|Do not cry for a land that fights, fight for a land that cries!|
Today several Catalan politicians were jailed on accusation of "sedition" or "rebellion", what is a nonsense because they never used violence to overthrow the status quo but the Spanish Inquisition (Supreme Court in this case) is making things up and twisting the law all they can in order to step up the repression.
One of them, the Secretary General of Catalan Republican Left (ERC), Marta Rovira, chose to exile herself to Switzerland, joining a growing number of Catalan political leaders in exile, either in Switzerland or in Belgium.
Another of those imprisoned today was Jordi Turull, who is the only candidate for the Presidency of the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya), vote that was being held today (he did not get enough votes because the decisive Popular Unity List (CUP) abstained on grounds of wavering republicanism and lack of a social program).
Also imprisoned were Carme Forcadell (former President of the Catalan Parliament), Raul Romeva (former head of the Republican unity list Together for Catalonia), Josep Rull and Dolors Bassa (former consellers or ministers).
This every day looks more like Turkey.
But the streets are angry, very angry.
Not only because of Catalonia, there are many other open conflicts feeding into each other, notably the retirees have been staging massive protests in the last weeks against the effective pension cuts while police salaries are increased, military expenditure doubled as Trump demanded, corruption cases keep showing at every corner like mushrooms and the illegitimate debt to save the Spanish banks and other private ventures like useless highways, i.e. to save German and other international banks for slightly longer, is being increased every day.
The Precariat is also angry and starting to get organized and protest. Also a synchronous conflict has been happening in Murcia City between working class neighbors and the state who illegally is imposing that the bullet train (TAV, another useless waste) goes through their neighborhoods, right by their homes in many cases, above ground, cutting the city in two. The government went so nervous that police was seen patrolling with loaded guns just a couple of days ago, something unseen since ETA began its disarmament process.
But where anger is really spilling over is in Catalonia, always in the nonviolent manner they have conducted their independence process so far. I do not have yet all the info but I know that semi-spontaneously, organized by the Comittees of Defense of the Republic (CDR, popular assemblies working in national network), there have been many demos and pickets. Notably they have cut the train traffic at the station of Lleida, the border with France at Puigcerdá, and have walked out in most towns across the country, in several cases suffering violent police repression.
|Popular picket at Lleida train station (and some cops)|
|demo in Barcelona|
|police brutality today in Catalonia (credit: Jordi Borras)|
These images (from FB group We Stand in Solidarity With Catalans) aren't but a tiny relation of what has been happening today again in the forbidden Catalan Republic. And I suspect that it is only the beginning of something huge, because the general mood is clear: if they jail our leaders, they will have to jail millions of us.
There are informal calls for long-standing general strike, for repeated road, railroad, airport and harbor blockades. Not sure what exactly will come out of this but it looks that, once again, we are in a proto-revolutionary scenario, at the very least in Catalonia.
And let's not forget that Catalans are 7.5 million people, 16% of the population of the failed state of Spain, and also one of the most vigorous economic areas in spite of Madrid sucking every single large company or almost.
As a side note, the government can't even pass the budget, because they can't muster a majority to do so, they are resorting to pointless resistance by means of the state apparatus, dominated by fascist currents like the greedy Catholic order Opus Dei, but they lack any sort of coherent governance beyond last trench repression without any sort of compromise with common sense and social consensus.
The situation is anything but under control: the failed banana kingdom is one step or several closer to total collapse. And I will applaud when that finally happens, because in order to save the Spanairds (by force or grade) Spain must be destroyed, razed to the ground and power returned to the peoples.
Gora herrien borroka! Long live the struggle of the peoples!
Very lucid assessment.ReplyDelete
I noticed that you did not touch upon the hypocrisy within the society regarding this moral question: Segments of Spanish society are known to loudly support the independence of the "Western Sahara" from Morocco but somehow also fall silent about occupied nations (Catalonia) within their own country. Javier Bardem is one of the faces of this hypocrisy: https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2014/05/130227/javier-bardem-on-western-sahara-and-catalan-independence-duplicity-or-ignorance/
You and your Moroccan king's bootlicker paper may have a point but who am I to get involved with the political position of an actor, who is not even a political leader and is probably already risking his career to some extent by supporting several democratic causas such as that of West Sahara.ReplyDelete
There is a more notorious case, that of actor Willy Toledo who has been much more radical in his stands, even criticizing Podemos (where he briefly docked) for their mindless reformism, who is adamant supporter of the Cuban Revolution and who has indeed stood in support of Catalans (not "Catalonians"), and who is, as result basically in persistent unemployment.
I'm not judging "society" because there's no such thing under Capitalist individualist atomization (Thatcher dixit) and many many Spaniards, growingly so on light of repression and in spite of brutal media manipulation of the facts and bombardment of lies, are taking the side of Catalonia. By doing so they are risking their jobs and maybe even their lives, because Spain has turned to be a dictatorship, or more precisely: an extremely authoritarian and corrupt regime, much like Morocco and Turkey.
The real issue is Spanish nationalism implicit in the Spanish left (most of it, there're always exceptions and growingly so), an issue that ETA's leader Argala already mentioned in one of his few public articles as a major barrier for internationalist cooperation. The problem does not lay or mostly not in the separatist left but in the lack national humilty by the "left" of the imperialist nation. These left-imperialists, who hide themselves behind vague claims of "internationalism" and of "worker class unity", would be scolded by most classical communists, in the anarchist or in the Marxist camps, including Lenin, who imposed the right to self-determination in the USSR's constitution and defended such right to be exerted even within bourgeois parameters (and thus the original Russian Soviet Federative Republic did not intervene in Finland, nor in the Baltic states and went to war with Poland only in defense of Ukraine and Belarus).
I fear what Spain has become under the corrupt political party of M. Rajoy which has greatly infected the European Commission. All of this could have been averted through dialogue instead of using political influences of the Spanish courts to repress Catalan laws, democracy, and human rights. We are facing the scourge of fascism in America as well. I'm not Democrat or Republican, but I'm very much against the politics we are seeing today. Authoritarians are in power now.ReplyDelete
When you dig a bit in Spanish history you realize that this period is nothing but the Spanish normality, that it has always been like that because, heh, Inquisition, feudal oligarchy and militaristic attitude. It's only normal that Spanish "bizarro" (brave, manly) became English "bizarre" (weird, freaky) because what (many) Spaniards perceive as "good" the rest of the universe correctly perceives as mad. It's only normal that the most beloved book of Spanish literature is "El Lazarillo", the adventures of a cynic con man whose life goal is none but to gain some coin and social position no matter what, stepping over anyone else and resorting to all kind of mischief, hilarious maybe but evil nonetheless. It's a country of sociopaths and idiots. I strongly suspect it is so because it never ceased to be a Roman colony in any meaningful way and also because it never experienced a successful revolution. Until it goes through one it'll be the same over and over.Delete
The situation in America, not just in the USA (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, etc. are also in very bad situations) is totally comparable. Some of these countries did undergo revolutions of some sort but to a very limited extent, they still need a goo shake over. The USA is a particularly interesting situation because it manages to stay as the big international bully but it is a position that is clearly dwindling and meanwhile the workers in the metropolis are also suffering a lot and democracy is nowhere to be seen, almost as bad as in Spain.
My opinion is that there will be major revolutions in the next decade or two and that the aforementioned countries are prime candidates to be the ones experiencing them, because the situation can hardly be worse and the oligarchs have no serious plan to keep society cohesive and working. If there are no revolutions, it'll be even worse.