So… #Catalonia is Independent Now?

On Friday a majority of the Catalan parliament declared independence, at the same time a majority of the Spanish parliament activated article 155, suspending Catalan autonomy. The so-called Catalan process entered a new phase.

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Image: Screenshot with Javier Mulleras, city council member for the Partido Popular (PP) in Barcelona. On this screenshot Mulleras is inside the building of Catalan public radio during the attack by Spanish nationalists and fascists on Friday night. The PP is the governing party in Spain.

Published by Enough is Enough.

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.

So… Catalonia is Independent Now?

On Friday a majority of the Catalan parliament declared independence, at the same time a majority of the Spanish parliament activated article 155, suspending Catalan autonomy. The so-called Catalan process entered a new phase.

Before we go to our first thoughts about the start of this new phase, we report a few of the things the Catalan and Spanish ruling classes did yesterday. But first we want to stress that we are not in favour of any state. We consider states to be part of the problem.

On Thursday night the Catalan minister of economy, Santi Vila, resigned. His resignation came after the Catalan governing parties agreed to declare independence on Friday. Its another indication that at least parts of the Catalan government actually never really wanted to declare independence.

The answer of the Spanish government was known before the declaration of independence was even announced; Rajoy and his governing party Partido Popular (PP) activated article 155, backed by the social-democrats (PSOE) and Ciudanos.

We are in no way supporters of cops, but this development could play a role in the coming days and weeks; On Saturday Catalan police chief Josep Lluís Trapero resigned after the Spanish government ordered his dismissal. Trapero wrote a letter asking Catalan cops “to be sympathetic and stay loyal with [the new chiefs] decisions.” Trapero stepped down after the Director General of the Catalan police, Pere Soler, also resigned following the Spanish government’s decision to fire him.

The resignations of Trapero and Soler are just two events (and there were many others) that brings us to the question: How valuable is the declaration of independence? The Spanish flag was still waving on the roof of the office Catalan Prime Minister Puigdemont on Sunday morning and the Catalan ruling class continue to stress that resistance against the Spanish state must be peaceful. In a pre-recorded speech Puigdemont stressed yesterday: “Let’s continue persevering with the only attitude that can make us winners: without violence or insults.” But this comes from a man who has good chances to get political asylum when things go wrong for the Catalan ruling class. Even when he will be imprisoned, he will get a totally different treatment in comparison to other prisoners of the Spanish state.

Its too early to say what will happen in the coming days and weeks, or even months. But its clear that the Spanish state will not give up easy. Spanish cops and Guardia Civil are still present in Catalonia and do whatever they want in this disputed area. In other words; The Catalan ruling class is not in control of the Catalan territory. In that sense the declaration of independence seems to be just a start of a new phase in the conflict, or even a kind of symbolic act.

Today Spanish nationalists and fascists of Falange, Democracia Nacional, and other fascist groups and parties are protesting against Catalan independence. Like on October 8 and on several other occasions these protests will probably be accompanied with fascist attacks. On Friday the fascists attacked Catalan public radio and bystanders during protests against Catalan independence. Two people had to be treated in hospital.

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Image: On Friday windows of Catalan public radio were smashed by Spanish nationalists and fascists.

Events like this this could be used by the Spanish state to send in the paramilitary Guardia Civil and Spanish Policia Nacional to end the “chaos” and there is no way that the Catalan ruling class is going to prevent that from happening. Because of the resignation of the heads of Catalan police (which are NOT our friends and allies) it isn’t even sure that the Catalan government is in control of the Catalan police.

The actions of the people living in Catalonia will be decisive. They are the ones that will be hit by possible repression, but they are also the ones who could organize resistance against the very same repression. During our visitis in Catalonia, we witnessed that the level of self-organisation is very high in many neighbourhoods of Barcelona. Comrades from Barcelona told us that this kind of self-organization is also growing in other cities, towns and villages in the rest of the Catalan territory. We are convinced that self-organized resistance is the only possibillity for people to defend themselves against repression by the Spanish state (Actually we think its to only way for people to defend themselves against repression in general, from whatever ruling class or state the repression is coming from).

This is the point where anarchist could get more involved. Not only because anarchists will, as always, also face repression by the Spanish state, but because this is a chance to boost an emancipatory process and to push social issues on the Catalan territory. One doesn’t have to be in favour of a Catalan state to fight against repression and push issues that are important in the struggle for total liberation. We would never fight for a Catalan state, in fact we would never fight for any state. But that said this must not automatically mean anarchists should not engage in the Catalan process.

All over the world anarchist are fighting against states, capitalism, racism, patriarchy, the freedom of movement and many other issues and things are not looking good. The capitalist states are showing their ugly authoritarian face more and more and fascism is rising. The comrades that are involved in the Catalan process could have a point when they argue that we are not able to abolish the Spanish state at the moment. In fact this applies to all European states. Their argument to weaken the Spanish central state by the Catalan process is one that we shouldn’t ignore. We should at least listen and discuss their arguments.

Even though the Catalan ruling class can’t be trusted and although large parts of Catalan society want a “traditional” European capitalist state, apart from the ones that want to stay part of the Spanish state, there are also a lot of people with an emancipatory agenda in the Catalan territory. The last ones are often active in the district assemblies. When there will be self-organized resistance against repression by the Spanish state, it will probably come from the people who are organizing themselves in these assemblies. If self-organized structures continue to grow,  their influence will also grow, especially when people start to realize that they did it themselves and the Catalan ruling class is not in control and never was. In combination with pushing anti-authoritarian and social issues the Catalan process could develope in something much more interesting and way more important as it is at the moment.

We wrote it in earlier statements and we do it again; We are not optimistic. We also understand the position of anarchist comrades that are not involved in the Catalan process. Actually we are not really involved ourselves, we have a kind of observing status. The ruling Catalan class will do anything to use people for their agenda, and people who are involved in the Catalan process not only should be aware of this, but also should be aware that they are taking a big risk and bear responsibility.

But people who are not willing to engage in the Catalan process should answer the question; What do we have to lose? The Spanish state also has nothing to offer…

In solidarity, some of the Enough is Enough team, October 30, 2017.

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Image: Poster of an antifa mobilization on October 30 in Barcelona, 07:30pm at Mandri amb Mitre.




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This entry was posted in Anarchism, Catalunya, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to So… #Catalonia is Independent Now?

  1. Pingback: #Catalonia: #Antifa Demo in #Barcelona After Fascist Attacks | Enough is Enough!

  2. SamFanto says:

    You say “people who are not willing to engage in the Catalan process should answer the question; What do we have to lose? ”
    Well – all sense of perspective, all genuine independence, all authentic self-determination (all of which begin with opposition to the hierarchical perspective of a nation-state).

    Check out this: homage to catatonia – http://dialectical-delinquents.com/homage-to-catatonia-2/

  3. Pingback: Catalonia: #Antifa Demo in Barcelona After Fascist Attacks – Mpalothia

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