Below is the text of a leaflet by the Campaign for a European Republican Socialist Party. It will be distributed at the ‘Building Bridges to Independence’ event on Saturday November 4th. It was written before the Spanish government jailed the Catalan government leadership.
‘Building bridges to independence’ must make bridges to Catalonia central to our campaigning, not only for reasons of solidarity, but because of many parallels and lessons for the Scottish national democratic movement.
We welcome the Catalan Defence Committee statement condemning “the behaviour of the Spanish state” and commend “the peaceful and courageous actions of millions of Catalans”. It rightly says “this movement requires international support”. Yes, and here we have to win the support of the Scottish people, Scottish parliament and the Scottish government.
We call on every democrat and socialist to give full and active support to:
• Catalan self determination – the right to referendum on separation
• The Catalan Republic
The ‘United Kingdom’ of Spain provides a thin veneer of ‘democracy’ over the Francoist state. The Spanish state was built on Franco’s brutal denial of self determination. People were reminded again of their history when Franco’s police beat up Catalans peacefully trying to vote in their referendum.
In the face of this violence the declaration of the Catalan Republic and a provisional government was necessary and timely to defend democracy and rights of the Catalan people against Madrid’s counter-revolution. The Francoists are not fully confident and are proceeding with caution. Arresting and imprisoning leaders is not enough to suppress a popular mass movement. There would have to be a ‘Tiananmen Square’ moment.
Scottish Government and the Catalan Republic
Scotland’s democrats and socialists must demand the Scottish government and Scottish parliament recognise the Catalan Republic. The provisional republican government should be invited to send an ambassador to Scotland and open a consulate in Edinburgh. It would signal to the world that Scotland had its own independent ‘foreign’ policy.
Every moment of delay only helps the ‘United Kingdom of Spain’ and its backers in the European Union and the British Union to isolate and defeat the new republic. All evidence suggests the SNP government will offer nothing more than pious words, condemn police violence, and call for both sides to talk and compromise.
Perhaps the SNP government naively hopes to win some ‘credit’ from the Spanish state for ‘diplomatic’ neutrality. But if the Catalan republic goes down to defeat, then UK state will shut the door firmly on Scotland.
ALL HAIL SCOTLAND’S REPUBLIC
The 2014 Scottish referendum was the beginning of a democratic revolution. Scotland has no more right to self determination under the UK Unionist constitution than Catalonia. But Cameron, the great Tory gambler, calculated a Unionist popular front of Tories, Labour Liberal Democrats and UKIP would win. The gamble paid off but only just.
The people were mobilised to an unprecedented extent around the ideas of self government and a new constitution. The referendum was lost and Scotland’s democratic revolution came to a halt before it had begun. Scottish fascists were dancing in George Square in celebration. The movement was derailed.
The Catalan movement has gone further down the road to democratic revolution by declaring a republic and setting up a provisional government. This is the road Scotland will have to take. So far the Scottish left has failed to set out a democratic and republican road. Nothing has been done to build rank and file republican organisations or popularise the slogan of a Scottish republic.
Instead the national democratic movement is waiting for the SNP and following tamely behind its conservative, safe, slow monarchist road. The whole SNP strategy is reliant on getting the ‘right’ timing for a Second Referendum. It is fed on the illusions that the British Crown will allow it. In the post Brexit world the UK will follow the Spanish example. The SNP has no alternative.
The Campaign for a European Republican Socialist Party supports the Catalan Republic in its struggle for democracy and freedom and calls on the working class across Europe to build a party of European unity and democratic revolution.
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