Spain

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, the "Norwegian way", and Lenin

Submitted by martin on 31 October, 2017 - 10:20 Author: Martin Thomas
Catalonia general strike

"It is the bounden duty", wrote Lenin, "of class-conscious workers to conduct systematic propaganda and prepare the ground for the settlement of conflicts that may arise over the secession of nations, not in the 'Russian way', but only in the way they were settled in 1905 between Norway and Sweden.

"This is exactly what is meant by the demand in the program for the recognition of the right of nations to self-determination".

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.

Letters Matthew Wed, 10/18/2017 - 10:50

The BBC should hang its head in shame. Their documentary (aired 9 October) about the Russian Revolution was appalling.

Anyone wanting to know what happened and why in 1917 will need to go elsewhere, consulting the Oracle at Delphi would be more rewarding. No kind of analysis or narrative of the events of 1917 was offered, nor any attempt to tackle important questions and certainly no attempt to offer a range of views for debate. Instead the viewer was bombarded with a venomous and, at times, monumentally stupid, lambasting of the Bolsheviks, particularly Lenin and Trotsky.

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.

For the politics of solidarity against terror

Submitted by AWL on 23 August, 2017 - 9:08 Author: Simon Nelson

Socialists should give no political space whatsoever to the “reasons” behind the cowardly attacks in Spain and Finland. We condemn these attacks, carried out in the name far-right Islamism and violent jihad. Our sympathies are with those affected.

It seems the attack in Las Ramblas Barcelona was part of a planned attack, by 12 men. This was exposed when a gas explosion in a building killed two men likely to have been making bombs and storing explosives. The Sagra Familia Cathedral may have been chosen as their next target.