It is hard to see the complexity of reality when you are in the middle of the whirlwind. But I will try to make an analysis as objective as possible, beyond my own feelings and emotions.
I believe that Catalonia is in a revolutionary situation since 20 September. The people massively took to the streets that day to defend their institutions, and did not arrive at a situation of confrontation by self-control. Neither the “Mossos” nor the national police, nor the Civil Guard were prepared to face the mass. Tens of thousands, of citizens and citizens who crowded at the doors of the respective Councils when they were going to register and detain senior government officials. In the end, at dawn, after a whole day of surrounding the Ministry of Economy, the leaders of ANC (Popular Catalan Assembly) and Ómnium barely managed to convince the demonstrators to return to their homes. Only then could the Civil Guard leave.
The State could not react at the right time. And the Catalan people did so with no violence (just a broken car glass). But those who run that monarchical, semi-conquered state do know hatred and vengeance towards the Catalans. They started the media machinery, judicial and police to exercise a repression never seen since the Franco dictatorship. That was October 1, and many of those images shook the world.
They did not care what Europe saw or said, or the world. The Spanish state emerged from 78 is thus. Intrudes with the fascist brutality of the coup of 36. They remember with the massacres of 1640 and 1714. with the genocide and imperialist plunder of the colonies after the “discovery” of America. It is “your” law. It is “your” order. All people who pretend to discuss or negotiate it is considered a traitor to “their” sacrosanct idea of ”unity of Spain”. The right to self-determination recognized by the United Nations is for others, not for Spain “One, Big and Free”. And whoever tries that “challenge” can only expect war. Europe will stand, they think, because neither are interested in the dismemberment of Spain by a democratic revolution in the South. And the truth is that until now Europe has looked the other way. Will European workers and peoples react?
It is not just a matter of the semi-conquering PP. It is a Holy Reaction Alliance. Supposedly “socialist” Jeriphals have signed a document calling for tough hand and “law enforcement”. Alfonso Guerra, former socialist vice president, rivals Aznar in demanding that Rajoy “not shake his hand” and spitting on him that he is a loser. Bono, another “socialist” former defense minister, calls for a prison for Puigdemont. And the general secretary of the PSOE, Pedro Sánchez, is silent.
The fascist hosts that have always been in Spain, until today calm working from inside the PP, now they go out into the streets to say “¡A por ellos!”. Every speech of the young falangista Albert Rivera, leader of Citizens, is a harangue to crush the Catalan rebellion. In fact, the Anticatalan Alliance, monarchist, goes from the PP, to the PSOE and to Citizens. Catalan socialists are torn between betrayal of Catalunya and the whining of asking for mediation.
It’s not just about politicians. The “emptying of companies” has already begun. Banco Sabadell has already changed its official headquarters from Catalonia to another headquarters in Alicante, Spain. La Caixa Bank, more importantly, one of the great ones of Spain, is deciding it today in its board of administration. The Rajoy government is changing laws so that banks and companies can make that change by deciding few people, the boards of directors, instead of the assemblies of shareholders where many popular sectors participate in the case of Caixa Bank. Another law to favor banks and their lack of transparency.
The argument of the leaders of these banks is that if they do not “they would be without coverage” of the European Central Bank, something that many experts discuss. In fact they facilitate the “express outings” to scare. And the richest bourgeois and Catalan bankers seize the occasion. They have never been in favor of a Catalan Republic. With the monarchy has gone of wonderful. Especially when the Spanish Government bailed out the bank and we are paying everyone with cuts to Health, Education, Public Services, and Productive Investments. Spain is indebted for the biggest social scam ever. But rescuing banks with 50 billion euros was “legal.”
The general strike, called “country stoppage”, on Tuesday 3 demonstrated the potential of the revolutionary movement. In a few days millions have been mobilized. About three million on Sunday. But on Tuesday those already mobilized joined those who, without being independentist, no longer want to live under a regime that represses so brutally.
The mobilizations continue. Committees for the Defense of the Referendum – CDR. That’s what it’s all about. Puigdemont replied to the King Bourbon: “Not like that.” All the Spanish parties have been scandalized because Puigdemont, with exquisite manners, but asks for dialogue, reproaches him for not saying anything about the 900 wounded by the Civil Guard and Police and because … he already speaks to the King as equals! “What a dare!” Says Vice President Sáez de Santamaría, from the hardest wing.
Several initiatives have been launched to establish a dialogue between the Government and the Spanish Government. No one dares mention the word “negotiation” anymore. But Rajoy continues in his thirteen: “there is no dialogue with those who break the law and want to break the unity of Spain.” Neither the initiatives of Switzerland, nor of those of Archbishops and Vatican, nor of those of the Jurists where there are also the unions CCOO and UGT … and sure that there are many more, have until now been able to reason to those who direct the Spanish State. Puigdemont seems to be prepared not to propose the declaration of independence next Monday … if the State agrees to hold another referendum with more guarantees. Otherwise, the one that could have been celebrated is valid. That’s what people shout at the end of day 1 and following: “We voted.” The Catalan people will not accept a step back.
But defections begin to one side and another. A minister of the Government, the Business and Culture, has asked in an article in the newspaper ARA a few months to negotiate an exit. The position of the unions in the strike was very warm. He did not leave for them but for the people, the youth and even the good disposition of businessmen. But all this is provoking much internal debate. Also, middle managers of the national police have written a very critical writing with their commanders and the politicians of the operation of October 1, denouncing that they “took to the slaughterhouse” and that they do not understand anything of what happens in Catalonia, apologizing for the police charges of some colleagues.
The tension that provokes the repression and threats of suspension of autonomy before what can be this plenary of the Parliament of Monday 9 polarizes the Catalan society from the political point of view. There has not yet been a social fracture, but there may be. In fact PP and Citizens together with some “socialist” leaders are promoting it by spreading falsehoods and lies about the Catalans and calling for a “coup d’état” of a declaration of independence.
On Sunday there will be a demonstration in Barcelona against independence promoted by a platform that collects diverse sectors, but whose cement is the anticatalanismo. The fascists will target it, but the final speeches will be in charge of a filmmaker and a former “socialist” Catalan. The slogan of the organizations of sovereignty is not to go against counter-demonstration as a medium to fall into provocations that justify the establishment of the state of emergency by “riots.” At the other extreme there are also actions and preparatory meetings of these unitary defense committees for neighborhoods and towns.
Yesterday in Sant Boi del Llobregat there was one of those concentrations of committees, silent, against the settlement of an old military barracks to accommodate more police. There are also workers’ assemblies of trade unionists in favor of independence. In some cities, socialists are drawn from many municipal governments by forming alliances between the other parties. In others the Socialists supported the holding of the referendum. In Terrassa, an important working city where there has been one of the major mobilizations in this general strike, the Socialist mayor has already announced that he will resign and leave the party if the PSOE supports the application of Article 155 of suspension of autonomy.
Everything is going faster and faster and the storm is getting ready. The time for mediation is exhausted. Monday 9 may be another decisive day. We will keep on reporting.
October 6, 2017