[Answer to IWA Statement] To our friends across the globe:

CNT

Some of you have expressed concern and doubt over the lies and half-truths that the current secretariat of the IWA have been spreading through social media. As you know, at CNT we don’t usually get involved in arguments over the Internet.

Dear comrades,
On the contrary, we’d rather focus on building a revolutionary grass-roots workers movement. We have little time or energy to waste on bickering on social networks and loose little sleep over what certain people, who are only active there, are saying. However, it seems that these recent comments from the current secretariat of the IWA have achieved their goal to spread misunderstandings and hence we’re answering some of these remarks, as you have asked us to do.

First, rest assured, there’s always been, as there is now, only ONE CNT in Spain. As has happened in the past, certain individuals are trying to benefit from the long tradition of revolutionary commitment that is associated with our name. If you’re aware of the events in the 1980s, you know that what is now CGT tried to hijack our name, after leaving CNT. At the time, the rift within our organisation was large and important and yet, after many lawsuits and confrontations, with tooth and nail, we fought this off. Now, history seems to be repeating itself, as a farce and on a tiny scale. Some individuals are very active on social media claiming to be CNT. Don’t be fooled by them. They only exist on the Internet. In no way is there a rift within the organisation, as there was thirty years ago. Needless to say, we’re going to oppose this fraud by all means necessary. We’ll defend our organisation, as we did in the past. Otherwise, CNT would be legally liable by the actions of others. We already have had to deposit 500,000 Euros in a tribunal to answer a claim brought against us by a criminal negligence that took place in one of our offices, occupied by some of these individuals. Likewise, we’ve had to appear in court to answer for threats posted on Facebook by some of them, under the name CNT. Beyond the moral duty to defend our organisation, the misappropriation of our name can’t go on.

Once this is clear, there are also some facts about these individuals that the current secretariat of IWA prefers not to mention in their statements. For example, that, except for maybe one or two exceptions, we’re talking about individuals or tiny groups that have no real activity, union-based or otherwise, beyond being present on social media. Neither is mentioned the fact that these individuals have stated, on paper and in person, that they intend to sue CNT for all our assets (offices, historical heritage, name, etc.) to keep it for themselves. They stated so in their application to become the Spanish Section (SS) of the IWA, so its secretariat is aware of this, though they probably don’t want to talk about it. There is also no mention in the statements about the fact that these individuals had, in turn, a massive fallout among themselves. They’ve already had several arguments and vicious fights over social media, as couldn’t be otherwise. Which of all these factions the IWA chose as its SS is not our concern.

What has us wondering, though, is if the current secretariat of IWA is aware of the situation and they’re hiding it, or if they’re being lied to or they’re fooling themselves about the reality of their SS. We have documents proving that they’ve been encouraging and supporting these individuals for a number of years (even when CNT was still in IWA), so they must surely know. This must be, then, an attempt to put up a semblance of normality in an international that has lost 95% of its individual members over the last two years thanks to kicking out CNT, FAU, FORA and USI. Surely, this should be enough to do some serious soul searching. Instead, they prefer hiding the truth behind a rather violent discourse, rather than having to consider the role they have played in the pitiful situation in which IWA currently finds itself.

Finally, no one is questioning IWA’s capacity to choose whoever they want as their SS, no matter how small or ineffective. Similarly, any group, faction or individual in Spain can attach IWA to their name, as far as we’re concerned. Regardless of what’s being suggested in the latest statements by IWA’s secretariat, no one is arguing that. By claiming that CNT is taking action against the IWA’s SS because of the international part of their name (the –IWA), the current secretariat is wilfully misrepresenting the truth. As we said above, there’s only one CNT and we’ll use any means necessary to defend our organisation from those who are trying to hijack our identity (the name “CNT”). Beyond that, the IWA can designate anyone as their SS, as long as they don’t claim to be CNT, because they’re not. In any case, it’s paradoxical, to say the least, that we’re being accused of trying to hold to the IWA name, when we’ve been reminding our branches to remove it from the offices. Those individuals who have busied themselves sharing the statements of the current secretariat of IWA on social media, while at the same time complaining that CNT have asked our branches to remove its name from our offices must suffer some form of schizophrenia.

As you all know, at CNT we don’t like getting entangled in online arguments with the trolls, so we won’t be commenting on this issue any further. Unfortunately, it’s highly probable that a long stream of digital lamentations, counter-claims and word nit-picking will follow this statement. We’d suggest our friends globally to ignore the white noise coming from certain corners -and from the current IWA secretariat in particular- and focus instead on real worker’s struggles, organising and other tangible revolutionary activities in general. That’s where you’ll find us and where you’re more than welcome to join us.
In solidarity,

CNT’s Permanent Secretariat

A nuestros compañeros y nuestras compañeras de todas partes del mundo

Comments

syndicalist
Feb 6 2018 23:32

If you folks disaffiliated on your own, you really can't claim the name of the IWA.

melenas
Feb 6 2018 23:56
syndicalist wrote:
If you folks disaffiliated on your own, you really can't claim the name of the IWA.

CNT doesnt claim the name of IWA, Read the text please.

syndicalist
Feb 7 2018 00:03
melenas wrote:
syndicalist wrote:
If you folks disaffiliated on your own, you really can't claim the name of the IWA.

CNT doesn't claim the name of IWA, Read the text please.

So your CNT has no claim to the name CNT-AIT then, if I am understanding you.

melenas
Feb 7 2018 00:12

CNT doesn't claim the name of IWA, I think is clear, now a days doesn't exist CNT-AIT becuase CNT is not more an IWA section. In Spain there is a IWA section that can call them selves whatever they want but not CNT.

Easy to understand.

syndicalist
Feb 7 2018 00:23
melenas wrote:
CNT doesn't claim the name of IWA, I think is clear, now a days doesn't exist CNT-AIT becuase CNT is not more an IWA section. In Spain there is a IWA section that can call them selves whatever they want but not CNT.

Easy to understand.

Not really, but ok

no1
Feb 7 2018 00:23

I really don't think this kind of stuff belongs in the news section

melenas
Feb 7 2018 00:41
syndicalist wrote:
melenas wrote:
CNT doesn't claim the name of IWA, I think is clear, now a days doesn't exist CNT-AIT becuase CNT is not more an IWA section. In Spain there is a IWA section that can call them selves whatever they want but not CNT.

Easy to understand.

Not really, but ok

Exactly yes.
If CNT is not anymore an IWA section can´t use the IWA name (is not using it).
those unions are not any more part of CNT so they can´t use the CNT name.

Why is so easy for you to understand the first part and not the second?
Is very easy, only the members of an organization can use the name of that organization.

Lugius
Feb 11 2018 05:25

melenas wrote:

Quote:
CNT doesn't claim the name of IWA, I think is clear, now a days doesn't exist CNT-AIT becuase CNT is not more an IWA section. In Spain there is a IWA section that can call them selves whatever they want but not CNT.

Easy to understand.

No you make it difficult to understand. The very same CNT Permanent Secretariat the made the above statement, made this statement not much more than a year ago;

https://libcom.org/blog/beyond-iwa-interview-cnt%E2%80%99s-international-secretary-04012017

It is clear that the CNT Permanent Secretariat thought themselves in the possession of the proper authority to "re-found" the IWA. This was the clear purpose of the Barakaldo conference to which the FAU, the USI and the IWW (among others) participated in. Aside from a few wholly unsubstantiated and generalised accusations of rigid ideology, bureaucracy and, most tellingly, 'inquisatorial monitoring' (an objection to transparency and accountability), the CNT Permanent Secretariat is relying the argument that 'might is right' based on their assertion that they comprise 90 to 95 % of 'IWA membership'. (Not a single verifiable figure is given)

Melenas makes allegations against the IWA Secretariat in entirely general terms without reference to any specific deed or event nor with any evidence provided. Indded, it would seem only alternative facts are presented;

Quote:
an international that has lost 95% of its individual members over the last two years thanks to kicking out CNT, FAU, FORA and USI

The CNT had not paid dues breaching a requirement of membership, the very same breach that the Permanent Secretariat used to justify the disaffiliation of CNT sections.

The FORA was repeatedly asked by email if they wished to remain with IWA or not - they gave no reply.

The IWA Congress of 2016 simply acknowledged these realities.

The CNT Permanent Secretariat writes:

Quote:
By claiming that CNT is taking action against the IWA’s SS because of the international part of their name (the –IWA), the current secretariat is wilfully misrepresenting the truth. As we said above, there’s only one CNT and we’ll use any means necessary to defend our organisation from those who are trying to hijack our identity (the name “CNT”).

But you claim to re-found the IWA did you not? The CNT Permanent Secretariat is attempting to justify the legal action against CNT-AIT to claim the CNT name because the question of ownership of the buildings belonging to 'defederated' CNT sections are at stake. Presumably this is what is meant by "any means necessary".

akai
Feb 11 2018 10:38

Lugius, l am afraid one part of your point is misleading. The CNT-AlT has as many or more unions that left CNT then were disaffiliated. Of those disaffiliated, dues played a part maybe in a couple of cases. Organizations that were disaffiliated from CNT were chased out, for among other things talking too loudly about corruption in Andalucia (vote buying, which was proven by the CNT's own commission) and for organizing common campaigns together with those who were driven out.

The strategy of the CNT has been to try and garner support around it's unexcusable and frankly anti-statutory behaviour with a continued campaign, lasting some years, of claiming its every critic is "not real", "trolls" or some tiny bunch of crazies. (People can judge themselves who sign their own name and whether or not they do anything "real".)

Lugius, l know you are really pissed at this, but actually, there is a reason this is published here - not only to defend themselves, but to bait people into senseless denegerate arguments, without the participation of too many other comrades in Spain. ln Spain, their own media is censored and those who would like to reply to this cannot.

Due to the fact that 3 lawsuits have been brought, commenting too much publically may not be wise. The lawsuits are against individual unions of CNT-AlT and, more than even a battle for the name (which they bring together against them with the State), they seek for example 50,001 euros in damages for supposed defamation. These are the type of people we are dealing with, who write all types of shit themselves, but feel quite comfortable doing so - not because they are telling the truth, but because they suppose that anarchists don't solve their disputes this way, by using the State to inflict crippling monetary punishment.

The first case goes to court in just over a week. l have the text of the suit and l have to say that reading it, l was reminded of the cases that bosses bring against workers here in this country, when they expose poor working conditions. lt focuses heavily on the fact that critical words were used against the CNT - in other words, it is largely about censuring criticism.

l am deeply disturbed by all these turns of events but ultimately, l put it down to a basic inability of people somehow calling themselves anarchists to live up to their own ideals and to resolve conflicts in another way. Basically, this started out as a failure within the CNT, not in the lWA. That they chose the path of conducting purges so that a certain faction could gain control over the organization and over the property of the organization, which by anarchist ethics should be communal, but by bourgeois law in under central control. A small group of people also chose to make Libcom, a public forum in which 99% of the lWA does not participate, the avenue for disclosing their intentions to "refound the lWA", which they did not want to disclose internally for many months. This was also part of a deliberate two-pronged strategy to escalate tension, not decrease it and to attempt to discredit others in a media which hitherto they ignored.

That's all from me since, as opposed to what this guard dog of CNT says, some of us actually are involved in real work and don't have time for this nonsense. And thanks in advance to those who will act in solidarity with us against the real repression we face from bosses and the state. We know exactly who in Spain has always been in solidarity with us and who had nothing to say ever in defense of our workers' movement, since they have been blinded by their hatred and ideology.