Dec 02 2019

MOBILISATIONS AGAINST THE CATALAN VERDICT AND THE SPANISH GENERAL ELECTION

 

We are posting this article from Popular Unity Candidacy in Catalunya. It describes the situation in Catalunya, Euskadi and Spain in the aftermath of the draconian prison sentences imposed on those the Spanish state deemed responsible for the  the Catalan Republic referendum. It also describes the situation after Spanish general election held on November 10th.

 

 MOBILISATIONS AGAINST THE CATALAN VERDICT AND

THE SPANISH GENERAL ELECTION

 

 

The popular response against the verdict of the trials, and the state response of this popular mobilization has shown the problem again: the state, the government and the courts.

 

One month of struggle for self-determination and against repression

Since the verdicts came out last 14th October condemning former government and cultural leaders to between 9 to 13 years of prison, Catalonia has experienced a month of unrest on a scale and intensity that no one predicted. A mobilisation of sustained and spectacular actions included the blocking of Barcelona airport, forcing the cancellation of more than 150 flights, the cutting of all of the main road and rail arteries, several massive demonstrations across Barcelona, the biggest general strike in recent memory, spontaneous riots in reaction to police brutality, and the blocking of the border with the French state for 30 hours. In the fifteen days following the verdicts, 204 people were arrested, 30 of whom have been imprisoned pending trials, 17 of them continue to be in prison today. 2 of them were sent to deportation centres, one already has been deported. And four people have lost an eye to police rubber bullets.

Some important distinctions can be made between the movement in 2017 and the current mobilisation. As the Catalan political institutions remain largely incapacitated by a fight between the two biggest Catalan parties for hegemony, very large numbers of people have learned to organise their own forms of political expression. At the same time, those leading this stage of the mobilisation are much yMalagaounger than those who led the previous one in 2017. They have not been disciplined by the fear of criminalisation that the State attempted to create. They have displayed a wider repertoire of collective action, including the use of barricades for self-defence against police violence. This younger generation have been the victims of the economic crisis and the austerity since they were very young. As the left independence youth organisation ARRAN noted recently, they suffer capitalismophobia: the expression of a political malaise due to the rapidly deteriorating conditions of their present and future.

The broader political character of the current mobilisation is also demonstrated by solidarity demonstrations in Madrid, in Sevilla, Granada and Malaga. Those protests have been growing in size and have been massive in the Basque country. The left has been increasingly vocal about Spanish state violence and the silence of Podemos.

The Spanish elections of the 10th November

The elections of the last 10th of November represent a repetition of the results of the previous ones that occurred in April. It was the impossibility to reach a government agreement which make compulsory to run for new elections. But it seems that this time will be an agreement between the PSOE and Podemos after the latter abandoning the main social goals in order to be in the government. It is impossible that this government can solve the Catalan question either if they do not accept the right of self-determination and the amnesty for all the political prisoners. This seems quite unlikely right now if mobilisation does not force them to move from their position. The most scaring of the result of the elections is the massive growth of VOX, the fascist party is now the third party in MP’s with 52. The transfer of votes from Ciudadanos, a right-wing liberal party, to the extreme-right represents a major issue in the radicalisation of the Spanish nationalism.

The elections in the Catalan Countries

In Catalonia the elections brought a new victory for ERC (13 MP’s), the rising of JuntsxCat (8 MP’s) and the entrance of CUP. The independentist forces got its best result overall in the Spanish elections. CUP run for the Spanish elections for the first time because of the exceptional repressive situation. We got 245.000 votes and 2 MP’s for the Spanish Congreso. We were only 2.000 votes away from the third in Girona. These results need to be understood as very positive as we had no media coverage and because we were focusing on the mobilisation, instead focusing on the elections.

In Valencia VOX reached the third force, after the PSOE and the PP which is a very worrying scenario. Podemos lost one seat and was the fourth party while Compromís Valencià was sixth and got one MP. In the Balearic Islands it was a draw in MP’s between the PSOE, the PP, Podemos and VOX getting 2 MP’s each. No other party got representation. CUP decided not to run in these parts of the nation as the organisation there has other priorities beyond the elections. At the same time, the quickness in the elections’ call made very difficult to organise our candidacy in territories in which we had no previous experience beyond the local elections.

 

also see:-

CATALONIA: A NATION THROWN FORWARD

THE STRUGGLE FOR A CATALAN REPUBLIC

DERRY SOLIDARITY WITH GENERAL STRIKE IN CATALUNYA

CATALAN DEFENCE COMMITTEE

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Nov 24 2019

#ME TOO – WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?

In the aftermath of the Prince Andrew-Jeffrey Epstein scandal,  Pauline Bradley makes an assessment of the global impact of the #MeToo movement

 

#METOO – WHATS IT ALL ABOUT?

 

 

#MeToo is not just a moment, its not just a hashtag, its not just a single issue campaign aligned to the US Democratic Party, its much more than that.

Before Trump was elected, three women claimed he had sexually assaulted them. Trump’s lawyers paid them to be silent though subsequently Stormy Daniels has been vocal. A tape emerged of Trump saying he “Moved on her like a bitch” and “Grab them by the pussy”. Women and allied men were outraged and held protests in over 50 US states and all over the world. Its reported 240 protests were held. Continue reading “#ME TOO – WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?”

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Nov 24 2019

THE PROBLEMS FACING THE PALESTINIAN LIBERATION MOVEMEMT

Lorna Anderson has been on a recent visit to Palestine. In the first part of this article she reports on the growing realisation  amongst the Palestinian liberation movement that they can not effectively deal with the Israeli occupation without taking on the Palestinian Authority. In the second part she assesses the possibilities of the Palestinian liberation movement adopting a wider transformation strategy.

 

1. THE PROBLEMS FACING THE PALESTINIAN LIBERATION MOVEMENT

This article looks at the development of the struggle in Palestine, the nature of the Palestinian Authority and the importance of the political economy of Israel’s occupation for the future of the ‘popular resistance’ movement. It draws on my observations during a recent visit to Palestine. On October 31, Khalida Jarrar, a member of the suspended Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and supporter of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was arrested in Ramallah by Israeli troops. Her detention was extended by an Israeli court on November 3, although no reasons for her arrest have been given by the authorities. Like many other Palestinian activists, Jarrar is no stranger to Israel’s jails: she has been arrested twice since 2015 and was only released from prison in February after serving 20 months. At the time of writing her fate remains unclear – will she be accused of a specific offence or simply held without charge in administrative detention? Jarrar’s prominence as a political figure and women’s rights campaigner has drawn international attention to her case, but in many ways what has happened to her is quite typical of the treatment of the over 5,000 Palestinians currently held by the Israeli state. Continue reading “THE PROBLEMS FACING THE PALESTINIAN LIBERATION MOVEMEMT”

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Sep 02 2019

REPUBLICANS ADDRESS THE ‘NO TO THE COUP’ DEMOS IN DUNDEE AND EDINBURGH ON AUGUST 31st

On Saturday 31st August demonstrations were held throughout the UK to protest at ‘Boris’s coup’. Mary MacGregor addressed the rally held in Dundee. Allan Armstrong addressed the rally held in Edinburgh.

 

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Speech by Mary MacGregor

 

Comrades and friends,

We are living through extraordinary times. We live in a time where children go hungry, where the poor go to food banks to get by, where  many live in despair and succumb to addiction, where mental health problems have reached epidemic proportions and where we are ruled over by a privileged, unelected elite. Continue reading “REPUBLICANS ADDRESS THE ‘NO TO THE COUP’ DEMOS IN DUNDEE AND EDINBURGH ON AUGUST 31st”

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Aug 30 2019

It’s the constitution stupid – After the Boris ‘coup’ let’s fUK it!

Allan Armstrong gives his response to the latest constitutional crisis hitting the UK state

 

It’s the constitution stupid – After the Boris ‘coup’ let’s fUK it!

 

Contents

  1. A constitutional and legal coup under Crown-in-Westminster sovereignty
  2. The UK’s growing constitutional crisis, the retreat of neo-liberalism and liberal unionism and the growth of right populism and reactionary unionism
  3. The continued rise of right national populism and the hard right in the UK
  4. The May 23rd Euro-elections – Farage’s right populist victory paves the way for the hard right take-over of the Tory Party
  5. The asymmetric polarisation of UK politics
  6. From Maybynism to Borisbynism? – Labour’s role in helping to move official politics to the right
  7. Neo-liberal attempts to turn back the right populist challenge over Brexit
  8. The right and centre Remainers take politics to the streets
  9. The Lexiters’ (and Irexiters’) economism and abstract propagandism
  10. The emergence of left Remainers, Another Europe Is Possible, and their turn to the streets
  11. Conclusions

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  1. A constitutional and legal coup under Crown-in-Westminster sovereignty

The decision taken by Boris Johnson and his backers  to prorogue Westminster on the 28th August represents the culmination of a prolonged constitutional crisis, which began with the Scottish independence referendum between 2012-14, and has been accelerating in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in 2016. Today we have liberals (in all the mainstream British parties), and even some conservatives, bemoaning  the unconstitutional and illegal nature of the decision taken by the unelected prime minister, Johnson, along with privy councillor, Jacob Rees-Mogg (Tory MP representing the eighteenth century), and the unelected head of state, queen Elizabeth. However, the UK state, based on the sovereignty of the Crown in Westminster, with its armoury of anti-democratic Crown Powers, gives enormous power to the dominant section of the British ruling class. Proroguing parliament is both constitutional and legal. Continue reading “It’s the constitution stupid – After the Boris ‘coup’ let’s fUK it!”

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Jul 28 2019

PROMOTING REPUBLICANISM   

Murdo Ritchie addresses the Left’s failing to understand republicanism. This is deeply rooted in the Left’s  acceptance of the UK state for as a vehicle for its various economic and political projects. Murdo’s article is an update of his earlier piece (http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2015/02/24/promoting-republicanism/)

 

PROMOTING REPUBLICANISM

                     

The advocacy of socialist republicanism has very few current precedents in the United Kingdom.  While many organisations can make claims to republicanism, in most cases this has been rarely developed and has often seemed like it was added on as an extra to more immediately pressing concerns.  It should be no real surprise that an anti-political, economic reductionism (economism), or a separatism that sought an end to London rule, and many other perspectives have used the term emptying it of any real understanding or meaning.  Very often when UK subjects are asked to give a meaning to the idea of republicanism, they confuse it with Irish nationalism. Continue reading “PROMOTING REPUBLICANISM   “

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Jul 26 2019

WHY WOMEN HAVE BETTER SEX UNDER SOCIALISM

Murdo Ritchie reviews the book, Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism and other Arguments for Economic Independence by Dr Kristen R. Ghodsee.

 

WHY WOMEN HAVE BETTER SEX UNDER SOCIALISM

 

Inessa Armand 

 

“If women’s liberation is unthinkable without communism, then communism is unthinkable without women’s liberation.”  Inessa Armand

The collapse of “socialism” in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union may have changed borders but it didn’t make the Earth move –at least for many women.  The economic, personal and sexual changes that occurred, changed many women’s lives but not to their benefit according to this new book. The provocative cover title has two parts the first in large type joined by a conjunction to the second in smaller lettering.  But the writer makes the case for understanding both in their inter-linked entirety.  She is quite clear “unregulated capitalism is bad for women.” (p1)  Continue reading “WHY WOMEN HAVE BETTER SEX UNDER SOCIALISM”

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Jul 22 2019

ITALIAN DOCK WORKERS SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH MIGRANTS

The election of the national populist  and racist Five Stars and Northern League government has led to a surge in state and far right in attacks on migrants in Italy. The following article by Karel Ludenhoff, an Amsterdam-based labour activist, is about the heartening response from Genoa dockworkers to attempts by desperate migrants trying to reach Italy.

 

ITALIAN DOCK WORKERS SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH MIGRANTS

 

 

In the last years we saw (and still see) that a growing number of people tried (and tries) to migrate from Africa to Europe. In the northern countries of Africa there are refugee centers, but the conditions in these centers are bad and in Libya they are even more than terrible. Continue reading “ITALIAN DOCK WORKERS SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH MIGRANTS”

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Apr 09 2019

BREXIT AND THE RISE OF RIGHT NATIONAL POPULISM FOLLOWING THE 2016 EURO-REFERENDUM

The following article, written by Allan Armstrong, is the second last chapter of his new book, From Pre-Brit to Ex-Brit – The Forging and the Break-up of the UK  and Britishnessness.  Anybody who would like a pdf copy of the book send an e-mail to intfrobel@yahoo.com

 

BREXIT AND THE RISE OF RIGHT NATIONAL POPULISM FOLLOWING THE 2016 EURO-REFERENDUM

 

From the ‘Peoples Vote’ demonstration in London on 23.3.19

The 2016 Euro-referendum highlighted the divisions that had emerged amongst the British ruling class over the UK’s future relationship with the European Union (EU). But it was the 2007/8 Financial Crisis which bought about the preconditions for this split. This crisis showed that the UK economy wasn’t bearing up too well, and British politicians could see that their influence amongst the Council of Ministers on the top table of the EU was shrinking. Continue reading “BREXIT AND THE RISE OF RIGHT NATIONAL POPULISM FOLLOWING THE 2016 EURO-REFERENDUM”

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Apr 06 2019

INDICTMENT ON VIOLATIONS WITH IMPUNITY OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEE PEOPLES

The Permanent Peoples Tribunal met in London on the 3-4th November 2018. During the session on the Violation with Impunity of the Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Peoples the following Indictment was submitted.

 

 

INDICTMENT SUBMITTED TO THE PERMANENT PEOPLES’ TRIBUNAL

SESSION ON THE VIOLATIONS WITH IMPUNITY OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANT AND REFUGEE PEOPLES (2017-2019)

“HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT ON TRIAL” LONDON HEARING
3-4 November 2018

http://permanentpeoplestribunal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Indictment_final.docx.pdf

 

 

Specific charges against the UK government (in its own right and as representative of the EU and member states and the global North)

1. Within a work force impoverished and rendered insecure by neoliberal policies, it has ensured that migrant and refugee workers often remain super-exploited, marginalised and deprived of rights by legal and operational measures including:

i.Failure (in common with virtually the whole of the global North) to sign or ratify the UN Migrant Workers’ Convention; Continue reading “INDICTMENT ON VIOLATIONS WITH IMPUNITY OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEE PEOPLES”

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