CNT and CGT Statements Below
Spain annuls Catalan self-government, prepares military rule from Madrid
By Alex Lantier: Three weeks after the savage police crackdown on the October 1 Catalan independence referendum, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced the invocation of Article 155 to strip Catalonia’s regional government of its powers. In its place, Madrid is to install an unelected government in Barcelona backed by the Spanish army, Guardia Civil paramilitary police and other police units.
The implementation of Article 155 will inevitably involve the Spanish regime in a violent confrontation with broad masses of the Catalan population, where there is deep opposition to Madrid’s turn to dictatorship. As Rajoy’s Council of Ministers formulated the measures on Saturday, a half million people marched in Barcelona against Madrid’s arbitrary arrest of two Catalan nationalist politicians, Jordi Sànchez of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Jordi Cuixart of Omnium Cultural.
Catalan separatists are mobilizing a human shield and a Civil Disobedience Campaign to block efforts by the Spanish authorities to take control . Tens of thousands plan to concentrate around the regional government’s headquarters in Barcelona’s Gothic quarter and the nearby parliament building. They expect Spanish police to use force to try to shut down the administration and will put their bodies on the line, said one person.
The measures laid out by the Council of Ministers entail the suspension of democratic forms of rule in Catalonia and the installation of what is a government of military occupation in all but name. They include:
* Removing Catalan Premier Carles Puigdemont and all Catalan regional ministers and replacing them with “organs or authorities created for this purpose or designated by the [Spanish] government.”
* Granting full powers for Madrid to control the Catalan regional police, the Mossos d’Esquadra, to deploy police or Guardia Civil units to the region, and to take other security measures.
* Assigning control of “economic, financial, tax and budgetary” powers in Catalonia to the Spanish Treasury.
* Stripping the Catalan parliament of power to name a government or exercise oversight of the authorities set up by Madrid in Catalonia.
* Transferring control of Catalan public media to Madrid, which will control them so as to guarantee “respect for the values and principles contained in the Spanish constitution.”
Reuters reported that Catalonia said on Monday it was confident all officials including police would defy attempts by Madrid to enforce direct rule on the region.“It’s not that we will refuse (orders). It is not a personal decision. It is a seven million-person decision,” Romero asserted.
These measures are to be approved at the end of the week by the Spanish Senate, where Rajoy’s right-wing Popular Party (PP) has an absolute majority.
Madrid’s move to suspend Catalan autonomy marks a historic collapse of democratic forms of rule in Western Europe. It is 40 years ago today that Catalan nationalist politician Josep Taradellas returned to Barcelona from exile in France to lead the Catalan government, as the fascist regime installed by Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War collapsed amid mass struggles of the working class.
The granting of language rights and self-government to Catalonia was seen as key to overcoming the fascist heritage of Franco, who had banned the public use of the Catalan language.
Now Madrid is moving with the support of the European Union to repudiate the concessions in terms of social and democratic rights of the post-Franco period. At last week’s EU summit in Brussels, held after Rajoy pledged to invoke Article 155, EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron, all explicitly endorsed Rajoy’s onslaught against Catalonia.
Not only Guardia Civil, but also Spanish army units, including the Arapiles motorized infantry regiment in Catalonia, are being prepared for action.
An explosive conflict with revolutionary implications is being set into motion. Madrid’s imposition of an unelected dictatorship, after the October 1 referendum produced a 90 percent vote by over 2 million people for Catalan independence, will provoke mass resistance. The PP, which received a mere 8 percent of the vote in Catalonia’s last regional elections, has virtually no support or electoral presence there.
In Barcelona, La Vanguardia warned of the deep-rooted opposition Madrid’s power grab will unleash. Among Catalans, it wrote, “many are those who, without being secessionists, will cry bitter tears at the imminent collapse of the self-government obtained in 1977.” It continued: “Politics in the Iberian peninsula does not admit nuance. The message written in the sand is this: Catalonia is to be punished.”
On Saturday, buses and trains were packed as people came from across Catalonia to Barcelona for the 450,000-strong protest against the jailing of Sànchez and Cuixart. Puigdemont joined the protest, as did representatives of Catalonia’s main political parties, trade unions and associations. Protesters whistled and booed at Guardia Civil helicopters that flew overhead and shouted the anti-Franco slogan of the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War, “No pasarán” (“They will not pass”).
Workers at Catalan public television and radio are making clear they do not intend to obey Madrid’s diktat. TV3 workers issued a statement denouncing Article 155 as a “direct, unworthy and impudent attack on freedom of expression, of information and of the press and on the professionalism of the workers.” They said they would remain loyal to the Catalan parliament, “democratically elected on September 27, 2015.”
The works committee at Catalunya Ràdio issued a statement with the heading: “Without public media there is no democracy.” The statement pledged to defy the PP. It warned that if the central government chose a new director for the radio station, “we will have no other choice than to refuse to recognize his authority.”
It is vital for workers across Spain and Europe to oppose Madrid’s plans for more bloody repression in Catalonia. The political goal of the onslaught being prepared by Rajoy and the EU against the workers and masses of Catalonia is ever clearer: it is to stabilize a crisis-ridden EU by terrorizing the workers with the example of police-military dictatorship over an entire province.
The assault on Catalonia is exposing the class content of the vast attacks on democratic rights launched around the world since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Attempts by US and EU authorities to justify the massive build-up of police units, electronic spying capabilities and domestic military deployments like the French state of emergency by referring to a so-called “war on terror” are a political fraud. The main target is not Al Qaeda-linked Islamists, many of whom are financed by allies of the EU and the United States in wars for regime change in Syria and beyond. In Catalonia, the EU powers all support Madrid’s use of these powers to target peaceful political opposition because they are preparing to do the same.
Madrid’s claim, supported explicitly by the EU, that military rule is the only possible response to the Catalan independence referendum is an absurd lie, drenched in imperialist hypocrisy. Scotland held a referendum on independence from Great Britain in 2014, and Quebec held referendums on independence from Canada in 1980 and 1995. Neither London nor Ottawa marched tens of thousands of paramilitary police and army units to assault peaceful voters and forcibly preempt moves by these areas from seceding.
On the other hand, the NATO imperialist powers repeatedly invoked their supposedly sacred duty to defend secessionist movements—in Kosovo in 1999 and in Benghazi, Libya in 2011—to justify attacking countries such as Yugoslavia and Libya they were targeting for conquest.
It requires no great imagination to see how advocates of “humanitarian” imperialism like the Green politician Daniel Cohn-Bendit and the [French] New Anti-capitalist Party’s Olivier Besancenot would have reacted had videos emerged in 2011 of Libyan security forces assaulting peaceful voters and beating elderly women, as the Guardia Civil did on October 1. Denouncing Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi for attacking “his own people”, they would have demanded that NATO accelerate its timetable for bombing Libya and assassinating Gaddafi.
Cohn-Bendit is not, however, calling for bombing Madrid or murdering Rajoy. He is holding friendly meetings with Macron as Paris gives a green light for Rajoy to launch a neo-Francoite assault on Catalonia while preparing a further police-state build-up under cover of the French anti-terror law.
Spanish opposition to Rajoy’s violence, not only in Catalonia
People in two Spanish cities, Valencia and Bilbao, flooded the streets to voice their support for the referendum in Catalonia.
Spain: ‘Madrilenians for the Right to Decide’ show solidarity with Catalan referendum
30 September 2017..A group of Madrilenians held a rally in support of the Catalan independence referendum, in the Spanish capital, on Saturday, during which they spread a giant Catalan flag across a square.
This 1 October 2017 video from the Plaza del Sol in Madrid shows a big demonstration against Spanish police violence against voters in Catalonia.
This October 2017 video from Zaragoza in Aragon shows a big demonstration against Spanish police violence against voters in Catalonia.
Statement by the CNT Barcelona on the latest actions by the Spanish state.
Originally published by CNT Barcelona. Translated by Enough is Enough.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
Read all our reports about Catalonia; here.
Catalonia: Statement by CNT Barcelona on the Latest Actions by the Spanish State
To company Ibrahima , who has been the victim of institutional racism and jailed simply for being who he is, to come from wherever you come, we send you all our solidarity. To denounce the most stubborn patriarchal system that rests in the prisons of women, it must be fought, and we will not stop in our struggle and demands. If you can imagine a world without inequalities, you can imagine a world without prisons.
Statement by CGT Anarcho syndicalist trade union
The Confederal Committee of the CGT unanimously approved the following resolution regarding the situation in Catalonia
The political events in Catalonia and the repression of the Spanish State against the Catalan people make clear a need for the CGT
Press Office of the Confederal Committee of the CGT
Posted by RojoyNegro_Digital on Fri, 10/20/2017 – 11:55.
The CGT is absolutely against the escalating repression that the Government of the Spanish State has launched against the population of Catalonia and we will defend the reprisaled people of our class from repression from wherever it comes. In the same way we are against the repression exercised by the government of the Generalitat de Catalunya.
The CGT defends all civil liberties, that of assembly and demonstration, of free association, freedom of expression, the right to strike, etc …, and also supports the right to decide on all aspects of life, in all territories and across the globe, and direct democracy as a formula for decision-making.
We respect and defend the right to cultural and social diversity of each place, with all the implications that this has on the daily lives of people.
We defend the right to self-determination of all peoples. Self-determination implies, for the CGT, the capacity to decide everything above all, and has to be concretized in the practice of real self-management at all levels (economic, social, etc.).
The CGT does not support the construction of any state, either in the form of a republic or in any other form. The CGT has, among the principles that define it, the fight against all the states, and will continue defending and sponsoring the disappearance of the nation-states.
The CGT is not going to be used by blackmail and the strategies of the political classes, Catalan, Spanish, or any other place, because we understand that this will not improve the exploitation situation of our class.
The CGT is part of the working class and does not accept to participate in interclassist processes of territorial management, next to who exploits and represses us (Mordaza, Pandora I and II laws, Piñata, violent evictions of the places during 15M, Evictions, Reforms ,
Because of our participation in strike pickets, police and legal assemblies, etc.), because we are a class organization, autonomous, federalist, internationalist, self-managed and libertarian, what we define as anarcho-syndicalist.
That is why General Sgt. Of the CGT, José Manuel Muñoz Póliz, closed the meeting by highlighting that “these events today will be a scenario in the not too distant future whose objective will be to continue to repress the working class.”
Press Office of the Confederal Committee of the CGT
El Comité Confederal de la CGT aprueba por unanimidad la siguiente resolución en relación con la situación en Catalunya
- La CGT está absolutamente en contra de la escalada represiva que ha puesto en marcha el Gobierno del Estado español contra la población de Catalunya y defenderemos a las personas represaliadas de nuestra clase provenga la represión desde donde provenga. Del mismo modo estamos en contra de la represión que ejerce el gobierno de la Generalitat de Catalunya.
- La CGT defiende todas las libertades ciudadanas, la de reunión y manifestación, la de libre asociación, la libertad de expresión, el derecho a la huelga, etc…, y también apoya el derecho a decidir sobre todos los aspectos de la vida, en todos los territorios y en todo el planeta, y la democracia directa como fórmula para la toma de decisiones.
- Respetamos y defendemos el derecho a la diversidad cultural y social de cada lugar, con todas las implicaciones que ello tenga en la vida cotidiana de las personas.
- Defendemos el derecho a la autodeterminación de todos los pueblos. La autodeterminación implica, para la CGT, la capacidad para decidirlo todo sobre todo, y se tiene que concretar en la práctica de una autogestión real a todos los niveles (económico, social, etc).
- La CGT no apoya la construcción de ningún estado, ni en forma de república ni en ninguna otra forma. La CGT tiene, entre los principios que la definen, la lucha contra todos los estados, y seguirá defendiendo y auspiciando la desaparición de los estados-nación.
- La CGT defiende la Autogestión de la sociedad y el fin del capitalismo como sistema.
- La CGT no va a dejarse utilizar por el chantaje y las estrategias de las clases políticas, catalanas, españolas, ni de cualquier otro lugar, pues entendemos que ello no va a mejorar la situación de explotación de nuestra clase.
- La CGT forma parte de la clase trabajadora y no acepta participar en procesos interclasistas de gestión territorial, junto a quien nos explota y nos reprime (leyes Mordaza, Pandora I y II, Piñata, desalojos violentos de las plazas durante el 15M, Desahucios, Reformas Laborales, art. 135 de la Constitución, CETA, 27 i Més, imputaciones a sindicalistas por su participación en piquetes de huelga, montajes policiales y jurídicos, etc…), porque somos una organización de clase, autónoma, federalista, internacionalista, autogestionaria y libertaria, lo que definimos como Anarcosindicalista.
Por eso el Sº Gral. de la CGT, José Manuel Muñoz Póliz, ha cerrado la reunión resaltando que “estos acontecimientos de hoy constituirán un escenario en un futuro no muy lejano cuyo objetivo será el de continuar reprimiendo a la clase trabajadora”.
Gabinete de prensa del Comité Confederal de la CGT