchists like these, who needs bosses.

Juan Conatz

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The language used in those statements is pretty off for a revolutionary union, IMO. However, from experience, statements written in somewhat unexpected political situations are often rushed and often have contradictory stuff. Also tbh, I really don't care that much about what the CNT had to say about this, I'm more interested in what is happening and why. This thread so far hasnt been that helpful with that unfortunatly

Salvoechea

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I feel situation between Spain and Catalonia is reaching to a similar point of Turkey vs Kurdistan, without violence. Catalan-born middle class and youth have broken with Spain a few years ago. They feel part of another different country with other constituent values. Present day Spain embraces the concept of spain of castilians which is centralist and imperialist, while catalans preferred a federal spain with a balance between Iberian regions/countries [but its elite doesn't matter about workers].

However the mistakes made by Partido Popular with all its patriotic rhetoric and denying there was a problem with Catalonia, have sent hundreds of thousand people that preferred another form for Spain, and not necessarily a rupture. Most of these people are placed in the left.

So, roughly, we have a neoliberal centre-right (PDCAT), a socioliberal centre-left (ERC) and a socialdemocratic left (CUP; with a national liberation marxism). Catalan proletariat usually voted socialists (PSC) or post-communists (ICV). With the crisis in 2007-11 the socialist space collapsed, appearing a big popular street movement (15M) with an important participation of social movements and anarchists (and trotskists, and CUP, and ICV, etc). After the reflux of the street movements (2013) appeared a new political party (Comuns) that managed to inherit ICV space as well as a big part of PSC's.

Parallel to that process there was another process. Catalan government, Generalitat, had tried big to get new power from state, and central Parliament (Madrid) blocked all of that, thanks to Partido Popular. So, many catalans took that as the last straw, and began a new popular independentist movement, different to the previous «patriot» catalanist one (and sometimes even racist). Catalan independentism rose in five years from a 15% to a 35%. Obviously is absurd to consider all of them as middle class or bourgeois. There's an important working class presence in that movement, specially significative in rural areas or small cities. But also it can be traced in metropolitan cities trough the vote of CUP (normally ex-communists voting CUP).

In the last years that populist independentism had the dream of a fair referendum. State refused. So, catalans began to change the motto «independència» for «democracy». Ideally referendum is equiparated to democracy. So, spanish government dening to answer catalans in the same way as UK did, is presented as anti-democratic. Similar to Turkey. Government of Rajoy mistakes (and a huge level of corruption, never seen before I have to tell) eroded State credibility in Catalonia and now the level of independentists rose to close 50%. Spanish politician denied that level of disafection, but catalan said: «Easy, lets vote and we'll sort it out, then!» Spanish politician told them to fuck off. Catalan politician were pushed by its bases to call the Referendum. This is a train crash.

What is to be done by anticapitalists? Remember that Catalonia is probably the most dinamic place in Spain after Basque popular movement half-defeat. So, we had been unable to put a unitarian agenda to become an important actor in this scenario. In Spain Podemos is blockin social explotion but also anticapitalists are unable to put forward any important movement. So, Social axis can be discarded as a way to turn down the so-called «Regime of 1978» (the year of the present spanish Constitution). But, Catalonia means another clear disafection. Half of Catalonia does not feel spanish and have broken with Spain.

Spain is sending 5000 policemen (and some military) to stop the Referendum. Catalans want to vote, and people is getting arrested, Generalitat websites are taken down, Police is searching ballot boxes and stuff like that. And people is getting angry. Another thing to remember: the 50% of independentists acording to surveys are the 50% most interested in politics. And even more, they are wondering how is their country going to look like in the future. Even more, as European Union is supporting Spain... every day more people is prefering to break with it, as well as NATO, in a sort of LEFTXIT. Liberals are leading the process, but there is a window for anticapitalist forces opened by a constituent process, as well as for the pure rejection of state crude repression.

Are we doing something? Well, catalan anarchists, are in the middle of a debate. Some groups (probably most of them by the way) are in the same barricade as their neighbours. We have shared demos with CUP, communists and other social movements. We're not for PDCAT or ERC. Remember: the other side is lead by Partido Popular, PSC, Ciudadans (another wannabe Macron) or pro-demobilisation Comuns. We're for rupture, for another 14th april 1931.

We don't think there will be a Catalan Republic by voting. Kurdistan may be free because they have militias, but not Catalonia. Liberals are not going to use the force. They're not going to exercise the monopoly of violence. But there is another opportunity to set fire to a big state of Europe, bringing an ingobernability. We'll see if the level of participation on the Referendum is enough to continue with another wave of social mobilisations. This time on the social axis, not national.

As for the international anticapitalist movement, is important to present this referendum in the terms «democracy vs submission», and to present Spain as another Turkey. Anarchist have an opportunity to be part of a democratic revolution. We need to push for a socialist revolution, of course, after winning some struggles before.

Entdinglichung

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan Conatz

I'm more interested in what is happening and why. This thread so far hasnt been that helpful with that unfortunatly

sadly true, it is more about purity standards,

http://www.lavanguardia.com/local/lleida/20170923/431499722409/mas-de-un-millar-de-personas-reclama-votar-con-tractoradas-en-lleida-y-vic.html

peasants with tractors blocking central points in Lleida

Salvoechea

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You can follow the events from here (an anticapitalist publication)
https://directa.cat/cop-de-lestat-contra-referendum-de-l1-minut-minut

University strikes, 28th and 29th
https://www.llibertat.cat/2017/09/universitats-per-la-republica-convoquem-vaga-d-estudiants-39998

There're some buildings occupied by students at least from last thursday

Salvoechea

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On the other side it is like a military/fascist parade with neonazi and fascist groups saludating police and Guardia Civil on their way to Catalonia:

https://twitter.com/huelva_vox/status/912355265558843397

https://twitter.com/huelva_vox/status/912355265558843397

Red Marriott

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ragnar

I am rather speaking that cultural hegemony was won by capitalism. And today terms like proletariado or bourgeoisie for example for many working class they sound old and history.

Unfortunately that "cultural hegemony" has clearly colonised the thinking of the CNT in their statement, with its stale leftist parroting of "self-determination" and "rights of citizens". As already stated by Spikymike & co, it could easily have stated a clear opposition to all bourgeois factions and political choices and against the state repression. But no, opportunistically appeal to the most populist issues in the hope of increased popularity. Typical leftist pseudo-anarchism. Is the CNT doomed to forever capitulate to bourgeois politics and alliances when it comes to the crunch?

If poor old Bakunin is to be misused above here in attempts to justify anarcho-reformism, let's recall what he said about flirtations with bourgeois parties;

"...all historical experience shows that an alliance concluded between two different parties always benefits the more backward - the more advanced party is inevitably weakened because the alliance diminishes and distorts its programme and destroys its moral strength and self-confidence; whereas when a backward party lies, it always finds itself closer than ever to its own truth ... I have no hesitation in saying that all the Marxist flirtations with bourgeois radicalism - reformist or revolutionary - can have no other outcome than the demoralization and disorganization of the nascent power of the proletariat, and therefore the further consolidation of the power of the bourgeoisie." (Bakunin, 1870s.)

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Let's go back to important things.
Catalonia now lives in a state of exception underground, since it is acting without activating a protocol that activates that state of emergency, ie if, in itself, this means that a series of basic freedoms can be skipped by the State without consequences , is currently acting as a totalitarian state.

http://cosaspracticas.lasprovincias.es/legislacion/supone-estado-excepcion-20170921230157-nt.html

What it entails: effects

The declaration of a state of emergency can generate important effects on diverse fundamental rights, within the terms set by art. 55.1 EC and the own LO 4/1981. In this state may suspend all or some of the following fundamental rights recognized by the Spanish Constitution:

Art. 17.2 Preventive Detention.

Any person may be detained for a maximum of 10 days, if there are reasonable suspicions that he may cause alterations of the order, if he deems it necessary for the conservation of the same. Detention must be reported to the competent court within 24 hours. (LO 4/1981 Art. 16)

Art. 18.2 Inviolability of the domicile.

Inspections or home records may be available if deemed necessary for the clarification of alleged criminal acts or for the maintenance of public order. (LO 4/1981 Art. 17)

Art. 18.3 Secrecy of communications.

All types of communications, including postal, telegraphic and telephone communications, may be used; provided that the authorization of the Congress includes the suspension of article 18.3 of the Constitution. Such intervention may only be carried out if this is necessary for the clarification of alleged criminal acts or the maintenance of public order. (LO 4/1981 Art. 18)

Article 19 Freedom of choice of residence and free movement throughout the national territory.

The movement of people and vehicles may be prohibited at the times and places determined, and require those who move from one place to another to prove their identity, pointing out the itinerary to follow. (LO 4/1981 Art. 20)

Art. 20.1.a) Freedom to express thought.

Art. 20.1.d) Right to communicate or receive truthful information by any means of dissemination.

Art. 20.5 Prohibition of abducting publications and other means of information without judicial resolution.

The Governmental Authority may suspend all types of publications, radio and television broadcasts, projections, films and theatrical performances, provided that the authorization of the Congress includes the suspension of article twenty (a) and (d) and five of the Constitution . You may also order the abduction of publications.

Art. 21.2 Right of meeting in places of public transit and demonstrations.

The Government Authority may submit to prior authorization or prohibit the holding of meetings and demonstrations. It may also dissolve the meetings and events referred to in the preceding paragraph. (LO 4/1981 Art. 22)

Art. 28.2 Right to strike.

Art. 37.2 Right to adopt measures of collective dispute

The Governmental Authority may prohibit strikes and the adoption of measures of collective conflict, when the authorization of the Congress includes the suspension of articles 28.2 and 37.2 of the Constitution.

Plus:

- It will be possible to intervene and to control all types of transport, and the load of the same. (LO 4/1981 Art. 19)

- It is possible to order the intervention of industries or businesses that may motivate the alteration of public order or contribute to it, and the temporary suspension of the activities of the same, reporting to the Ministries concerned. It will also be possible to order the provisional closure of showrooms, beverage establishments and premises of similar characteristics. (LO 4/1981 Art. 26)

- If a civil servant or personnel in the service of a public administration or a public or official entity or institute favors the conduct of the disturbing elements of the order, the government authority may suspend it in the exercise of its office, blame the competent Judge and notify the superior to the effects of the appropriate disciplinary file. (LO 4/1981 Art. 29)

- If, during the state of emergency, the judge considers the existence of acts contrary to public order or citizen security that may constitute a crime, he may order the provisional custody of the alleged perpetrator, which he will maintain, at his discretion, during said state. Those convicted in these proceedings are exempted from the benefits of conditional referral during the period of the state of emergency. (LO 4/1981 Art. 31)

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On 1 October, demonstrations are held in various parts of Catalonia for the defense of rights, freedoms and self-determination. in the same way in the rest of Spain there are several calls for support, against repression and some for the III republic also between 30 and October 1.

The counter is that as I mentioned earlier sectors of the extreme right Spanish, Falange, DN or España2000 are convening demostrations in several important capitals. Already there were clashes in Barcelona, ​​Valencia and Zaragoza.
For example:
http://www.elmundo.es/espana/2017/09/24/59c7869722601d1b148b467f.html

There is also an element that is not usually considered and is the community of order, the FCSE (State Security Forces and Bodies), ie the police and the civil guard with their relatives, friends and acquaintances who these days are showing demostrations of support to the FCSE that leave from different parts of Spain towards Catalonia. A Spanish nationalism latent and pro totalitarian in favor of the power of the law and its repressive arm.

For example:
http://sevilla.abc.es/andalucia/huelva/sevi-huelva-despide-entre-vitores-guardia-civiles-parten-hacia-cataluna-201709251755_noticia_amp.html

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The general strike in Catalonia of 3-Oct is also being prepared with all that entails. Also the radical unions will going to call protests in the rest of Spain for that day.

Ragnar

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

One article/opinion about this kind of things:

The powder keg Catalán: "Rajoy or Republic"

We entered a decisive week for the future development of the so-called "Catalan conflict". This Sunday will be the referendum called by the Generalitat, with a more or less plausible and guarantor result depending on the repression that the Spanish government decides against. We have been through weeks of tension, in which the massiveness and social rooting of Catalan protest, as well as the overtly authoritarian and repressive drift of the Spanish State, have become evident.

THE POWDER KEG CATALÁN: "RAJOY OR REPÚBLICA"

We entered a decisive week for the future development of the so-called "Catalan conflict". This Sunday will be held the referendum called by the Generalitat, with a more or less plausible and guarantor result in view of the repression that the Spanish government decides against. We have been through weeks of tension, in which the massiveness and social rooting of Catalan protest, as well as the overtly authoritarian and repressive drift of the Spanish State, have become evident.

In order to understand this intricate moment of peninsular politics, it is necessary to have clear certain previous concepts, relative to the very structure of the Spanish State, as well as to the genesis of the Catalan independence project.

In the first place we should mention the evolution of the so-called "Regime of the 78" in Spain towards an involutive and authoritarian way more and more evident. We need concepts: the "Regime of 78", so named for being born with the current Constitution of 1978, has been the historical product of the so-called "Spanish transition from Franco to democracy." This Transition, despite the mythical narrative that accompanied it in the international scene and in the media of the establishment, was nothing more than a reform of Franco's own dictatorial regime, which established, in fact, a regime that secured a shift peaceful exercise of power between two parties that eventually became almost indistinguishable in their political practice. This almost perfect "bipartisanship", because it only sometimes required recourse to the pact with Catalan or Basque nationalist forces to generate stable majorities, was justified by the generation of a social culture (the so-called "Culture of Transition" based on the idea of ​​consensus and reconciliation, obviating any possibility of resuming the previous republican experience or claiming the historic memory of the genocide carried out by the Franco regime after the Spanish Civil War.

In addition, the Transition, which incorporated as head of state for life and hereditary the king who had appointed Franco for that position, renounced the possibility of demanding any responsibility for the serious crimes or for the robberies carried out during the dictatorship. In short, the "Regime of 78" left untouched the oligarchy that has always led the Spanish economic and political life, which would then continue to lead the nation, although already with the mark of membership of the European Union.

A Spanish oligarchy that has kept the country, over the last forty years, based on a productive model based increasingly on precarious and cheap work, which underpins a monoculture of mass tourism, as well as the expansion of financed real estate bubbles for debt from Europe. Any coherent industrial policy is abandoned in the process of entry into the EU. This economic model, in turn, is seriously decomposed when, in the context of the global crisis of 2007, the real estate market collapses, in the context of a particularly tough legal order with mortgage debtors, catching hundreds of thousands of proletarian families who will be condemned to eviction and debt bondage in the face of a "systemic" financial institution sustained by a European-financed bailout, which entailed a strong process of neoliberal reforms and cuts in public services as conditionalities. such as hugely harsh labor reforms.

In addition, we must bear in mind that both bipartisanship and the real estate bubble have been generating a strong incidence of the phenomenon of political corruption in the Spanish state. In order to feed the real estate industry and the big tourist businesses, a "friendly" policy was necessary for public officials, who belonged mainly to the big parties. These, in turn, demanded, both to finance their organizations and to carry a luxury life train, the corresponding illegal commissions or favors of all types of real estate, financial entities and other economic actors. All this has caused that the representative function of the State was seen by the political class as a profession that gave right to squeeze the budgets of municipalities and state for personal enrichment itself, with almost no limits. So it is that the president of the government (of the Popular Party, conservative) has had to testify before the courts as a witness to these ubiquitous plots of corruption that would have affected the financing of his own organization.

Following the eruption of a strong cycle of popular struggles initiated on May 15, 2011 (the so-called 15-M), which indicated strong resistance to the social cuts imposed by Europe, and expressed for the first time coherent criticisms of the political architecture of the "regime of 78", the government was implemented increasingly repressive measures, such as the approval of the so-called "Gag Law", against more frequent activities in popular protests, reform of the Penal Code, or imprisonment and prosecution hundreds of trade union activists and social movements. Finally, this cycle of struggles, already in full reflux phase, was channeled into the electoral leadership, both by sectors of the previous left and by activists of the movements, through the creation of the Partido Podemos political party, as well as other related, regional spaces or municipal elections, which achieved some limited electoral success, while emptying the streets. We can, in turn, and until the last weeks, has been having an increasingly normalizing evolution within the political class of the regime, within which would accept a subordinate role, abandoning the criticism to the Transition (to put a and many demands that were fundamental keys of the 15m Movement, as well as tending to an increasingly hierarchical and monolithic internal organization.

It is here that we find the genesis of the enormous expansion of independence, or of the defense of the right to decide (not exactly the same, the first openly defend independence, the second only the need for a referendum on the subject) in Catalonia. Within the framework of the authoritarian drift of the last decade in the Spanish State, two powerful events took place in Catalonia: the rejection by the Spanish Constitutional Court, at the request of the Popular Party, of a draft Regional Statute approved by the Catalan courts, and by a referendum on citizenship; and the enormous power of the 15M movement, which came to besiege the Catalan Parliament, creating an enormous sense of danger in the local political class.

From there, two parallel processes that lead to the current situation unfold: the independentista movement, until then quite frankly minority, is becoming massive, and expanding between the popular classes and the social movements, before the failure to bring about effective changes of the 15m cycle; and a very important part of the political class (including the bourgeois regionalist forces that had historically underpinned the regime of 78, through its pacts with central governments) bet on the sovereignty process, given the impossibility of interlocution with the central government and the strong pressure that suffers from its bases.

Hence the strong ambiguity and ambivalence of the so-called "process" of independence: together with the power of the popular network formed by organizations for the right to decide or for independence, which embraces people from all social sectors, and in which it has a strong presence a parliamentary party, but declared anti-capitalist, such as CUP (Popular Unity Candidatures); we find that the direction of the process (still under enormous pressure from below) is in the hands of elements of the political class linked to the traditional Catalan bourgeoisie, who have repeatedly shown their neoliberal soul and their will to reach a negotiated agreement with the State Spanish (which essentially remains totally deaf to its offers). This ambivalence is expressed, for example, in the Law of Transiency approved by the Parliament of Catalonia next to the call of the referendum, which would accompany an eventual declaration of independence, which establishes a regime strongly presidentialist, and with no appreciable social content, for the interregnum of the Transition to the new Catalan State.

Faced with this growing powder, after the call for referendum by the Catalan regional government unilaterally, the Spanish government has responded with a huge wave of repression: arrests of political leaders, searches and seizures to get the material that could be used to celebrate the referendum (such as ballot papers or ballot boxes), the transfer of thousands of police and civil guards to Catalonia, the opening of criminal proceedings against more than 700 mayors for crimes they have not yet committed (to help with the referendum) and, above all, the application, in possible fraud of the law, of a policy designed to maintain budgetary stability to meet the requirements of the EU, to take economic control of the Generalitat of Catalonia. That is to say, application of the measures that allow the constitutional state of exception (including the placement of the Catalan autonomous police under the orders of a single command appointed by Madrid), without declaring legally such a state of emergency.

The response of the Catalan population to this merciless repressive wave has been to leave massively to the streets. Universities and schools have stopped classes, demonstrations have taken place, combative unions point to the possibility of calling a general strike after the referendum, dockers at the ports of Barcelona and Tarragona refuse to operate in support of ships in which come thousands of police every day. The conflict, in all its extension, is served.

Before him, social and popular movements could pose a number of key issues:

In the first place, it is illusory to think that the authoritarian and repressive drift of the Spanish State will only be maintained within the borders of Catalonia or will be linked only to the repression of independence. We are facing a strong "erdoganización" of the government Rajoy. The "Regime of 78", harassed, takes up in depth its strong Francoist heritage. It is clear that the entire ruling class (from the economic oligarchy, the political class and the judiciary, or even its cultural "mariachis") see the repressive escalation as legitimate, and the appeals to democracy of the Catalan population as an extremist slogan. The drive to a dictatorship not declared as such, with a strong component of exception and loss of civil rights, is increasingly accused throughout the State.

Secondly, much of the power of Catalan independence comes from its discursive capacity to generate the greater process of delegitimization of the "Regime of 78" in the last 40 years. Moreover, criticism of this regime has even become a reiterated mantra of the Catalan political class. Like We can abandon the anti-regime discourse to dedicate itself to other things, Catalanism does not stop to recover it. To recover it, in addition, affirming against him another motto endowed with a strong emotionality: the Republic. It matters little whether Catalan or Spanish, the fact is that the slogan of the Republic has specific components in the Iberian peninsula, which go beyond the institution of the Head of State. The Spanish republican regimes that have been in history gave rise to profound revolutionary processes and were drowned in blood by the oligarchy. It is a myth of difficult translation abroad, but with a clear power. "Rajoy or Republic", the last slogan of the Catalan independence, expresses definitively that what is at stake is the democracy before the dictatorship, the popular cravings of participation, against the traditional guardianship of the oligarchic sectors on the Spanish society.

This has implications for a consequent anti-capitalism: obviously a republic (whether Spanish or Catalan) is not necessarily an anti-capitalist regime or even advanced from the social point of view. But it is also true that in the power vacuum and the instability of the consolidation of the new regime, the popular movements could have possibilities of intervention and progress, if they are organized and are able to converge around common demands.

In third place. The popular movements have to have a territorial proposal for the Iberian peninsula. Territorial tensions are enormous in the Spanish state and not having a discourse on them, or resorting to the simplistic and primary visions, leaves the movements out of the political game.

This territorial proposal must combine two parallel concepts: respect for the right to decide of the people and the widest democracy, and the defense of a federal or confederal Iberian perspective that emphasizes the ties of solidarity and common work among the popular classes, in the search for a proper and autonomous discursive framework for them. The dialectic of free association must replace the dialectic of states and that of centralist imposition. The recovery of the federalist, municipalist and socialist discourse of republicanism and the libertarian movement prior to the Civil War is a necessity of the day.

In the fourth and last place: in the absence of a regionalist solution negotiated between the Catalan and Spanish political classes (an eventuality that can not be totally discarded for the post-referendum situation), the alternative that is currently being raised in the Spanish State is the following: authoritarian derivation of the "Regime of 78" or democratic deepening. The Social Revolution, at the moment, is out of the discussion and popular demands. However, the beginning of a new cycle of popular struggles through a process of democratic openness may favor the reinforcement and organization of working class organizations if it is used by it to establish its own claims and make them appear in the light of the day.

In the alternative "Regime of the 78th Republic", or "Authoritarianism or Democracy", which expresses much of the current struggles (including Catalan), the defense of civil rights, solidarity against repression, and "Right to decide" all aspects of social life (also the labor and economic) can open roads for popular empowerment.

José Luis Carretero Miramar.
http://www.anarkismo.net/article/30530

nization

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The PDdeCat (bourgeois nationalists & leading party of the Generalitat coalition) have just announced that there will be no unilateral declaration of independence, regardless of the result of the referendum... thus leaving their leftist allies of the CUP in the lurch... what was bound to happen sooner or later has happened sooner.

nization

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

On a side note, it's quite surprising (though unfortunately not altogether unexpected) to see some of the anarchist (?) posters here resorting uncritically to the current neo-populist jargon, Gramscian "cultural hegemony" included. Call me old-fashioned, but in this phenomenon I see ample confirmation of the Marxian statement "dominant ideas are the ideas of the dominant class" (especially where the form of these ideas is concerned... since the content is subordinated to the latter)

wojtek

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Apparently residents bang their pots and pans every night at 10pm. Not sure Madrid will hear it lol.

melenas

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the Spanish wikipedia:

La anarcosindical es internacionalista, ve el mundo como un todo por encima de diferencias raciales, idiomáticas, culturales etc. En este sentido se opone a la opresión que ejercen los estados sobre los pueblos. Estamos en contra de que el Estado español oprima al pueblo vasco, a favor de que los pueblos vascos, catalanes, palestinos, saharauis, tibetanos, kurdos... sean dueños de sus destinos, se asienten en territorios más o menos delimitados, que participen de la riqueza de la sociedad en general, que se federen como quieran, que se independicen de los estados, pero igualmente nos opondríamos a la creación de un estado vasco, palestino, saharaui, kurdo... con su policía, ejército, moneda, gobierno, y aparato represivo.

Anarcosindicalismo básico

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederaci%C3%B3n_Nacional_del_Trabajo

Entdinglichung

4 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

[youtube]ZRCJEwaGH3Y[/youtube]

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So, 'anarchosyndicalism' supports the struggle of "people's" and provides 'libertarian' cannon-fodder until the nationalist gangs at the forefront of the struggle for liberation give them the boot. Then it struggles against the new State... Great... Carry on liberating...

Salvoechea

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If you don't fight your neighbours struggles don't expect they'll ever consider yours. This time is a big thing, Spanish govt has made a situation not easy to turn it back. Catalonia is broken. Do you ask us not to participate in that according to some fucked-up internationalist principles? If we are federalists it is because we believe in the right for the 'free association', which means that a part of the whole may decide to break up with the rest.

All this situation may lead to a new state? Well, its doubtable Catalonia would proclaim the independence on Monday. However we enter in a situation of ingobernability in which two elites are fighting each other and two legalities compete to impose. We, as a part of the 'social front' (with other communists, autonomous, trots, catalan leftists, social movements) must be there to impose a social agenda and to contribute to spread this ingobernability. By the way, we have a general strike on the 3rd Oct. Unis are on strike, port-workers tomorrow, firemen will protect voting, peasants will block roads, even catalan police is doubting what to do...

I'm waiting to hear you get a revolutionary situation in your own country to give us some lessons about how to do stuff.

robot

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Instead of yet more speculation about el sexo de los angeles, just one tweet from the Barcelona CNT port workers:

« Que nadie confunda nuestra motivación: nosotros somos trabajadores. Esa es nuestra única bandera, nuestro único orgullo. »

May no-one confound our motivation – we are workers. This is our only flag, our only pride.

Red Marriott

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Salvo

I'm waiting to hear you get a revolutionary situation ...

So Spain is now claimed to be in "a revolutionary situation"??

... in your own country to give us some lessons about how to do stuff.

The spirit of working class internationalism used to know no borders nor hierarchy - but now, apparently, it does. And we, in "our own" non-'revolutionary' countries are way down the pecking order and therefore have no "freedom of expression" to qualify us to comment. :(

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

yeah, the spirit of working class movement is internationalism but you already live in one country with borders, and this is true in the same way that red wine is red.
Spain not claim a revolutionary situation, so we wait for the revolution to appear at the door of the house? or rather are we the ones who have to push and create a revolutionary situation?

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How do you create a 'revolutionary situation' without attacking the local bourgeosie (in fact supporting it and 'your' police)? This is the very blueprint of what some used to call, back in the Dark Ages, a 'political revolution' as opposed to a 'social revolution' (which is an attack on existing social relations, not just political ones.

The biggest idelogical swindle of all surrounding this movement is that, once independence is achieved, the waters of the Red Sea will magically open, and we will all be led to the Promised Land (as if, in the event, NATO and the EU would just idly stand by...)

Dannny

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

Yeah it's interesting. It seems like massive mismanagement by the Spanish government. Recent polls put support for Catalan independence around 41%, so it seems the government should have just let the independence referendum take place, and they would probably win.

With the Scottish independence referendum, if the UK government, instead of letting it happen, had sent in police to seize all of the ballot papers and arrest loads of politicians and civil servants it would have backfired massively, and the government could have ended up losing the referendum.

I think we have to bear in mind that Scottish independence went from being a non-issue to a near-reality as a result of the referendum campaign. The pro-independence side in Catalonia would stand a good chance of boosting their vote were a legal referendum called. As you say in another post, the centrality of Catalonia to Spain's economic well-being is such that the stakes are considerably higher. So it's understandable why the Spanish govt won't countenance it. Added to this the fact that the PP presides over a vulnerable, unpopular govt that is rotten to the core. Although the hugely disproportionate repressive measures and mobilisation of Spanish nationalism look to be, on the face of it, designed to increase support for independence in Catalonia, it's also hard to imagine the Spanish right responding differently. Making the 'unity of Spain' the key political issue in the territory could play well for a party that offers fuck all else, particularly if, as seems likely, the crisis forces another general election soon.

Like others, I'm disappointed by the statement of the regional CNT and its defenders on this forum. It's not a question of recommending passivity, but of hoping to see a clear and unambiguous voiced raised in defence of working-class internationalism that denounces the machinations and repressive machinery of both the Catalan and Spanish ruling class.

OliverTwister

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

robot

Instead of yet more speculation about el sexo de los angeles, just one tweet from the Barcelona CNT port workers:

« Que nadie confunda nuestra motivación: nosotros somos trabajadores. Esa es nuestra única bandera, nuestro único orgullo. »

May no-one confound our motivation – we are workers. This is our only flag, our only pride.

These are the same dockworkers who used their power as workers to prevent police from docking in the port of Barcelona, despite heavy threats and intimidations from the police,

In other words, sellouts. They should probably be reading Libcom so they can learn what to do.

Dannny

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

OliverTwister

robot

Instead of yet more speculation about el sexo de los angeles, just one tweet from the Barcelona CNT port workers:

« Que nadie confunda nuestra motivación: nosotros somos trabajadores. Esa es nuestra única bandera, nuestro único orgullo. »

May no-one confound our motivation – we are workers. This is our only flag, our only pride.

These are the same dockworkers who used their power as workers to prevent police from docking in the port of Barcelona, despite heavy threats and intimidations from the police,

In other words, sellouts. They should probably be reading Libcom so they can learn what to do.

Anyone one here criticised the dockers? Must have missed that

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://lasoli.cnt.cat/22/09/2017/comunicat-cnt-catalana-favor-dret-dautodeterminacio-poble-catala /
As anarcho-syndicalists, we don’t think that political reforms within a capitalist framework can reflect our desire for social transformation,a change that would place production and consumption means in workers’ hands. Because of this, our daily struggles do not focus on creating new states or backing parliamentary initiatives.
However, we can’t look the other way when regular people are being attacked and repressed by any state. A state that has, in this case, removed its mask and revealed itself as an authoritarian rule, the true heir of the Franco regime. This is something that could be glimpsed before through many instances, such as labour law reforms, bank bail-outs, cuts on health and education, mass evictions of out-of-work families…many of which were implemented by the Catalan government itself.
CNT Catalonia and the Balearic greet this spirit of disobedience against a dictatorial state, a discriminatory and fascist state, and want to assert our strongest denunciation of repression against workers and of those who carry it out.
The men and women in CNT will stand as one to defend their neighbours and townsfolks, as couldn´t be otherwise with an anarcho-syndicalist, and henceforth revolutionary, organisation.
------------------------------------

Damn anarcho-syndicalist who want to make the social revolution

Craftwork

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't think anyone here has a problem with class struggle against state repression, but voicing support for self-determination, which is a bourgeois political cause, strikes me as opportunism.

The blooming of class consciousness is hampered by nationalism. Why can't the CNT direct its resources to warn proletarians about the dead-end of nationalism? Why not distribute pamphlets articulating an anti-nationalist/internationalist perspective?

"CNT Catalonia and the Balearic greet this spirit of disobedience against a dictatorial state, a discriminatory and fascist state, and want to assert our strongest denunciation of repression against workers and of those who carry it out."

If the "spirit of disobedience" is a nationalist spirit, then it's not worth "greeting". It will deflect the class anger, generated by years of austerity and falling living standards, away from the class terrain, and towards the terrain of bourgeois politics, constitutional matters, nationalism, etc.

Dannny

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ragnar, the problem relates to the opening sentence, the one you have cut from your citation:
Els Sindicats de la CNT de Catalunya i Balears volem fer públic el nostre posicionament a favor de l’autodeterminació del poble català.
The unions of the CNT in Catalonia and the Balearic isles wish to make public our position in favour of the self-determination of the Catalan people.

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What are people's views on the call for a general strike? After all it's a more important issue than the wording of a statement.

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Craftwork:

The blooming of class consciousness is hampered by nationalism. Why can't the CNT direct its resources to warn proletarians about the dead-end of nationalism? Why not distribute pamphlets articulating an anti-nationalist/internationalist perspective?

Most better, they call to General Strike! against repression, fundamental civil rights, against anti-worker policies.

The CGT, CNT, IAC, CSC and COS have formed a single and common strike committee
In an interview with a media outlet the CGT justified the strike in this regard:
https://cronicaglobal.elespanol.com/politica/cgt-huelga-general-independencia_89756_102.html

They indicate that the workers live a "moment of precariousness and collapse of agreements" and that the "working class can not be silent" in this situation. In the notice of strike presented to the Department of Labor, Social Affairs and Families indicate that CGT is seen in the "obligation to carry out the present call in defense of labor interests." They say that this autumn will be the "maximum expression of social suffering by the majority of the working class and permanent violation of fundamental rights."

Yes they refer to the police macro-operative deployed in Catalonia to stop the referendum. They assert that it is "unacceptable" the actions of "police and military bodies" and that the rights of "ideological freedom, personal privacy and freedom of expression" have been violated in workplaces where security agents have come to the " control vehicles of print workers, logistics sector or public sector ".

Finally, they demand that the protest be authorized to claim the repeal of the labor reform. Workers are requested to be mobilized from midnight on Tuesday 3 October until midnight on the 9th.

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not only is no one criticising the dockworkers, but there is no reason to do so (unless we were to scold them for not calling for a social revolution which is clearly not on the cards - more's the pity). That is a million miles away from the phony militant propaganda which pretends that a social revolution would be just round the corner as soon as independence is achieved. The dockworkers made it crystal clear that they considered their decision to wihthold any servicing from the docked riot police a matter of civil rights, which are indeed being trampled on by the Spanish government. That is roughly where several local and nationwide "reformist" (maintain or remove quotation marks at will) forces of the Left (though not the Socialist Party) stand on the entire issue (not to mention a sizeable chunk of the Catalan and Spanish public), and, of course, they get a great deal of flak for it from both sides (slightly more from the pro-government forces right now, though).

It's one thing to understand the anger and indignation of people who rightfully consider that their rights are being trodden down (though they forget that the nationalists have stepped all over their own legislation in order to "organise" the referendum) as well as their desire to take to the streets against oppression, and quite another to validate the ideological garbage being spread around to make those actions seem like what they are very far from being, namely, some sort of warm-up for a coming social revolution, which unfortunately, we are still far from in this Peninsula.

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Danny I cut that precisely because it seems that the grain does not let you see the straw. do you know wanna mean?

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A report on the formation of neighbourhood defence committees:

Los “comités de defensa” por barrios para boicotear a la Policía se extienden por Cataluña

En algunos casos, como en el barrio de Gracia de Barcelona, se han formado hasta dos comités distintos: un “Comité de Defensa del Barrio”, y un “Comité de Defensa del Referéndum”, también llamado “Acción por la Autodeterminación”. Son dos plataformas distintas, creadas en el mismo barrio, que nacieron de forma independiente y que al darse cuenta de ello contactaron para coordinarse: el primero sólo rechaza las acciones del Estado para frenar el 1-O, el segundo apuesta directamente por el “sí” en el referéndum.

The passage above describes two defence committees being formed independently and without initially being aware of each other's existence in the Barcelona district of Gracia, the first only rejecting the actions of the state to stop the referendum and the second calling directly for a yes vote.

Asamblea del “Comitè de Defensa del Referèndum de Gràcia”

OliverTwister

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dannny

OliverTwister

robot

Instead of yet more speculation about el sexo de los angeles, just one tweet from the Barcelona CNT port workers:

« Que nadie confunda nuestra motivación: nosotros somos trabajadores. Esa es nuestra única bandera, nuestro único orgullo. »

May no-one confound our motivation – we are workers. This is our only flag, our only pride.

These are the same dockworkers who used their power as workers to prevent police from docking in the port of Barcelona, despite heavy threats and intimidations from the police,

In other words, sellouts. They should probably be reading Libcom so they can learn what to do.

Anyone one here criticised the dockers? Must have missed that

The criticism is directed towards the entire CNT, even though eg the decision to participate in the general strike on October 3 was made by agreement of all the CNT branches in Catalonia. Nobody is giving them orders, and nobody is checking their work to see if it matches up.

Instead of "distributing leaflets warning workers about the dangers of nationalism", they are organizing for a general strike. The gulf in imagination between internet overseers and those who are actually organizing is amazing.

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

These are the same dockworkers who used their power as workers to prevent police from docking in the port of Barcelona, despite heavy threats and intimidations from the police,

Are they? I didn't know the Coordinadora de Estibadores Portuarios de Barcelona (Barcelona Dockworkers Organisation) -and other towns, by the way- and the "Barcelona CNT port workers" were the same thing. Let me guess: the CNT sorely wishes they were, whilst the CEPB people couldn't care less about the CNT, its statements or any of its squabbles, be they internal or external...

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just to clarify about the dockworkers as there seems to be some confusion about who is who, on Spanish social media as well as on here. Different groups of workers in the port of Barcelona have different employers and are in different unions. Coordinadora represents the 'estibadores', the workers who load and unload ships. In some ports other unions have more of a presence but in Barcelona they're overwhelmingly Coordinadora. It was Coordinadora who voted to refuse to supply the cruise ships providing accommodation for police. This was a mainly symbolic gesture, though one worth making. It just means that the police have to make trips to the supermarket for supplies like anyone else. The vote to boycott the police ships was unanimous but as far as I know Coordinadora haven't taken a position on the referendum itself.

The CNT represents a majority of the linesmen ('amarradores') in the port. These are a small group of workers responsible for mooring and casting off ships. Their wages and conditions are different to the 'estibadores' and they earn a lot less. Relations between the CNT and Coordinadora in the port seem pretty good. It probably helps that they represent different groups of workers and aren't really competing directly for members. I think the CGT has a majority of the people working on boats in the port - so the protests with tugs sounding their horns would probably be from CGT members. Again relations with the CNT and Coordinadora seem friendly enough.

https://mobile.twitter.com/CoordinadoraBCN/status/910814954814627841

https://mobile.twitter.com/CoordinadoraBCN/status/909744088051851270

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT

https://mobile.twitter.com/CgtMar

http://www.cgtcatalunya.cat/spip.php?article12615#.Wcvs9dHTWhA

jura

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Is a (call for, at this point) "general strike" in itself a good thing?

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jura

Is a (call for, at this point) "general strike" in itself a good thing?

I think that's the right question to be asking. I'm not sure of the answer.

OliverTwister

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

jura

Is a (call for, at this point) "general strike" in itself a good thing?

I think that's the right question to be asking. I'm not sure of the answer.

In Spain calling for a General Strike isn't taken lighty, at least not by any of the unions we're talking about. It was a major discussion among different unions as well as within the Catalan CNT whether to call for this strike. The strike is being called by multiple unions.

We'll see what kind of following it has, which will be interesting in and of itself since it isn't being called by CCOO or UGT. I don't know about on a regional level but on a national level there has not been a single general strike called without CCOO or UGT since the death of Franco.

OliverTwister

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

Just to clarify about the dockworkers as there seems to be some confusion about who is who, on Spanish social media as well as on here. Different groups of workers in the port of Barcelona have different employers and are in different unions. Coordinadora represents the 'estibadores', the workers who load and unload ships. In some ports other unions have more of a presence but in Barcelona they're overwhelmingly Coordinadora. It was Coordinadora who voted to refuse to supply the cruise ships providing accommodation for police. This was a mainly symbolic gesture, though one worth making. It just means that the police have to make trips to the supermarket for supplies like anyone else. The vote to boycott the police ships was unanimous but as far as I know Coordinadora haven't taken a position on the referendum itself.

The CNT represents a majority of the linesmen ('amarradores') in the port. These are a small group of workers responsible for mooring and casting off ships. Their wages and conditions are different to the 'estibadores' and they earn a lot less. Relations between the CNT and Coordinadora in the port seem pretty good. It probably helps that they represent different groups of workers and aren't really competing directly for members. I think the CGT has a majority of the people working on boats in the port - so the protests with tugs sounding their horns would probably be from CGT members. Again relations with the CNT and Coordinadora seem friendly enough.

https://mobile.twitter.com/CoordinadoraBCN/status/910814954814627841

https://mobile.twitter.com/CoordinadoraBCN/status/909744088051851270/photo/1

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT

https://mobile.twitter.com/CgtMar

http://www.cgtcatalunya.cat/spip.php?article12615#.Wcvs9dHTWhA

Thanks for clarifying this, it's an interesting note - something hard to follow even for me, who is trying really hard to follow closely from the outside.

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think I've got my facts right there but I don't guarantee everything. People on Spanish twitter seem a bit confused about it as well.

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, thanks for clearing that up...even if approximate...

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark, you did a good job explaining where and what functions each union does. I didn´t think that it needed that clarification, sorry about that. And yes, CGT, Coordinadora and CNT are on the same page and have good relations.
OliverTwister

Mark.

jura

Is a (call for, at this point) "general strike" in itself a good thing?

I think that's the right question to be asking. I'm not sure of the answer.

In Spain calling for a General Strike isn't taken lighty, at least not by any of the unions we're talking about. It was a major discussion among different unions as well as within the Catalan CNT whether to call for this strike. The strike is being called by multiple unions.

We'll see what kind of following it has, which will be interesting in and of itself since it isn't being called by CCOO or UGT. I don't know about on a regional level but on a national level there has not been a single general strike called without CCOO or UGT since the death of Franco.

Yeah, this is very interesting to me. It is an opportunity that has been looking for these years since the economy crisis began and powder keg 15M, was tried almost two years ago with all the radical unions through "Las Marchas de la Dignidad" but at the last moment there was no synergy between the different unions and was left in the air. Now presents an excellent opportunity, there is synergy between the radical unions with a common strike committe. The regional CCOO and UGT bases are agitated and may join the striking movement because their unions leave their affiliates free to participate or not. The strike has the support of the parties of the left (CUP, Podems, ...) and the student movement (SEPC, FEL...). In addition the "defense committees" are also going to support the strike in the neighborhoods.
It will be a hard strike and most importantly though not come to get a complete strike in the workplace, radical unions and especially CNT and CGT are going to be moral and socially reinforced among the working class.
Also that same day there will be demonstrations and protests in the rest of Spain supporting the strike.

OliverTwister

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here's a statement that the CNT put out yesterday about the General Strike. I notice they say "population of Catalonia" which may have been mistranslated previously as "citizens of Catalonia" although I don't have time now to go back and look.

http://cnt.es/noticias/cnt-ante-la-convocatoria-de-huelga-general-en-catalunya

Tras las reuniones celebradas con el resto de sindicatos, la regional catalana de CNT ha decidido sumarse la convocatoria de huelga para este próximo 3 de octubre.

En CNT compartimos plenamente los motivos que llevan a plantear este paro: la continua pérdida de derechos para la clase obrera, unida a la situación de inquietud que están viviendo las trabajadoras y trabajadores catalanes en el desempeño de su actividades laborales por la actuación de los diferentes cuerpos y órganos represivos del Estado.

CNT condena esta intromisión del Estado y defiende el derecho de que la población de Catalunya pueda expresarse con total libertad sobre cualquier asunto que la ataña, incluida, por supuesto, la autodeterminación.

Desde CNT llamamos a la solidaridad con la clase obrera catalana que hoy vive una doble opresión, la económica y la militar. Esta situación de militarización y represión trasciende totalmente la situación política catalana y sienta un gravísimo precedente en las respuestas del Gobierno central ante las luchas sociales: alegar la salvaguarda del Estado de Derecho para pisotear nuestros derechos y libertades esenciales.

Entendemos que las desconocidas medidas de represión que está desplegando el Gobierno central no son una respuesta real, aunque zafia y propia de los herederos de la dictadura franquista, al "desafío soberanista catalán". La creación de un escenario bélico con ingentes dosis de propaganda de exaltación patriótica y miedo al otro, sólo puede dar lugar a bandos irreconciliables: "O con ellos o a por ellos", en un lado. "O con nosotros o a por nosotros" en el otro. Lo saben y es lo que buscan. Esta recapitalización social a ambos lados de la línea del frente ha sido el as guardado en la manga de los dos grandes partidos baluartes de un sistema injusto y corrupto. Partidos que hace nada veían peligrar su hegemonía acosados por la corrupción interna y las políticas desarrolladas.

CNT se levanta. No frente al ataque español o contra el pueblo catalán, sino junto a nuestros hermanos y hermanas catalanes para defender los derechos y libertades que son de todos y todas. CNT se levanta para enfrentar la violencia del verdadero enemigo, un régimen que nos está matando vivamos donde vivamos.

Compañeras y compañeros, la CNT de Catalunya i Balears nos llama a extender la movilización en todo el Estado. Es nuestro deber hacerlo posible.

#SinMiedo #HuelgaGeneral #ALasCalles #SensePor #VagaGeneral #AlsCarrers

Secretariado Permanente de la CNT

lettersjournal

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

What do the Carlists think of it all?

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Letter from Miguel Amorós to Tomás Ibáñezand the latter's reply on the present situation in Catalonia:

Carta a Tomás Ibañez
Por Miquel Amorós

La cuestión que cabría preguntarse no es por qué un sector local de la clase dominante decide resolver sus diferencias con el Estado por la vía de la movilización callejera, sino por qué una porción considerable de gente con intereses contrapuestos, principalmente jóvenes, actúa como decorado escenográfico y fuerza de choque de la casta que ha patrimonializado Cataluña, clasista, católica, corrupta y autoritaria como la que más.

Por Miquel Amorós

Alacant, 27-09-2017.

Compañero Tomás

Tus “perplejidades intempestivas” son el mayor exponente leído por mí del sentido común y del seny revolucionario que debieran reinar no sólo entre los libertarios, sino entre todos aquellos que quieren abolir esta sociedad en lugar de administrarla. No obstante, no me extraña que un mogollón de gente que se dice anarquista se haya apuntado a la movida nacionalista y proclame con bríos el derecho a decidir el material del que estarán hechas sus cadenas: ¡hay de Ricardo Mella y “la ley del número”!. Tampoco escasearon los que en su día se subieron al carro de Podemos o al del plataformismo y cambiaron los harapos de la lucha de clases por la ropa nueva de la ciudadanía. Es propio del anarquísmo filisteo ante la menor encrucijada histórica el optar por hacerle el juego al Poder establecido. La guerra civil española es el ejemplo más palmario de ello. Confusión, atracción irresistible del jaleo, desclasamiento, táctica del mal menor, el enemigo de mi enemigo, lo que sea. El resultado final es ese: una masa de paletos esclavos de cualquier causa ajena y un montón de egos enfermizos estilo Colau o Iglesias que pagarían por venderse. En fin, negras tormentas agitan los aires y nubes oscuras nos impiden ver. Intentemos disiparlas.

La cuestión que cabría preguntarse no es por qué un sector local de la clase dominante decide resolver sus diferencias con el Estado por la vía de la movilización callejera, sino por qué una porción considerable de gente con intereses contrapuestos, principalmente jóvenes, actúa como decorado escenográfico y fuerza de choque de la casta que ha patrimonializado Cataluña, clasista, católica, corrupta y autoritaria como la que más. El juego del patriotismo catalán no es difícil de desentrañar y quienes lo promueven y aprovechan nunca han pretendido ocultarlo. El “Procès” ha sido una arriesgada operación de clase. La consolidación de una casta local asociada al desarrollo económico exigía un salto cualitativo en materia autonómica que la estrategia del “peix al cove” (“pájaro que vuela…”) no podía lograr. La negativa de la plutocracia central a “dialogar”, o sea, a transferir competencias, principalmente financieras, bloqueaba el ascenso de dicha casta y mermaba peligrosamente su influencia y capacidad política de cara a unos empresarios, industriales y banqueros dispuestos a dejarse liderar por soberanistas con tal de triplicar sus beneficios. La decisión por la cúspide de ir al “choque de trenes” significó una ruptura radical de la política pactista del catalanismo político. No iba en serio, es decir, nunca tuvo como finalidad la declaración unilateral de independencia, puesto que sólo pretendía forzar una negociación desde posiciones más ventajosas. Sin embargo, como tenía que aparentar que sí, necesitó de un aparato de agitación bien engrasado con el fin de inocular una mística patriotera que pusiera a hervir de forma controlada el caldo identitario. Y la movilización se hizo realidad. Fue todo un espectáculo. La demagogia independentista, armada con el marketing de la identidad, supo prolongarse en un ciudadanismo democrático con el que pudo sacar a la calle a masas demasiado domesticadas para hacerlo por propia voluntad. Con gran habilidad tocó la fibra oscura de las emociones reprimidas y los sentimientos gregarios que anidan en los siervos del consumo, es decir, supo remover en provecho suyo el poso de la alienación. El objetivo, según mi punto de vista, ha sido alcanzado, y la casta dirigente estatal está mucho más dispuesta a modificar la constitución del posfranquismo para mejor encaje de la casta catalanista, aunque para ello ésta tendrá que sacrificar algunas figuras por el camino, quizás al mismo Puigdemont. Poderosos representantes del gran capital (por ejemplo, Felipe González) así parecen indicarlo.

El nacionalismo está manejado por timadores, pero en sí mismo no es un timo. Es el reflejo sentimental de una situación frustrante para una mayoría de subjetividades pulverizadas. No actúa de forma racional, puesto que no es fruto de la razón; es más una psicosis que un pálpito de liberación. La explicación de la eclosión emocional patriótica en la sociedad catalana habrá que irla a buscar en la psicología de masas y para ello nos serán más útiles Reich, Canetti o incluso Nietzsche, que teóricos como Marx, Reclus o Pannekoek. La convicción y el entusiasmo de la multitud no provienen de fríos razonamientos lógicos o de rigurosos análisis socio-históricos; más bien tiene que ver con las descargas emocionales sin riesgo, la sensación de poder que producen los amontonamientos, el fetichismo de la bandera u otros símbolos, la catalanidad virtual de las redes sociales, etc., características de una masa desarraigada, atomizada y desclasada, y, por lo tanto, sin valores, objetivos e ideales propios, predispuesta a comulgar con las ruedas de molino que se repartan. La vida cotidiana colonizada por el poder de la mercancía y del Estado es una vida repleta de conflictos latentes e interiorizados, dotados de un exceso de energía que los hace emerger en forma de neurosis individuales o colectivas. El nacionalismo, de cualquier signo, ofrece un excelente mecanismo de canalización de esos impulsos que, si se hicieran conscientes, constituirían un temible factor de revuelta.

El nacionalismo divide la sociedad en dos bandos paranoicos enfrentados artificialmente por sus obsesiones. Los intereses materiales, morales, culturales, etc., no cuentan. Nada que ver con la justicia, la libertad, la igualdad y la emancipación universales. El pueblo catalán es algo tan abstracto como el pueblo español, un ente que sirve de coartada para una soberanía de casta con su policía notablemente represora. Un pueblo únicamente se define contra todo poder que no emane de él o que se separe de él. Por consiguiente, un pueblo con Estado no es un pueblo. Convendrás conmigo en que la historia la hace la gente común mediante asambleas y organismos nacidos de ellas, pero tal como están las cosas, la historia es de quien la manipula mejor. Lo que dicha gente hace es proporcionar el marco popular de una mala función de teatro donde se ventila un prosaico reparto de poder. Cualquiera puede hacer sus cálculos y navegar en consideración dentro o fuera de las aguas nacionalistas, de una turbulencia más bien calma, pero nunca deberá perder de vista el meollo de la cuestión.

Fraternalmente,

Miquel Amorós

Perplejidades intempestivas (Por Tomás Ibáñez)

Cuando acontecen en Catalunya cambios tan drásticos como los que se han producido desde las multitudinarias manifestaciones del 15 de mayo de 2011 resulta difícil no experimentar cierta perplejidad.

¿Que ha podido ocurrir para que algunos de los sectores más combativos de la sociedad catalana hayan pasado de “rodear el Parlament” en el verano del 2011 a querer defender las Instituciones de Catalunya en septiembre del 2017?

¿Que ha podido ocurrir para que esos sectores hayan pasado de plantar cara a los mossos d’escuadra en la plaza Catalunya, y de recriminarles salvajadas, como las que padecieron Esther Quintana o Andrés Benítez, a aplaudir ahora su presencia en las calles y a temer que no tengan plena autonomía policial?

¿Que ha podido ocurrir para que parte de esos sectores hayan pasado de denunciar el Govern por sus políticas antisociales a votar hace poco sus presupuestos? ¿Pero, también, que ha podido ocurrir para que ciertos sectores del anarcosindicalismo hayan pasado de afirmar que las libertades nunca se han conseguido votando a defender ahora que se dé esa posibilidad a la ciudadanía?

La lista de preguntas se podría ampliar enormemente y se podrían aportar múltiples respuestas a las pocas que aquí se han formulado. En efecto, se pueden aducir factores tales como el agotamiento del ciclo del 78, la crisis económica con sus correspondientes recortes y precarizaciones, la instalación de la derecha en el gobierno español con sus políticas autoritarias y sus recortes de libertades, la escandalosa corrupción del partido mayoritario etc. etc.

Sin embargo me parece que sería ingenuo excluir de esas respuestas la que pasa por tomar en cuenta, también, el extraordinario auge del sentimiento nacionalista. Un auge que, sin duda alguna, han contribuido a potenciar los factores a los que acabo de aludir pero que también ha recibido muy importantes dosis de combustible desde las propias estructuras del gobierno catalán y desde su control de las televisiones públicas catalanas. Varios años de persistente excitación de la fibra nacionalista no podían no tener importantes efectos sobre las subjetividades, tanto más cuanto que las estrategias para ampliar la base del independentismo nacionalista catalán han sido, y siguen siendo, de una extraordinaria inteligencia. La potencia de un relato construido a partir del derecho a decidir, en base a la imagen de las urnas y a la exigencia de la libertad de votar, era extraordinaria y conseguía disimular perfectamente el hecho de que era todo un aparato de gobierno el que se volcaba en promover ese relato.

Hoy, la estelada (roja o azul) es sin la menor duda el símbolo cargado de emotividad bajo el cual se movilizan las masas, y es precisamente ese aspecto el que no deberían menospreciar los que sin ser nacionalistas ven en las movilizaciones pro referéndum una oportunidad que los libertarios no deberían desaprovechar para intentar abrir espacios con potencialidades, sino revolucionarias, por lo menos portadoras de una fuerte agitación social, y se lanzan por lo tanto en la batalla que enfrenta los gobiernos de España y de Catalunya.

No deberían menospreciarlo porque cuando un movimiento de lucha incluye un importante componente nacionalista, y este es, sin duda alguna, el caso en el presente conflicto, las posibilidades de un cambio de carácter emancipatorio son estrictamente nulas.

Me gustaría compartir el optimismo de los compañeros que quieren intentar abrir grietas en la situación actual para posibilitar salidas emancipatorias, sin embargo no puedo cerrar los ojos ante la evidencia de que las insurrecciones populares y los movimientos por los derechos sociales nunca son transversales, siempre encuentran a las clases dominantes formando piña en un lado de las barricadas. Mientras que en los procesos de autodeterminación, y el actual movimiento es claramente de ese tipo, siempre interviene un fuerte componente interclasista.

Esos procesos siempre hermanan a los explotados y a los explotadores en pos de un objetivo que nunca es el de superar las desigualdades sociales. El resultado, corroborado por la historia, es que los procesos de autodeterminación de las naciones siempre acaban reproduciendo la sociedad de clases, volviendo a subyugar las clases populares después de que estás hayan sido la principal carne de cañón en esas contiendas.

Eso no significa que no haya que luchar contra los nacionalismos dominantes y procurar destruirlos, pero hay que hacerlo denunciando constantemente los nacionalismos ascendentes, en lugar de confluir con ellos bajo el pretexto de que esa lucha conjunta puede proporcionarnos posibilidades de desbordar sus planteamientos y de arrinconar a quienes solo persiguen la creación de un nuevo Estado nacional que puedan controlar. Que nadie lo dude, esos compañeros de viaje serán los primeros en reprimirnos en cuanto no nos necesiten, y ya deberíamos estar escarmentados de sacarles las castañas del fuego.

Tomás Ibañez

Barcelona, 26 de septiembre de 2017

MT

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Google Translate seems to indicate that both texts are against the idea of anarchists jumping on the nationalist bandwagon in Catalonia. Are they somehow significant? Who are the authors? They don't seem to provide new insight on the topic. I am just curious why the post appears here in Spanish.

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Who are the authors?

Wiki on Miguel Amorós (in Spanish):

https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_Amorós

Wiki on Tomás Ibáñez (in Spanish):

https://es.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomás_Ibáñez

Interview with Miguel Amorós:

https://libcom.org/library/interview-ruta-66-miguel-amorós

In this interview (in Spanish) Tomás Ibáñez claims responsibility for the first use of the 'A' in a circle as an anarchist symbol (1964 in Paris):

http://www.eldiario.es/interferencias/anarquismo-Tomas_Ibanez_6_258334176.html

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

They are writers, philosophers and academics. No union or social activists. And therein lies his problem to analyze the reality of the moment.
And this without detracting any of his books that may have interest. In the same way it can be a Chomsky for USA.

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Several texts of Amorós are available in English on Libcom.

cantdocartwheels

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I am rather speaking that cultural hegemony was won by capitalism. And today terms like proletariado or bourgeoisie for example for many working class they sound old and history. Or that if you want to reach broad layers of the working class that contemptuously is called choni or cani in spain (your Chavs) or are not almost politicized does not come with the same slang/argot that we use here, we are presupposed a theoretical knowledge in politics and ideology.

er its a bit ironic for somebody lending ''support'' even in the loosest sense to catalan nationalism to be getting on some prolier than thou high horse about people using a language others don;t understand or moaning about others getting all smug over linguistics isn't it?

The CNT and the CGT are not irrelevant, places like Olot, Granollers and other provinces or more rural areas the CNT and CGT have a significant influence on local activism. In Barcelona also it is remarkable the port docks of CNT; the maritime CGT in Tarragona and Barcelona, as well as in general has strength in public sector: admins, transport and education.

Now again correct me if i'm wrong here but in practice wouldn;t a good chunk of the jobs you've just described there be ones where a minimum entry requirement these days might be a certificate in catalan or proficency as a native speaker especially for example all public sector jobs and education jobs.

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It looks like the police operation is underway.

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT

ATENCIÓN! Empiezan a salir del Puerto, cada vez en grupos más grandes. Se ha oído por el muelle que la hora clave son las 00.00

Denunciamos la militarización del @portdebarcelona en estos momentos.Acceso y movilidad restringido incluso xra los Trabajadores Portuarios

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Live updates (in Spanish):

http://www.eldiario.es/catalunya/politica/MINUTO-Diada_13_685361458.html

and in English...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2017/oct/01/catalan-independence-referendum-spain-catalonia-vote-live

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And now, for a slightly different point of view (admittedly, the timing is lousy, because the cops are taking over certain voting centers and the situation is very tense, sorry about that... circumstances beyond our control and the like):

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/30/red-belt-catalonia-labour-movement-referendum

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The cops are charging against people in the centre of Barcelona... in order to make a corridor for themselves to get out of there, it seems...

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The police in action:

https://mobile.twitter.com/orioldebalanzo/status/914403962073251840/video/1

https://mobile.twitter.com/Berlustinho/status/914413614680985600/photo/1

https://mobile.twitter.com/ClaraVera14/status/914400109152096256/video/1

https://mobile.twitter.com/Clapi14/status/914415388724727808/video/1

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/914414892903534592

Gnat60

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

An interesting report which highlights some voices of sanity against nationalism which is the poison of the working class.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/30/red-belt-catalonia-labour-movement-referendum

wojtek

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Where exactly in the centre is the fisty cuffs?

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More police action:

https://www.facebook.com/324cat/videos/1689064584450979/

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

L'Exaimple, Diputació street... was...

Salvoechea

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You can follow this event on alternative media: https://twitter.com/AgenciaUO

At 2 pm there're about 43 people injured, 1 attended after a rubber bullet in the eye. Civil desobedience, all around. Spanish left calling for solidarity demos this evening all around Spain. Partido Popular denying anything is actually happening in Catalonia. Independence movement stronger than ever, and many voices asking for an immediate proclamation of the Republic. Many voices as well for the general Strike.

Anarchists are preparing the strike:

ah, and many anarchists are actually voting, probably most of us are. Some are even in popular committees to self-defense the polls (fucking weird, I reckon), but waiting to become them in strike committes.
To put this on a context, our movement was for voting NO in 1978 against spanish Constitution, in 1986 against NATO and 2005 against EU constitution.

Salvoechea

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

officially now, 335 injured

OliverTwister

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is the most recent update from the CNT:

Open letter from CNT’s International Secretary
Our position on Catalonia
Dear comrades,
First of all, thanks for the support that so many of you have provided with translations, putting statements up on social media, planning actions, etc. CNT, as a whole, and the comrades in Catalonia, particularly, are really grateful for your support.
As you know the days are momentous in Catalonia and, to a lesser extent, in the rest of Spain. As I write these lines, riot police and the infamous military police, Guardia Civil, are attacking masses of people in the streets of many towns across Catalonia. CNT, together with other unions, is calling for a general strike on the 3rd of October against this repressive wave.
You probably know that the unity of Spain has always been a rallying flag for the far right here. Therefore, any calls for self-determination from any part of it, as is the case now in Catalonia, spark a vicious response. We are already seeing an increase in the presence of fascist groups in many towns across Spain and the conservative government is taking an increasingly authoritarian stance, trampling on many fundamental freedoms. These are ominous signs of what might lie ahead for us. Repression is only likely to worsen on many fronts, may be even involving the military.
On some international forums, CNT is being criticised for, allegedly, playing into the hands of the nationalists with our call for a general strike. That’s understandable. As we've said somewhere else, it's a fine line we're trying to walk here and it's only normal that its nuances are lost in the distance (or in translation). It is also difficult for us, and there are lots of internal discussions/debates going on about our strategy, as you would expect in an open and plural organisation like CNT.
Make no mistake, while we firmly oppose repression from an increasingly authoritarian state and their fascist allies, we are in no way supportive of the nationalist agenda. All along this week there have been countless demonstrations in Catalonia to defend today's referendum, independence, self-determination…you name it. CNT has not called for or supported any of these. In fact, where comrades have a local presence, they've been busy making themselves uncomfortable for the nationalists, bringing economic and social issues to the fore, reminding people that the Catalan government was very keen to introduce social cuts only a few years ago, etc. This, in fact, is stated in our call for the general strike, in a very similar wording.
So much so, that the call for a strike is not directed only to Catalonia, the only place where, for obvious reasons, the strike will actually take place. No, the text makes it abundantly clear that it is addressed to the whole of the Spanish state. It is understood that, in this situation, to achieve our goals as a class, we have to spread resistance everywhere. This should not be a fight between nations, but between classes. Between an oppressive regime and its fascist allies (as much a part of the “people” as anyone else) and those of us who stand for freedom and rebellious dignity.
We expect repression to increase during the following weeks and days and we will use our weapon of choice, the general strike, to make it difficult for police to move around, get supplies and do their work in general. We'll see how things move forward from today on, but an already difficult situation can actually get nasty, in terms of repression. As revolutionaries, we don't believe we can just remain idle, while the police attack the people in the streets and fascist gangs roam our towns freely.
Again, thank you for your support. We'll keep you updated.
Miguel Pérez, International secretary, CNT.

darren p

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

OliverTwister

This is the most recent update from the CNT:

Would really appreciate if you could post link to original source. Thanks :)

Alf

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

articles by ICC comrades in Spain. I will try to catch up with this thread - events are certainly accelerating.

http://es.internationalism.org/accion-proletaria/201708/4224/referendum-catalan-la-alternativa-es-nacion-o-lucha-de-clase-del-prole

http://es.internationalism.org/accion-proletaria/201709/4234/el-embrollo-catalan-muestra-la-agravacion-de-la-descomposicion-capital

Craftwork

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

articles by ICC comrades in Spain. I will try to catch up with this thread - events are certainly accelerating.

http://es.internationalism.org/accion-proletaria/201708/4224/referendum-catalan-la-alternativa-es-nacion-o-lucha-de-clase-del-prole

http://es.internationalism.org/accion-proletaria/201709/4234/el-embrollo-catalan-muestra-la-agravacion-de-la-descomposicion-capital

Any forthcoming English translations of these?

Alf

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'll keep you posted

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report in Catalan saying that the CCOO and UGT are now going to take part in the general strike on 3 October.

https://agenciauo.org/ccoo-ugt-omnium-lanc-se-sumen-convocatoria-vaga-general-3-doctubre/

bizantino

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interesting scenario that opens for the libertarian movement in Catalonia, have been supporting against the repression since the minute 0, have been in the mobilizations too, winning many supports and have presented their agenda.

Now to that agenda is added CCOO AND UGT in case the hands of the call and ANC to try to take the merits.

We see also that the groups with more weight and more organized of the Catalan libertarian movement have been coordinated for the first time all together with a joint declaration of intentions.

TRIEM LLUITAR, EL 3 D’OCTUBRE TOTES I TOTS A LA VAGA GENERAL

Enviat per Sec. Premsa el Sab, 30/09/2017

Els sindicats, organitzacions i col·lectius aquí firmants volem comunicar a les treballadores i al conjunt de les classes populars el nostre posicionament davant els diferents esdeveniments que s’estan produint els darrers dies als carrers de les nostres ciutats i pobles.

Des de fa uns anys hem vist com s’aprofita l’escalada de tensions d’un conflicte, ja històric, per anar tallant els drets fonamentals de la població. Venim d’una tradició sindical i política que històricament ha defensat els drets i les llibertats de la classe oprimida i que ha pres els carrers quan ha calgut lluitar per arrabassar al poder tot allò que ens permeti ser protagonistes del nostre present i futur.

Com a llibertàries i part activa dels moviments sindical, popular i associatiu de Catalunya defensarem sempre el dret d’autodeterminació dels pobles – començant pel nostre. Ho entenem com un principi bàsic del confederalisme, per possibilitar la convivència humana en règim d’igualtat. Tenim clar que tota emancipació plena serà impossible sense el pas previ d’eliminació de l’estructura econòmica que la sustenta, el capitalisme. Mentre això no succeeixi, les condicions de vida de la classe treballadora seguiran sent esclafades per una oligarquia espanyola i catalana que van sempre del bracet per imposar contrareformes laborals i retallades de drets socials.

Tanmateix, volem denunciar la militarització i la repressió que estem patint per part de l’estat espanyol, que tot mostrant la seva cara més crua i autoritària, vol imposar la seva voluntat fins a les darreres conseqüències. Sempre hem estat en contra de qui ha militaritzat Catalunya – i qualsevol territori – per fer front a les grans protestes populars o tot anhel d’emancipació social.

Ens oposem a la repressió de l’estat perquè l’hem patida de forma sistemàtica i continuada en els nostres propis cossos, al carrer i a les empreses. Per això també volem denunciar la naturalesa repressiva de la mateixa Generalitat de Catalunya, la qual en els darrers anys, ha perseguit, colpejat, detingut i empresonat a totes aquelles que no han volgut mirar cap a una altra banda cada cop que els drets civils i humans del poble eren trepitjats. No oblidem la forma en què els mossos d’esquadra ens desallotjaven de Plaça Catalunya, empresonaven i denunciaven a sindicalistes, ens perseguien per participar a la mobilització que envoltava el parlament els dies en què es retallaven els nostres drets socials, o en què a través de macro operatius policials, ens detenien i empresonaven en les recents Operacions Pandora, o morts i mutilacions entre d’altres. Així doncs, no permetrem que ningú ens prengui el que és nostre, porti la bandera que porti.

Per a nosaltres, l’autodeterminació i emancipació dels nostres pobles, viles i ciutats no pot quedar-se solament en la decisió d’un marc territorial concret. La llibertat col·lectiva no serà possible sense l’acció decidida del poble i les treballadores enfront d’un Estat i d’unes elits polítiques que mantenen unes estructures antisocials, heteropatriarcals i opressives, que també estan defensades per alguns actors en l’anomenat sobiranisme català. L’autodeterminació i l’emancipació només seran possibles a través de l’acció insubmisa de les oprimides, que entenguin en aquest fet la defensa i millora de les seves condicions materials de vida. La socialització dels mitjans de producció, de la riquesa i l’eliminació de totes les formes d’opressió, com l’heteropatriarcat i les seves diferents estructures de poder tant explícites com implícites, la més àmplia llibertat de decisió i participació a través de -treure:[la democràcia] l’acció directa i l’autogestió serà el que ens farà realment lliures.

Així doncs, pensem que és el poble constituït com a subjecte polític i de classe, qui ha de servir de fonament per a qualsevol canvi social important i, per tant, celebrem l’extensió d’organitzacions populars de base per practicar desobediència i fer front al context autoritari existent. Volem que aquesta actitud de desobediència i enfrontament a l’autoritat vagi més enllà de la tessitura actual i s’adreci a totes les injustícies a les que estem sotmeses.

Per tot això, fem una crida a les treballadores de Catalunya a participar de les mobilitzacions en defensa dels nostres drets i llibertats, i de forma molt especial a participar de forma massiva de la vaga general convocada pel dia 3 d’octubre. Perquè l’esperit combatiu que recorre històricament aquest indret de la Terra no es doblegarà tan fàcilment, perquè som classe treballadora i volem decidir-ho tot, ara toca sortir al carrer, ara toca lluitar!

Firmen:

CGT Catalunya

Negres Tempestes

Embat, organització llibertària de Catalunya

Heura Negra, assemblea llibertària de Vallcarca

CNT Catalunya i Balears

Oca Negra, assemblea llibertària del Clot-Camp de l’Arpa

Solidaritat Obrera

A great lesson for all the libertarian movement that looked suspiciously at the footsteps of our Catalan partners and a great lesson, which teaches us that out of the struggles, scorning them and criticizing them without acting, anarchism has nothing to do.

I encourage the compas catatanes!

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

From the Guardian:

More than 40 unions and associations in Catalonia have called a region-wide strike for Tuesday, after a major police crackdown on a banned independence referendum.

In a statement on Sunday, UGT and CCOO, Spain’s biggest unions, the Catalan national assembly (ANC), a powerful pro-independence civil association, and 41 other organisations called for a large-scale strike in protest against “the grave violation of rights and freedoms” today.

The statement continued:

"We call all society, on employers’ organisations, business owners, unions, workers, self-employed workers, institutions and all the citizens of Catalonia to stop the ‘country’ on Tuesday, October 3."

A longer report in Spanish:

http://www.eldiario.es/catalunya/trabajo/Taula-Democracia-convoca-Catalunya-miercoles_0_692581481.html

According to this report they're avoiding calling it a general strike:

Existe entre los impulsores un gran interés en diferenciar el paro cívico de una huelga general, porque el mismo día 3 de octubre también está convocada una huelga general en Catalunya por parte de cuatro sindicatos, CGT; Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya (AIC), con fuerte implantación en el sector público y los sindicatos independentistas: COS e Intersindical-CSC.

wojtek

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The seperatists will lose. Paul Mason just showed up.

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Unanimous decision by Coordinadora in Barcelona to take part in the general strike tomorrow.

https://mobile.twitter.com/CoordinadoraBCN/status/914812257850273792

Gnat60

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If workers are unable to break free from bourgeois influence and strike out on an independent path based on a communist perspective then they will be tools for the Catalan bourgeoisie and then discarded after the bourgeois has won independence. The unions offer no way forward either what is needed is workers councils organisationally united.

OliverTwister

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The "Paro Civico" is also supported by the chamber of commerce.

This seems to be the first time that the radical unions have organized a general strike which the business unions are then tailing them on. Usually the business unions call a one-day strike and the radical unions try to intervene. All of the propaganda around the city, all of the meetings, all of the social media images etc. related to this strike have come from the radical unions. So it's going to be interesting to see how that plays out.

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How does that play out? Uh, I think the fact that they've renamed the general strike a "civic stoppage" -supported by the chamber of commerce- might indicate who's been calling the shots all along and intends to go on doing so for the foreseeable future…

I just saw the Mossos de Esquadra (Catalan police) protecting the precinct of the Policía Nacional (State Police) in Via Laietana from demonstrators chanting "Out with the occupation forces!"…

So, my guess is that, in the main, inter-cop solidarity shall prevail, now that the Spanish state has done the Catalan bourgeoisie's dirty (and nation-building) work for it. Rajoy and Puigdemont need each other now more than ever, as each is the other's main justification.

jura

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, there was a one-day "general strike" in Czechoslovakia against the Stalinist regime in 1989. The people were told to strike by working "better than usual", i.e., the bakers would bake "better bread" etc. I don't mean to sound disparaging but with such a fetishized and mythicized thing as general strikes, what matters is always the content and implications for workers power, not the slogans or sentiments of "everyone united". I think that, paradoxically, a demobilizing general strike that is actually detrimental to workers is something that is very real.

OliverTwister

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

How does that play out? Uh, I think the fact that they've renamed the general strike a "civic stoppage" -supported by the chamber of commerce- might indicate who's been calling the shots all along and intends to go on doing so for the foreseeable future…

So your solution is to never fight for hegemony?

Can you point to an example where that's been successful?

baboon

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

For the working class, particularly after the positive social movements in Spain a few years ago, this "struggle" is taking place on poisoned ground; that of the citizen and a national unity movement. It's a fight between bourgeois factions for their place in the state. I agree with some of the posts above and particularly with Jura's point that the strike is demobilising and detrimental to the working class. Here;s a contribution from one Comunero on the ICC's discussion site:

"Hello, I'm writing from Spain and the social climate is right now totally poisoned by nationalism from either side, it's the main topic of conversation.
The occupations by the citizens (not only workers, but petit-bourgeoisie as well) of the places designated to vote don't have anything else than nationalism and democratism.
Workers have been again trapped, fooled and used as cannon fodder against the police of the Spanish State, which has charged in a brutal way.
I think, from my POV, that is important to understand that the Catalan bourgeoisie doesn't want independence. As a comrade I know pointed out, the Catalan bourgeoisie is pulling the rope for more competences, power and privileges to the Generalitat (and, thus, to them), and using the masses for that purpose. It's a dangerous game because they could end getting the opposite, but it's highly unlikely. The point I'm trying to make is that the bourgeoisie from Madrid and Barcelona aren't enemies but rivals. They are only enemies of the working class.
Now, the situation is tense but I think it's quite controlled and more of a show. All leftist unions (including the "radical" CNT) have called for a "general" strike in Catalonia tomorrow (each one with a slightly different pretext), a strike in which the autonomical police (Mossos d' Esquadra) are going to participate as well. Rajoy is menacing about using article 155 of the Constitution which would enable the central government to get direct control of Catalonia but, again, I think is very unlikely.
So, as a summary, this is bourgeois arm-wrestling in which the biceps is, sadly, the working class. Provocations and street performances are going to continue for a while and, after the central government and the Generalitat reach an agreement, are going to stop, leaving tens of thousands of poisoned and/or demoralized workers in Spain and maybe even some outside.
I'm personally hoping this ends as soon as possible, it's sickening, disgusting and sad. Where I live is full of Spanish flags, something that is unusual in Spain and used to be limited to the Corpus Christi day, and there are leftists everywhere handling what can be called printed shit".

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Plans for the general strike in the small city of Olot - they're proposing to close all roads into the district to keep the national police out.

http://www.naciodigital.cat/garrotxa/noticia/17484/garrotxa/aturara/totes/vies/entrada/sortida/vaga/general

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The position of the CCOO and UGT on the general strike:

https://mobile.twitter.com/cnt1910/status/914914889390534657

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Police told to leave hotels in Calella (north of Barcelona):

https://mobile.twitter.com/i/moments/914903877488664577

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Demo in Madrid tomorrow evening:

http://fcs-villaverde.cnt.es/solidaridad-con-la-huelga-en-cataluna-madrid-contra-la-represion-al-pueblo-catalan/

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I leave "hegemony" to Gramscian neo-Stalinists and their "libertarian" little helpers...

ComradeKitten

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This is a few days old and events are obviously moving quickly, but I translated an article from Solidaridad Obrera if anyone is interested. It's basically about the mood going into the referendum and the possibilities it opens up. At least in the opinion of Una Posició.

Let's change everything...from the roots.

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Do you guys still prefer texts from the ICC? very anarchists they ...

Hegemony is easy to understand. If you study the bases of the workers' movement that took place in Spain and the force that CNT had in the 30's are due to:
- Workers' culture had associated values and ethics as opposed to bourgeois. Today, on the contrary, the working culture has enough values and ethics of the culture of the consumption or of believing middle class.
To summarize, that the hegemonic culture was the syndicalist and the socialist / anarchist or today it is the capitalist.

robot

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A few twitter hashtags you might bei interested to have a look at:

https://twitter.com/cntolot
https://twitter.com/hashtag/vagageneral?src=rela
https://twitter.com/hashtag/vaga3O?src=hash

And the list of traffic stops. Mostly due to barricades, drive slow or other action related to the strike:

http://cit.transit.gencat.cat/cit/AppJava/views/incidents.xhtml

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Report in Spanish on the general strike so far:

https://elsaltodiario.com/cataluna/huelga-general-3o-catalunya-sectores

cantdocartwheels

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That seems like a particularly worrying development, as it would mean risking workplace unity over disagreements on nationalism (in terms of whether workers decide to take part in the strike or not). Did CNT members vote on whether or not to strike? If so what was the result, and what was the specific question asked?
g

Probably a bit more concerning than that since in Catalonia in order to get any public sector and also most public facing jobs you need an advanced certificate in Catalan. Thus sadly nationalist sectarianism is already embedded in workplaces. Afterall if you are a Spanish migrant from say Murcia or another similarly less wealthy part of Spain you will not be able to apply for any of said jobs unless.you spend a year or two studying on an officially recognised Catalan course, assuming you have the funds or academic ability to do so.
Of course, a lot of the jobs we're talking about here are the ones more likely to be unionised. Anyways, sadly I would say nationalism has already divided ''workplace unity'' somewhat.

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.elperiodico.com/es/politica/20171003/concentracion-sede-partido-popular-barcelona-paro-pais-6328217?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=cm

Some 2,000 people have concentrated this morning in front of the PP headquarters in Catalunya, whom they see as the "culprits" of the police action of 1-O.

The mobilization has been called by the CNT in the framework of the 'Stop the country' on Tuesday under the motto 'Guilty of labor reform, the militarization of the city and the misery of women workers.

Protesters have combined pro-independence demands in Catalonia and shouted 'We voted', along with proclamations of general strike and workers' rights.

The spokesmen of the CNT have read a statement in which they have defended the strike as a rejection of "labor reforms and the continued loss of rights for the working class added to the concern about the actions of the different repressive bodies of the State."

They have also defended the right to self-determination in Catalonia and have branded the PP of fascists for their labor policies and for "police violence" on Sunday.
No incidents

The mobilization has developed without incident for the moment, although anti-riots of the Mossos d'Esquadra make a cordon between the headquarters of the PP and the demonstrators from before the 10.00 hours, when the concentration had been summoned.

There are also dozens of firefighters, who have been hailed for their performances in recent days, and demonstrators have launched hundreds of ballots from the 1-O referendum.

Video long: https://www.facebook.com/LaVanguardia/videos/1663407250389524/

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The CGT criticising the position of the UGT and CCOO:

http://www.eldiario.es/sociedad/CGT-UGT-CCOO-inventarse-apoyar_0_693280723.html

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

More reports of police being told to leave hotels:

http://www.eldiario.es/catalunyaplural/Ayuntamiento-Pineda-Barcelona-policias-marcharan_0_693280669.html

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some translations from Crimethinc:

https://crimethinc.com/2017/10/03/anarchists-on-the-catalan-referendum-three-perspectives-from-the-streets

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The Crimenthinc is fine, but there are too many mistakes of knowledge, label/name.

robot

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

FAU Düsseldorf, FAU Duisburg, GasNRW and MareaGranateNRW with more than 70 people picketing the Spanish consulate building at Düsseldorf.

https://twitter.com/FAUGewerkschaft

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, right.Let me put it another way: if Catalan workers hadas risen up against their own rulers and bourgeoisie, do you think people would be out on the street in the rest of Spain waving Spanish flags or would they be applauding and following their example?

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

and what do you believe? I imagine that you have not seen the demonstrations and supports of Seville, Madrid, Bilbao, Santiago, etc ... so early and with all the confusion reigning. We will see supportive protests this afternoon.
The question is then, what is needed to carry forward a general strike movement in the rest of Spain today 2017?
-Unity of action of the radical unions
-With the support of social organizations
-With the support of left-wing parties
-Focalizing the anger in the crisis in the government of the PP and the CEOE

Do we have that in the rest of Spain? maybe somehow in the Basque country.
As always happens in Spanish working history, cities such as Madrid and Barcelona visually feed the fight, passed in 15M and will now pass with 1Oct and the general strike of 3Oct. Give it time.

Spain has an unresolved problem since the Transition, it is sociological Francoism, fascism or Falangism. You can see it in the PP clearly, also in the Andalusian PSOE, you can see it in many members of the civil guard, the police and the army. There is a lot of defense of the 78's regime in those who show their flag on balconies these days.

Mike Harman

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Write up on today so far (with some background on the weekend and earlier) here: https://libcom.org/news/general-strike-against-state-repression-catalonia-03102017

OliverTwister

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

nization

I leave "hegemony" to Gramscian neo-Stalinists and their "libertarian" little helpers...

That's why you're irrelevant.

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

the center of Barcelona now and there are still hours for the departure of the unitary demostration of the radical unions.

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That's why you're irrelevant

Indeed. And that's what constitutes your imaginary "relevance" (besides non-stop wishful bullshitting, of course). The CNT was already irrelevant long before I was born... and still is. Hopelessly.

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I guess where you're an activist will be more relevant. isn´t it?

Granollers, only union convener in the small town:
http://el9nou.cat/valles-oriental/actualitat/unes-5-000-persones-a-la-porxada-contra-la-repressio-policial/

they are irrelevant I imagine.

Ed

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just asking, what's the reaction like in the rest of Spain? It seems like if there's any hope at all in this struggle coming out from the control of nationalists, it's in actions against state repression starting to spread to other parts of Spain

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Reports of police leaving the port in plain clothes in small groups:

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/915239427311640576

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Ed

Just asking, what's the reaction like in the rest of Spain? It seems like if there's any hope at all in this struggle coming out from the control of nationalists, it's in actions against state repression starting to spread to other parts of Spain

I've seen reports of demos in support elsewhere. I'm not sure of the scale. There's a demo planned for this evening in Puerta del Sol in Madrid, organised jointly by the various anarchosyndicalist unions.

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There are demos and protest in all capital of provinces organise from anarchosyndicalist and radical unions. Sevilla, Cordoba, Almeria, Valencia, Bilbao, Zaragoza, Compostela, Oviedo, etc, etc...

Salvoechea

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

spanish king is going to speak to the country by 9 pm, local time. So, things are getting out of order. Three possibilities, an ambiguous long and boring discourse that nothing changes, the anounce of the Republic or a democratic solution for Catalonia (as Podemos, the Basques and social movements are asking for), or lastly a military intervention (as all the right wing are asking for).

These days are neverending, and really weird. We as a society are in a turning point. The last 40 years old Regime is collapsing in something similar to a May 68 for catalans. Don't believe spanish "unionist" press as they're presenting Catalonia as a new totalitarian/populist Reich. The opposite is true. Self organisation is everywhere. People assemblies are wide spread and there're about 150 Defense Committees of Referendum with around 5000 participants (probably more). National question has rose a huge contradiction in the system, and even local catalan burgoisie is openly independentist right now.

Which is our place in all of this? We, as anarchists are a tiny bit of society. We're probably a few thousands, with many simpathisers all around Catalonia, as this land is quite liberal and freethinker open to our ideas since 19th century. Our organisations here are big (CGT 15000, CNT 1200), but internally weak (being always in internal disputes).

However there is a widespread popular movement in every town and villages led by a social democratic / marxist CUP. This movement has also a libertarian composition inside, not structured officially in an organisation. The movement is an organisation of organisations. Based in youth and student groups and feminists groups, social centers... and values close to us. I don't really consider them as revolutionists, but however we may see them as a good ally to be with, the ones who manages stuff to be done. They've grown up a great deal in the last few years, and are in the Parliament like a commie party of any other country. Their motto is "independence, feminism and socialism".

So, social movements have been impulsed by "autonomous" ( some close to Colau Comunes other totally independent), anarchists and independentits. Roughly speaking.

This week committees have been called by groups near CUP. Buy with an anarchist participation. Those committees were turned yesterday into strike committees and today they led pickets in many places. Specially those territories with a weak (or inexistant) alternative unions (CNT, CGT, IAC, CSC and COS).

However, even those committees have been overcome by spontaneous self organisation of firemen, peasants, port workers, teachers... by thousands. There have been around 40 road blocks, and many pacific civil disobedience. This time there was a call for a "civic stoppage", like a strike of patrons and masters. Politicians supported the strike. But officially the strike was called by anarchosyndicalists. Weird. They used us. But... we've also have managed to be in touch with dozen of thousands of new people to whom we have been a practical and useful referent. Symbiosis.

Anarchist discourse have been put in a secondary place, as the point was a Referendum. What to do? Probably most of us knew this was not our war, but I was worthy to be there. Just like 14th of april of 1931, a point of rupture with an hostile reality. The biggest mistake of Madrid government has been to repress a symbolic roleplay (voting) with the brute force. The people felt that enough is enough and if the Referendum was illegal it was a good idea to vote then. Repression have created a rebellious environment with many thousands of people willing to have a chance to get revenge. The General Strike provided them an opportunity. And it has been the most "general" strike I've ever seen.

We don't support this scenario because we want to have a new State. We support this situation because is a rupture with a corrupt system and it benefits the revolutionary cause by expanding our base and normalising disobedience and self organisation.

jura

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Did the strike also affect the private sector? I've seen reports on striking hospitals, universities, and public transport.

Khawaga

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Salvoechea

Anarchist discourse have been put in a secondary place, as the point was a Referendum. What to do? Probably most of us knew this was not our war, but I was worthy to be there. Just like 14th of april of 1931, a point of rupture with an hostile reality. The biggest mistake of Madrid government has been to repress a symbolic roleplay (voting) with the brute force. The people felt that enough is enough and if the Referendum was illegal it was a good idea to vote then. Repression have created a rebellious environment with many thousands of people willing to have a chance to get revenge. The General Strike provided them an opportunity. And it has been the most "general" strike I've ever seen.

We don't support this scenario because we want to have a new State. We support this situation because is a rupture with a corrupt system and it benefits the revolutionary cause by expanding our base and normalising disobedience and self organisation.

Hear, hear. Too often anarchism is just reduced to some principles that you stick to no matter what. The end-result being a politics of withdrawal and retreat from any engagement with social movements or activists that would be open to our ideas and practice. There are of course many exceptions, but if we at least don't try--like anarchists are trying to in Spain--we won't even get to fail and learn from new mistakes. We are so scared of repeating old mistakes that it seems like we've become scared of even trying anything; if all that happens is that we make new mistakes is that such a bad thing? At least we'd learn something.

And no, this is not a call for activism (which you should still give up), or some pro-nationalist/nat lib sentiment.

robot

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There have been reports that all three automotive plants (Nissan, SEAT and Volkswagen) had production reductions today, because workers did not show up or just-in-time material did not arrive due to the traffic shortages. The ports at Tarragona and Barcelona seem to have been paralyzed because the dock workers were on strike. Public transport in Barcelona and other towns had only minimal services early in the morning and in the afternoon. Flying pickets forced a lot of shops to close during the whole day.

melenas

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

cantdocartwheels

That seems like a particularly worrying development, as it would mean risking workplace unity over disagreements on nationalism (in terms of whether workers decide to take part in the strike or not). Did CNT members vote on whether or not to strike? If so what was the result, and what was the specific question asked?
g

Probably a bit more concerning than that since in Catalonia in order to get any public sector and also most public facing jobs you need an advanced certificate in Catalan. Thus sadly nationalist sectarianism is already embedded in workplaces. Afterall if you are a Spanish migrant from say Murcia or another similarly less wealthy part of Spain you will not be able to apply for any of said jobs unless.you spend a year or two studying on an officially recognised Catalan course, assuming you have the funds or academic ability to do so.
Of course, a lot of the jobs we're talking about here are the ones more likely to be unionised. Anyways, sadly I would say nationalism has already divided ''workplace unity'' somewhat.

I can't believe it, for a public job in Catalunya they ask you to know Catalan, what will be next? Ask you to know English to work in UK? No really, can you be able to understand that as public worker in Catalunya or Euskal Herria you need to know the local languages? Is so strange? Are you able to understand that is a official language and you mast be able to speaker it to work in the public sector? You mast be ready to attend whatever person or communication in whatever official language, because are that OFFICIAL LANGUAGES.

baboon

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think that the "Catalonia Situation" is one more example of the global situation and this, on the basis of the fundamental and irreversible contradictions of the capitalist economy, is the exacerbation of centrifugal tendencies of bourgeois politics, of the decay and discredit of the ideological superstructures of capitalism. It goes all the way through Trump, Brexit, the rise of populism, corruption and the militarisation and violence of the state.It's the increase in tensions between bourgeois factions, with some of the most intelligent of the latter, reduced to defending their corner against rival cliques. "Independence", "Separation" are the bourgeois cries for "let's look after number one", "Every man for themself". It's the opposite, the deathbed, of proletarian unity.

It's no surprise that all the imperialist flashpoints of the early twentieth century are coming back to haunt us; tragedy, farce, then mayhem. Spain again, a significant but doomed workers' response in what was basically a rehearsal for the Second World War. The hot-spots of the Balkans, Crimea, the Caucasus have been kept simmering and the battlegrounds of Asia of World War Two, even if reconfigured, are reasserting themselves with terrible instability. Everything's changed some people say, there's been enormous advances. Changes there have been but we are in exactly the same fundamental situation as following the First World War. It's a very dangerous period coming up for the working class because the bourgeoisie will make the greatest use of is decay and divergences and try to mobilise the working class behind them.

Cooked

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I find it pretty awful seeing this impressive mobilisation. Knowing that separatism/nationalism was the ingredient that made it possible. Of course it's great to see people uniting against cops but the shadow cast by separatism makes it all look pretty dark to me. Without nationalism this unity would not exist?

Dannny

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A hasty translation of a communiqué from the anarchist group Amor y Rabia, which put out a widely-read magazine in the 90s and early 00s and which re-launched as a blog and digital publication a few years ago. (I don't know what kind of following it has now or how many people are in the collective, perhaps other posters might have more knowledge of this)
http://noticiasayr.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/comunicado-del-colectivo-amor-y-rabia.html

1) We condemn unreservedly the brutal police actions ordered by the central government with the support of the Socialist Party (PSOE) and Ciudadanos, and which only serves the electoral interests of the PP and Junts pel Sí

2) We completely refuse to support a 'Process' inititated and directed by a political caste that is as corrupt and repressive as the government in Madrid and the parties that support it.

3) As a part of the libertarian movement we reaffirm that the objective of anarchism is a world without classes or borders, based on direct democracy and equality.

What is happening in Catalonia is entirely contrary to this: it is cross class and in support of a neoliberal government that is instrumentalising social unrest for its own interests, in the name of an illusory common good and the creation of a new state that would be in the hands of those who previously supported the 'Regime of '78'. The demise of neoliberal globalisation has paved the way for protectionism of an identitarian character.

Amor y Rabia considers it fundamental to struggle against capitalism and to concentrate our forces on fighting class society, focusing our activity on the social question rather than the 'national question', which turns us into pawns in the internal struggles of rival oligarchies.

'Changing bosses is not the same as freeing yourself from them'

JOAN PEIRÓ

Salvoechea

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's not catalan nationalism what has made possible this mobilisation, but spanish nationalism. This was supposed to be a votation for 2 million people out of 6. Which means more a mobilisation than any other thing. But repression has turned it into a defiance, into a referendum for democracy. This time people was applauding voters with flags of Spain. So, in the end were 2.2 million voters and another 775,000 who could not be conted due to the police intervention. Even many people who would have voted not to break Spain in other conditions voted for it.

In the end the King of Spain has done a speach against catalan government avaling spanish one to use everthing on its hand to keep Catalonia. He has linked his destiny to central government. Same as 1931

This movement is lead by streets right now. But its transversality makes it dependant on catalan institutions.

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.cnt.es/noticias/cas-cat-eng-tras-la-huelga-del-3-o-cnt-llama-extender-la-respuesta-social

After the 3-O strike, CNT calls for extending the social response

Facing Tuesday’s general strike in Catalonia, CNT wants to show its satisfaction with the response which thousands of workers have given throughout the day and across trades. Popular mobilization responds again against the severe repression which Catalan society is living. Worker’s solidarity shows once again that it can do anything.

This isn’t just another call to action. We stand before an attack on rights and freedoms which deepens the breach between the ruling class and us, the working class. State and Capital show their teeth and they do it with a clear goal: shoring up their corrupt and totalitarian system. A system which today we know can be made to stagger thanks to the great combative mobilization.

This Tuesday’s general strike in Catalonia is a giant’s step towards the social struggle to demolish this political and economic system. It’s a transcending conflict for anarcho-syndicalism: we don’t fight to switch up flags but for a Social Change in capital letters which allows us to recover the reigns of our lives and everything they’re taking away from us.

From CNT we show our absolute rejection towards the bureaucratic apparatuses which call themselves unions and, once again, align themselves with the government and employers in order to torpedo the general strike in Catalonia. This is nothing new. It reaffirms us in our organizational model based on direct action and mutual aid. While CCOO and UGT sabotage the worker’s movement, thousands of people will take part in the numerous calls to solidarity beyond any borders. For them is our recognition. For them is our fight in workplaces and in the streets. For them is the CNT.

Against all States. For freedom. For social revolution!

Permanent Secretariats of the Regional Committee of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands and of the Confederal Committee

Confederación Nacional del Trabajo

jura

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

BTW, the total "Yes" vote was 2,020,144 or 38% of eligible voters (5,313,564). If we add the 775,000 votes taken by the cops (mentioned above), and assume they all would have been "Yes", it adds up to 52,6% of eligible voters. Seems like it was split pretty evenly (at best) despite all the fervor.

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Twitter thread in Spanish. It seems the Guardia Civil have met with employers to try and identify CNT members in the port of Barcelona. I think the issue here is retaliation for monitoring and publicising police activity in the port as well as generally trolling police twitter accounts.

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/915295856101863424

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Coverage of yesterday's events on alasbarricadas:

http://www.alasbarricadas.org/noticias/node/39004

cantdocartwheels

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I can't believe it, for a public job in Catalunya they ask you to know Catalan, what will be next? Ask you to know English to work in UK?

Nope, to work in England you don;t need a certificate in English. I live in London, friends, family and co-workers of mine from abroad are special needs or language teachers, cover supervisors, chefs, do admin jobs, are social workers and so on etc etc etc. They often did not need to show a certificate in written English, being able to pass the interview conversationally was enough,
When my wife got a job in a school, she was just told to make sure she carried on practicing her English, not that it was a pre-requisite of employment.

By contrast Spanish friends and family of mine have said that even when going for a job in a restaurant or a shop in Barcelona you can be asked for a certificate in written Catalan. This is straight discrimination in a city where 100% of people understand Spanish* . Just a shit mirror image of francos language policy. If you come from Murcia (somewhere that probly suffered equally under Franco and is a lot less well off as a region than catalonia**) to Barcelona to work, for example why should you have to pass a certificate in Catalan literacy just to work in a shop let alone in the public sector?

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Catalonia
**an area of course that the government of catalunias boss class probably feels that it is ''subsidising''

Back on the subject of the UK. The current migration system in the UK means you have to pass an IELTs exam to gain citizenship, but nobody on the left supports this. This is not really linked to employment though, especially as generally in the public sector we do not have the same level of bureaucracy when it comes to employment as spain (all those endless regional exams etc) Although we get worse job security as a result.

The current government and other English nationalists have been trying to enforce stricter rules in some areas, most on the left and in the unions would oppose and campaign against this. eg https://www.unison.org.uk/motions/2016/black-members/nmc-criteria-for-overseas-nurses-2/
However the core issue for me with the current language policy in catalonia is that the sections of left and the unions in catalunia don't only appear not to oppose it, they also seem to be its decidedly naive cheerleaders. Thus when I se statements expressing support for the ''self determination of the catalan people'' against ''spanish attacks'' I can't say I feel too enthusiastic.
Perhaps I am wrong and i hope i am, but i am not sure how you can sideline nationalism and put forward an alternative programme when you effectively piggy backing on a nationalist cause.

wojtek

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It would be interesting to know how Catalans view the English language v 'oppressive' Castillian.

Khawaga

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cantdocartwheels, you don't seem to have noticed that malenas referred to public sector jobs, not all and every single job. It's the same in many other countries with several official languages; Finland, Canada, south Africa IIRC. But if you work for the state, not the private sector.

Mike Harman

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jura

BTW, the total "Yes" vote was 2,020,144 or 38% of eligible voters (5,313,564). If we add the 775,000 votes taken by the cops (mentioned above), and assume they all would have been "Yes", it adds up to 52,6% of eligible voters. Seems like it was split pretty evenly (at best) despite all the fervor.

So this is interesting, since presumably the 'no' voters would have also have had to fight through riot police (or at least risk it) in order to vote, facing the same repression as the 'yes' voters. The only possibility for that not to be the case would be if there was a massive urban/rural split in the vote. Whether that contingent was present on the general strike yesterday is a different question of course.

I can't find it at the moment, but on twitter yesterday there was a photo of a demonstrator in Barcelona with a massive Spanish flag draped around him and a placard saying (paraphrasing the translation from memory) "I don't want independence but I will stand with my neighbours against the police"). On the other hand it was hard to find a photo of the urban mobilisations (as opposed to the road blockades) that didn't have a massive Catalan flag in it.

On the question of nationalist vs. class content, there's often tendencies in both directions. What we can ask is the extent whether it's a nationalist movement in the sense of for an independent Catalonia vs. a movement against Rajoy and the regime of '78 more generally. It seems like at least this week, it could be turning into a massive mobilisation against the national state and police, with the Catalan nationalist movement and everyone else left behind by events.

A positive movement for Catalan independence doesn't offer anything, the reaction to the suppression of civil rights and policing, and a broader anti-'78 regime movement there's more possibilities for something to happen that breaks out of the limitations of national independence.

The solidarity demonstrations in the rest of Spain last night look decent sized, but from photos mostly limited to CGT/CNT and maybe Basque nationalists? (and hundreds or low thousands, not tens of thousands from these photos) https://twitter.com/libcomorg/status/915294864111226880

If the reaction to the general strike yesterday ends up being a legally allowed referendum, then it being 'demobilising' might be correct, but no sign of this at the moment.

jura

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mike Harman

So this is interesting, since presumably the 'no' voters would have also have had to fight through riot police (or at least risk it) in order to vote, facing the same repression as the 'yes' voters.

Yeah, but many of those opposed to secession (or to the referendum as such) would simply stay at home, right? That's what I would do, anyway.

Mike Harman

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

You're right, I read your comment wrong and inserted an explicit 'No' vote in there somehow, which is why I thought it was worth commenting on...

Fleur

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fwiw I live in Quebec and in order to get a job working in government (the largest employer in the province) you have to be fluent in French. If you're born here a high school diploma indicating you have passed French is sufficient. For people born elsewhere, you have to pass a government set exam to prove fluency. That is because French is the majority language and it would be unacceptable for people to be providing services to the public when they don't properly understand the language they are being addressed in. This is not an especially weird nationalistic thing, it's making sure that nurses, teachers, etc understand the public.

Catalan is not a minority language in Catalonia. In the 2013 census 73% of people in Catalonia spoke it and 95% understood it.

Spikymike

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some such as the leftist Paul Mason are arguing that the Catalan social movement, like that in the UK for Scottish independence (and the Greek rebellion), is a form of 'progressive democratic nationalism' much as how they used to argue for the anti-colonial nationalist movements as some kind of (controlled) political stage on the way to revolution. Didn't work out that way then and won't now. The CNT may realise that in the better of their statements - aligning with the movement against the central governments repression whilst seeking to distance themselves from both the Catalan government and it's separatist ideology - but they are a very small alternative influence in the face of global tendencies such as those baboon (in post 168) alludes to and the opposition of local left and right wing nationalists.

radicalgraffiti

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

in the uk for a lot of jobs you need a gcse or equivalent in english

cantdocartwheels

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cantdocartwheels, you don't seem to have noticed that malenas referred to public sector jobs, not all and every single job. It's the same in many other countries with several official languages; Finland, Canada, south Africa IIRC. But if you work for the state, not the private sector.

Nope, i saw exactly what he said. However, the reality is that in large amounts of public facing private sector jobs in Catalonia you need a qualification in Catalan also.
.
Again the main point is that in Catalonia currently more people can understand Spanish 99% and can write in spanish 83% as opposed to Catalan (94% understand and 49% for literacy). If you are picking either language over another and setting that up as a job requirement for all public sector jobs then that is plainly a nationalist policy rather than a practical one whether that was done under Franco or under the newer nationalist set up..

melenas

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

cantdocartwheels

Cantdocartwheels, you don't seem to have noticed that malenas referred to public sector jobs, not all and every single job. It's the same in many other countries with several official languages; Finland, Canada, south Africa IIRC. But if you work for the state, not the private sector.

Nope, i saw exactly what he said. However, the reality is that in large amounts of public facing private sector jobs in Catalonia you need a qualification in Catalan also.
.
Again the main point is that in Catalonia currently more people can understand Spanish 99% and can write in spanish 83% as opposed to Catalan (94% understand and 49% for literacy). If you are picking either language over another and setting that up as a job requirement for all public sector jobs then that is plainly a nationalist policy rather than a practical one whether that was done under Franco or under the newer nationalist set up..

I answer to your first coment becuse i was specting your answer in this way. You only repeat spanish right and ultra right speech.

How i could start to answer to you....

Maybe this gif can help:

Map of languages of Iberia

Maybe you are not very familiar with spanish history and language represion.
Maybe can help you the speech of Felipe VI (El Preparao)

Yes the king made the speech to all the spanish people having behind him the paint of Carlos III the king that forbid to teach, to use institutionally and to write literature in: Catalan, Euskera, Gallego, Aragones and Asturiano. So all languages that were not castellano were reduce to private use. What mean that the language of castilla kingdom ate the languages of the rest of the spanish kingdoms, Leon, Aragon, and Navarra.

Maybe you dont know that in spain there was a dictatorship from 1939 to 1977
During the dictatorship a part of the repression to workers movement, there was also a attack to the languages that were not castellano.

Now a days, Aragones and asturiano or AsturLeones are nearly dead languages. only Gallego, Catalan and Euskera are still having a good health.

After this small historical introduction lets speak about what you say:

for example why should you have to pass a certificate in Catalan literacy just to work in a shop let alone in the public sector?

You dont have to if the boss doesnt want. Sorry, is what says the low.

Public sector:

First of all, the teachers of public schools are legally responsible of the children they have with them, if something happens to a child the family or directly the court, can go against the school and teachers. As responsible of a child, look logic that you mast be able to speak the same language as him. If something happens to the child, who speak with him if you don´t speak his language? so because Spanish and Catalan are official languages, as public worker you mast be ready to attend to who ever person in spanish or in catalan. Also the administration can make publications in one or both languages so you mast be ready to understand both.

Example of a private school in basque country. They teach al the subjects in french and 4 hours of Spanish per week (no bask). that is all. there are also this kind of schools in catalunya.

As you say, no left organization or union go against this, only spanish right and ultra right. You claim against the catalan nationalist taking part for the spanish nationalist and their defense of castellano language. Really, castellano need to be defense? the second more spoken language in the world need to be defended to do not dissapear?

By contrast Spanish friends and family of mine have said that even when going for a job in a restaurant or a shop in Barcelona you can be asked for a certificate in written Catalan. This is straight discrimination in a city where 100% of people understand Spanish* . Just a shit mirror image of francos language policy. If you come from Murcia (somewhere that probly suffered equally under Franco and is a lot less well off as a region than catalonia**) to Barcelona to work, for example why should you have to pass a certificate in Catalan literacy just to work in a shop let alone in the public sector?

The comparison you make about franco is totally pathetic. Is so hard to understand that in cataluña you can be asked to speak an official language? If a catalan go to murcia they ask him to speak spanish and i don´t see you complaining. Remember that catalan was a language of murcia till XIX century and there is some old people that still speak it. Why the gallegos are discriminate in the rest of spain and are asked to speak castellano?. I think is discriminatory for catalans that in their own region they cant speak their local laguage and came people from UK complaining because they are asked to speak catalan (is not true, in salou and other touristic places if you do not speak english you cant order in several bars and restaurants, in baleares there are towns that the street signals are in german only).

Again the main point is that in Catalonia currently more people can understand Spanish 99% and can write in spanish 83% as opposed to Catalan (94% understand and 49% for literacy). If you are picking either language over another and setting that up as a job requirement for all public sector jobs then that is plainly a nationalist policy rather than a practical one whether that was done under Franco or under the newer nationalist set up

Base on your logic, soon or later will disappear all the languages that are not castellano in spain, because base on statistics are useless. Base on what you say, the spanish languages like catalan, bask, gallego, Leones and aragones cant be recovered because this is to make the same that made franco.

After your comment, i can understand why some people is not able to understand what is doing CNT. Maybe is not easy to understand that in the books of the school in your countries appear spain paint with only one color, when the reality is that there are a lot of colors. to be internationalist is to understand that there are colors, that the colors do not make differences and that the color have to support between them to destroy the state. internationalist is not to say that there are no colors or all is one color.

To finish before you treat me as a catalan nationalist or something like this. Im from Cantabria, one of the starting regions of castellano.

DevastateTheAvenues

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I don't buy this. First of all, cantdocartwheels said nothing about Castellano Spanish needing to be defended, nor that Catalan shouldn't be spoken and promoted. Frankly, imputing that to cantdocartwheels is pretty sketchy, but for now I'm going to chalk that down to a miscommunication rather than a lack of charity on your part. In any case, both of those things are on an entirely different level than questioning the requirement for Catalan fluency that large parts of public sector and private sector employment have.

Say cantdocartwheels is accurate in saying that almost everyone in Catalonia can speak Spanish. This could be a wrong assessment: it could be the case that there are many Catalans that do not speak Spanish and they should, of course, be entitled to full language support. We can also talk about particular situations that need particular requirements; I can buy, for example, that there are school children that need fluent Catalan speakers as teachers. This doesn't necessarily then require that every public-facing employee, as cantdo puts it, speak Catalan, but one can make an argument for that requirement in this or that job without it being nationalist or promoting preferential treatment for Catalans. But that's just on the level of empirical data and could easily be solved by saying: cantdo, you're a little out of date on the facts, here's the situation.

But let's carry on in the assumption that almost all Catalans can speak Spanish. If so, then a requirement for public sector employees that service the public, for example, to have advanced certificates in Catalan seems to be both onerous and suspect. Onerous in that, presumably, if someone spoke only Spanish and not Catalan, almost everyone they will encounter will be able to speak Spanish anyway; suspect, in that it then seems like workplace effectiveness isn't the real reason the employers have this requirement. From my standpoint, the real motive then seems to be preferential treatment for ethnic or at least 'national' (if we can say that) Catalans, who presumably would have a much easier time getting the required fluency requirements than, say, migrants from other parts of Spain. If some Catalan workers are buying into that, then it seems like they're promoting ethnic or national interests in order to advance their own sectional interests against other workers, and we all know that's just another one of the ruling class's many strategies to pit workers against each other.

And so we get to a line like this:

melenas

You dont have to if the boss doesnt want.

That's where we're at? We're at the point where we're basically going along with the same dismissive "just find a different boss" rhetoric that all the capitalist apologists use, and doing this to push what seems like an ethnic or nationalist politics? Yeah, I'm not buying this.

Let me go on a tangent for a bit. Consider the Trump and Republican-backed immigration legislation that was proposed earlier this year in the United States. It was a points-based merit system that had stringent requirements for any points to be rewarded for English fluency. Even liberals could see that this requirement was just thinly veiled racial politics, given how onerous it was and the particular points breakdown of the legislation. However, there is arguably a better case (though still not good) for requiring strict English fluency for immigrants to the US than strict Catalan fluency for Spanish speakers looking for employment in Catalonia. Most Americans speak English, but as a whole don't speak the various languages that prospective immigrants speak, and so to communicate with most Americans you probably want to be fluent in English. But,in Catalonia, if you don't speak Catalan, you can always speak Spanish. If one can agree that a strict English fluency requirement for immigration to the US would be racial politics, can this be squared with saying a strict Catalan fluency requirement for various kinds of employment wouldn't be a kind of ethnic or nationalist politics?

furbi

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Okay, you have made a wonderful hypothetical construction, but it is a little ridiculous that this is being debated here without any experience or evidence, especially when it is a sensitive and delicate subject, even in Spain. And to go around saying things like "policies that promote Catalan are worthy of Franco" is so ridiculously backwards as to be absurd, and rather offensive.

You mentioned the words "Catalan ethnicity"; understanding that this is not an entirely accurate framework, to use this language we can say that there was attempt at ethnic cleansing in Catalonia for 40 years of dictatorship, as in Basque Country, Asturias, and every restive region with a distinct identity and language. Even speaking Catalan or Euskera at home was prohibited, and police informers would report people for using banned langauges in bars or in private company. At the same time the Franco regime promoted industrial projects in these regions to draw immigration from rural regions of Spain to bring an influx of Castilian speakers and culture.

As Melenas mentioned above, Asturian was almost totally wiped out as a regional language, only spoken now by a tiny minority. Euskera was nearly eliminated too - many of the younger generation (in their 20s and 30s) speak Euskera with their friends and grandparents, but Castellano with their parents who never learned their own language. So the laws promoting and protecting Catalan and Euskera in Catalonia and Basque Country after the dictatorship were desperate attempts to keep the language and culture from vanishing, and in regions with fewer resources, or less legal support, Castilian effectively took over, even after the transition to democracy.

Speaking and teaching Catalan became legal in 1978, and there was an immediate push to revive the language, and teach it to monolingual Castilian immigrants - I have a friend whose aunts and uncles taught free Catalan classes in their town in the 80s and 90s. It is very easy to find low cost Catalan and Basque language classes in those regions if you have a desire to learn, and it is not particularly difficult for a Castilian speaker to gain proficiency. So yes, immigrants to Catalonia from other parts of Spain might need to learn a bit of the language before they can fully access every part of the society. Just as Catalans need to learn Castellano to access most jobs in Madrid, or Seville, or Euskera to be a public servant in Bilbao.

I am interested if you have the same critique of laws protecting Euskera in Basque country? Is it silly fascistic nationalism there, too?

furbi

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

To add one more thought to this already too long argument, the comparison with US immigration policy is not actually very fair. The US is precisely a nation-state, with lots of control over who can or cannot immigrate, and how many people can immigrate from which countries, etc. Also it is massive, linguistically and culturally homogenous, and can absorb big waves of non-English speaking immigrants without substantially changing the linguistic makeup of the country. And even so, it is unthinkable that a Mexican immigrant to the US would be able find work in a "public facing job", let alone as a public employee, without a demonstrably high level of English.
Catalonia is a small region in a much larger state with no control over migration from the rest of Spain, and small population that could easily be significantly outnumbered and overwhelmed by Spanish speakers. To say that Catalans should get rid of any legal protections for their language, and hire Castilian speakers for any position without question because "they all speak Castilian anyway" is to say that Catalan language and culture should disappear over the next two generations. And that is precisely why Catalans are so touchy about their regional autonomy.

melenas

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

DevastateTheAvenues

And so we get to a line like this:

melenas

You dont have to if the boss doesnt want.

That's where we're at? We're at the point where we're basically going along with the same dismissive "just find a different boss" rhetoric that all the capitalist apologists use, and doing this to push what seems like an ethnic or nationalist politics? Yeah, I'm not buying this.

And then you speak about my interpretations....
Where do I say to find other boss? focus in what I write, there is no low that obligate the privete worker to speak catalan. If a company wants to contract people doesnt have the obligation to ask the people to know catalan. Can a copany put as condition to know catalan to work for them? Yes. Is very typical to ask workers to know englsh and no body says that is a discrimination for spanish people.
If a company wants their workers to know catalan and the workers are already working for the company, the company will need to pay the lessons of catalan to the workers because in this case the company is changing the working conditions for their own interest, so is the company the one that have to pay. the same happens in whatever other change of working conditions, doesn't have to be necessarily about language . Do not try to give me lessons about workers rights. Speak about ethnic or nationalist politics on this is totally paranoid from your side.

DevastateTheAvenues

Let me go on a tangent for a bit. Consider the Trump and Republican-backed immigration legislation that was proposed earlier this year in the United States. It was a points-based merit system that had stringent requirements for any points to be rewarded for English fluency. Even liberals could see that this requirement was just thinly veiled racial politics, given how onerous it was and the particular points breakdown of the legislation. However, there is arguably a better case (though still not good) for requiring strict English fluency for immigrants to the US than strict Catalan fluency for Spanish speakers looking for employment in Catalonia. Most Americans speak English, but as a whole don't speak the various languages that prospective immigrants speak, and so to communicate with most Americans you probably want to be fluent in English. But,in Catalonia, if you don't speak Catalan, you can always speak Spanish. If one can agree that a strict English fluency requirement for immigration to the US would be racial politics, can this be squared with saying a strict Catalan fluency requirement for various kinds of employment wouldn't be a kind of ethnic or nationalist politics?

Do you know that more than 60% of the catalan population is product of the inmigration of the last 100 years?
do you know that there is no low that obligate immigrants to speak catalan to work in cataluña? nether castellano.

Can you understand that speak catalan is a right in cataluña? the same happens with castellano in all spain. Sock me that is difficult for you to understand that people have the right to speak whatever official language.

the answer to this contrect sentence:

can this be squared with saying a strict Catalan fluency requirement for various kinds of employment wouldn't be a kind of ethnic or nationalist politics?

No, absolutly no, becuase, because the obligation to speak castellano and catalan in public sector is attach to the right of catalans to speak castellano or catalan, remember that they are public workers to attend all the needs of catalans and they mast be ready to understand whatever external or internal communication in both official languages. Also doesn't exist a catalan ethnic. We are not speaking about being catalan, we are speaking to work in public sector for the people that live in cataluña. and please dont came back to statistics because is not about how many people speak catalan, is about the right to speak catalan.

to resume all this:

Can a castellano speaker leave in cataluña whith out knowing catalan and be attend in spanish by whatever public administration or service?
Yes
Can happen the same with catalan?
Yes

to assure this, all public workers must know bouth laguages.

Is so logical that soc me that you are not able to understand it and you came here speaking about ethnic-nationalist politics...

melenas

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Also, why do you speak about discrimination to castellano speakers and you don´t speak about the discrimination of basque speakers that cant speak basque or find a job in the rest of spain speaking and offitial spanish languager? why the discrimination is only in one way and not in the opposite?

Example: a worker born in spain speaks one of the official langaugas of spain but not castellano, this worker is discriminate in the rest of spain and in his own home town because cant work for public sector because is obligate to speak castellano. Why you dont speak about the ethnic-nationalist spanish discrimination to non castellano speakers?

About the argument of statistics and quantity of people doing something, like there is more people speaking spanish than catalan. in spain we usually say "eat shit, 5 million flies can't be wrong"

cantdocartwheels

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes the king made the speech to all the spanish people having behind him the paint of Carlos III the king that ........

......and a few hundred years before that half of ''spain'' spoke arabic and so on.....all very interesting historical titbits for sure but hardly relevant to todays jobs market

for example why should you have to pass a certificate in Catalan literacy just to work in a shop let alone in the public sector?

You dont have to if the boss doesnt want. Sorry, is what says the low.

yep thats the point, discrimination is effectively legal. If an employer wants to make it difficult for non catalans to apply, they can do.

Public sector:

First of all, the teachers of public schools are legally responsible of the children they have with them, if something happens to a child the family or directly the court, can go against the school and teachers. As responsible of a child, look logic that you mast be able to speak the same language as him. If something happens to the child, who speak with him if you don´t speak his language? so because Spanish and Catalan are official languages, as public worker you mast be ready to attend to who ever person in spanish or in catalan. Also the administration can make publications in one or both languages so you mast be ready to understand both.

Sorry nope. I work in education and I simply don;t buy the idea that every member of staff in a school needs to have a certificate in written catalan. Since most can speak it well enough to communicate. Many of my co-workers and friends here including foreign language teachers, support staff/mentors, PE/Art/dance/tech teachers, special needs teachers, playground assistants, school bus drivers and so on don;t have a certificate in written english. They do a great job and i'd consider making them all get said certificate to be pointless discrimination.
If you are a teacher of Spanish, Catalan or an academic subject then you need a certificate fair enough, but that is not a majority of school employees.

The public sector is of course not just schools it includes hospitals, councils and massive number of jobs. The idea that you need a ceriticate in written catalan to do all of these is clearly just nonsense..

As you say, no left organization or union go against this

yep thats because they've sadly been sucked into going along with nationalism. Happens in parts of uk too, for example in northern ireland where unions in education are very much tied up in sectarianism.

. I think is discriminatory for catalans that in their own region they cant speak their local laguage

Yes it was discriminatory 30 or 40 years ago. Nobody is arguing for that now though so its just a strawman.

and came people from UK complaining because they are asked to speak catalan (is not true, in salou and other touristic places if you do not speak english you cant order in several bars and restaurants, in baleares there are towns that the street signals are in german only).

those expat groups exist all over Spain, you can find the same all around the coast, not very pleasant at all, sadly some tourists are scum like that. Again doesn't have much to do with Catalonian employment practices

Base on your logic, soon or later will disappear all the languages that are not castellian

Now i'll be honest I have no romantic attachment to language. As such I don't really care if languages disappear personally, in a few hundred years i suspect English as it is written here would look like Shakespeare does to us anyway and in a thousand years or more no-one will be able to read a word of this unless they have a masters in the field However, given that Catalan survived a dictatorship where it was banned, i can't imagine it would be wiped out in the forseeable future if it was given equal status with Spanish rather than the economic primacy.it is being given.

cantdocartwheels

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

melenas

Also, why do you speak about discrimination to castellano speakers and you don´t speak about the discrimination of basque speakers that cant speak basque or find a job in the rest of spain speaking and offitial spanish languager? why the discrimination is only in one way and not in the opposite?

Example: a worker born in spain speaks one of the official langaugas of spain but not castellano, this worker is discriminate in the rest of spain and in his own home town because cant work for public sector because is obligate to speak castellano. Why you dont speak about the ethnic-nationalist spanish discrimination to non castellano speakers?

and there's the problem tho innit. By your tone, you think this is wrong in the rest of Spain, which I would agree it is. It is discriminatory to ask somebody from Catalonia to produce a written certificate in Spanish.just to get a job in the council. Doubtless, you would also agree that it is discrimination if a Spanish employer was able to say a Catalan worker couldn't apply for a job in a shop because they didn't have a certificate in written Spanish.
Yet somehow you seem to think its 100% fine for the Catalonian government to do the exact same thing? And that to me is the whole problem with nationalism even of the small state linguistic variety, it gets in the way of rational and critical thinking,

D

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rather than practicality or ethnic preference its more about preserving catalán as a language in my opinion

Dannny

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

furbi

To say that Catalans should get rid of any legal protections for their language, and hire Castilian speakers for any position without question because "they all speak Castilian anyway" is to say that Catalan language and culture should disappear over the next two generations. And that is precisely why Catalans are so touchy about their regional autonomy.

I agree with cantdocartwheels that this seems an unlikely scenario, given that Catalan managed to survive a period of genuine repression under the Franco dictatorship. I'd also be interested in how you define Catalan culture, and what would constitute its disappearance.

Acknowledging that, as stated above, Catalan was repressed under Franco, it would be historically accurate to say that the workers' movement was far more effectively and bloodily repressed than Catalan or Basque nationalism during the dictatorship, leading to the so-called 'missing generation'. During the Transition, one of several issues indicating the generational divide between older activists returning to Catalonia from exile and younger activists was precisely the attitude to Catalan autonomy.
Chris Ealham's recent book about José Peirats talks about this (English version, AK Press pp 203-5: "From France, Peirats, who never forgot the Generalitat's anti-cenetista repression in the 1930s, had watched the rise of Catalanism with great concern... At Montjuic [where a massive CNT rally was held in 1977], as he surveyed the crowd and the banners surrounding him before he rose to address the rally, he could not have ignored the presence of Catalan and Basque flags... [after acknowledging his personal debt to Barcelona he stated that he didn't feel Catalan and] went on to raise the issue of an autonomy statute, reminding the audience of the experience of the 1930s: 'We already know what an autonomy statute is... [It is] an apparatus'... Finally he reminded the mainly youthful audience of the CNT's federalist past, advocating the 'free municipality', 'the alternative of the anarchist movement' to a statute. Echoing ... Malatesta, he concluded: 'My homeland is the world, humanity is my family.'
His open rejection of the autonomy statute and popular Catalan demands provoked fury inside the Catalan CNT and beyond. After his address, Peirats was 'severely rebuked' by members of the Catalan Regional Committee of the CNT. In the days that followed, Peirats's speech was censured in the CNT press, while the Catalan organisation issued a statement distancing itself from his position and underlining the extent of its own dalliance with nationalism:
'The CNT of today does not confuse the concepts of nation and state... It rejects the second as it is an instrument of oppression in the service of a ruling class, [but] the nation is a combination of men and women with a will to exist, a cultural and linguistic communion that defines it ethnologically as a natural entity, and as such we must therefore strengthen it as far as possible.'"

MT

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

thanks dannny. the '77 cnt statement is unbelievable...

Fleur

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm floored when people who are internationalist in other aspects who see no value in protecting minority languages. Otoh, I'm not overly surprised that this is present in some people whose first language is one which has colonized half the world (be it English or Spanish,) and has consequently diminished or in some cases obliterated other languages. Language is far more than just a means of communication, there is a symbiotic relationship between the language people speak and their culture, it informs the way we think, it carries our history. In that respect it is unsurprising that first language speakers of the monolith languages sometimes see less value in minority languages but it is very poor internationalist praxis to carry such colonial attitudes to language. Maybe one day people will speak a bland monoglot language that everyone understands but along the way we will have lost a wealth of poetry, music, folk lore, unique ways of thinking and the world will be a sadder and duller place for it.

Whenever a language dies it is a tragedy and I don't have to look further than the borders of the country I live in to see the devastating effects on people of the marginalization and destruction of minority languages. The repression of languages spoken by indigenous people has been part of a systematic brutality which amounted to an attempt at cultural genocide, the consequences of which are still being felt. It's pretty understandable that people will want to take steps to avoid that happening to them.

I don't think Catalan is at any more risk than French is here. However, you shouldn't dismiss the psychological scars of a society than within living memory people were oppressed and treated as second class citizens for speaking their own language. Francophones were actively discriminated against by and Anglo elite and there was a de facto system of segregation which did fuel nationalism. The protection of the French language has been a significant contributing factor to the considerable lessening of Quebec nationalism. The banality of the argument from (a minority of) Anglos that we live in North America and everybody should speak English and that nearly everyone understands it anyway, I find to be ignorant, ahistorical and utterly disrespectful. But as I have already said, language informs the way we think and as English is a language of colonization, it's not altogether surprising some people think like that.

As for not needing a certificate of fluency in English, not only is English under no threat whatsoever but as a globally dominant language it's probably not necessary anyway. There are few places in the world which are untouched by English, people watch Hollywood movies, listen to American music, it's probably the most taught second language, anglicisms pepper other languages. It's pretty hard not to absorb English at at least some level. It's not the same with a minority language like Catalan, which has been historically repressed.

This is probably a huge derail from the OP but to expect public services to be administered in Catalan is in no was comparable the repression of the Franco regime. I expect there's someone out there who can furnish me with a quote from an anarchist grandee about the need to destroy culture, or whatever, but regrettably we don't live in a libertarian communist society, so respecting somebody's efforts to keep their language alive isn't much to ask.

lettersjournal

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Rinse, repeat. https://libcom.org/forums/news/what-exactly-are-you-supporting-02022011

Mike Harman

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Part of the reaction to language tests is because in the UK we're seeing moves to introduce language tests where there previously were none:

Graun

The test was introduced in January 2016 after David Cameron’s cabinet office minister, Matthew Hancock, brought in regulations requiring all foreign nationals in customer-facing public sector roles to speak a high standard of English because the government was “controlling immigration for the benefit of all hard-working people”.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jun/24/english-speaking-ovserseas-nurses-fail-nhs-too-tough-language-test

i.e. specifically a (hard, to the point where qualified nurses with English as their first language were failing it too) language test brought in as a right-wing populist measure to attack immigrants.

Another thing that happens in the UK is that if a child hears two or more languages at home, even if English is their main language, they were born in the UK and/or they're multilingual from birth, it's recorded by the Department for Education as a 'second language' (the definition literally means they can't be recorded as having a first language, just two second languages). This then inflates the figures of 'children who don't speak English as a first language' - as a way to attack migrants and create moral panics about strain on the schools budget from 'immigrants' by grouping bilingual children with those who are actually learning English as an additional language.

At the same time, funding for adult English classes as been drastically cut in the past few years.

Kids who spoke Welsh in school were punished (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_Not for one example) a few decades ago. That situation has changed dramatically, but Welsh language requirements for jobs now have to be balanced against racial discrimination legislation (i.e. Welsh has to be proved as necessary to the role, otherwise an employer could arbitrarily exclude 99.9% of people not born in Wales from employment).

It's quite possible for a language to have been suppressed up until fairly recently while also being used to exclude migrants from work now, the two don't really contradict each other as such.

Also to the point earlier that Catalonia doesn't control migration from the rest of Spain, if it secedes and also leaves the EU, that's not out of the question. For another possibly poor UK comparison, Brexit is raising the prospect of there being a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland again (because that will become the only land border with the EU). The same could have happened with the Scottish referendum had there been an independence vote (and still could with the EU exit situation being reversed).

Fleur

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

But isn't the situation in the UK different? Afaik no one in the UK has ever been prevented from speaking English in the workplace. I've been away from the UK too long to be aware of all the various bits of legislation & directives that are current but there's a qualitative difference between tests which are implemented specifically to exclude immigrants and a language requirement which guarantees that public facing services are delivered in both languages. There was a situation in the past where that wasn't the case, for all sorts of reasons, particularly in medicine and legal services.

Other people know more about Catalonia than me and Quebec does control it's immigration separately from the rest of Canada, it also provides really good French language programs. French isn't exactly a dying language but it's pretty isolated in the Americas and most Canadians and Americans don't speak the language, so when people from out of province migrate here and work in the public services it's important they have a level of fluency they can actually do their job and it works as much for the protection of the worker as the convenience of the public. OK, I live in a very multilingual city and this may not be the same as elsewhere but the end result of protecting the French language as has happened here is that we have a highly bilingual population who slip in and out of either language easily.

Maybe it's just where I live but the only people I've really come across who I've heard complaining about having to learn French have been anglos, specifically UK immigrants.

There has to be some kind of common ground between protecting minority languages and protecting migrants, that obviously involves good language education. Language acquisition is a good thing in general and I think that's something which is compatible with libcom ideology, after all there are an awful lot of libcoms who do open borders work, translation help, TESL etc. I think helping overcome language differences is a far more productive attitude than insisting that you speak your language on the grounds that other people ought to understand it anyway.

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

lettersjournal

What do the Carlists think of it all?

Apparently the legitimate king would have avoided the problem:

http://www.eldiario.es/catalunya/politica/MINUTO-Diada_13_685361458_13314.html

melenas

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

lettersjournal

What do the Carlists think of it all?

Apparently the legitimate king would have avoided the problem:

http://www.eldiario.es/catalunya/politica/MINUTO-Diada_13_685361458_13314.html

Be carefully there are 2 different lines of carlismo, one from ultra right and the other one let say from left. The one from left now is more close to the libertarian municipalities.

furbi

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The protection of the French language has been a significant contributing factor to the considerable lessening of Quebec nationalism.

In the same way, one of the drivers of Catalan nationalism in recent years has been a series of moves from the PP government to interfere with laws promoting Catalan, especially in the sphere of education. The desire for status as a nation-state with full border controls is arising in part from the feeling of the language and culture being under threat from the conservative Spanish right. So having anarchists and communists call for removing language protections will just push people more towards hard line nationalism. Or maybe if we start telling people "don't worry, Cantdocartwheels and Dannny from Libcom are pretty sure that Catalan will be fine, also everyone speaks Spanish so why make a fuss?" that will win over lots of people to pure Esperanto speaking anarchist communism. Or we could, you know, respect minority cultures and languages, and acknowledge the specificity of their historical reasons for being afraid of losing their language, organize in a way that celebrates the diversity of languages and cultures.

I would note also that while Quebec has about 80% self-reported native French speakers, primary Catalan speakers in Catalonia last reported at around 40% - although in rural regions and among the younger generation this is much higher. In Basque country the percentage is around 30%, although it is near 60% among people under 25. So these languages are far from stable and well-established.

To provide a bit more context, in Spain language competency is entirely judged based on official written examinations and their certificates, and these are required and used to an extent that seems like a bit of a mania to people from other countries. To work in many shops and bars you are asked for a B2 or so in English, the new bilingual education law in Madrid requires every teacher, even those who do not teach subjects in English, to have B2 in English. Everyone, no matter their education or language level, puts A1 English, A1 Italian on their CV. So the idea that you might need to take some classes at an official language school or a private academy to get a certificate of competency is not particularly unusual in the Spanish workforce. As another example, a friend of mine from Madrid got a job in Basque Country working with Spanish-speaking youth - because the position was paid for by the regional government, he was required to take Basque classes, paid for by the cooperative he worked for. This is a fairly standard arrangement.

MT

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Strawman again? the debate was about the language in the workplace context and as a tool of promoting (subtle) nationalism within the working class. you say, we should accept that people fear that they lose their language. fine. what comes next? accepting people's fear of immigrants? accepting people's fear of collaps of sexist traditions or values? Because it is all about their comfort zone, isn't it? The history and culture cannot be separate into just language issue, which you embrace as "accept diversity". And to be clear - noone says that we should tell these people "fuck off, let your language die".

And second thing, what is so amazing about Catalan history and its language?

Mike Harman

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

fleur

there's a qualitative difference between tests which are implemented specifically to exclude immigrants and a language requirement which guarantees that public facing services are delivered in both languages.

Is there a qualitative difference when you're looking for a job?

Dannny

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

furbi

In the same way, one of the drivers of Catalan nationalism in recent years has been a series of moves from the PP government to interfere with laws promoting Catalan, especially in the sphere of education. The desire for status as a nation-state with full border controls is arising in part from the feeling of the language and culture being under threat from the conservative Spanish right. So having anarchists and communists call for removing language protections will just push people more towards hard line nationalism. Or maybe if we start telling people "don't worry, Cantdocartwheels and Dannny from Libcom are pretty sure that Catalan will be fine, also everyone speaks Spanish so why make a fuss?" that will win over lots of people to pure Esperanto speaking anarchist communism.

Haha well yes you could tell them that! Although if they look a bit handy, remember it was mostly cantdocartwheels :)
Seriously though, what do you think the role of internationalists and libertarians should be in this context? Of course it's true that the PP's interference in the legal enforcement of Catalan linguistic primacy has produced a predictable hardening of indepentist sentiment. I was in Barcelona 4 years ago or so when there was a Spain-wide education strike. In the build up the government played the stunt of subsidising private education for kids whose parents didn't want them to be taught in Catalan. The result was that a strike supposedly against cuts that were affecting the whole Spanish territory gave the impression in Barcelona of being an enormous nationalist mobilisation. Shouldn't we be trying to suggest a way out of these impasses?
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?
I would love to live in Barcelona, I speak a bit of Catalan, and I would be delighted to improve. Of course we're not weirdos who would take pleasure in a language dying out. But I do think there's an element of ingenuity in how blurred the line between 'defending' a language and discriminating against 'others' can be.

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Statement from the Barcelona union of street vendors (made up of African immigrants):

https://www.facebook.com/BLMUK/posts/870687239746920

furbi

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And to be clear - noone says that we should tell these people "fuck off, let your language die".

And second thing, what is so amazing about Catalan history and its language?

Now i'll be honest I have no romantic attachment to language. As such I don't really care if languages disappear personally

You can maybe forgive my confusion. What we have been trying to explain is why many Catalans feel that relaxing the protections for Catalan language are exactly a recipe for the language disappearing, and they have the evidence of other regions of Spain where regional languages disappeared after Francoism because they were not well promoted or supported. You can of course disagree with this, but to dismiss it as simply silly nonsense is a bit ahistorical.

To get back to the original claim, that promotion of Catalan causes discrimination against Castilian speakers who immigrate to Catalonia, has not really been supported or argued for here, except with hypothetical comparisons to the UK and the US. In Spain, the only place where these criticisms come from is the ultra-right. It is not an issue that appears to crop up much in workplace organizing in Catalonia. Most immigrants to Catalonia take advantage of the strong social support for learning Catalan, and it is actually a common stereotype in Spain that many of the most ardent Catalan independence supporters are themselves immigrants from other parts of Spain.
In other words, this "problem" is actually only an issue in practice for the ultra-right in Spain, and apparently some international anarchists who think that the Catalan language is not interesting enough to preserve.

This is just... such a weird point to attack. A mono-lingual Catalan could not move to Madrid and hope to get most jobs without learning some Spanish. That isn't discrimination, it's an issue of language. On the contrary, a mono-lingual Castilian speaker moving to Barcelona actually has many more options even without any Catalan knowledge, but to access a lot of jobs they need to learn some Catalan, because that is the regional language. It's... not really an issue, except for right wing politicians in the rest of Spain who use it to stir up Spanish nationalism.

furbi

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dannny

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?
.

I mean, this is a much bigger question, no? For me the answer might look something like building up strong anarchist communities and structures using these languages to keep them active and vibrant. That means a lot of organizing around education, cultural production, etc, maybe in the vein of some of the work that the Zapatistas were(are still?) doing around indigenous languages in Chiapas, for example.

But I think my answer ties in more with your other question,
Dannny

Seriously though, what do you think the role of internationalists and libertarians should be in this context? Of course it's true that the PP's interference in the legal enforcement of Catalan linguistic primacy has produced a predictable hardening of indepentist sentiment. I was in Barcelona 4 years ago or so when there was a Spain-wide education strike. In the build up the government played the stunt of subsidising private education for kids whose parents didn't want them to be taught in Catalan. The result was that a strike supposedly against cuts that were affecting the whole Spanish territory gave the impression in Barcelona of being an enormous nationalist mobilisation. Shouldn't we be trying to suggest a way out of these impasses?

The answer is that internationalists and libertarians are not strong enough, in Catalonia or anywhere else in the world, to have much political power to propose or implement solutions to these problems. To me, our role in the current independence crisis should be to try and leverage our opportunity to lead in the streets to try and redirect the terms of discussion away from purely nationalistic solutions and towards a working class movement against the state and capital. We can use this opportunity to build our organizations and capacity, and to try and open up spaces for autonomy and self-organization among the working class during this moment of rupture. And like you said, this should include educational and cultural organization as well.

At any rate, the point may soon be moot. Caixabank and Sabadell, the 3rd and 4th largest banks in Spain and the two largest in Catalonia just announced that they are moving headquarters out of Barcelona to other regions of Spain to "avoid instability", and various other companies are doing the same. So perhaps someday soon Barcelona will no longer be so attractive for economic migration...

Fleur

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark Harman:

Is there a qualitative difference when you're looking for a job?

Again I guess this is where different approaches come in. These language protections have been in place since the 70s, so they're no surprise to anyone. 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.

I would have thought supporting people to learn languages is far preferable than basically saying FU, I'll just speak English and not bother, which is what used to happen, when large swathes of the Francophone population had to rely on seasonal work. This is why there are so many disused orphanages in this city, people were forced to relinquish their children when winter came because they couldn't feed them. That's another story though but these scars run deep.

fwiw French is not a minority language globally but it is amongst the 569 million or so North Americans and left to it's own devises it's not inconceivable that it may die out under the weight of English and I think that would be a fucking shame because Quebecois French is a delight. Incidentally, myself and my English born kids are all officially classified in the census as Francophone,despite having English as our first language, the language stats are deliberately skewed.

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?

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.

MT

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

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

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

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

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

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Fleur

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

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Dannny

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

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Alf

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

jef costello

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

New thread for language discussion.

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

Salvoechea

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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. :) 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.

OliverTwister

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Here's some analysis from North America:

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

Alf

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

Serge Forward

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

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.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Another critical article by Tomas Ibáñez (in Spanish):

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

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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

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

baboon

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A view of the political situation as seen from Madrid:

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

robot

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

Red Marriott

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

baboon

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.

Alf

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I agree with that as well

akai

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

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.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

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,

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interview with Emili Cortavitarte from the CGT on the organisation of the general strike:

https://www.cgt-lkn.org/blog/archivos/4163

Alf

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ICC leaflet in Spain, which will be published in other languages soon, along with the article 'el embrollio catalan' which looks more into the historic background to this situation.
http://es.internationalism.org/accion-proletaria/201710/4240/enfrentamientos-en-cataluna-el-pasado-reaccionario-esta-en-la-democrac

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Live blog (in English) on the latest events in Catalonia:

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/live-blog-catalonia-independence-struggle

Guardian live updates:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2017/oct/10/catalan-parliament-discusses-independence-referendum-live

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A good reflection, it seems to me, the international secretary of CNT

Desborde o Tsunami
http://alasbarricadas.org/noticias/node/39041

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A translation of the Solidaridad Obrera statement on the referendum was posted on the urban thread.

destroy capital

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Some anarchists in Barcelona released this video just before the referendum showcasing a bunch of anti-nationalist graffiti and posters being put up over both pro-Spanish and Catalanist propaganada:

https://vimeo.com/236247678

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Oh, great. "We are SO different." But you'll have a hell of a time figuring out why...

nization

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Best article on the Catalonia situation published by far: https://carbureblog.com/2017/10/11/la-catalogne-dans-le-moment-populiste/

C.Hélène

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

translated into Castilian

http://dndf.org/?p=16444

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Occupation of Spanish embassy in Athens by Rouvikonas group. This was for an hour or so last Wednesday.

https://mobile.twitter.com/th1an1/status/918046774924849152

Edit: Statement by Rouvikonas

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Mark.

Another critical article by Tomas Ibáñez (in Spanish):

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

Translation:
Some Certainties. Tomás Ibáñez on the General Strike of October 3

Also:
Tomás Ibáñez - About Storms and Compasses

It is in the convulsive, complex, and stormy moments when it becomes more pressing to consult the compasses to avoid straying. However, it is also in the thunder of the storm that it is more difficult to rely on its indications. That is why it is necessary not to be dragged by the maelstrom of events that happen extremely fast and demand prompt responses. That is why it is necessary, if only for a moment, to “look up” beyond the immediate context, to take some distance from the storm, and try to glimpse to what horizon we are pushed by the acts to which the situation seems to place us.

From the sympathy, appreciation, and understanding, which I feel for many of the libertarians who are involved in the current mobilizations in Catalonia, I can not escape, however, that they are favoring, totally involuntarily, the process designed by the Catalan Government and by the nationalist formations to create “a new State”.

It is clear that this is not their goal, the very opposite, and that this is not the reason why they expose their bodies in a paradoxical “defense of the ballot box”, or call to a general strike in practical contiguity temporary with the referendum aiming the creation of the new State.

Its objectives range from contributing to “destroying the Spanish State” (hopefully that is achieved), to moving towards a situation where “everything can be decided”, and not only the political form of the territory, through the perspective of radicalizing the current conflict encouraging the creativity and the sparks of self-organization that appear in the population. Some even cherish the dream of an (improbable) popular insurrection that opens the way to an authentic “autonomy”, in the strong sense of that term that goes far beyond the self-determination of peoples.

These objectives, as well as the unavoidable commitment to the fight against the repression exerted by the State on those who defy its laws, deserve the most absolute respect. However, it is also obvious that the performance of these partners brings their grain of sand to the development of the pro-independence project, or rather, nationalist, which is as it should be called, since it does not pretend to “make independent” anything, but, “nation”.

If this contribution concerns me, it is not because it leads to the creation of a new state, in the end we will continue to struggle within it as we are doing within the current one, without the change of the state framework implying a qualitative difference that deserves special mention. Living in a new state brings us without care, however, the main negative impact that will emerge from our participation in the current conflict is that it will be up to us and the workers involved to paying the consecuences of the confrontation between the state instituted and the nascent state, as will happen, for example, to the twenty Greek anarchists arrested for occupying the embassy of Spain in solidarity “with Catalunya”.

What worries me, and it is precisely at this point that what I said before about the need to “look up”, is that the contribution to the current confrontations is giving wings to the “boom of nationalisms”, as it happens in all clashes between nationalisms, and it augurs a confrontation between workers both within Catalonia and between workers in Catalonia and elsewhere. Not to mention the corresponding “extreme right-wing” boom that has already been observed in a disturbing way in different parts of Spain. It is not that we have to give up fighting in order not to provoke the rise of the extreme right, of course, but what we should not do is fight in a scenario defined in nationalist codes because that does guarantee that boom.

At the moment, the respective actions of a Puigdemont that yesterday left in limbo the proclamation of the new State, and of a Rajoy that today sets in motion, without formalizing it, the suspension of the Catalan autonomy, reveal the concern not to harm the interests of large corporations, companies or financial institutions, and points out the limits that the two governments faced are not willing to transgress. That is being translated by an undercut of tension, by the staging of a spectacle of poses and deceptions, adorned with blank shots. So far the only blood that has already been spilled, and which should be avoided, is that of “the people below” who allowed themselves to be dragged into an orchestrated party and arbitrated by the political class according to their interests. Let us fight, yes, but not in battlefields where our enemies call us to side with them.

Tomás Ibáñez Barcelona, October 11, 2017

Ragnar

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Alf

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The two articles from the ICC in Spain have now been translated into English

http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201710/14406/confrontations-catalonia-democracy-and-nation-are-reactionary-past-proletaria

http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201710/14407/catalan-quagmire-shows-deepening-decomposition-capitalism

Mark.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jacobin article that may make the history of Catalan nationalism sound more progressive than it ever was.

Catalonia: Past and Future

C.Hélène

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.publico.es/espana/registros-vigilancia-amenazas-conviven-trabajadores-puerto-barcelona-presencia-policial.html

El masivo despliegue policial ha convertido el Puerto de Barcelona en un “cuartel militar”, explica a Público Josep María Beot, estibador y secretario de la Organización de Estibadores Portuarios de Barcelona (OEPB)

“Sufrimos los controles de identidad y de pase pero al final nos hemos acostumbrado”, expone Enrique Pecero, trabajador de Remolcadores de Barcelona y delegado sindical de la Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT

Salvoechea

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

By the way spanish government has decided the implementation of the article 155 of the Constitution, which means the suppression of the catalan autonomy. It has to be ratified by the senate, but there's no problem for the government as Partido Popular has the absolute majoritiy.

The most interesting thing is that in just two days top members of Partido Popular (PP) and institutions have threat Basque Country (ruled by PNV), Navarre (ruled by Podemos + Geroa Bai + EHBildu + Izquierda Unida) and Castilla-La Mancha (ruled by PSOE + Podemos). So, the problem is no really Catalonia after all. The problem is about democracy. Catalan resistance may catch in other places as well. But it's really worrying the authoritarian direction of Spain.

The top leader of PP in Catalonia has declared today that there's no need of new elections in here as "everybody knows the current political situation is viciating politics". Article 155 implies to call for a new autonomic elections within 6 months.

C.Hélène

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://elpais.com/economia/2017/10/23/actualidad/1508785222_325367.html

Los trabajadores públicos de la Generalitat que participaron en el llamado “paro de país” que se celebró el pasado 3 de octubre como protesta por las cargas policiales del día 1, tendrán que recuperar las horas en las que no fueron a trabajar.

Mark.

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It looks like Puigdemont will be calling elections instead of declaring independence:

http://www.eldiario.es/catalunya/politica/MINUTO-Diada_13_685361458.html

Edit: he’s now backed down from calling elections:

http://www.eldiario.es/catalunya/politica/Puigdemont-convocara-elecciones-declaracion-independencia_0_701330740.html

Report from Público. According to this a vote on independence is expected tomorrow morning but may be defeated with some PDeCAT deputies voting against.

http://www.publico.es/politica/articulo-155-independencia-catalunya-elecciones.html

Edit2: summary of the day’s events on alasbarricadas:

http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=644145#p644145

Mark.

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Independence declared:

https://mobile.twitter.com/BBCBreaking/status/923905074325155840

Senate in Madrid votes for article 155 and direct rule:

https://mobile.twitter.com/BBCBreaking/status/923915441197678592

Mark.

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Translation of the statement from CGT, CNT and Solidaridad Obrera:

https://enoughisenough14.org/2017/10/26/joint-statement-by-cgt-solidaridad-obrera-cnt-about-the-situation-in-catalonia/amp/

Thread from Enough is Enough!

https://mobile.twitter.com/enough14/status/923637451037528065

Craftwork

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Salvoechea

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's like banging the head against a wall. Catalans have won a Referendum, not because of catalan nationalism intelligence but thanks to spanish nationalism stupidity and failures. All the polls of 2000's stated that catalan national sentiment only appealed to 15-20%. However after the economic crisis this sentiment was overcome by dissatisfaction towards spanish state. That included many people from a leftist background. Nowadays this Catalan republic seems a logical continuation of spanish republic of 30's. The translation of this has been the breaking of a sector of Comuns, supporting the new republic (Podem deputies have voted for independence while post-communists like Coscubiela and postmodern marxists/autonomous like Colau are against it). In fact, I saw many Spanish republican flags among the crowd celebrating and toasting for the republic sake.

All this stuff is obviously symbolic. I don't think catalan politicians had ever imagined to arrive at this point. Now they cannot control their territory. But this is a 'interesting time to live in' as there are two legalities fighting each other. In fact, there's a new sense of anti-oligarchy on the air, as 1) big companies and banks (=big bourgeoisie) have abandoned Catalonia, 2) fascist/spanish nationalist demonstrations usually start in upper Barcelona, the wealthiest area. 3) all the catalan political spectrum has moved to the left, leaving the center-right party in minority. 4) A constituent process is on the mouth of many. 5) the first catalan laws suspended by the spanish govt are those social ones, like the one that forbids evictions, or tax the rich inheritance rights, or creates a basic income, etc. 6) Unions are more aware of the repression of the spanish state than of the existence of a country unable to impose any coercive measure.

Libertarian socialism is quite far from now. But it is interesting to live a situation like this, with everyone discussing about politics, open to new ideas. Spain might win, but with 3 million of disaffected people.

MT

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

LOL!

Btw., have you noticed the paragraph in the statement of the cgt, so and cnt where they make an interesting newspeak twist saying that by self-determination they mean, of course, the working class power. Can this get even more sleazy and opportunist?

Salvoechea

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Well, that statement comes from the anarchosyndicalist structures/committees in Madrid. In the spanish state not many people in the left understand catalans. Only basque independentists and other people as well as other spanish anarchists are proposing a realist way out, which is the end of monarchy and the federal republic. Working class power... difficult. We can only increase our social base, nothing more.

Red Marriott

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

MT

have you noticed the paragraph in the statement of the cgt, so and cnt where they make an interesting newspeak twist saying that by self-determination they mean, of course, the working class power. Can this get even more sleazy and opportunist?

Probably.
Salvochea

Working class power... difficult. We can only increase our social base, nothing more.

Apparently, by any compromises necessary with bourgeois ideology;
CNT&co

we do not understand the right to self-determination in a statist way, as nationalist parties and organizations proclaim, but as the right to self-organization of our class in a given territory. Thus understood, self-determination passes more by control of production and consumption by workers and by direct democracy from the bottom up, organized according to federalist principles, than by the establishment of a new frontier or the creation of a new state.

CNT statements continue to avoid criticising Catalan nationalism but instead portray it as an opportune gateway to greater working class power. This bureaucratic stupidity never learns from its own mistakes. What next, a statement like this defending a new 'self-determined' Catalan state?
CNT

"At the present time, the government, as the instrument that controls the organs of the state, has ceased to be a force of oppression against the working class, just as the state no longer represents a body that divides society into classes. And both will oppress people less now that the CNT has intervened." (Soldaridad Obrera, 4 Nov 1936)

First time as tragedy, second time as farce?

nization

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://www.thelocal.es/20171030/deposed-catalan-president-carles-puigdemont-is-apparently-already-in-belgium

http://news.sky.com/story/asylum-for-carles-puigdemont-in-belgium-not-unrealistic-11104132

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5030789/Carles-Puigdemont-posts-image-inside-Catalonia-parliament.html
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20171031_07/

Mark.

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Poll showing support for independence at 48.7%, opposition to independence at 43.6%, don’t knows/won’t says at 7.8%:

http://www.publico.es/politica/directo-catalunya-puigdemont-belgica.html

Predicted results for elections on the 21 December:

JxSí ganaría las elecciones al Parlament con entre 60 y 63 diputados, Cs sería la segunda fuerza con entre 25 y 26 diputados, y le seguirían el PSC (17-19), SíQueEsPot (12-14), el PP (10-11) y la CUP (8-9), según la estimación de voto de una encuesta del Centre d'Estudis de Opinió de la Generalitat (CEO).

There are 135 deputies so on these figures the independentistas (JxSí and CUP) would get a narrow majority. Presumably this would be seen as an endorsement of the result of the referendum.

Another report on the same poll:

http://www.eldiario.es/catalunya/politica/independentismo-volveria-elecciones-CIS-catalan_0_703080186.html

Craftwork

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think the irony is lost on them:

Ragnar

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://www.portaloaca.com/articulos/politica/13217-sobre-la-situacion-en-catalunya.html

Mark.

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Guardia Civil stop CNT banner drop at the port of Barcelona:

https://mobile.twitter.com/PortuariosCNT/status/928190555636592640

https://mobile.twitter.com/CNT_Barcelona/status/928205448544686080

https://mobile.twitter.com/oscarmartinezco/status/928195758876176384/photo/1

Mike Harman

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Catalan cops in riot gear clearing blockades: https://twitter.com/enough14/status/928184712677478400

nization

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interesting how the article manages to say nothing (or next to nothing) about the CUP origins of the CDRs, and the fact that the CUP are still, as of today, backing "the legitimate government (and President) of Catalonia"… you know, the one that got its main shred of support from a Belgian justice minister that belongs to a xenophobic, right-wing party …

… while at the same time writing off virtually everyone on the non-independence spectrum as "fascists" (of which there are no doubt quite a few)

(Libertarian?) politics as usual… sigh…

All kneel before the idol of self-organization!

Ragnar

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tot el poder als CDR!
http://ariet.cat/tot-el-poder-als-cdr/

Ragnar

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Confederalismo ibérico, una propuesta actual hacia la autogestión
https://elsaltodiario.com/laplaza/confederalismo-iberico-una-propuesta-actual-hacia-la-autogestion

Battlescarred

4 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Currently in Catalunya, in Girona. seen some of the mobilisations recently and also judging by posters/ stickers on streets all social contestation has been completely drowned by Catalan nationalism.

Spikymike

4 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This might have been overlooked by some on this thread:
https://libcom.org/library/catalonian-affair-miguel-amor-s
The ICT/CWO blog on this also worth a view.