Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Protests shatter USA on acquittal of Ferguson cop

Almost every day a black person is killed by police in the USA. Never mind the thousands who are arrested and convicted on minor crimes such as possession of marihuana to feed the slavery system of the private prisons. Ferguson is just the tip of the iceberg of a colonial racist system in an extremely undemocratic context.

No wonder that an uproar has surged in the streets of the cities across the Imperial Core.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ferguson?src=hash







Los Angeles march took over major highway

This uproar is good and necessary and does not only answers to circumstances. However for things to get straight there needs to be a Socialist focus that tackles the problem of oligarchic rule and lack of democracy. Only People's Power can address the very urgent needs of Humankind in the USA or anywhere else. 

The objective conditions for Revolution are here, and not just in the USA, however the subjective ones are not. People is angry with very good reason but they do not seem to know yet how to tackle the prevalent injustice, how to defeat the bourgeois oligarchy and establish a Real Democracy.

Without conscience we are powerless. With class conscience we can change it all. 


Update:

The situation across the USA seems to have been developing towards increased protests all across the territory as well as towards increased violence, particularly from police forces, which had no qualm about gassing around everyone or even shooting at them with rubber bullets and possibly even live ammo (unconfirmed).  

Twitter reports from Ferguson tell of police commanding the press to leave the city at once and also of heavy automatic gunfire. This kind of violence is not only found in the suburb of St. Louis but also in many other cities. 

LA cop shooting against demonstrators with a drum-fed grenade launcher (source)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Millions vote in Catalan independence referendum: 81% support independence

2.3 million Catalans (updated figure) voted yesterday in the independence referendum organized by Catalan institutions and declared illegal by the residual Spanish Empire. The worst fears of military intervention did not materialize and Catalans could vote on the future of their country in spite of all, although with most unionist forces not recognizing the vote. 

The figures are still provisional but reflect 96,8% of the votes, with the following results:
  • 80.72% voted for an independent Catalan state
  • 10.09% voted for a Catalan state but against independence (i.e. federalism)
  • 4.45% voted against a Catalan state
  • The rest include blank ballots and irregular choices like yes to independence but no or no choice regarding the concept of "state". This "other" category gathered more than 3% of the votes, suggesting that there is a sizable number of independentists against the state format.

The controversy now is on whether the referendum has any bearing at all, as it is "illegal" by the Imperial dictate of Madrid, and, more subtly if the turnout is enough to legitimate the vote. Obviously this is the burning nail of unionists, who want to somehow count the indifferent in their side this way, even if opinion polls show that the unionist option is much weaker than the independentist one.

For comparison: 
  • The 2014 EU elections had a 2.5 million voter turnout
  • The 2012 Catalan elections had a 3.7 million voter turnout
  • The 2011 Spanish elections had a 3.5 million voter turnout
  • The 2006 new statute referendum had a 2.6 million voter turnout

It is obvious that the majority of those who oppose independence did not vote but rather attempted to sabotage the vote with their abstention, supporting that way the Spanish Imperialist doctrine of negation of the right to self-determination of Catalonia and other nations imprisoned within its borders. But how many these abstaining unionist are? 300,000 or 1.5 million? Almost certainly the real figure is somewhere in between, say 800,000, judging on past electoral behavior and opinion polls. 

So while they may be willing to cast doubt on the result of the referendum, their argument is extremely weak and can only resound in the ears of the ignorant and those who are already persuaded. The reality is that at least 2/3 of Catalans who take a stand strongly support independence.

Figures' source: La Vanguardia[es]


Update: Spanish and even Basque institutional media is just ignoring the vote, as if it never happened.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Catalonia is voting its independence

Large queues, a clear sign of popular enthusiasm, are the main thing to mention at noon. In spite of all legal prohibitions, the People of Catalonia is voting massively in this journey of democratic hope. 

The main incident so far took place in a polling station of Girona, where a group of fascists attempted to violently sabotage the vote. Two of them were arrested. 

The spirit of disobedience is riding higher than expected and even the Catalan police corps have declined to identify those in charge of opening the polling stations, while the Catalan Government has assumed all responsibility in this act of democratic empowering and defiance. 

Catalan citizens decide today on the following double question: Do you want Catalonia to be a state? If so, do you want this state to be independent?

Unionists therefore can vote no to the first question, federalists yes to the first one and no to the second one and independentists (expected to win the vote by landslide) yes to both questions.


Madrid: damned if you do, damned if you don't

The Spanish authorities, extremely weakened by extreme loss of legitimacy of both of the twin parties of the post-fascist pseudo-democratic regime, sunk in corruption scandals and social-economic collapse under EU-orchestrated anti-social policies, seem powerless. Legally they could even order the establishment of martial law and what not but that would only escalate the conflict and debilitate the already weak state even more.

Spanish President Mariano Rajoy has claimed that he will stay in government for the whole year that he has left, what he can force because of the technical but non-representative majority his party has in Congress. However reality is tough and his position is every day weaker.

In this sense he recently acknowledged that sending the military police to impede the vote would be so terribly shaming for Spain that can't be actually done.

The journey has not finished yet but the first half of it has been so far a total success for democracy and for the demands of the stateless peoples of Europe. Congratulations Catalonia, thank you Catalonia.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Spanish state at the crossroads

The military-tutored "democracy" in the Kingdom of Spain is clearly collapsing as we speak. Almost 40 years after the death of dictator Franco, his brainchild, the restored Bourbonist constitutional monarchy, integrated in NATO and EU, is dying too. And the almost unnoticed recent change in the identity of the unelected monarch is just a symptom (the former King resigned as the popularity of the Franco's appointed monarchic institution was collapsing, amidst corruption scandals that shatter the whole political establishment, in a rather desperate attempt to refresh the decadent dynasty with a new untested face). 


Catalonia

In three days there will be a referendum in Catalonia for independence almost certainly. It has been declared illegal but it is clear that it cannot be canceled unless whole military occupation of the country is implemented overnight, something that is certainly not impossible but seems quite unlikely to succeed. 

Catalonia, with 16% of the population of the State and probably a larger share of its economy, is almost certainly way too large and its independence movement way too massive, able to take millions to the streets, to be just tackled with a mere military intervention. Never mind the correlative loss of prestige internal and external of the Spanish regime if they dare to do that.

What exactly will happen we will only know on November 9th and rumors abound as a military convoy of 15 armored vehicles, apparently transporting infantry and weapons, crossed through Barcelona yesterday, and a video showing military units being trained for mass unrest quelling has also raised quite an scandal. 


Collapse of the twin party

But surely even more important is the fact of the neo-francoist political establishment suffering a very clear collapse, with the new party Podemos (We Can), which has copied its program almost literally from that of United Left but has a distinct approach to grassroots participation in politics, leading by quite a margin in the most recent official opinion polls (Barómetro CIS Oct. 2014).

Asked about spontaneous vote intention in hypothetical elections tomorrow (question 23), 18% of Spaniards answered that they'd vote for Podemos, followed by 15% for the social-libera PSOE and only 12% for the conservative PP (currently in power). Interestingly, support for the traditional leftist option United Left (coalition around the Communist Party and akin to Greek Syriza although with a more elderly leadership that seems to lack enough charisma) also appears to fall, not reaching 4% in this question.

The combined vote intention plus sympathy compound (table 24b) also places Podemos first in the opinion poll, with 19% of overall popular support, closely followed by the center-left PSOE (18%) and at some distance by the right-wing ruling party PP (14%).


It is interesting to notice that the average popular perception of Podemos, which insists of disdaining the left-right classical polarization, is slightly farther to the left than that of United Left: 2.4 vs 2.7 in a scale where 1 is absolute left and 10 absolute right. Only Amaiur (now EH Bildu, Basque Nationalist Left coalition) is perceived as further to the left, with a 2.2 score.

It is also interesting to notice that the right-wing parties PP and its Navarrese ally UPN lead the extreme distrust results (question 16), with 60% declaring that they would never vote to the PP and (in Navarre only) with 88% declaring that they will not vote to its local ally UPN. Both are ruling in their respective areas and both have been shattered by massive corruption and mismanagement scandals. 

The UPN data evidences that the political situation in Navarre will no doubt change quite radically when local and regional elections are held next spring.

In this question, the best scoring parties are the Catalan Republican Left (ERC) which gets a 3.7 average (on a 1-10 scale) in Catalonia and Podemos with 3.1 (state-wide). These results clearly emphasize the kind of seismic shift that is happening in the Spanish state.

However it must be said that the twin party still probably has enough support to muster a narrow majority in Congress, notably considering the heavily biased Spanish electoral system that strongly favors rural provinces (where sociological change is generally slower and small parties' options almost nil). The deadline for general elections is just a year away and the examples of Italy and Germany show that NATO's quasi-official twin parties are willing to join forces to prevent the much demanded change from happening. 

On the other hand it is not impossible that a snowball effect of sorts attracts even more support to the Podemos phenomenon and hence even that "solution" becomes impossible. In any event, it is clear that the desire for radical change is crystallizing in various forms and that, especially considering its traditional trans-Atlantic links with Latin America, where similar political phenomena (Bolivarianism and also other left options) have been growing in the last decades, the State of Spain becomes a vortex of change in old Europe in the short run.

We will see.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kurdistan, Kobanê, Communism and everything else

Pepe Escobar has written a good article explaining the issue of Kobanê, Kurdistan and Turkish-led Islamism, I strongly recommend reading it:

The Kobani riddle
By Pepe Escobar

The brave women of Kobani - where Syrian Kurds are desperately fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh - are about to be betrayed by the "international community". These women warriors, apart from Caliph Ibrahim's goons, are also fighting treacherous agendas by the US, Turkey and the administration of Iraqi Kurdistan. So what's the real deal in Kobani? 



Linked in the article but very much worth a separate mention is the ideological handbook of the Kurdish Revolutionaries: Abudullah Oçalan's "Democratic Confederalism", which is surely one of the most advanced theoretical analyses of the issue of nations, the so-called "nation-state" and how it must be overcome in Communism (of the libertarian kind, naturally). 

As I have mentioned several times the Kurdish revolutionaries are at the forefront of the renovation of Western* (and possibly other) Revolutionary ideals and clearly deserve our respect and attention.

_______________________

*Western understood as West Eurasian (i.e. roughly the lands West of Pakistan and North of the Sahara). I don't really care for the rusty medieval remnant of Islamo-Christian divide, which may be still somewhat noisy and painful but is a dead man walking anyhow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

As the Fascists enter Kobane, Kurds protest in Western Europe

Kurdish protest at La Hague
The Fascist Islamist genocidal threat is reaching the streets of the besieged town of Kobane in Western Kurdistan (formally part of the Syrian state). The city is being attacked from the South by the Nazil-like forces of the Western-organized Islamic State and cut from its only possible support via the North by the Turkish Army and Police, which do not allow Kurds to cross the artificial border line on the railroad to join the fight. 

As reaction, Kurdish emigrants in Western Europe have been holding major rallies in London and La Hague, among other places. In London they occupied the largest subway station, Oxford Circus, while in La Hague they took the gates of of the Dutch Parliament. They demand decided action against the Islamic State and in support of Kurdistan. 

Meanwhile in Kobane the self-defenses have declared the town military zone and asked all civilians to leave, as it is well known that the Islamic State holds a genocidal policy against all those they consider their enemies. By the moment it seems that the presence of Fascists in the streets of Kobane is limited to a few outskirts buildings but the situation is dire in any case, with US air attacks (secretly approved by Damascus) shown to be nearly useless. 

In this sense Kurdish forces demand mainly one thing: good weapons that can be used against the Fascists, whose equipment is excellent thanks to Western support and the takeover of large hoards from the Iraqi Army. As we have seen in Ukraine, this kind of technical advantage may not be enough against a decided popular resistance fighting for their lives, but, while the Ukrainian Christian-Fascists have only a very weak grasp on the populace and totally plays the Western Imperial game as subordinates, the Arab Islamo-Fascists seem to have a much better organization, capable to defy established stats like Syria and Iraq and co-opt large chunks of the Sunni Arab population, including expert soldiers, while their game is blurrier: with vague pretenses of establishing a supposedly anti-Western empire but clearly historical and present day support by Western Imperialist forces. 

The most obvious one is Turkey. While Saudi Arabia, the USA and even Israel now pretend to be against the Islamic State, taking some formal and even military actions against it. Turkey is clearly playing in favor of their Arab Fascist allies by blocking any possibility of support from Northern Kurdistan (under Turkish occupation). 

Naturally the USA is playing with two decks here: the IS is designed to be an excuse for the Empire to intervene in Syria and Iraq, weakening the influence of Iran, Russia and China in the area. By the moment the USA has conducted some air strikes, which seem to have no or very limited impact in the developments on the ground. The situation is in nearly all aspects a repetition of the Islamist uprising in Mali, which served the USA to gain some drone bases in the region and for France to return to its traditional role of post-colonial "protector" of the African regimes.

However West Asia is by all means much more geostrategical and volatile than West Africa. And the perilous game that the Western agents are playing there will have no doubt much greater consequences for all, including Europe. 


Biden speaks out

US Vice-President Joe Biden has been saying a few truths as of late, even if he had to apologize for them and some imperialist press paint him as prone to the foot-in-mouth disease. The reality is that he's saying, very mildly, what needs to be said. 

First of all, he accused Erdogan's Islamist Turkey of supporting the IS by allowing many of its members to enter Syria, what is true. Erdogan claimed to Heaven and Hell for his innocence and said that those fanatics crossed the border as unarmed tourists.

He also claimed that, as it is true that they kept the border way too open in the past, now they are keeping it tightly closed. What translated to plain English means: yes, we did allow the Fascist Islamists to enter Syria and provided all kind of help to them and now we won't allow the Kurdish militias to help the defense of Kobane. 

A full confession in diplomatic slang. Still Biden had to apologize, what underlines the actual role that the USA and its allies in the region are playing regarding the IS: covert support and a mere pretense of indignation, mostly oriented to gain imperialist control.

Another interesting remark by Vice-President Biden was that the USA has embarrassed its European allies by forcing sanctions against Russia that mostly harm the EU.


Kurdistan as bastion of Humanism and Progress in West Asia

Kurdistan and the Kurdish People stand today as the main bastion of resistance against Islamism and Imperialism. But they are more than that: in the course of their struggle for self-determination, they have developed strong progressive and socialist ideals, even recently trying to overcome the burden of bourgeois nation-state cages by appealing to confederate democratic self-rule of the peoples and communities of the region. 

It is not needed to mention that, among Kurds, and in spite of the deeply rooted historical burden of Muslim Patriarchy, women enjoy increasingly equal status, largely thanks to their own commitment in the guerrillas and militias that defend their country against their oppressors. Socialist ideals stand high among Kurds and definitely they hold better than anyone else the banner of Humanism in West Asia, being nearly impossible to defeat thanks to their numbers (the largest stateless nation on Earth) and the mountains that shelter them. 

In this sense I can't but issue again another appeal for almost unconditional support for the Kurdish cause, because it is not different in essence to the cause of Humankind. 

Long Live the Kurdish People!
Long Live Free Kurdistan!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Catalonia calls independence referendum

Support for independentism in Catalonia per the 2012 elections
Yesterday at 10:30, Catalan President Artur Mas, backed by his cabinet and the parliamentary majority, solemnly signed the decree 129/2014, which calls for a referendum on Catalan independence on November 9th. 

After signing such a historical decree, Mas spoke to the press in Catalan, Spanish and English, emphasizing the broad majority that supports this decision and recalling the massive citizen mobilizations of the last years, which have gathered millions once and again, in support for the right of self-determination of Catalonia. 

Then he walked out to the street to personally greet members of the movements National Catalan Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, which have been impelling the movement for self-determination at grassroots level in a non-partisan way. 

These organizations installed a giant urn and a counter, which yesterday marked 42 days and 12 hours until the referendum. 

Meanwhile in the offices, Vice-President Joana Ortega was approving the technical aspects of the vote: the census that will be used (the population registry of the Catalan Statistical Office, Idescat), printing the ballots, organizing the urns, etc. An informative campaign on the referendum was also initiated. 

Most of the parties supporting the referendum already have clear that they will call for a YES vote. These are Democratic Convergence (CDC), Republican Left (ERC) and the Popular Unity List (CUP). Two other parties are still debating: Democratic Union (UDC), minor partner of Mas' CDC, will decide their position on a meeting this Sunday, while Intiative for Catalonia - The Greens will do so via an internal vote. 

Meanwhile the Spanish Nationalist parties PSOE, PP and the racist far-right seedling Ciutadans, have all decided to ignore the referendum altogether, as they consider it illegal.

For reference, this is the representation that each party or coalition has in the Parliament of Catalonia:
  1. Convergence and Union (CiU = CDC + UDC): 50 seats
  2. Republican Left (ERC): 21 seats
  3. PSC-PSOE: 20 seats
  4. PP: 19 seats
  5. Initiative for Catalonia - Greens: 13 seats
  6. Ciutadans: 9 seats
  7. People's Unity: 3 seats
Notice that in the European elections and opinion polls CiU has yielded much support to ERC, while the Spanish Nationalist parties have clearly lost support, among other reasons for their support and implementation of draconian EU pro-bankster anti-social policies but also because of the striking national awakening of the Catalan People. 


Madrid dead-set to veto democracy

With their usual imperialist arrogance and disrespect for democracy, the Spanish twin party PP-PSOE stands clearly determined to block the right of Catalans to decide on their own affairs. 

Today an emergency cabinet meeting will be held in Moncloa Palace, the see of the Spanish government. The cabinet will appeal the referendum to the Constitutional Court, which will meet on Tuesday. It is widely expected that the Spanish tribunal will veto the Catalan decree that very day. 

While this outcome is widely expected no matter what, as there is no real separation of powers in Spain nor effective judicial independence, from a purely legal viewpoint the reason seems to stand in favor of Catalonia. In this sense the preamble of the referendum decree clearly underlines that Catalonia has been transferred the right and management of popular consultations in order to gauge the opinion of the people. 

Technically the referendum is just consultative and the Catalan authorities have the power to promote Constitutional reforms and to ask Catalans on their opinion for this purpose. With the law on hand, the referendum is therefore absolutely legal. 

Even if the Spanish Constitutional Court vetoes the referendum, Mas has announced that he will keep the process rolling on the pretext that, if the decree is suspended and not directly declared null, this suspension can theoretically be removed at any moment, reason why the whole process must keep going. 

Source: Gara[es].


Spain on the eve of its dissolution

The very continuity of the State of Spain, as we have known it, presents every day more question marks. This is how Gara's cartoonist Tasio sees this critical moment:



... with the pen of the Catalan referendum decree being a torpedo that threatens to sink Ship Spain. 

No kidding: France, Spain and many other European and Mediterranean states built on the uniformist, assimilationist and hyper-centralist Jacobin (neo-Absolutist) model designed by the French bourgeoisie after the Revolution, have serious cohesion issues. 

The case of Spain is however paradigmatic: Catalonia, with 7.6 million inhabitants, makes up 16% of all the population of the state. Together with almost three million Basques, who are also fighting for our self-determination, that is more than 21% of the so-called "Spanish" population. In industrial and overall economic might, the share is even greater. And I haven't yet counted the other Catalan Countries or the other nations like Galicia where independentism is a strong force. Even in historical core areas like Andalusia or Aragon, nationalism, particularly left-wing nationalism with a strong social consciousness and revolutionary programs, is clearly growing as we speak.

Naturally not just Castile or "core Spain" will actively and even violently fight against the rights of the Catalan and Basque peoples to rule ourselves in democracy, but France particularly will do as well. By extension and design so will do all NATO. So shaking off the joke of Spanish and French occupation does not seem easy at all. 

But Spain is the weakest link in all this Western Imperial alliance bloc. It has been so historically and it is even more nowadays. Spain is economically and politically weak. Even in its recent apogee in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it could not manage to be accepted among the G7 powers, not even in the much wider G20, a clear sign of its dependency on other powers such as France, the USA, Germany and Britain. The weakness of its "economic miracle", based on real state speculation even more than in the USA or Britain, was revealed under the light of the global economic crisis that began in 2007 and shows no sign of abating.

It is of course very possible that Spain will, very provisionally, survive this ongoing process of self-determination in Catalonia and the Basque Country, thanks to its police and military might and its international alignment as vassal of the NATO Empire. But it is extremely clear that it is weakened to the marrow and that its chances of survival, in its current extension, in the mid term are very close to zero. Time and the will of the Peoples strongly work against this authoritarian monster created only by the power of military bullying. 

Today this military authoritarian only pillar of the Kingdom of Spain is clearly not anymore enough to keep the state together. We don't live anymore in the times of Absolutist nor Fascist tyrants: cohesion can't be produced only by military violence, the Peoples are not willing to swallow that anymore, the whole social paradigm has changed and, sooner than later, Democracy will prevail.

ETA calls for a broad national agreement for self-determination

On the Basque Fighters' Day, September 27th, the Basque guerrilla Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basqueland And Freedom), in unilateral permanent ceasefire since more than three years ago, has issued a new communication.

They argue that the international situation for self-determination of oppressed peoples has entered a new stage with the Scottish and Catalan referendums and that, being the right to decide an overwhelming demand of Basque society, a broad-spectrum agreement must be reached among the political forces around this immediate goal.

While this demand is clearly hegemonic among Basques, the occupant authorities from Madrid of Paris are doing everything to harm the Basque Country, imposing all kind of laws and economic impositions and increasing political repression against Basque citizens. 

That is why ETA calls for a broad National Agreement with the goal of effectively implementing the right of self determination in the Basque Country. Being this a key historical moment for the hopes of freedom of the Basque Nation.

With the sight quite clearly on Catalonia, which is calling for a referendum for November 9th in spite of all Spanish legal and political obstacles, ETA mentions that the upcoming months will see critical developments for the hopes of the Basque People, making a rally call for all activists of the Basque Nationalist Left to work for the success of this opportunity.

They reckon that the way ahead is not easy, but they sustain that it is possible:
We are building the road to freedom and, with faith in our strength, illusion and energy, we will achieve it.
They finish with the usual slogan:
Long live the Free Basque Country!

Long live the Socialist Basque Country!

Keep working until independence and socialism are achieved!


Sources: Gara: