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.


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. 


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). 


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.