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Tomás Ibáñez on #Catalonia: About Storms and Compasses

Tomás Ibáñez on #Catalonia: About Storms and Compasses. Statement from October 11.

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.

Tomás Ibáñez on Catalonia: About Storms and Compasses

It is in the convulsive, complex, and stormy moments when it becomes more pressing to consult the compasses to avoid straying. However, it is also in the thunder of the storm that it is more difficult to rely on its indications. That is why it is necessary not to be dragged by the maelstrom of events that happen extremely fast and demand prompt responses. That is why it is necessary, if only for a moment, to “look up” beyond the immediate context, to take some distance from the storm, and try to glimpse to what horizon we are pushed by the acts to which the situation seems to place us.

From the sympathy, appreciation, and understanding, which I feel for many of the libertarians who are involved in the current mobilizations in Catalonia, I can not escape, however, that they are favoring, totally involuntarily, the process designed by the Catalan Government and by the nationalist formations to create “a new State”.

It is clear that this is not their goal, the very opposite, and that this is not the reason why they expose their bodies in a paradoxical “defense of the ballot box”, or call to a general strike in practical contiguity temporary with the referendum aiming the creation of the new State.

Its objectives range from contributing to “destroying the Spanish State” (hopefully that is achieved), to moving towards a situation where “everything can be decided”, and not only the political form of the territory, through the perspective of radicalizing the current conflict encouraging the creativity and the sparks of self-organization that appear in the population. Some even cherish the dream of an (improbable) popular insurrection that opens the way to an authentic “autonomy”, in the strong sense of that term that goes far beyond the self-determination of peoples.

These objectives, as well as the unavoidable commitment to the fight against the repression exerted by the State on those who defy its laws, deserve the most absolute respect. However, it is also obvious that the performance of these partners brings their grain of sand to the development of the pro-independence project, or rather, nationalist, which is as it should be called, since it does not pretend to “make independent” anything, but, “nation”.

If this contribution concerns me, it is not because it leads to the creation of a new state, in the end we will continue to struggle within it as we are doing within the current one, without the change of the state framework implying a qualitative difference that deserves special mention. Living in a new state brings us without care, however, the main negative impact that will emerge from our participation in the current conflict is that it will be up to us and the workers involved to paying the consecuences of the confrontation between the state instituted and the nascent state, as will happen, for example, to the twenty Greek anarchists arrested for occupying the embassy of Spain in solidarity “with Catalunya”.

What worries me, and it is precisely at this point that what I said before about the need to “look up”, is that the contribution to the current confrontations is giving wings to the “boom of nationalisms”, as it happens in all clashes between nationalisms, and it augurs a confrontation between workers both within Catalonia and between workers in Catalonia and elsewhere. Not to mention the corresponding “extreme right-wing” boom that has already been observed in a disturbing way in different parts of Spain. It is not that we have to give up fighting in order not to provoke the rise of the extreme right, of course, but what we should not do is fight in a scenario defined in nationalist codes because that does guarantee that boom.

At the moment, the respective actions of a Puigdemont that yesterday left in limbo the proclamation of the new State, and of a Rajoy that today sets in motion, without formalizing it, the suspension of the Catalan autonomy, reveal the concern not to harm the interests of large corporations, companies or financial institutions, and points out the limits that the two governments faced are not willing to transgress. That is being translated by an undercut of tension, by the staging of a spectacle of poses and deceptions, adorned with blank shots. So far the only blood that has already been spilled, and which should be avoided, is that of “the people below” who allowed themselves to be dragged into an orchestrated party and arbitrated by the political class according to their interests. Let us fight, yes, but not in battlefields where our enemies call us to side with them.

Tomás Ibáñez Barcelona, October 11, 2017


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