#Catalonia: Some Certainties. Tomás Ibáñez on the General Strike of October 3

Tomás Ibáñez on the general strike of October 3.


Originally published by A Las Barricadas. Translated by comrades from Barcelona.

Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of  these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.

Read all our reports about Catalonia; here.



Catalonia: Some Certainties. Tomás Ibáñez on the General Strike of October 3

The savage police attack perpetrated on 1 October against a part of the Catalan population reminds us, if necessary, that the use of force is part of the State’s own definition. The action of the Spanish State made it very clear, showing in full light what all the States conceal behind their friendly and protective face. Repression must never be left unanswered, and it is obvious that anarchists must always denounce it and appear.

However, as the use of force is a “legal prerogative” of any State, we can not be naive in the face of the strategies developed by the Catalan independence movement to forge a new State that will necessarily have the same prerogatives. It is clear that the pulse between the Spanish Government and the Catalan government is tremendously unequal, the instruments of power are basically concentrated in the hands of the central government and that is why it is imperative that the Catalan government can oppose with the only weapon that can give them an advantage: amplitude of popular support for their purposes.

Fighting repression is one thing, giving air to the strategies of the Catalan government and letting themselves be used to serve their purposes, swelling the ranks of those who serve as a popular mattress against the Spanish government, is a different thing.

In this sense, the general strike in Catalonia called for by the CGT and other trade unions precisely two days after the referendum on self-determination, that is to say today, October 3, can’t be disconnected in any way from the scenario drawn by the call for a consultation that seeks to pave the way for the creation of a new state in the form of the Catalan Republic. Since one can’t do without the context to understand the meaning of these acts and to value them, that call could not but cause me some perplexity.

You can prefer a Catalan state as a republic before a Spanish state as a monarchy and that seems understandable and understand someone wants to fight for it, whether it is an anarchist (one is only “anarchist”) as if it is an inveterate nationalist. What is difficult for me to understand is that organizations of a libertarian nature are dragged into this struggle, or that participation in this struggle is justified by anarchist arguments. The implication in the struggle for a new Catalan State has nothing to do with anarchism and responds to other considerations.

The most specific context in which the strike call of the day 3 is inserted after the convocation of a “National Strike” launched by other entities, increases the perplexity to which I referred earlier. We were used to it that employers and the Authorities acted against strikes, making them difficult and trying to reduce the data on their follow up.

This time the opposite happens, some of the employers supported the paralysis of the country and the Catalan government not only granted day workers of the Generalitat, but retains the salary, it’s like an employer lockout is ENACTED but without loss of salary. It is true that the ambiguity respects the nature of the action launched to paralyze the country. The “Table for Democracy”, consisting of the main pro-independence organizations, by major trade unions, and organizations of employers, among others, does not speak of a general strike, and refuses even to speak of a strike, using expressions such as “a national strike” or a “civic strike”.

I write this text while October 3 is still in progress, but it is obvious that this “National Stop” will reach an overwhelming success and will obscure, without completely canceling, the scope of the “General Strike” called for by the anarcho-syndicalist unions together with other unions.

I had publicly expressed my disagreement with the opportunity for anarcho-syndicalist organizations to call for a general strike two days after the referendum, those discrepancies were the same as those they maintained against participation or collaboration with the referendum driven by the nationalists. I keep these discrepancies intact, and my decision not to participate in the October 3 rallies was taken.

However, today I will critically attend the demonstration called for by the CGT and the CNT, among other groups. What has changed my decision is “the statement (abusively qualified as” unitary “) of the libertarian movement”.

I agree with the content on the essentials. The emphasis given by this statement to the denunciation of the Catalan government and its repressive forces partially mitigates the contribution of the call for strike to the governmental and extra-governmental independence strategy towards the creation of a new state.

However I do not seem to understand the title that heads that statement: “We have chosen to fight.” It is obvious that the dilemma for anarchists does not arise between “fighting, or not fighting,” simply because quitting is incompatible with anarchism. That dilemma arises in quite different terms on which I will not insist here again.

Tomás Ibáñez, Barcelona, October 3.

Originally published by A Las Barricadas. Translated by comrades from Barcelona.


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4 Responses to #Catalonia: Some Certainties. Tomás Ibáñez on the General Strike of October 3

  1. Pingback: #Catalonia: Waiting for the Big Bang | Enough is Enough!

  2. Pingback: Catalonia: Waiting for the Big Bang – Mpalothia

  3. Pingback: #Catalonia: Waiting for the Big Bang | Presence Counts · 15o · OccupyLjubljana

  4. Pingback: Anarchistischer Monatsrückblick: Oktober 2017 | Bodenfrost

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