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The #Barcelona Interview Series: Aitor from Embat: “For me to Leave Spain is a Strategic Move”

Tomorrow there will be elections in Catalonia. On Novermber 20 we spoke with Aitor Tarradella of Embat.


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 interviews from Barcelona; here.

Download, read and print the PDF file: The #Barcelona Interview Series: Aitor from Embat: “For me to Leave Spain is a Strategic Move” 

The Barcelona Interview Series: Aitor from Embat: “For me to Leave Spain is a Strategic Move”

Tomorrow there will be elections in Catalonia. On Novermber 20 we spoke with Aitor Tarradella of Embat.

  • How did you react when the independence movement came up and was getting stronger, because I guess it wasn’t easy to find a position on what to do in this situation?

Aitor: Well, first I am from Embat and we are people from different generations. We have a real connection and knowledge of the independent movement. Even before it was stronger as it is now. The leftwing independence movement is from well… between 82 or 86. So they have a long history. So your question about independence or emanciptation of Catalonia.. It’s something that was very present in our organisation from the beginning. Even before it’s creation. So when it really started we already had our point of view and a position about that. So it wasn’t really difficult to take a stand about that. Our position about this kind of self-determination was an idealist position. The situation is often more visible and more clear in colonies like for instance Algeria or the Philippines (These states are officially independent, but still treated as colonies, EIE). So we tried to make this relation between the colonies and Catalonia. But I think our strongest position is not this point, it’s a strategic one. The strongest point is about the restoration of the democracy in 1978 and the fact that in these 40 years the Spanish state is like a fortress. It’s blocking any advance to change anything. Even the smallest reformist idea. So we think that it was an opportunity to make a declaration of independence to break out of Spain. It opens a new field, new possibilities to change things. Not directly an anarchist society but to have new possibilities to to work on that. So we understand the declaration of independence in this way. A strategic way. So people can take the streets and have more empowerment and then we might be able to really change things someday. But at the same time we weren’t very enthousiastic about it (the declaration of independence, EIE). Because society was not prepared. Some independentists have really strong ideas about nationalism, like this inter-classist scenario. Which is not our thing. But we understand this as a strategic step anyway. So yes we decided maybe we are going to vote, it’s going to happen and maybe things will not change in the way we want but it will open a new field. We can work out new strategies on this new field. The place where we are is closed, were stuck and can’t change anything (inside the Spanish state, EIE).

The date that drastically changed a lot for me was the 20th of September. That was the day that the Spanish Guardia Civil and the Policia Nacional came to the CUP (Far-left party in Catalonia, EIE) headquarters and to the Catalonian ministry of economy. They started to confiscate voting registers and arrested officials. There were a lot of people on the streets. The committees to defend the republic were created and expanding fast. This day was not just about big politics like Catalan president Puigdemont against Rajoy (Spanish prime minister, EIE), on this day it became a grassroots movement. People started to take action, maybe not the kind of action that I was expecting but that day changed the whole scenario.

  • There are many different groups, initiatives and parties who are part of the independence movement. Can you tell us something about your views on these different groups and about their positions?

Aitor: First of all I will speak about the political parties that were in Catalan parliament before the Spanish state forced us to hold new elections on the 21st of December. We have this coalition of parties Junts pel Si ( which means Together for Yes, JxSi, EIE). Which is a coalition of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC, EIE) which is a party that is about 100 years old. Then we have Convergence and Union (Convergència i Unió, CiU, EIE), a liberal right wing and conservative party which has its origins in the transition. This party was dissolved and re-founded as PDeCAT. In the Junts pel Si there are also some independent people from other parties that were not present in the independence movement. This coalition was created to organize the referendum and to make the declaration of independence possible. There are also some people from civil society in this coalition. The presidents of the ANC and Omnium are also in it. This is part of the spectrum. For me it’s totally right wing and controlled by the parties. The people from civil society that are in it, are there to have a good appearance but they have no social content. They have this totally inter-classist idea and that’s it.

Then there is CUP, which is the left independentist party. It came out of the left-independentist movement. There are two main organisations in CUP, one is more anti-capitalistic than the other. They have different points of view in strategy. There is also ARAN, which is the youth organisation of CUP. A left independence workers union, there is also a feminist organization, and an anti-repression Organization inside CUP. So this is the spectrum where they work with. I think they are really interesting. They started as a municipalist movement and tried to do politics from the city councils. A few ago they did the step to get into Catalan parliament. They did that to support the declaration of independence. They are also interesting because they have really strong ethics. They have a salary cap. Their MP’s can keep 1400€ of the 5000€  they receive. The rest are given to solidarity movements and social issues. The structure of CUP is mostly horizontal. They don’t have a chief in command or something like that. Decisions are taken in assemblies. They also have a quite ambitious program. They are anti-capitalists, feminists and ecologists. There are also some parts of the old left, like some communists in CUP. But their visions are pointed to what I would call the new left. Their main reference are movements like the Zapatistas and Kurdistan (Aitor meant Rojava, EIE). They are not coming from the old Soviet-Union ideas.

So these are the parts of the independent movement that are in parliament. On the streets you have the left-independentist movement. These are organisations that are not only working in a parliamentist way. There are for instance syndikalists etcetera etcetera. On the other hand we also have the ANC and Omnium which are the main organizations that nowadays are leading the Catalan independence process. They are linked with Junts pel Si. These two organisations are inter-classist and have no social content. They just want independence for independence. They have faith in the institutions. At first it seemed that they were the ones that were pushing the government to declare independence but right now it seems that they are just taking orders from the government. Now they say, stay calm, wait for the elections blah blah blah.

Than we have some other indepententist movements, but in my view they are not properly organized. There is Negres Tempestes (Read our interview with Negres Tempestes, EIE), which is a small collective. I think that’s the spectrum inside the independence movement.

And now, since the 20th of September, we have the CDR’s, the Committees to Defend the Referendum. These are local organizations that are mostly initiated from the left and created to have a response and defend the referendum so people would be able to vote (during the referendum on the 1st of October, EIE) but also to defend people against the police. Most of the CDR’s are very diverse. Not one of the CDR’s is similar to the others because they are formed by many people which are very diverse. But at the same I think that this diversity is a benefit. They have a lot of debates about many issues that the other organizations cannot do. In some places, where they are more horizontal than in the others, they are horizontal and they use methods of direct action. They have no leaders. I think this development is really interesting.

  • There are also anarchists who are not involved in the independence movement. Can you tell us something about their position and how do you think about that?

Aitor: I think that the independence movement or maybe it’s better to say this independence idea has been present from the beginning as I started to get politically active. It’s present in all the anarchist movements for a long time now. Many years ago it was linked with anarchists that were totally ideologic. Idealistic about anarchism. The mainstream anarchists at that time were people like for instance squatters, dressed in black and all this stuff. They had this position that we have to be against a declaration of independence and things like that because it’s about nationalism and creating a new state blah blah blah. I think that was the main position. A few years ago this has changed but because the independent movement has changed, the anarchist movement has changed it. Nowadays there are much more social anarchists, or maybe I should say practical ones. They try to develop new strategies and create new material to work with other people. If you do that you cannot be an outsider of society. I think that changed a lot. But right now I think it’s not mainstream to be an independentist in anarchism. There is a debate right now and I think it’s kind of late. During a meeting with many people we had a good debate about this but at the same time no-one is getting to a conclusion. Everyone is giving his or her opinion but that’s it. There was no position like: this is what we need right now. So the debate is ongoing because many people don’t want to come to a conclusion. I think it’s an error for anarchism because we don’t make clear what our position is. For our organization it’s kind of difficult to work with other anarchists because of this. Because we don’t have clear answers from many other people. They are like well I am ok with this, but not with that. Maybe some have to go 2 steps forward and others 2 steps back. So it’s very difficult and right now we have this position in Embat but we have to work with the leftwing because they are the only ones with a similar position. I think it’s a bad strategy (by parts of the anarchist movement, EIE) and it’s a stalled debate, it’s not going anywhere.

  • We actually got a lot of mails after we started publishing different views from anarchists in Catalonia about the Catalan process. Mails like: “Why are you publishing his?” Some people were really upset. But we continued to publish about the Catalan process, because in our view you need to look into a subject and read different positions and views to be able to develop your own position. I don’t know how people want to start a debate without knowing these different positions.

Aitor: Sometimes people just have different opinions, not just about independence. If you don’t discuss the mainstream position about something it’s difficult to expose it. Ah no you are a communist or what? It’s even difficult to debate about that. Some people just have their principals and their principals are totally untouchable.

  • What are the main reasons for you why Catalonia should leave Spain?

Aitor: I am going to answer what I have said before. For me to leave Spain is a strategic move. To break Spain, to fracture the Spanish government. Leaving Spain brings us in a new position. To work on social issues. It’s to create a new scenario where we can work with. I think this break-up is not going to be just a new place for politics in general, but also on a social level. There are many people that are not organized in the streets but this new scenario gives us new possibilities to work with.

  • What should change if Catalonia becomes independent in comparison to the situation now?

Aitor: We have 3 different parts and we need a superb position to be able to change things. In one part we have the Spanish government. It’s totally fascist. Authoritarian and repressive. Large parts of Spanish society is very traditional. There is high unemployment and many people are still voting the Spanish governing party Partido Popular (PP, EIE). But we also have the Catalonian government. We know since last week that they were not prepared to make the official declaration of independence. They just did this symbolic thing to make people feel relaxed and now they are in exile. It seems that they are trying to start a dialogue with the Spanish state to get some kind of referendum pact or something similar. And then we have civil society. It has organized itself in the committees (CDR’s, EIE) but also in other ways. Now people have been empowered but I think it’s not enough. On November 8 there was a general strike, but it was hidden. They called it a general stop just not to call it a general strike. But people were able to block the main roads in the territory. I think that was a big victory for many people. But now it seems that we are stuck. We don’t have any other plan. People seem to wait for new steps of the Spanish and Catalan government. Many people are still acting in a responsive way.

On the other hand we have the Spanish left (parties). For me they are kind of shameful. They are not doing anything about it. They are just waiting to give a new statement and looking what they can gain and are afraid to lose votes. They are not working on a street level at all. For me that’s wrong and cynical. I think the Spanish left have to change radically or they will end up in another regular party. They have to change their mentality a lot.

So for things to change here, I think we cannot do much more than waiting for the government. We are still dependent from them, which is a shame, but this how things are right now. But at the same time it’s a great moment for us. There have been a lot of demonstrations, almost daily. It has been really tiring for a lot of people in the committees, every time they had to go to the center of Barcelona. So right now I think it’s a good moment for the committees to grow up and to get stronger during the time we will have to wait for the elections and see what happens. People didn’t believe in themselves so much and we should develop a vision what the next step in the independence process could be. For me that would be a constituent process. I think the CDR assemblies are the best place to do that. So people can empower themselves and be a part of it, create it and are not just responding to the government. But also because people who are not part of the independence movement right now can empathise with it. We are also organizing, together with other parts of the left, a social constituent assembly. It’s the left and social answer on the ANC und Omnium on a political level. This can be a good assembly where people can empower themselves and maybe this could change some the point of view of people.

  • Many people in Europe don’t know what’s meant with the regime of ‘78. Can you explain that to our readers?

Aitor: We’re coming from a dictatorship that lasted 40 years and then we had this kind of transition. Some historians call it transaction. This transition was also a big moment in Spanish history. When Franco died we had a period of about 4 or 5 years that a lot of things were changing. A new constitution was written and a lot of political parties came up, especially the ones that ruled Spain since then. The PP, which is a right wing party. A lot of their politicians came from the Franco government. And the PSOE. First they were communists and marxists but during the transition they changed their ideals and now they are social-democrats. Well they were social-democrats in the beginning after the transition.  But now they are just neoliberals like the others. So during the transition they were like well we are in favour of abortion but in the end there is just economics and their politics are the same. This transition was written in 78. So from there to here only these two parties have been ruling Spain. That is why we call it a two party system. You also see this on other states, like the United states but there it’s a kind of tradition. Here it’s not a tradition. It’s something that happened because some people wanted it to happen. It smells, it’s rigged. So we were in a cycle of struggles and thought we could change something. We tried again and again. But this system cannot be changed because these parties are the same. They are controlling the economy. It’s a kind of rotative system, like these hotel doors. They go in as politicians and they go out to get into the energy enterprises or other corporations. There is also a lot of corruption in these parties. So we call this the regime of 78. This political block is not changing. They are like the dictatorship. Never. Even now, with new parties like Podemos they are not changing this. Podemos can’t change it because the PP and the PSOE are to strong. They cannot be foughted from within the institutions. So we have to make this break-out to change it. On the political level that’s the regime but we also have some old ideas in the heads of some people. And there is the king. The constitution. There are a lot of people in Spain right now who are against independence. They argue that we have a constitution. If you want to go you first have to modify the constitution. But the constitution is also fortressed for these parties so you cannot change it. It’s not just a political regime, it’s also a kind of social mentality regime.

  • The Spanish government suspended catalan autonomy with article 155. What do you think would be a effective way to resist against this kind of repression?

Aitor: This article was approved for the same reason as the fact that we cannot change anything. It’s was approved to make sure the two ruling parties of the Spanish state keep the power in the whole state. It’s part of the constitution. So it’s part of the mentality of the 78 regime. We cannot really resist against this article. People are still not organized enough to break it. There are many people in the independence movement that are opposing this article. They resist but right now it’s really pacifist. But not just pacifist, it’s passive. Mostly there are symbolic actions. So this is a big repressive action by the Spanish government but if we are not empowered enough we cannot do much about it. People wait until the upcoming elections and that a new government would change something. But for me… I don’t know… maybe some public workers like from public TV or radio or teachers, who’s jobs are being questioned by the Spanish government at the moment can do something but it’s not something that can be easily changed.

  • How can people outside of Catalonia support the struggle here? Do you have any ideas about that?

Aitor: I think that the main thing they can do is spreading the word. It’s like you told me before. Many people know but it seems a lot of them don’t want to know. I think right now the only thing that can really change something right now is some action by the EU. Some government… We are still not empowered enough to do things that could be effective ourselves outside Catalonia. So yes, I think the main thing that people can do is to spread the word and to receive good information. It’s important because there is a lot of disinformation from Spanish TV.

  • Can you tell us something about the rise of Fascism im Spain and Catalonia?

Aitor: I think that’s an issue to be worried about. A lot of people here who are Catalan nationalists are not fascists. Often they have a more liberal opinions. Most fascists in Catalonia are working together with Spanish fascists. For now, I think it’s still not as dangerous as it could be. But at the same time I think that the extreme positions we are facing right now are feeding fascism. I think it’s kind of inevitable. This is how things happen. If something big happens like here in Catalonia, you will always find people who oppose that and a part of them will do that in the most extreme way. With fascist positions. So yes fascism is growing but at the same time there are many people on the streets to fight for other things. Which is actually good.

On the other hand we have Spanish fascism. For me that’s the more dangerous one because in this struggle there is a lot of nationalism. I don’t deny it, it’s also on the Catalan side. People are getting this ideas, these things are in there heads, this nationalism. Many people who are against Catalan independence rapidly became a kind of super Spanish and started to say things like ‘fuck Catalans’ and ‘We are all Spanish’. It’s like they have put this kind of ideas in a bag and won’t go out. They don’t want anything else. But on the Catalan side you have a similar phenomenon. Like I am Catalan and I am pro liberty and for human rights blah blah blah. So they put themselves in the other bag and also won’t go out. Not in any direction. So because there are a lot of people against Catalan independence in Spain. They think that the economy will get worse, not because of economics or political reasons but because of Catalan independence. For many people it started with carrying a flag. They meet other people with a flag. They emphatized and  became fascists although they often don’t even know this about themselves. This is how Fascism is growing. To some extent below the surface.

Another problem is that the Spanish left is doing nothing about this. Like I said before they are just trying to gain votes with watering speeches. By doing this they are doing the fascists a favour. They don’t talk about it. They are not organizing on the streets. They don’t do anything to stop it So fascism is growing in Spain. But these days fascism is also growing in Catalonia. Not at the same level but there is no real resistance against it. One of the reasons is that many people in the independence movement are taking orders from the ANC and Omnium. They are kind of liberal so they are very passive about doing anything. If Nazi’s in Catalonia or even here in Barcelona notice that there is not a lot of resistance, they will grow again. So that can become a problem but at the moment it’s more a Spanish than a Catalan problem.

  • What do you think about the pacifist strategy of the independence movement?

Aitor: Ok I can understand it because from the beginning of 15M until now all the movements had a pacifist agenda. At the same time it’s kind of inclusive because a lot of people are scared of violence. Or even scared of violence that I don’t even understand as violence like.. Things like breaking a window of a bank… Or selfdefence. That kind of stuff. I think there are a lot of people that are scared of things like this. So instead of trying to define what is violence and what is making them scared, they are making the point that they are not violent. But without a definition about what violence actually is, its more like when the media say this and that is violence, then I am against it. Then you are paralyzing yourself. Than its a dogma, nothing else. Its dificult, because parts of the media are telling people all the time that these actions are violent, but they are not, they are non-violent. The parts of the media that are telling this, are able to do that because when we don’t have our own postion about violence, a position that’s based on a definition of violence, then we can’t do much against these stories of violence by parts of the media. To give an example. There were discusions about spraying paint on a bank office during the general strike at October 3. Some people thought that this was a violent action. So I think the discussion should not be about violence or non-violence. It should be about what is violence?, and what are we able to do?, and what do we want to do? Or willing to do?

There is also a new organisation now. Its called something like „Stand for Peace“. This organisation is trying to make things even more pacifist. For me it’s kind of strange, because until now everyone has been so pacifist. If you try to aske something from the European Union I think it’s a good strategy, but a strategy, not a dogma. Of course it has been useless (to ask something for the EU, EIE) but the big organisations are still making clear that they are pacifists. At first I had some doubts about what they were doing. I thought okay, maybe they will define what is violence and what is not and that they will explain people how you can do certain actions and explain why these actions are useful. But at the end it wasn’t like that. It was just to make clear that a protest or something like that had to be totally pacifist. They are not even open to discuss their actions or their point of view. The communication is only going one way: Top-down. So I am very skeptical about the positions of the big organisations and especially the new organisation on this.

  • Last month we reported from a demonstration of the independence movement. We saw that a part of the protesters were celebrating the Catalan police. We were… well.., let’s say surprised. What is your position on things like that?

Aitor: I understand that you were surprised. I think first people have to understand the diversity of people that are pro independence. A lot of these people were not organized and never were part of a movement until now. Many of them were not on the streets 5 or 6 years ago, during 15M. So right now it’s their position. In some of the CDR’s, the seöf-defence committees a lot of people are thinking about that. They discuss this kind of things. To make it clear I am against people celebrating Catalan cops, or any other cops and all that kind of stuff. Some people think that it’s okay to celebrate the Catalan police, many of them are thinking this for many many years. I don’t think you can change this by writing a good statement, the CDR’s are probably the best place to discuss things like this again and again. We have to work on that day by day. I don’t even think I would support to do it in a collective way as a group. I won’t do that. I think I would do it as an individual. Day by day, speaking with people, with empathy. Working with people who don’t see you as a freak, but to empathise with people. So they notice that your ideas are not as crazy as it seems.

I also want to add that a lot of people are celebrating the police because of the terrorist attack that happened this summer. The head of Catalan police was described as some kind of super-hero and there was a lot of bullshit published about that. But others just didn’t think a lot about it. They are just like… well… I am Catalan and I support Catalan police. Without any doubt, without seeing all the stuff Catalan police have done over the years. Like murdering people and even admitting it.

  • We remembered how Catalan cops cleared the 15M occupation at the Catalunya square in Barcelona in 2011…

Aitor: Yes actually one of the policemen who took part in that police operation… there was an image of a woman that gave a police man a hand during an independence demonstration and after that many memes appeared with this image because there were several court cases against this police man because he was accused several times of torturing people that were arrested.

  • On November 19 we were on a anti-fascist demonstration on the Via Augusta (Barcelona) and again and again fascists were provocating the demonstration, trying to attack them. A lot of the fascists were masked. The first question is.. Is there an increase in fascist violence in the last couple of months and the second question is… The way people were marching on the anti-fascist demo on November 19 and how they continued their march after the fascists showed up… There was not any moment that the anti-fascist demo would have been able to defend themselves. They didn’t even try. They were not even building chaines or things like that. They were totally depending on the Catalan police. It was quite dangerous…

Aitor: I wasn’t there but I heard a lot of comrades were talking about this demonstration and how aweful it was. I think the anti-fascist movement is kind of devided in two tendencies. One is the classic one with red and black which is standing outside of society. People see them as violent. But the other one, the one that organized the demonstration on November 19… they dont see racism and fascism as an institutionalized problem. A few days before the demonstration they were still working together with the social-democrats… the ones who defend the 155 article and stuff like that.. The ones that work together with parties who stand for the reigme of 78… They are believing in the institutions and are pro police. They also don’t have this action tradition… They just march for marching. It’s symbolic. The old antifa movement normally would have reacted on the fascist provocations during the demonstration, maybe there would have been fights or even a riot…

  • I didn’t even mean direct actions or stuff like that… There were a lot of elderly people on the demo at November 19 and just to give an example people could have build-up chains around the elderly people when the fascists showed up to protect them from the fascists.. but on the demo people didn’t even try things like that…

Aitor: I understand what you mean. Maybe it’s because we didn’t have a real or let’s say big fascist problem in Catalonia. It’s kind of growing at the moment but in Catalonia it’s a bit like in the Basque country. There aren’t many organized fascists so it never was a big threat, so people are not used to having to be prepared to defend themselves against fascists during a demonstration. Many people feel comfortable, also on the streets and they think they don’t have to resist. They think the police will defend them. I doubt that, but that’s what many people think.

  • Actually the police did during that demo. But I would not rely on it…

Aitor: Yes I know what you mean. The other thing is that you have this dogma about pacifism here. I say pacifism but in the end it’s just passivity. Doing nothing about it and I think that’s a problem because someday we are going to have some people killed and this would happen because of this passivity.

A few days before the demo you rerfered to, there was an anti-fascist demo organized by the „old“ antifa movement but there were not many people. I think the anti-fascist movement has to unite and re-organize. But I have to say that the area where you were on November 19 is probably the only district of Barcelona where there are a lot fascists.

  • Yes we saw a lot of fascist stickers and posters and stuff there, that we didn’t see anywhere else in Barcelona. Not on this scale.

Aitor: This city is very divers and multi-cultural. Many migrants are coming to Barcelona and live here. If you are in Raval, a neighbourhood where many migrants live, you don’t see any fascist stickers or other fascist stuff at all.

  • When did the independence movement start?

Aitor: Well… I give you the short version. From the past couple of years where it became mainstream. The boost came shortly after 15M. That was the time that the ANC was founded. Artur Más, the former Catalan president, started to talk about independence in a liberal way. Before that the independence movement wasn’t that big, but mostly they were from the left. Historically people were working on this for about 100 years but it’s only about 5 years ago that it really started to grow.

  • What do you think was the main motivation for people to join this movement.

Aitor: Right now I think that many people joined the independence movement because they have a nationalistic point of view. But there are also many people who joined because they don’t see any alternative in Spain. They see Spain as a monolith where you can’t change anything. Not even when you would start a new party. It wouldn’t change anything (Podemos is about to proof that, EIE). I think the main reason for many people to join the independence movement wass because they thought: This is an alternative, it’s something new and it could happen.

  • We went on an assembly of one of the CDR’s and we also were on some of the 15M assemblies a couple of years ago. Do you think parts of the independence movement came out of 15M?

Aitor: Yes I think so. I was active in the 15M movement. During that time there were already a few meetings were we spoke about independence. There were a lot of people with this kind of ideas . It was also the time that CUP came into parliament. So yes I think there are links between the 15M movement and the independence movement. Ofcourse I speak about the 15M movement on the Catalan territory.

  • What do you think about how a future anarchist society should deal with people that work for the state now. I don’t only mean people like cops, but also state offcials who work in the office and write the deportation order or stuff like that.

Aitor: I think we would need some kind of community police like they have in Chiapas in Mexico, or the kind of militias like in Rojava. Not to patrol the streets but to be able to respond when something happens. For the people who work for the state now, like police men, I think they could do social services for the community. Social services that are not oppressive. I would like to add that in 1936, during the Spanish revolution, a lot of cooperatives and councils gave the bosses the opportunity to join them. Not as a boss but as an equal member. They didn’t have more authority then the other members, but they could join.

  • Big organizations like the ANC are dominating solidarity work for the independence movement in foreign countries. Do you know other, more grassroots organized groups who are organizing solidarity for the independence movement in other countries?

Aitor: The idea to do that was discussed in some CDR’s, not a lot, but it has been discussed. And the CDR assemblies are spreading. There is one in Mexico, one in Paris, one in Berlin and also one in Scotland. And I think one in Ireland. The Kurdish movement also showed their solidarity. For me that was important. It showed me that we are not doing as bad as it seems.

  • Do you want to install a republic of councils? Not a Soviet-Style one but one like Like some other groups that support the independence movement? And if yes, how do you want to create it?

Aitor: Well I haven’t sorted out all my thoughts about it but I think it will be the best way to work. Not only in a solely Catalonian way. We have a long way to go. I think a new Catalan state cannot be declared without the people that are living there. Things will have to change. I think that the Committees (CDR’s, EIE) should play a major role in the territory. They should be a point where things come together and take part in the constituent process. That could change a lot of things.

  • Do you think the support of this idea of a republic of councils is big enough at the moment?

Aitor: No. Not at all. Not at all. I think that some parts of the left-independentist movement will share this idea, also some anarchists. But I think that most people don’t share the ideal of a more social society. So I think the support is not big enough.

  • Let’s talk about economy and consume. What kind of eceonomic models would you propose for a Catalan republic?

Aitor: I think that a lot of things would work better as it works right now, when we would organise the economy in cooperatives. Cooperativism. This is already growing a lot in Catalonia and also works very well in Rojava. It also works well in the Turkish part of the Kurdish territory. There it’s used to escape from the control by the Turkish state. But also the old anarchist model like no private properties but the thing to start with would be the cooperatives to create a new economy.

  • What do you think about the feminism fight in Catalonia?

Aitor: I think it has a lot of similarities with the feminst struggle in the rest of the western world. I think the women are aware of who they are. It’s growing a lot and has a lot potential. The feminist struggle is also playing a crucial role in the construction of the confederal democarcy model people are working with in Kurdistan. That’s inspiring the feminist struggle here. This could be something that could change a lot of things, not just socially but also issues like feminist economy.

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