In the febrile atmosphere of Catalonia’s attempted independence referendum and repression from Madrid, activists with the anarchist CNT union report that national police have been shipped in from all over Spain and are holed up at Barcelona’s port, seemingly in preparation to crush any significant upheavals.
Dock workers with Portuaris CNT have been tracking police movements in the Prince of Spain and Lepanto docks where three large ferries have been spotted which appear to be acting as hubs for officers loyal to the national PP (conservative) government.
Spanish President Mariano Rajoy has taken a heavily repressive line with the regional Catalan govenment over plans to mount a what Rajoy calls an illegal independence referendum on October 1st. Yesterday regional administrative offices across Catalonia were raided and 14 people detained, sparking a tense protest and standoff in Barcelona.
Madrid appears to be concerned about the loyalty of police on the ground, who are administered by the Barcelona government and have reportedly been reluctant to crack down hard on increasingly rowdy protests in the regional capital. A centrally-organised presence of national guard operating out of the docks would appear to be the PP’s standby measure to quickly enforce control if events escalate.
In a particularly cynical move, dockworkers suspect that at least one of the boats has been deliberately repainted to “throw off” inquiries by the international community:
The CNT in Catalonia as a whole has a complex relationship with the independence movement, similar to that of other areas of Europe where the internationalist aspect of anarchist politics runs into left-wing nationalist activism. As a tendency people tend to join the CNT from an anti-nationalist perspective but are strongly opposed to the sort of police oppression which has taken place over the last few days and will organise against measures attacking civil liberties. In a statement yesterday CNT Barcelona said:
In light of the events that took place today, from the CNT Barcelona we want to show our rejection of the repression inflicted, once again, by the Spanish State; seeing it as a use of force against the most basic social rights which again reveals the true face of the factual powers.
The working class will always keep the strength to overcome these authoritarian examples, because it is this one that supports the attacks of the interests of the bourgeoisie. We will not let ourselves fail in our intention to continue fighting and never, we will never give up the defence of the most basic rights of the workers.
Pics: Portuaris CNT