Nationalism and the 'national question'

Catalonia: rights and unity

Submitted by Matthew on 15 November, 2017 - 11:00
Catalonia protest

Editorial from Solidarity 454

On Saturday 11 November, 750,000 people (on the city police’s count) demonstrated in Barcelona to demand the release of Catalan government ministers and pro-independence association activists jailed by the Madrid regime to await trial on charges such as sedition. A general strike called by a pro-independence union confederation, Intersindical-CSC, under the slogan “Defend Our Rights”, on Wednesday 8 November, also had impact.

Madrid tries to bludgeon Catalonia

Submitted by Matthew on 8 November, 2017 - 1:22 Author: Martin Thomas
Protest

The people of Catalonia are caught up in a macabre game of bluff and who-blinks-first.

The democratic way out is for the people of Catalonia to be able to vote in a fair referendum on independence. Previous polls have indicated no majority for secession, and many on the left in Catalonia (for good reasons, we think) oppose creating a new border; but if there is now a majority for separation, then Madrid, and the EU, should respect it.

Catalonia: no to Madrid clampdown!

Submitted by Matthew on 18 October, 2017 - 1:25 Author: Tony Holmes
Catalan Firefighters

The Spanish government in Madrid says that it will suspend regional autonomy and impose direct rule on Catalonia from Thursday 19 October unless president Carles Puigdemont abandons his push for independence for the territory.

A Madrid clampdown would, soon if not immediately, lead to violent clashes such as happened when the Spanish government tried to stop Catalonia’s 1 October referendum. The Catalan police might well side with the Catalan government against Spanish government forces.

Catalonia: right to choose yes, new borders no!

Submitted by Matthew on 11 October, 2017 - 11:13 Author: Martin Thomas and Tony Holmes
catalonia dialogue

As Solidarity goes to press on 10 October, Carles Puigdemont, the president of Catalonia, has announced his response to the referendum on independence in Catalonia his government called on 1 October.

The Spanish government declared the referendum illegal, and deployed heavy Spanish police force to try to stop it, but it largely went ahead. 92% voted yes, on a 43% turnout. A series of opinion polls carried out by the Catalan government since 2011 has in recent years shown a slight majority against independence, most recently 49%-41% in July this year.

Letters

Submitted by Matthew on 11 October, 2017 - 10:48

Colin Waugh’s review of The Russian Revolution: When Workers Took Power is right that Marxists must learn from the experience of workers’ struggles: revolutionary socialism certainly is dialogic. The Bolsheviks followed those principles and this helps explain their success in 1917. However I disagree with Colin’s critique of Kautsky and Lenin about the relationship between socialism and the working class.

Recognise Kurdish referendum result!

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 9:24 Author: Aso Kamal

On 25 September, 3.5 million people (97.7%) voted for independence for Iraqi Kurdistan. Aso Kamal of the Worker-Communist Party of Kurdistan and a Coordinator for the Centre for independence of Kurdistan spoke to Solidarity.


We have been campaigning for a referendum since 1999.

We have had conferences in Kurdistan and across Europe, Canada and Australia and we have lobbied for support for a referendum. The issue has come to the fore since federalism has been in collapse across Iraq since the rise of Daesh.

Babel-socialism in the light of the Kosova war

Submitted by martin on 22 November, 2016 - 9:04 Author: Sean Matgamna

There is a story in the Bible about the Tower of Babel. Humankind starts to build a high tower to climb up to the heavens. Offended by this presumption in creatures He has created to be His helpless supplicants and playthings. God punishes them. Where before there had been only one language, humankind wakes up one morning speaking many —all the languages of the earth. God had ensured that the combination of divided humanity in such enterprises as building a tower up to heaven will be impossible in the future.