Spain: they call this democracy but it is not

Political prisoners and exiled politicians, repression, social deterioration and an exhausted regime oblige us to figure out the way to change everything. Last Monday, the Civil Guard raided the city of Sabadell, arresting nine people. Two people were released and seven were jailed without bail. According to the news, two of those arrested responded to the interrogations while five did not, everyone denied that they were going to harm people or carry out terrorist acts. They are accused of belonging to a terrorist organization, of manufacturing and possessing explosive devises and conspiring to wreak havoc.

The relatives of the detainees and the #Detingudes23S platform demanded “an explanation for the treatment the prisoners received, their release and the removal of the charges against them”, and the lawyers of Alerta Solidaria also denounced a violation of rights. There were big mobilizations repudiating the arrests in Sabadell and in other locations in Catalonia in which we participated. While there was a harsh debate in the Parliament, the government of the PSOE celebrated the repression, with one eye set on the upcoming 1-O demonstrations and the verdict of the Show Trial, and the other set on the 10N elections.

When it comes to Catalonia, the institutional apparatus does not care for the truth, for respecting rights or due justice. Between misrepresentations and exaggerations, they only want to cause fear by agitating the spectre of terrorism and blaming the CDRs (Committees of Defence of the Referendum/Republic) as responsible for everything. For these, the “investigations” and lawsuits lack credibility.

Despite this, we must place the emphasis where it belongs: the violence is not in Sabadell, it is encysted in the institutions of the ´78 regime that maintain the Spanish State. The violence emerges from the oppression, the disregard for elementary democratic liberties and the right to self-determination, and the elimination of social conquests. They are the characteristic features of a democracy that is presented as “exemplary and advanced” but is not at all.

Our immediate task is to strengthen the struggle for the liberation of the political prisoners and those exiled, demanding the Civil Guard to leave Catalonia, to promote the broadest unity of action in mobilizations; to call for the solidarity of all those who call themselves democratic, republican, left-wing, of the workers and the peoples of the world. This must be done despite the governments of the imperialist bloc of the European Union that supports the oppressors.

At the same time, we must also think through other key points for the future. The monarchist-parliamentary regime designed by Franco is exhausted, it cannot provide a progressive solution. But even in crisis, it will respond by criminalizing the protests to “save the unity of Spain.” The central power gives no sign of intentions to try offer a political solution for the political problem in Catalonia. Although Art. 155 is not currently being applied, the repressive counteroffensive continues.

Parties like the ERC, PdeCat and JxCat helped Pedro Sánchez and the PSOE to be seen as the “lesser evil” and say that the priority is to maintain dialogue with the oppressor to reach a democratic consensus on independence. We do not share this position, it is proven that these half-of-the-way positions lead to a dead end. Spain will not change without the defeat of the ´78 regime and its defenders: the right and the ultra-right with the “tri-fascist” PP-Cs-VOX and the social democracy of the PSOE.

The Supreme Court ruling, which will not absolve the accused, will require a strong and sustained unitary response of civil disobedience, mass mobilizations and active general strikes. Everything must be organized democratically from below, without waiting for “master moves” or for the government and Parliament to have an initiative. The measures can be strengthened with a leading role of the CDRs, social groups, political parties and pro-independence unions.

The centre-left party Podemos, its members and associates have adapted to the regime, abandoned the mobilizations and remain in the framework of capitalism, that is why they are letting broad sectors of society down. To live up to the mobilized working people, the Catalans, women and the pensioners, we must build a new anti-capitalist left alternative, with the mandate of 1-O as a flag, for a feminist, socialist and ecological government of workers and the people. This is the main task that SOL promotes in Catalonia and the Spanish State, as members of the International Socialist League.

Ruben Tzanoff