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epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i was thinking something more specific like getting behind qs. joining with the already up and running extraction resistance. coming together with the leap, environmentalist and elements of the ndp.  encompassing peoples of colour and working to end colonialism once and for all. and so much more like the resistance against hydro one. 

Sean in Ottawa

epaulo13 wrote:

Before the violence, Catalonia already had a mandate for independence

quote:

It is of the utmost importance to emphasise that Catalonia already has a clear mandate for independence, achieved in the parliamentary elections on 27 September 2015. On that occasion, around 75% of Catalan voters had their say in the most participative elections ever in Catalonia, in which the pro-independence parties came out with an absolute majority in parliament: 48% of voters supported pro-independence parties, whereas 39% opted for unionist ones. The remaining 13% voted for lists that did not align themselves with either the “yes”or “no” campaigns.

Nevertheless, the Catalan government decided not to implement this mandate and, instead, proposed a single-issue vote on independence to confirm that a majority of Catalans support independence, and to ensure the legitimacy of this process. If the government of Spain now does not accept the outcome of last Sunday’s referendum, it should bear in mind that the 2015 Catalan election – in effect a proxy vote on independence – already offered a democratic mandate for statehood.

At least here in Canada we understand that they did not have a mandate for independence given that local/provincial governments manage more than an indpendence campaign. The Parti Québecois was elected for more than their indpendence project. They well understood that a specific mandate was needed. In fact they even sought a mandate just to talk about it -- we assume that the final result would have likely been put to a vote in the end as public pressure would have pointed out that they needed a vote on the final terms.

That said the strength of the independence vote is strong enough to trigger a negotiation -- so much so that the national government will only lose more support by ignoring it.

There is a problem as I said with one side presuming to count everyone who did not vote as a supporter. It would be split. And so with a number as high as they have, it is hard to imagine that the split would not favour the yes side.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Be regarded as legitimate by whom?

Primarily the government.  If the government doesn't respect any mandate that comes of the referendum then it's like it never happened, no?

Quote:
In my view a date should be set for a new referendum with international observers not that it has any chance of happening.

I would agree.  But before that could be meaningful, the government would need to indicate that they're ready to respect the results of that referendum.  All that international observers could do is monitor/prevent supression or electoral fraud -- they couldn't force the government to accept a result they don't want.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Catalonia: People’s power wins out as Spanish state plots revenge

Is it possible to have a successful referendum when your country is effectively occupied by 10,000 police and paramilitaries with orders to stop it?

The holding of Catalonia’s October 1 referendum on independence shows it is: all you need is a mobilised people with a clear view of where they are going, Europe’s most powerful and persistent social movement to help guide them, and a government committed to carrying out its promises.

Add to those already rare ingredients imperviousness to provocation and violence, ability to improvise when logistics are sabotaged and determination to prevail in spite of a sea of difficulties, often including severe tensions within your own camp.

Then you’ve uncovered the recipe for victory.

quote:

‘Civil stoppage’

Dramatic and astonishing proof was the overwhelming adherence to an October 3 “civil stoppage” — a general strike — against police violence and the size of the demonstrations that accompanied it.

The stoppage was called by the Roundtable for Democracy, representing Catalonia’s pro-independence mass organisations, its main union confederations, small and medium business, and social, cultural and sporting organisations.

In many centres, the demonstrations — officially due to start at 6pm but already under way from 11am — were the biggest since the end of the Franco dictatorship.

Probably the most astonishing turnout was in the northern provincial capital of Girona. On October 1, police attacks in Girona had been widespread and vicious — to the point of police using tear gas to clear a polling station in the town of Aiguaviva.

According to municipal police figures, 60,000 of Girona’s 100,000 population overflowed the city centre on October 3. They gathered not just to protest the police violence that brought back memories of the Franco dictatorship, but also to celebrate the triumph of the successful holding of the referendum despite it.

In Barcelona, the whole city centre was paralysed by a crowd of 700,000 (municipal police figure). Its epicentre was the student occupation of the University of Barcelona, an important organising point in the run-up to October 1.

There were 60 road and freeway closures on the day, which often closed off entire shires. About 5000 tractors were mobilised to carry this out. Rural sector adherence to the stoppage was between 70-90%, depending on the region.

A common feature of the rallies was acts of appreciation for Catalonia’s firefighters. They had played a critical role on October 1, helping organise defence of polling stations and voters — and making sure that shocked and enraged Catalans did not fall for police and Civil Guard provocations.

As a result, one of the most popular chants of the last fortnight of mass protest (“The Streets Will Always Be Ours”) gave rise to an equally popular variant (“The Firefighters Will Always Be Ours”).

The October 3 mobilisation went well beyond Catalonia’s pro-independence camp. It drew in tens of thousands of supporters of continuing the union with Spain who were outraged at the violence unleashed on peaceful voters.

This reaction was visible on October 1: on seeing the police attacks on television, many who were undecided expressed their disgust by coming out to vote....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Catalonia: A Mass Outbreak of Democracy

In an exclusive report for Novara Media, Paul Mason talks about some of the things he witnessed on his recent trip to Catalonia and his thoughts on what's next.

NDPP

Spain's Crisis is Europe's Opportunity

https://t.co/UIXD5BvJqQ

"...The path from this sorry state of affairs to the reinvigoration of Catalan separatism could not be clearer. The Catalan crisis is a strong hint from history that Europe needs to develop a new type of sovereignty..."

 

The Hopelessly Corrupt Structure of the Eurozone & the Euro Group

http://thesaker.is/the-hopelessly-corrupt-structure-of-the-eurozone-the-...

"The Eurogroup is the most anti-democratic, the most brutal and the most hypocritical aspect of the pan-European project..."

 

This Is Not A Coup (Docu)

https://youtu.be/v-kMOysz1gY

NDPP

Are Europe and the Middle East Both on the Verge of Unraveling?

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/06/are-europe-and-the-middle-east-b...

"The Spanish government has been monumentally stupid."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The fight for independence in Catalonia: What lessons for Quebec?

Introduction

Following the October 1 referendum in Catalonia — held in the face of massive repression resulting in hundreds of injured — the people shut down production and massed in cities and towns across the autonomous state on October 3 to protest the Spanish government’s attempt to deny them the elementary democratic right to vote on their constitutional and political future.

The political crisis is continuing to deepen. The Spanish Constitutional Court, at the request of the Catalan social-democratic party, has ordered the suspension of the Catalan parliament scheduled for October 9 to implement the result of the referendum, which under the Catalan legislation would be a declaration of independence. In response, the Catalan National Assembly has called for the “biggest possible mobilization” outside the Catalan parliament on October 9.

Some leaders of the independence movement have been charged by the federal court with “sedition,” as has the head of the Catalan police (the Mossos d’Esquadra) who is accused of “passivity” in the face of a September 20 demonstration.

The events in Catalonia have naturally attracted much interest in Quebec, and some dozens of Québécois have made their way to Barcelona and environs in recent days. They include leaders of the pro-sovereignty parties in Quebec, among them Manon Massé, a spokesperson for the left independentist party Québec solidaire.

In an exceptional gesture, the Quebec National Assembly voted unanimously (113 to 0) on October 4 to “deplore the authoritarian attitude of the Spanish government, which has led to acts of violence during the referendum on the independence of Catalonia,” adding that it “deplores the number of injured.” The Assembly called for “political and democratic dialogue between Catalonia and Spain in order to resolve peacefully and in a consensual way the differences that separate them, in respect of democracy and law, and with international mediation if the parties so consent, to lead the parties to a negotiated solution.”

The motion was presented by Parti québécois leader Jean-François Lisée on behalf of Premier Philippe Couillard and the other party leaders, including Manon Massé of QS, who had just returned from Barcelona. The resolution was a clear departure from the refusal of Couillard up to then (and even today by the Trudeau government) to criticize the Spanish government for its handling of the Catalonian crisis.

The motion, along with considerable critical commentary in the media, is no doubt just the beginning of public discussion in Quebec over what the events in Catalonia mean for Quebec, and especially the independence movement.

The following is an initial contribution by André Frappier, an editor of Presse-toi à gauche and Canadian Dimension. A former president of the Montréal postal workers union (CUPW), he is also a member of the National Coordination Committee of Québec solidaire, although he writes here in a personal capacity. André informs me that he will be in Catalonia during the next week to observe firsthand the important events. I have translated this from Presse-toi à gauche.....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Rajoy, el gran saductor

Rajoy, the Great Seducer: 'Don't go, Catalans! Where are you going to be better off than with us? We love you!'

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

iyraste1313

re the John Feffer article, a couple of points......first that the Frainco ist Government in Madrid cancelled the autonomy accord with the Zapatero Government, unilaterally......

Second and more important is the conclusion that the splintering of the Nation State will lead to impotent autonomous regions vs. the transnationals and global religious institutions....

This in a nut shell is the leftist argument? for the need to support global political institutions!!

Whatever happened to the antiglobalist rhetoric from the mass demos of the recent past! Surely we had solutions for such scenario!

Why cannot autonomous regions form partnerships and federations amongst equals to resist the powers of the transnationals...this is the way forward!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The fight for independence in Catalonia: What lessons for Quebec?

quote: André Frappier

Will the Canadian state confront Quebec independence in a way that differs from that of the Spanish state today?

This is by no means certain. Geographically, Quebec is not located at the periphery of the Canadian state. Quebec’s secession would cut Canada in two, isolating the Maritime provinces from Ontario and the western provinces. It would also constitute an enclave in regard to Seaway transportation, which must pass through Quebec on its way inland and outbound. Quebec would now be entitled to decide what can cross its territory, and if it wishes to prohibit any form of pipeline. It would also have full control over rail and highway transportation.

That is enough to represent a major threat, especially for a state that runs on the extraction and export of petroleum, with Quebec as a decisive route. But would the people of a Quebec that has become independent choose that avenue? Judging by the sustained mobilization in the different regions of Quebec for protection of our environment, including the some 230 municipalities that support the struggle in Ristigouche and have adopted similar protective by-laws, and given the awareness of the need for an energy transition toward sustainable sources it is almost unthinkable that a struggle for Quebec sovereignty would not entail a struggle over the appropriation and control of our environment. What is the use of independence if it not to free ourselves as well from our dependency on the multinational corporations?

Impact of mobilization

The other aspect is political. Independence, it is clear, cannot be achieved in a cold way. It will be the culmination of a struggle that is both social and parliamentary, the construction of a relationship of force to flush out the profiteers and the corrupt who hoard our collective resources and monopolize the profits. It will be the culmination of building a force that can accomplish our sovereign choice of society through the constituent assembly. The working class in the rest of Canada will be able to see in this a hope that will revitalize its own struggles, provided that it escapes the subjection to its own bourgeoisie and therefore Canadian nationalism.

And that is the other major threat for the Canadian federal state. The possibility of a truncated state, with a Quebec in ferment, will of course represent a much more dangerous situation for the Canadian ruling class. The support of the working class in the rest of Canada will then be a decisive element, as it now is in Spain for the Catalan people.

NDPP

As Crackdown Looms in Catalonia, Spain's Popular Party Calls Protests in Barcelona

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/10/09/spai-a09.html

"After violently attempting to suppress last weekend's independence referendum in Catalonia, the Madrid ruling elite is moving rapidly towards a crackdown and military rule in the region. While there is a massive opposition towards the military crackdown being prepared by Madrid, backed by Citizens and the Socialist Party, there is not a single party call on workers to mobilize in a common struggle in Spain and Catalonia against the crackdown that is being prepared..."

 

NDPP

epaulo13 wrote:

The fight for independence in Catalonia: What lessons for Quebec?

Introduction

The political crisis is continuing to deepen. The Spanish Constitutional Court, at the request of the Catalan social-democratic party, has ordered the suspension of the Catalan parliament scheduled for October 9 to implement the result of the referendum, which under the Catalan legislation would be a declaration of independence. 

 

/quote=NDPP]

Social democrats will be social democrats...

NDPP

Spain's Ruling Party Warns Catalan Head To 'End Up Like' Jailed & Executed Ex-Leader (and vid)

https://on.rt.com/8pfe

"Spain on the edge..."

 

Spain's Popular Party Threatens Repression if Catalan Authorities Declare Independence

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/10/10/barc-o10.html

"The fascistic atmosphere promoted by these political forces and the media, which is denigrating the Catalan separatists with every possible insult, has emboldened the far right."

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture
lagatta4

e paolo, that was wonderful.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i agree lagatta

Catalonia: Past and Future

quote:

Many people, including plenty who are uninterested in independence, see the evolving coup and attacks as intolerable. During the strike against police repression on October 3, significant numbers of people wore Spanish flags — showing their opposition to independence — covered with messages of disgust against the undemocratic clampdown. Mass picketing and actions to occupy and defend the polling stations — led by grassroots Referendum Defense Committees — have brought together moderate Catalan nationalists with radicals, including many anarchists who have tended to treat all “nationalisms” as reactionary.

Those more versed in grassroots organizing against state repression, such as members of the anticapitalist and pro-independence party Candidatura d’Unitat Popular (CUP), are increasingly setting the protest agenda and winning the respect of others. The protest described by the BBC as an “anti-police strike” was originally called by militant unions (including the dockers’ union, the pro-Catalan IAC, and the anarcho-syndicalist CGT) based on the calculation that the larger unions who may feel the repression and backlash against it, support by members was too widespread not to support it. This calculation was correct, even if the union and moderate national movement leaders tried (and failed) to turn the protest into smaller testimonial “stoppages.”

quote:

Equally significant to the clampdown offensive has been the mass movement resisting it. On the day of the referendum, the movement repelled — in some localities with the help of firefighters — heavily equipped riot police using peaceful but assertive civil disobedience. Since the first arrests were carried out on September 20, university and sixth-form students have been on “permanent” strike, and collective pot-banging protests take place in neighborhoods every night.

As identified by Barcelona Marxist Josep Maria Antentas and, on the other side of the political divide, the  La Vanguardia commentator Enric Juliana, the Catalan revolt is changing quickly. The national “sovereignty” movement has held pro-independence demonstrations of around a million people every September (on Catalonia’s national day, la Diada). These were peaceful, disciplined, visually powerful, and impressively executed events — for instance, with protesters forming a human chain that spanned the 400 kilometers of official Catalan territory. However, the protests were also stage-managed, media-focused, and nationalistic events that presented little threat to the status quo.

quote:

However, as repression rose in the run up to the referendum — particularly after the September 20 arrests — the movement became less contained and more dynamic. On that day, a spontaneous rebellion emerged, encompassing civil disobedience in Barcelona and satellite industrial towns that prevented the police from raiding buildings (among them the CUP headquarters). By the evening the protests took on a flavor last seen during the indignados square occupations in 2011, and the massive anti-war protests a decade earlier. The protests are clearly developing from the bottom up and becoming increasingly working class — shown most clearly in Tuesday’s strike.

quote:

Further evidence of the transformation of the movement comes from outside Catalonia. The Basque country is another historic nation in the Spanish state where in the 2000s pro-independence movements, parties, and media were criminalized and repressed (aided by being seen as associated with the Basque separatist ETA’s armed struggle). In the territory, many tens of thousands have protested in solidarity with Catalans’ right to decide on two occasions. There is speculation about whether the governing right-wing Basque Nationalist Party can continue to provide parliamentary support for the minority Rajoy administration, which could even prevent the latter from governing.

Rev Pesky

It's a little difficult to tell from a distance. Outside of independence, what do the Catalan separatists hope to achieve?

NDPP

Spanish Police Ready To Arrest Catalan President Over Independence Bid

http://theantimedia.org/spanish-police-catalan-president-independence-bid/

"As Catalonia's President Carles Puigdemont went to the parliament to sign the declaration of independence from Spain, Spanish National Police announced that they had 'elite officers' deployed around Catalonia,' and prepared to execute a raid against Puigdemont..."

 

Catalans 'A Bit Disappointed' By Another Delay After '300 Years' of Waiting For Independence (and vid)

https://on.rt.com/8pii

"On Tuesday, Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont accepted 'the mandate of the people for Catalonia to become an independent republic' and then promptly asked the Catlan parliament 'to suspend the effects of the independence declaration to initiate dialogue [with Madrid] in the coming weeks.'

Following the announcement, many pro-independence activists who had assembled on the streets of Barcelona expressed their bitter disappointment with the current course adopted by their local government..."

NDPP

Official Statement By The President of Catalonia on the Declaration of Independence

http://bit.ly/2gaxqhI

 

"If at first you don't succeed try like a Catalan (trying to vote)

https://twitter.com/JulianAssange/status/917535053185536000

lagatta4

Other than independance, dismantling the legacy of Francoist fascism. Not easy, that.

 

josh

epaulo13 wrote:

Municipalism and the Feminization of Politics

Municipalism is generating increasing interest around the world as a strategy to challenge the neoliberal political and economic order and respond to demands for greater democracy. The citizen platforms that govern the major cities in Spain, in particular, as well as examples like Ciudad Futura in Argentina, the “Indy Towns” in the UK and democratic confederalism in Kurdistan, for all their missteps and limitations, have given us a glimpse of the transformative potential of local action. The recent international municipalist summit “Fearless Cities” in Barcelona, at which over 100 municipalist platforms from every continent were represented, was testament to the growth of this global movement.

Municipalism, as we understand it, is defined by a set of related characteristics. First, by the construction of a distinctive political organization that reflects the diversity of the local political landscape and responds to local issues and circumstances. Second, by open and participatory decision-making processes that harness the collective intelligence of the community. Third, by an organizational structure that is relatively horizontal (for example, based on neighborhood assemblies) and that guides the work of elected representatives. Fourth, by a creative tension between those inside and outside of local institutions: municipalism understands that the capacity for institutional action depends on strong, organized movements in the streets that push elected leaders. For this reason, the movement welcomes pressure from outside the institutions and seeks to open up genuinely democratic decision-making mechanisms within them....

I am not on board with this "municipalism," apparently another word for separatism.  While capital is becoming more and more concentrated, the worst response would be for some sort of democratic "big bang," making it easer for capital to pit one against the other.  While it is tempting, because of the frustration of fighting neo-liberal control over much of the democatic polity, it is counterproductive.  And a dare say reactionary.  The "commanding heights" is not a one-story building.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

A Way Out for Spain and Catalonia?

The Catalan leadership has stopped short of declaring independence from Spain, calling instead for talks with the Spanish government. We speak to Fusion host Nando Vila and Professor Sebastiaan Faber of Oberlin College

iyraste1313

Thanks for the info on municipalism......any form of antiglobalism is progressive......how the movement plays out depends on the voices involved.....what with its Bookchin based in some form of anarcho federalism

Decentralists likewise must be talking about horizontal federalism

And of course to mention that Barcelona has a rich history and present ongoing internationalist oriented movement presently...where are the movements in Canada? What must be done to encourage them?

bekayne

iyraste1313 wrote:

......any form of antiglobalism is progressive......

Even when the likes of Steve Bannon and his followers call themsleves antiglobalist?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

bekayne wrote:

iyraste1313 wrote:

......any form of antiglobalism is progressive......

Even when the likes of Steve Bannon and his followers call themsleves antiglobalist?

Yes, but they're not True Antiglobalists.

Rev Pesky

from iyraste1313:

......any form of antiglobalism is progressive

Karl Marx: Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains!

The strength of the working class is in its unity. As Marx clearly saw a long time ago, borders hurt the working class. He also made the point that the borders for for workers, but not for capital. So while capital moves where it pleases, workers are held behind borders. 

And on another note, if the people of Catalan feel they don't have enough voice in Spain, where they are roughly one sixth of the population, what will it be like for them when they are one fiftieth of the Euro zone?

Another problem they will have is dealing with the Catalans who do not want to separate from Spain. If there are neighbourhoods that strongly favour remaining in Spain, will they be allowed to vote to do so?

Then there's the problem of the Euro zone. Spain is in the Euro zone, but an independent Catalonia is not. That means  borders would have to be established, and Catalonians would not be allowed the freedom to travel in Europe. Which means Catalonia would have to provide some sort of passport for their citizens before they could travel.

All the produce that currently travels back and forth freely, would have to be halted until some protocol had been set up.

From lagatta4:

Other than independance, dismantling the legacy of Francoist fascism.

Given it's been over forty years since Franco fell, what are the leftover bits of Francoist fascism?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

'It's about building a new society for all' | I am Catalan

"We value the democratic legitimacy of the population over the letter of the law"

josh

epaulo13 wrote:

'It's about building a new society for all' | I am Catalan

"We value the democratic legitimacy of the population over the letter of the law"

That sounds a little frightening.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

I am not on board with this "municipalism," apparently another word for separatism. 

..municipalism is a vehical for participitory / direct democracy. and it is not another word for separatism. barcelona is a part of this movement and does not support catalan separation. it does however support the right of catalan to decide. madrid and several other spanish cites are also a part of the movement as well as podemos. 

While capital is becoming more and more concentrated, the worst response would be for some sort of democratic "big bang," making it easer for capital to pit one against the other.  While it is tempting, because of the frustration of fighting neo-liberal control over much of the democatic polity, it is counterproductive.  And a dare say reactionary.  The "commanding heights" is not a one-story building.

..i disagree. the one and probably only positive aspect one can turn to in recent times is the labour party. but to do that you cannot downplay the crucial role played by activist at the community level. this was seen during the election but more importantly what is happening post election. activists are now hell bent on taking control in communities. in other words building power from the ground up. and not just to elect labour.  similar is what was and is going on around sanders. this is the same/part of what drives municipalism which is direct democracy.

..and this going on..not in frustration to neoliberal control but a solid alternative. building a new world inside the old is my favourite visual. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

josh wrote:

epaulo13 wrote:

'It's about building a new society for all' | I am Catalan

"We value the democratic legitimacy of the population over the letter of the law"

That sounds a little frightening.

..not if taken in the context of her overall statement

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Catalan president accuses Mariano Rajoy of ignoring call for talks

quote:

On Tuesday, Carles Puigdemont pulled the region back from a showdown with the Madrid government by proposing to delay the effects of a unilateral independence declaration following the controversial referendum earlier this month.

He said the move was intended to provide time for dialogue on the issue that has plunged Spain into its worst political crisis for 40 years.

The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, responded by asking Puigdemont whether or not independence had been declared and gave him eight days to drop his independence plans and return Catalonia to “constitutional order”.

If he failed to do so, Rajoy added, the government would use article 155 of the constitution, which permits the imposition of direct rule on autonomous regions.

“We ask for dialogue and the response is to put article 155 on the table,” Puigdemont tweeted on Wednesday night. “Message understood.”

The Catalan president had earlier said he was willing to enter into unconditional negotiations to find a solution.

Oriol Junqueras, the region’s vice-president, addressed himself to Rajoy in another tweet, saying: “A sincere dialogue is what the international community wants and what Catalonia expects, not confrontation and new threats.”

Rev Pesky

From epaulo13:

...more importantly what is happening post election. activists are now hell bent on taking control in communities. in other words building power from the ground up.

It's unclear to me why taking control of communities requires Catalonia to separate from Spain.

NDPP

Catalonia Deserves Independence As Much As Any Other State

https://t.co/2SL61UqAzA

"Why are we so frightened of people exercising the democratic right to govern themselves?"

 

Catalonia: The Revolt of the Rich?

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/10/11/catalonia-the-revolt-of-the-rich/

"What are the true interests and motives of the parties in the conflict?"

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

lagatta4 wrote:

Other than independance, dismantling the legacy of Francoist fascism. Not easy, that.

 

Especially since the PP is the "democratized" direct descendant of the Falange.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Rev Pesky wrote:

From epaulo13:

...more importantly what is happening post election. activists are now hell bent on taking control in communities. in other words building power from the ground up.

It's unclear to me why taking control of communities requires Catalonia to separate from Spain.

Because the Spanish government has been completely inflexible on regional issues-to the point that Catalan and Euskadi(Basque) members of the Cortes are still barred from addressing the chamber in their own languages.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..the catlan separation movement is diverse. this is the post where the issue of community organizing came up.

..from post #92

quote:

The old order must go

The most immediate threat to the old order lies in the recent experience of concrete, workable alternatives to a political and economic system that sustains a corrupt and bankrupt elite. The ‘municipal socialist’ movement, including en Comu and CUP, has 15 mayors in councils across Catalonia that work on a model of participative democracy and act on the decisions of regularly held local popular assemblies. Whilst en Comu never supported the referendum, many of its members did, and it is now gradually taking part in what it calls ‘a mobilisation.’

Outside the political institutions, the broad front of the left independence movement seeks independence for communities, based on one demand: that the old oppressive order – the rule of elites – must go. This movement is not demanding that institutions of government, of law and of economy are reformed to establish some kind of brave new ‘Catalonia’. This movement is demanding, in the words of one CUP activist, that ‘capitalism and patriarchy are swept away’.

Feminist collectives and feminist social centres in Barcelona have been centrally involved in the preparation for the general strike, calling for a strike of both productive and reproductive forces.

The role of organisations representing migrants has also been significant. A number of migrant collectives including ‘Papers for Everyone’ are taking part in the meetings agitating and preparing for the general strike, and they have also been part of the human barrier protecting the CUP HQ from the Guardia Civil. For obvious reasons, many participate anonymously, but others participate as a collective making public statements against police repression.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

The way to restrain international capital is through currency controls. Something nation states (like Britain) used to do.

Rev Pesky

From Ken Burch:

Because the Spanish government has been completely inflexible on regional issues-to the point that Catalan and Euskadi(Basque) members of the Cortes are still barred from addressing the chamber in their own languages.

And this prevents activists from running for municpal office how?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Juncker: “If we allow Catalonia to separate, others will do the same”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday expressed concern about the Catalan crisis in Spain, noting that a breakup could lead to further splintering across Europe.

“If we allow Catalonia – and it is not our business – to separate, others will do the same,” he said in a speech at Luxembourg University. “I do not want that. I wouldn’t like a European Union in 15 years that consists of some 98 states,” he said, alluding to the 98 major regions that the EU is composed of, according to Eurostat.

“It’s already relatively difficult with 28 and with 27 not easier, but with 98 it would simply be impossible,” he added, illustrating the fact that barely half a dozen European countries can say that they lack any kind of territorial dispute within their borders.

Juncker insisted that the Catalan crisis remains an internal issue but also unveiled that he has been pressuring the conservative Spanish leader to take decisive steps to break the impasse.

“For days I have been asking (Prime Minister Mariano) Rajoy to take measures to ensure the situation does not get out of hand,” he said, in a veiled criticism of the conservative Popular Party (PP) government’s handling of the ongoing crisis. “Things have been done, but there is still much left to do.”

quote:

Instead, the Spanish government has agreed to the opposition Socialists’s proposal to open up to the possibility of reforming the Constitution to find a better fit for Catalonia within Spain. In exchange, however, Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont must retract his plans for independence.

Next Monday at 10am marks the end of the five-day deadline which Madrid has given Puigdemont to clarify beyond any shadow of a doubt whether independence has already been declared in Catalonia or not.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

eta..the catlan party has had a sketchy past. prior to 2010, i believe, they supported austerity. then came the 15-m movements and the party was forced alter their politics. with great interest i watch what the spanish left can do around this political moment in time..this opportunity.  

Catalonia’s Paradox

quote:

However, it is not clear how the government will proceed. Its decisions will determine the fate of the independence movement as well as the broader democratic bloc that supported the vote. How to keep that democratic bloc — which goes beyond the pro-independence forces — united is a decisive strategic question in this context. Catalonia’s independence hangs in the balance, and in the short term, the institutional and political struggle between the Catalan and Spanish states will only intensify the current crisis. Though the official independentist narrative claims that the main work for achieving independence is already done, October 1 marked the start of the most critical phase.

We should therefore see the October 3 general strike as October 1’s second act. Initially driven by small unions, the planned work stoppage eventually won partial support from the Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) and Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT), Catalonia’s two major unions. These organizations did not call for a full strike but for partial work stoppages, to which both workers and employers agreed. Eventually the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural — the mainstream independence movement’s leading organs — as well as the Catalan government threw their support behind the protest, though the ANC did so only reluctantly.

This “official” bloc rebranded the event as a cross-class “nation stoppage” that mixed a traditional strike with mass demonstrations and the voluntary closure of enterprises and public administration. Overall, the day turned into another impressive collective action in the midst of an exceptional political situation.

What will happen now in Catalonia depends not only on local actions but also on the impact that the independence movement, referendum, and mass protests have on Spanish politics in general. The situation’s complexity makes it dangerous to draw any hasty conclusions.

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Phase Two

In the coming confrontation, the movement has four fundamental challenges.

First, it must expand its social base. It is difficult to evaluate the results of October 1 in detail thanks to the repressive conditions under which voting took place. No doubt, over two million “yes” votes constitutes an important social bloc. While not strictly a numerical majority, no organized or active counter-bloc has emerged to oppose it.

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Catalunya en Comú’s hesitant policy reflects not only its leadership’s views, but the social reality of its political and electoral base. This is worth noting explicitly, as it’s a key factor. Having a specific policy towards left-wing political and social organizations and their social base is necessary, which undoubtedly clashes with the project of the neoliberal right in power, the Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català (PDeCAT), whose weakness should be exploited to impose a left turn. We should roughly sketch the path to radicalizing the mainstream independentist movement: implementing urgent political and social measures as an anti-crisis package, prioritizing the start of a constituent process, and creating a framework that can include those who do not necessarily want independence but support some sort of constitutional rupture with the state.

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Indeed, the absence of any alliance between independentists and those who support Catalonia’s right to decide has been one of the process’s biggest strategic weakness. This has one immediate implication: the Catalan Parliament must carry through the referendum’s popular mandate in a way that ensures the pro-democracy-but-anti-independence sectors who participated in the organization on October 1 feel included. That is, it must avoid fracturing the democratic-disobedient front that contributed to the vote’s success and thereby reducing its supporters to an alliance of independentist forces only, without distorting the meaning of what was approved on Sunday.

 

Sean in Ottawa

Spain may have no lesson for Canada other than what it already knew: denying self determination makes the people more determined and a split more likely.

NDPP

Why I Think The Dawn Of The Independent Republic Of Catalonia Is Imminent

https://youtu.be/rvYCg_q9DAQ

"What will happen if Carles Puigdemont ratifies the Declaration of Catalan Independence and Spain Invokes Article 155?"

Sean in Ottawa

Spain has jailed Catalan independence leaders -- charging them with sedition.

This cannot end well.

 

NDPP

Puigdemont Blasts Repression After Catalan Leaders Detained for 'Sedition'

https://twitter.com/telesurenglish/status/920081928597966848

"Sadly, we have political prisoners again,' Puigdemont said."

 

Madrid Rejects Puigdemont's Call For Talks in Catalan Referendum Crisis

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/10/17/madr-o17.html

"In another extraordinary and dangerous provocation, the PP's speaker in the European parliament, Esteban Pans, denounced Puigdemont as a tool of Russia."

Sean in Ottawa

NDPP wrote:

Puigdemont Blasts Repression After Catalan Leaders Detained for 'Sedition'

https://twitter.com/telesurenglish/status/920081928597966848

"Sadly, we have political prisoners again,' Puigdemont said."

 

Madrid Rejects Puigdemont's Call For Talks in Catalan Referendum Crisis

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/10/17/madr-o17.html

"In another extraordinary and dangerous provocation, the PP's speaker in the European parliament, Esteban Pans, denounced Puigdemont as a tool of Russia."

This is predictable. Part of the problem is identity with groups another is that national identiies are largely obsolete in Europe with the EU. Previously smaller entities needed to band together in nation states for protection and economic benefits -- they were not viable on their own. It is hard to make the case inside Europe. Catalonia once may have needed Spain but does it now? Every nation bound together from convenience and necessity risks being broken in Europe wherever they have not found a common identity strong enough to want to remain together.

Again we speak about Spain in a Canadian context. Consider the two arguments made to keep Quebec in Canada and the strategies. On the one hand those who want independence wanted to build a common market with Canada or even North America that would make Canada as a state unnecessary. Those who wanted to keep Quebec in Canada would often make arguments about economics and viability -- that mostly did not hold water.

As the economic arguments were often found empty, there was a reliance on identity and emotion to try to create a sense of belonging to Canada. As agreements made Canada less needed, they sought to make it more wanted.

The arguments remain -- would Quebec be as strong economically and what benefits does it gain? Does it need to be in Canada to access them? How do they see themselves? Accepting rather than competing with Quebec national identity was an approach that made the point that you can have both without contradiction since asking the people of Quebec to choose without threat would be disastrous from the point of view of a unified Canada...

Quebec and Canada are perhaps that midpoint where there is some desire among some of the population to identify with Canada and soem to recognize the convenience -- enough to keep Quebec in Canada even as the necessity is less than it once appeared to be.

Spain feels less confident, it seems, to be able to make either an economic and convenience argument or an identity one and so it seeks to suppress this self determination.

I am uncomfortable both with suppression of a group will and determination and with identity and nationalism. This is why I support self-determination of peoples AND I hope that the do not choose to separate. I see nationalism as dangerous. I remain sympathetic to both sides for this reason.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Catalunya and beyond: what’s after the nation-state?

The Catalan crisis has had the undeniable merit of confirming that the traditional European nation state is no longer an adequate political form for our time.

The nation state is a relatively recent and contingent historical invention. It emerges sometime between the peace of Westphalia of 1648 and the French revolution of 1789, and it becomes the principal model of political organisation internationally only during the course of the twentieth century. With the turn of the millennium, it has entered an existential crisis: one that advances at once from above and from below.

On the one hand, European nations are increasingly unable to address the global challenges brought about by technological innovation, migration, climate change, or financial flows. Even more, the perseverance of national divisions and reciprocal vetoes leads to a worsening of policy choices and a narrowing of democratic spaces for all. This is dramatically evident in the European Union: where the inability to construct a transnational democracy leads to dysfunctional economic policies, lack of any credible policy on migration, tax competition between states and a race to the bottom on workers’ rights.

On the other hand, the nation state is being challenged from below. From Barcelona to Naples, citizens increasingly demand the right to greater participation in the decisions that affect their lives. The new municipalist experiences of Spain, placing citizen participation at their centre, testify to this demand. The European Union calls this ‘subsidiarity’. One of the most celebrated theorists behind Barcelona en Comu, Joan Subirats, calls it the sovereignty of proximity.

“Take back control”

“Take back control” was of course one of the slogans of Brexit and one that resonates also in Catalunya these days. But to take back control we need neither to retreat to existing nation-states nor to replicate the nation state’s authoritarian structures at a smaller, regional level.

Of course, in Catalunya a binding referendum is now a sheer democratic necessity. But why should we be limited to choosing the Spanish national status quo or the replication of that status quo at the Catalan level? Could it not be an opportunity for us to use this crisis to ensure that more and better democratic options arise?....

Pondering

epaulo13 wrote:

..when the spanish indignados declared that “none of them represent us” this was not just rhetorical. they were describing the current state of affairs. they were describing the spanish state as being co-opted by neoliberalism. that no matter what the people wanted what the get is the neoliberal agenda. any objections are met with police/military and/or economic force and brutality. when considering democracy none of this is legitimate yet it is considered so by global powers.

..so what are a people to do? what are we here in canada to do since we face the exact same neoliberal domination? a domination that is destroying our planet. destroying our economic well being.

..what we are seeing in catalonia is an answer to that question. 

Catalonia is not the answer because we don't have Canadians behind us nor do we have a country to break away from. I also don't think Catalonia is breaking away from neoliberalism. It's breaking away from Spain, or trying to. Not the same thing.

Personally I think the answer is to start a campaign to educate people in a non-partisan fashion on economic facts that will collectively begin to outrage them until politicians are forced to answer to the people. In my opinion it is doable. It just has to be approached as a game and be entertaining and social.   It would be a trivial pursuit type game but the cards would be provided free online to anyone who wants to print them. It would start with a hundred or more facts then be added to weekly. To begin free "cards" with the web address could be left in cafeterias or study halls of universities and colleges. They could just be printed on regular paper so wouldn't be expensive to do. The problem is it would take a team of people more informed than myself to work on the questions and answers.Some could be muliple choice, others yes/no. An example would be the difference in cost between P3s and government investments (without mentioning the Liberals). Another could be true or false, the Canadian government used to be able to borrow for free from the Bank of Canada. It would have to be scrupulously non-partisan to work. Just facts that would add up to "we are being royally screwed" without using the world "neoliberalism". I'm not saying it would work overnight but I think the idea has merit especially because it is pretty much free.

The oil companies are being defeated because people became informed.

Pondering

epaulo13 wrote:

The motion, along with considerable critical commentary in the media, is no doubt just the beginning of public discussion in Quebec over what the events in Catalonia mean for Quebec, and especially the independence movement.

The following is an initial contribution by André Frappier, an editor of Presse-toi à gauche and Canadian Dimension. A former president of the Montréal postal workers union (CUPW), he is also a member of the National Coordination Committee of Québec solidaire, although he writes here in a personal capacity. André informs me that he will be in Catalonia during the next week to observe firsthand the important events. I have translated this from Presse-toi à gauche.....

It means nothing for Quebec. There are no parallels to be drawn. Quebec has had two referendums and polls suggest Quebecers don't want to hear about it anymore. They consider the subject closed.

Maybe the lesson should be "respect the will of the people". who have rejected separatism. I don't see how we would be better off under local neoliberal tyrants who would be sure to pad their coffers while ordering mini flags to put on their cars.

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