Emergency Statement of the International Secretariat of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 28 October 2017, www.thecommunists.net, (UTC: 8.00)
The Catalan people have spoken! On 1 October, they succeeded in holding a popular referendum which resulted – despite the brutal repression of the Guarida Civil thugs – in a clear mandate for independence. On 27 October, the Catalan parliament voted by majority to declare the foundation of the independent República Catalana (Catalan Republic). On the same day, the senate of the Spain state decided to grant the right-wing government of Mariano Rajoy unprecedented powers to impose direct rule on Catalonia under article 155 of the constitution. This article allows Rajoy to sack the Catalan government and assume control of Catalonia’s civil service, police, finances and public media. In other words, this decision constitutes the plan of the imperialist Spanish state to begin the occupation of the independent Catalan Republic.
In the wake of these historic events, the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) makes the following declaration to the workers, youth and oppressed in Catalunya (the Catalan word for Catalonia), the Spanish state and Europe:
Brothers and Sisters of the independent República Catalana!
We send you our warmest greetings and congratulate you to your achievements! You succeeded in organizing a legitimate popular referendum on self-determination on 1 October despite the desperate attempts of the Spanish state to repress it. After this, you managed as well to resist the threats of the Spanish state which wanted to silence you. Likewise, you succeeded to organize mass popular pressure on the vacillating and coward bourgeois leadership around Puigdemont so that, finally, the Catalan parliament voted for independence.
These are excellent achievements as they constitute a step towards national self-determination and popular sovereignty! Your victories are our victories! The RCIT repeats once more: Your struggle deserves the unlimited solidarity of the international working class movement! All socialists and anti-capitalists, all honest supporters of democracy and national self-determination must unconditionally support your struggle for freedom!
As you are surely aware, the imperialist Spanish state will do everything in power to smash the desire of the Catalan people for independence. Article 155 in fact legitimizes the foreign occupation of Catalunya by the Spanish state. The central task now is to organize the resistance against such an occupation, to continue the march towards independence and to understand this struggle as part of the liberation struggle of all workers and oppressed in the Spanish state as well as in Europe.
The first task, in our opinion, is to continue and to broaden the mass movement and to ensure that the majority – the workers, youth and oppressed – have the say in it. For this it is necessary to extend and coordinate the Comitès de Defensa del Referèndum (Committees in Defence of the Referendum). The CDRs need to be built in all neighborhoods, workplaces, schools and universities as democratic popular assemblies.
The RCIT considers it as urgent to organize a congress of delegates representing the CDRs, those sectors of the trade unions which defend the democratic rights and national self-determination, the militant school student and university student mass organizations, women’s, migrants and youth organizations, etc. Such a congress must decide about the next steps in the struggle for liberation.
Clearly, the aggression of the Spanish state and its Article 155 regime must be answered in the most powerful way! We need to organize a general strike to paralyze the country and the economy. We need to take over the government buildings, municipal institutions, public media, etc. to stop their intended occupation and subjugation to the imperialist Spanish state.
We desperately need to organize popular Self-Defense Units to successfully resist against the aggression of the regime. The heroic bombers (firefighters) have played an excellent role on 1 October as well as during the vaga general (general strike) on 3 October. They could constitute the core for such a popular militia together with the workers of the transport sector, militant migrants respectively refugees. We should have no illusions in the reactionary and imperialist post-Francoist state: it will mobilize all available means to smash the independent República Catalana. The outrageous arrest of Jordi Sànchez, president of the ANC, and Jordi Cuixart, president of Omnium Cultural ("the two Jordis") in Madrid was just the beginning. We demand the immediate release of “the two Jordis” and the stop of any prosecution against them and all other activists of the independence movement. Hence, the defenders of democracy and national self-determination must be prepared to fight against a violent state.
Organizing the mass movement in a militant and democratic way is also important in order to save our struggle from the demoralizing and sabotaging policy of the bourgeois faction of the PdeCAT leadership around Puigdemont. They feared to confront the Spanish state and wanted to avoid the creation of the independent republic. They were looking for independence … with the permission of Madrid and Brussels! What a comical and tragically illusion! The mass mobilizations on the streets of Catalunya have forced Puigdemont and others to declare the independence. It was therefore you and your unbreakable will, brothers and sisters, who gain the independent Republic of Catalunya!
However, the PdeCAT leadership around Puigdemont will continue to play a negative and reactionary role in the movement. This is no accident since the Catalan big capitalists don’t want independence and side with the regime in Madrid. It has been therefore absolutely wrong of the ERC and CUP to constitute a coalition government with PdeCAT respectively to support it.
The mass movement must control its leaders so that they implement the will of the people and that they not betray or undermine the liberation struggle! The leaders of ERC, CUP, ANC, Omnium Cultural and other mass organizations should be pushed to organize the popular resistance which must focus not on parliamentary games but on the resistance on the streets and the workplaces.
In our opinion, the strategic goal of the struggle should be to prepare for a popular uprising to defeat the Article 155 regime and to drive out the occupation forces of the Spanish state! For a revolutionary Assemblea Constituent (Constituent Assembly) to elaborate the constitution for the República Catalana! The RCIT is convinced that the perspective of the independence struggle should be the formation of a República Obrera Catalana (Catalan Workers Republic) as well as the creation of an Iberian Socialist Federation and the United Socialist States of Europe!
Brothers and Sisters in Euskadi (Basque Country), Galicia, and other parts of the current Spanish state!
The reactionary Rajoy government wipes up Castillian imperialist chauvinism against the Catalan people. Don’t believe their hysteric denunciations! Just bear in mind which crimes the representatives of the Catalan people are accused of: they should be put on trial for … letting the people vote on national self-determination! If voting, if exercising democracy is a crime, ask yourselves: do you live in a democratic or in an authoritarian state?! Think how ridiculous and hypocritical the Spanish state acts if people like Mister Felipe – who likes to be called Felipe VI and King of Spain – can lecture the Catalan people about democracy while he, as a monarch, was never elected nor does he face any democratic control!
Rojoy and his criminal gang leaders like to justify their repression by referring to the constitution of 1978. But this constitution is simply undemocratic because it denies the minority nations in the Spanish state the right to exercise national self-determination. This constitution was the product of a shameful comprise of the conservative, the social democratic and the Stalinist parties with the remnants of the Franco dictatorship which oppressed the country for many decades. How can such a constitution serve as a reference point for any supporter of democracy?!
The recent weeks have been very instructive. They have shown the arch-reactionary character not only of the conservative PP but also of the social democratic PSOE as well as the neo-liberal Ciudadanos. All of them voted on 27 October for the imposition of Article 155!
However, the RCIT also warns of the so-called left-wing leaders of petty-bourgeois populist PODEMOS and the reformist Izquierda Unida (IU). To their credit, they voted against the imposition of Article 155. But neither are they consistent defenders of the Catalans right of national self-determination! Pablo Iglesias (PODEMOS general secretary) said that any declaration of Catalan independence would be "illegal and illegitimate"! Alberto Garzón (IU’s national coordinator) is not better as he equates the declaration of independence with the imposition of Article 155 (“Neither DUI nor 155. Dialogue and politics is the way forward.”). Ada Colau, mayoress of Barcelona and leader of Barcelona en Comú, shares such an approach. As if the right of self-determination of the oppressed and discriminated is the same as the brutal repression of the oppressor! Various bureaucrats of the two trade union federations CCOO and UGT – who shamefully did already try to sabotage the Catalan general strike on 3 October – take a similar position and demand simultaneous the withdrawal of the Catalan declaration of independence and the Article 155.
Let’s speak the truth: these populist and reformist bureaucrats act as “left-wing” lackeys of the Castillian-dominated imperialist Spanish state and defend its reactionary constitution!
Brothers and sisters! If Rajoy succeeds in smashing the Catalan independence movement, it will constitute a serious defeat not only for them but also for you! It would strengthen an authoritarian regime! The Spanish state would use Article 155 against all peoples resisting his domination. Likewise it would accelerate its aggressive stand against the workers movement and against social rights. We have seen the fascist forces like Democracia Nacional, VOX, Falange and many others participating at the reactionary pro-Castillian demonstrations. They even physically attacked activists of the independence movement! These reactionary fascists will be massively strengthened by a successful implementation of Article 155 and are a severe danger for the working class and oppressed as such!
It is urgent that all socialists, anti-capitalists, anti-fascists and all consistent democrats rally now against the Article 155 regime and the Rojoy government! They must pressurize the PODEMOS; IU, CCOO and UGT leaders to organize protests against the repression which can be launched every day.
For mass demonstrations and solidarity strikes with the struggle of the Catalan people and for the right of national-self-determination of discriminated nationalities in the whole of Spain! For the immediate release of the political prisoners Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart! Support the struggle of the Basque people for independence!
Brothers and Sisters in Europe!
The current developments in Catalunya and in Spain have revealed once more the reactionary character of the imperialist European Union as well as of its dominating political parties. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker claims "Catalans are not oppressed by Spain" and expresses his unlimited support for the Rajoy and his Article 155 regime. So did the German, French and other governments immediately after the Senates decision.
The RCIT states once more that the European Union has always been an undemocratic, anti-working class and imperialist institution. This is its nature as an organ of the big bourgeoisie and the Great Powers.
The recent developments have also revealed the appalling and reactionary nature of the conservative, social democratic and liberal parties. When progressive deputies demanded to have a discussion in the European Parliament about the fate of the imprisoned “two Jordis”, the majority, composed of the parliamentary factions of these three parties, refused to have even a discussion about it! So much for the democracy of this “democratic” institution!
We call the workers movement and all mass organizations of the oppressed not to stand aside in this crucial hour! Rally in defense of the Catalan people! Organize mass protests and solidarity strikes!
Brothers and Sisters in Catalunya, in the Spanish state and in Europe! This is a decisive hour! The courageous resistance of the Catalan workers and youth and the shameless brutal repression of the Spanish state have provoked a revolutionary crisis. In this crisis, the broadest unity of action is necessary. At the same time, the recent events have demonstrated that the workers and oppressed in Catalonia and Spain lack a revolutionary leadership with a clear strategy and program. It is therefore highly urgent for all authentic revolutionaries to join forces and to form a revolutionary party of the workers and oppressed. If such a party will not be created in time, serious setbacks and defeats are inevitable.
The RCIT calls all authentic revolutionaries to join us in the struggle for a Catalan Workers Republic and a socialist program!
Larga vida a la República Catalana! Long live the Catalan Republic!
Build the CDR as popular councils of action! For a congress of delegates of all mass organizations to coordinate the resistance!
Build self-defense units against the Guarida Civil thugs!
Organize a general strike!
Prepare for a popular uprising against the threat of foreign occupation by the Spanish state!
For a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly!
For a República Obrera Catalana (Catalan Workers Republic) For a Socialist Iberian Federation! For the United Socialist States of Europe!
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For the RCIT’s analysis of the liberation struggle of the Catalan people, we refer readers to our numerous articles and documents which can be accessed at a special section on our website: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/collection-of-articles-on-catalunya-s-independence-struggle/