World Politics



Anticapitalistas statement on the situation in Catalonia.


Monday 30 October 2017, by Anticapitalistas


This statement was issued by Anticapitalistas, section of the Fourth International in the Spanish state, on 29 October 2017.

1- On 27 October, following the mandate of the referendum of 1 October in which more than 2 million people participated despite police repression, the Catalan Parliament proclaimed the Catalan Republic. In a Spain with a monarchy that is a direct successor of the dictator Franco, a Republic that opens up a constituent process is undoubtedly a proposal that breaks with the 1978 regime, with its political consensuses and with a constitutional order at the service of the elites. This proclamation tok place in a context of constant threats to apply Article 155 and give an authoritarian resolution to a conflict that has to have an eminently political and democratic solution. In fact, in recent days it had started to threaten the application of 155 whatever happened. We call to reject the application of article 155 and to the democratic, peaceful and disobedient defence of the will of the Catalan people and their right to decide.

2- It is important, in these times of exacerbation of patriotic passions, to correctly identify those responsible for what has happened. The Partido Popular, spurred on by Ciudadanos, with the support of the PSOE and the pressure of state apparatus, had decided to apply article 155 of the Constitution. The goal of this measure was to prevent a dialogue between Catalonia and the rest of the State, criminalizing the Catalan people, refusing to open the solution of a negotiated referendum and justifying the use of force to solve a political problem. An irresponsible measure, which seeks to reorganize the unity of the state based on authoritarian relations.

3- We are aware that many unknowns and uncertainties are open. To drug the people with easy slogans is characteristic of a conception of politics that shies away from democratic debate and which considers itself the protagonist of a story that actually the common people are leading. The new Catalan Republic faces internal challenges that it cannot ignore, in a country where a significant section of the population does not feel represented by independence. The first challenge of the process is to work to heal this division, integrating the non-pro-independence popular sectors into their country’s project, avoiding social divisions that only benefit the reactionary forces, while organizing a movement capable of resisting repression of the State. The constituent process must be used to go in that direction, integrating demands of the popular classes that go beyond the national question, putting social issues in the centre and radically democratizing Catalonia.

4- In the Spanish State, we are living through a complex wave of reaction. Many people, including people of the left, feel hurt and torn by what is happening in Catalonia. While it is true that much of this feeling is channeled through a Catalanphobic reaction, heir to the worst sentiments of the Franco regime, and into the violent expression of the extreme right in the streets, there is a large section of the population that is honestly worried by what is happening in Catalonia and is putting its trust in dialogue and negotiation, on the return of politics.

From our point of view, what is fundamentally at stake is the ability of people to decide their future. If the Catalan people suffer defeat and are crushed by the PP and its allies, when a territory, a town council, a community, or a social sector decides to decide freely on any matter, it will be crushed with the same logic with which today the PP and the state seek to crush Catalonia. This is the central issue, which goes beyond the national issue and puts the question of popular sovereignty at the centre: it is the people who have the right to decide, that is the basis of democracy, and the law must be at the service of democracy and not vice versa.

On the other hand, there are other solutions and forms of relationship between peoples that surpass those traditionally imposed in the Spanish State. The strategy of opening constituent processes has as a central idea that the working and popular classes, women, migrants, all the people who do not have the political and economic power but who are the indispensable ones elaborate a project of society. But it can also be a method of solving the historical problems of the Spanish State at the national level, a way of re-organizing the relations between the peoples in equality, where starting from respect for the right to decide and its results, builds bridges of union that the current imposed and authoritarian relationship of the central state breaks up; building forms of cooperation and dialogue among the people below to build an alternative society to that of political and economic elites. An opportunity to build a new framework of living together that allows us to aspire not only to win back but also to conquer new social and democratic rights for the popular classes.

5. We know that ours is a difficult position in a context like this. That is why it seems to us fundamental to debate, to dialogue between different democratic positions, but also to oppose the authoritarian intervention that the State plans with the excuse (it could have been any other) of the Catalan question. Defending the Catalan people who will suffer the brutal application of 155 is not only to defend the independentistas, but also to be with that 80% of the population in Catalonia that has been demanding a referendum and a democratic answer to their demands and the other 20% who will lose their self-government. It is to defend the possibility of a democratic exit from the impositions of the State. It is time to (re) start the patient construction of a project that goes beyond the 1978 regime, that is capable of building brotherly and sisterly relations between the different peoples of the Spanish State. The elites have proved incapable of solving the problems of the Spanish State; today more than ever, it is urgent to recover the leading role in politics for those from below.

On the Anticapitalistas site.