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Catalan Chronicle: 8N – General Strike without major unions

Alfons Bech (La Aurora) – 11.08.2017

Today there has been a general strike called by a small independentist union, the CSC-Intersindical. The main teachers union, USTEC, has joined this call for strike. The anarchist union CGT has freed its affiliates to join. And the majority unions, which are against the convenience of a general strike, have opposed to convene or participate in it. UGT has hinted that people from your union would participate. And the general secretary of CCOO, the largest union, has declared defiant: “we are the ones who call strikes and it is not the time to convene any.”

Well, without becoming like the one of October 3, the general strike has been a success if we take into account the number of companies and workers affected by the road and train cuts that have prevented them from arriving at work, achieving complete paralysis of transport. Also for the number of teachers who have gone on strike, 45%. Also because the Catalan public television and radio have joined the strike. Also for the amount of stores and small businesses closed.

The big unions, which did not want to participate in the strike, pushed to prevent the unitary Mesa for Democracy from supporting a “country strike”. They managed not to call. But they have not been able to avoid the success of one of the biggest mobilizations in Catalonia. Thousands, tens of thousands of young people, of students, of farmers with their tractors, of adults, of people of all ages, have gone from the first hours of the morning to cut the key arteries. Highways that had never been paralyzed in previous general strikes, have been for hours and hours. Train stations such as Girona and Barcelona and its roads have been invaded by hundreds of buses preventing high-speed trains and connections between Madrid-Barcelona-Frontera. The borders are still closed at 9 o’clock at night.

In the concentration of today of Barcelona of 6 in the afternoon for the freedom of the political prisoners, the minority unions, the CDR, like ANC and Omnium have been applauded by 25,000 people, with shouts of general strike. On the other hand, the general secretary of UGT has been booed. And the CCOO has not even dared to face. What things! We are witnessing a revolt in which the great apparatus of the monarchical stage are overwhelmed. The parties enter into crisis, they are divided, they suffer important defections. There are also strange alliances apparently against nature, such as those of the Socialists with the PP and Citizens. The big unions manage to stop the workers’ action and create an anti-independence climate that keeps the factories from stopping, but they can not stop the strike from spreading or the sympathy for the revolt within their membership.

And what is the situation? More than half Govern in jail and the rest in exile. The two leaders of the main sovereignist organizations in jail. The President and all the Bureau of the Parliament imputed and perhaps about to enter the prison also tomorrow. But the Catalan people remain stubborn in their battle to be heard, because their right to decide, to have their self-government and their institutions is respected. Their self-organization in the CDRs is an experience that all of Europe and the world must follow. This strike has been an example of this.

The impulse of this democratic revolution goes a long way. It is already playing Europe. Brussels is no longer the quiet place of the bureaucracy of the European Union. Catalonia has turned it into a center of debate, of political crisis. Still exiled and without effective power, Puigdemont has been the European leader who has dared to say to the face the President of the European Commission, Junker, and the President of the European Parliament, Tajani, what they did not want to hear: “Do you want a Europe with an imprisoned government? Is this the Europe you propose to us? “, Urging them to respect the votes that came out of the 21-D elections. “Will you continue to help Mr. Rajoy in this coup?” Europe will have to respond. Workers and peoples of Europe and the world, help Catalonia.


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