Many thanks to John Hird from Izquierda Revolucionaria (Revolutionary Left) in Spain for this report on the latest developments in Catalunya which took place on Sunday 8 October. Izquierda Revolucionaria along with our Socialist Party here are part of the Committee for a Workers International – you can find out more about the CWI here)
“Following on from the flight of capital from Catalonia the Spanish State managed to organise a march in Barcelona this Sunday in support of the constitution with the help of PSOE and all the press and media, the far right and open fascist groups.
We never underestimated the ability of the Spanish State to organise reaction. The solidarity for the movement in Catalonia in the rest of Spain has been instinctive and despite the confusion caused by the fence sitting position of the union bureaucracies, the IU (United Left) and PODEMOS.
In effect there is a government of national unity in all but name. PSOE (Spanish Socialist Party – socialist in name only) have participated in the march today. On Saturday morning an ex-PSOE minister was interviewed on The BBC TODAY programme and was offered the opportunity to condemn the police violence against voters on October 1st but just said, ‘the police do worse in other countries……’
Yesterday there were demos outside town halls with people dressed in white, no banners or slogans, just a plea, ‘to talk.’ PODEMOS were behind the initiative. In the main it was the ‘do-gooding’ middle class who want to avoid conflict. Even today the leader of the IU has said that the conflict could be solved if only Rajoy and Puigdemont sat down and negotiated. This is a complete misreading of the political situation and has served to disarm sections of the working class politically. What is there to negotiate? Catalans won the right to vote on the streets. While PODEMOS and IU were involved in parliamentary manoeuvres and begging for talks, the Spanish Sate was sending police reinforcements to Catalonia, jailing politicians and organising a flight of capital!
The march today was of an entirely different character although there were some elements calling for dialogue. Thousands were bussed in from all over Spain but it was clear the PP managed to mobilise thousands from Catalonia. The march included fascist and far right groups who openly gave the fascist salute. Marchers stopped outside Guardia Civil barracks and thanks were given to the to the ‘upholders of law and order and protectors of the constitution.’ Some journalists mistakenly identified as working for Catalan TV were beaten up in the street.
The TV and Radio were in full propaganda mode. It’s the first time I have ever heard demonstrators given all the time they wanted to voice their views live on air. It was sickening to see the corrupt band of millionaires from the PP and Ciudadanos draped in Spanish flags leading the march.
Latest news on Sunday is that Puigdemont is sticking to the idea that UDI will be declared but that is from an interview to be aired tonight but which was made earlier in the week. At the time of writing it is unclear if Puigdemont’s Party PDeCAT will pull back from the brink. PDeCat is the principle party of Catalan capitalism which has in effect been abandoned by its backers, many of whom have ‘unpatriotically’ taken their money out of the country! This yet again underlines the point made by Izquierda Revolucionaría that the Catalan right to self determination can only be achieved by a mass movement led by the working class.
It is rumoured that the CUP (a left pro Catalan independence party) are pushing for a Declaration of Independence to be made but ‘without a date’ to avoid state violence. They have put all their faith in state institutions rather than the mass movement. The CUP have also been complicit in paralysing the defence committees and sending people home without a clear strategy of what has to be done. Events have shown up the leaders of PSOE and the unions for the traitors they are and the absolute inadequacy of the programme of the new left reformists of PODEMOS and IU in a living mass movement which we have seen develop in Catalonia over the last few weeks. In reality backing down and making concessions only encourages the Spanish State to go further. It was the mass movement in support of the right to vote a week ago tonight which pushed to the PP back. Every repressive blow has been met by mass mobilisations.
Today the leader of IU is actually saying that everything could be solved if only Rajoy and Puigdemont sat down and talked! It has also showed up the dead end of the policy of the left nationalists like the CUP. Making pacts with right wing nationalists ends in betrayal.
This is not over…… the Catalan youth have called for further strikes on Tuesday. Mass mobilisations, then reaction gets organised and yet again further mass movements is the way of revolution and counter revolution.
Hundreds of thousands are learning hard lessons in Catalonia and the Spanish State.“
Other updates will follow …………
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