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Spain: Debate erupts in Podemos around agreement to join PSOE government



Opposition to the content of the deal quickly emerged within and beyond Castilla-La Mancha, with the Anticapitalists current, representing around 10% of the total Podemos membership, prominent but not alone in its criticism. Declaring his support for #TwoQuestions, Podemos’s second MP in the Castilla-La Mancha parliament, Anticapitalists’ sympathiser David Llorente, said that «an agreement to govern with the PSOE as a minority would be a mistake».

On July 21, Isidro López and Raul Camargo, Podemos MPs in the Madrid regional parliament and supporters of Anticapitalists, dramatised what they saw as the stakes in the Castilla-La Mancha vote with this comment on the web-based daily Público:

Over the last week we have seen a profound shift in the political direction of Podemos. Contrary to the majority understanding of what the results of Vistalegre II [Podemos’s February all-Spanish congress] meant, there is a turn towards a dynamic of governmental agreements with the PSOE... Given a correlation of forces favourable to the PSOE, a policy of generalised governmental agreements means ... accepting our conversion into the left wing of the regeneration of the regime.

A well-known supporter of Pablo Iglesias also issued a warning shot. Diego Cañamero, former leader of the Andalusian Workers Union (SAT) and a Podemos MP in the Spanish parliament, wrote in July 18 discussion section of the web-based daily El Diario:

In this complex context, I believe—with prudence, modesty and all the respect in the world towards the comrades who are designing our political strategy—that the PSOE is not our natural ally ... Getting closer to the PSOE while Podemos does not greatly surpass it in popular and parliamentary support, will only serve to rehabilitate, cure and clean up the worst PSOE. And worse still, we could get so seriously contaminated that ordinary people stop seeing us as an alternative.»

In answer to the campaign for the issues of budget support and entry into the government to be put separately, García Molina asked Podemos members over the social networks whether they considered «the Socialist Party or ourselves as more to be trusted in the implementation of our own policies». He added (as quoted in the July 19 Diario de Castilla-La Mancha):

Voting for the budget without being able to enter government would be to go back to the starting line. To go back to giving the PSOE tools that are ours but which we would leave in their hands and which would be subject to their wishes as to whether they are used or not, and without any control mechanisms or guarantees.


The ballot result

The criticism had little effect on the membership ballot on Podemos’s agreement with García-Page. With just under half the active membership participating, 77.98% voted in favour of the agreement and only 22.02% against. María Díaz, Podemos’s local organisational secretary commented: «It is a historic result, surpassing all previous levels of participation in membership consultations in Castilla-La Mancha.»

She added that «we are in no way going to disappoint the confidence of the overwhelming majority who have understood that this is the moment to show that we know how to fight and we know how to govern.»

Calling on the minority to accept the result of the vote, García Molina said that «we are maturing without getting old» and that «the question is not so much about being in a government with the PSOE, but rather about whether we are capable of sharing the business of government with the PSOE, knowing we are two different parties.»


Spain Threatens Potential Military Takeover of Catalonia As Referendum Looms

"Spain's conservative Popular Party (PP) government is continuing its clampdown on the referendum on Catalan independence scheduled for October 1..."


Madrid Struggles to Close Catalonia Polling Stations on Eve of Referendum (and vid)

"Catalonia is gearing up for an independence referendum on Sunday despite attempts to hinder the process by the government in Madrid, which considers it illegal. Police trying to seal polling stations have faced resistance from occupiers keen to vote."

Echoes of Franco in Spain's 'Political Repression' of Catalonia - 70 Academics Including Chomsky

"Prominent North American academics have signed a letter supporting Sunday's Catalonia independence referendum. Noam Chomsky was among the signatures criticising the Spanish government's 'political repression' in the region."


Don't we have a topic about Catalonia yet?



'The Rule of Law Such As Ours'

"(And as imposed in Catalonia)"

"Rajoy with his repression in Catalonia is banging in the last nail in the coffin of the legitimacy of a regime, that was supposed to represent a total break with the Franco dictatorship.

Yet the Catalan referendum is about all of Spain. The democratic freedoms of Spain's entire population are at stake in what is still being presented as just another Catalan hissy fit..."


Catalonia Pushes Ahead With Independence Referendum


-" Catalan referendum activists have been shot at in the town of Manlleu overnight while protecting a polling station at a local school.

- Nationalists perform Nazi salute at Madrid protest..."


lagatta4 wrote:

Don't we have a topic about Catalonia yet?


Apparently not.


Activists Face Police at Polling Stations as Voting Begins in Catalonia - RT Special Live Coverage

"Clashes with police outside polling stations. Madrid has also ordered the arrests of Catalan officials and the suspension of the vote."

Shocking and brutal images of Spanish police smashing down the doors of Barcelona polling stations.



"It is hard in Europe today to accept the use of force and even the threat of arms in an attempt to prevent the Catalans from exercising the natural right to natural self-determination. My experience, as the former President of Slovenia at the time our country decided for independence, beholds me to call for a cessation of the use of force and threats of military intervention...' - Milan Kucan, former president of Slovenia

"When you use the tools of the state to forcibly stop people from carrying out a peaceful vote, you cease to be a democracy."


"Police violence against citizens in Catalonia is shocking. The Spanish government must act to end it now."


Joan Tafalla: 'In Catalonia, It Is All In The Hands Of The Popular Initiative'

"If Spain wants to preserve its unity as a political country (formed in turn by various countries and peoples) it can only do it if it manages, in a democratic way, to remove the People's Party from power and open a constitutional process that gives the peoples the right to self-determination..."


"They broke my fingers on purpose, one by one.' This is what the Spanish police is doing in Catalonia."


Finger-breaking dates back to Franco, and the older of us will remember how it was exported to Chile.  There are many deliberate Fascist references on the part of the police and the "N0" thugs, including outright Nazi ones (I'm not calling all NO supporters thugs - some are old socialists and communists). 

Manon Massé of Québec solidaire is in Barcelona now.


Oppose the State Crackdown on the Catalan Independence Referendum

"Spain is in the throes of its deepest political crisis since the fascist regime of Francisco Franco collapsed amid mass working class struggles in the 1970s. After a decade of deep economic crisis, social austerity and mass unemployment across Europe, Spain is at the breaking point. 

As Madrid unleashes draconian police repression to block the referendum, with the support of governments across Europe and America, Spain is teetering on the brink of dictatorship and civil war..."


#CatalanReferendum - Results by the Catalan Government, (missing 400 poll stations)

Breaking: Catalan Referendum

Total Votes: 2,262

Yes: 2,020,140

No: 176,565

Blank: 45,586

Null: 20,129


"People banging pots and pans in Barcelona, the banging spreading from street to street."


"Please Share This Statement By Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona, on the Catalan Referendum."


The Case Against Catalan Secession

"Catalans should be wary of breaking a successful, historical partnership on a nationalist whim..."


"BDS Catalunya concerned that some Catalan nationalists see Israel as model for independence."


Catalonia Vows To Go To International Courts, Calls On EU Sanctions Against Spain For Referendum Violence

"Announcing a two-pronged response strategy, officials added that a process to institute anti-Madrid sanctions in the EU is already underway. 'We will initiate formalities to activate the mechanism of sanctions...We think that the actions of the Spanish state that the whole world is witnessing, put the image of the EU as a guarantor of democracy and human rights at risk, Catalan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Paul Romeva told a news conference in Barcelona Sunday."

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Very good Guardian article by a Catalan woman living in a room in England



As Quebec Separatists Watch, Canada Shies From Criticizing Spain Over Police Violence at Catalan Referendum

Mr. Magoo

Madrid says the vote was illegal and police sent to prevent voting and confiscate ballot boxes were acting on a constitutional court order.

A valid government cannot be bound by a vote that it did not sanction.  But what makes it "illegal"?  The government doesn't need to stop such a vote when it's not bound to respect such a vote.

Catalonia’s government says 90 per cent of voters favoured independence. But turnout was less than half.

I'm not sure this is a rock on which I choose to make my stand, or anything.  But it seems to me that if there were a vote on whether the "new" stoplight colour should be purple or white, and only 40% of potential voters voted, the 60% who chose not to vote wouldn't be indicative of anything.

But if there were a vote on (let's say) whether we should re-institute the draft, and only 40% of potential voters voted, I'd be somewhat inclined to think that the 60% who chose not to vote would be, in effect, voting "No".  In other words, I'm inclined to think that big changes do require support in a way that not changing doesn't and shouldn't.


Spain's King Felipe VI Says Catalonian Independence Bid Illegal and Undemocratic

"The Catalan leader has vowed to declare independence from Spain in a matter of days..."


700K Protest Spain's Referendum Crackdown in Barcelona - Local Police

"They are asking, they are shouting at national police forces to leave the region of Catalonia..."


Catalan Referendum : Region's Independence in 'Matter of Days'

Interview with Catalan leader Carles Puigedemont


Catalan Leader Vows to Proclaim Independence Within Days As King Felipe VI Blasts 'Disloyalty'

"Earlier, Puigedemont said he would agree to a dialogue mediated by the EU if Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy greenlights the proposal. 'It is clear that things cannot go on like this: mediation cannot be renounced just as dialogue was before. We do not see a more effective way than sitting and talking' he said."


'Out With Occupiers!': Spanish Police Evicted From Hotels in Catalonia (and vid)

"Hotels around Catalonia evicted up to 500 Spanish police officers from their premises on late Monday, amid a local outcry and mass protests surrounding their buildings."


Why Isn't NATO Bombing Madrid For 78 Days? - Fmr British Diplomat (and vid)

Great question...

"Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic did not mince his words when he voiced a rather obvious question: 'How did you proclaim the secession of Kosovo to be legal, even without a referendum, and how did 22 European Union countries legalize this secession, while destroying European law and the foundations of European law, on which the European policy are based?"

Remember Kosovo Canucklheads and how eagerly Canada participated...?


Quoting the National Pest?



Catalonia Parliament To Discuss Independence on Monday, Defying Spain - Official

"Catalonia's Parliament will meet on Monday despite the decision of Spain's Constitutional Court to suspend the session..."


Catalonia Versus Crimea: The World of Difference Between Referendums

"Look back to 2014 and it was a very different story from The Guardian on Crimea's referendum..."


Catalonia's Referendum Unmasks Authoritarianism in Spain

"I have long worried about the rise of authoritarianism in the European Union..."


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

"The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society.

The fallout from the massive voting performance in Catalonia last Sunday and its violent repression by the Spanish authorities continues to reverberate across Europe.

Although it caught many outsiders by surprise, this clash was in the making for some time. The vote confirmed the resurgence of grassroots engagement in the recent cycle of mobilization for self-determination in Catalonia. It represents another clear example of a mass politics that transcends parties and institutions.


On 1 October, 2.2 million people ran the gauntlet of state violence to cast their votes (including the use of rubber bullets). The actions of ordinary people meant that the Spanish national police were only able to shut down 400 out of a total of 2,315 polling stations. People not only voted but hid ballot boxes and papers from the Spanish authorities over the weeks preceding the referendum.

They occupied polling stations – preventing them from being sealed by the police the Friday before the referendum. Farmers’ tractors were used in hundreds of polling stations as protective barriers. A judicial order led to the removal of the official webpage (, which had provided people with information about the referendum: thereafter individual citizens started launching replica webpages under new domains, emerging as fast as the authorities could remove them.

On the day of the vote, thousands of volunteers gathered to enable voting; youths and adults barricaded themselves outside to peacfully block police access while older people and children gathered inside. Throughout the morning of the vote, Internet access in many polling stations was cut off. This created significant problems because it disabled the online-based system of voter identification.

Throughout the day, the two principles that were communicated throughout the grassroots networks were peacefulness and neutrality, the latter to ensure that pro-independence canvassing was prohibited in order to ensure people were unpressured while voting. 

Even if in the Catalan cycle of mobilisation, the borders between institutional and grassroots actors have, to a degree, become blurred (for example the former leader of ANC is now president of the Catalan parliament), we nonetheless cannot understand the Catalan procès without acknowledging the role played by pressure "from below".

Together with more established actors such as political parties and institutional networks (e.g. the Associació de Municipis per la Independència), it was first the Plataform pel Dret de Decidir, and then organisations such as Òmnium Cultural, Assamblea Nacional Catalana (ANC), cultural and civic platforms (e.g. Súmate, Ciemen), hundreds of neighbourhood grassroots assemblies and other autonomous collectives and individuals who kept the referendum campaign running. 

This is in keeping with the international trend of what we term “referendums from below”: referendums that are no longer devices used by institutional actors to retrospectively legitimise technocratic decisions but are rather, participatory processes generated by grassroots mobilisations which pre-date the actual vote by years of civil society agitation.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Catalonia stages general strike following Spanish police's 'brutal' response to independence referendum

Workers in Catalonia have staged a general strike while protests blocked key roads following the Spanish government's brutal crackdown on Sunday's independence referendum.

Footage showed police beating voters and firing rubber bullets into crowds on Sunday during clashes that left more than 800 injured, according to the region's government.

Barcelona's public transport was running at less than half of normal service level on Tuesday morning, and its port was "practically at a standstill", as was Tarragona's, La Vanguardia reported.

The agrarian sector was also at a near-standstill but Barcelona-El Prat airport was functioning normally, the site said.

Labour unions and grassroots pro-independence groups had urged workers to hold partial or full-day strikes throughout Catalonia to protest police conduct. 

The strike call came as Catalan leaders considered a possible declaration of independence this week following the referendum which Spain said was illegal and invalid. 

Port workers were being called to demonstrate outside the regional headquarters of Spain's ruling Popular Party while firefighters planned a rally outside the Interior Ministry's regional office in Barcelona.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

‘We are with you Catalunya’ – the revolt in Spain is bigger than flags and language

The first group that tried to build the barricade were schoolkids. They linked the crash barriers together across the alleyway and tied them with an inch-thick cable. The next group, young men with wispy stubble and girls in hoodies, expressed contempt: they wanted to heap the barriers on top of some bags of cement instead. As they discussed the options, a third group arrived, dismantled the original structure and rebuilt it as a 20ft-deep fascine.

This was at the Escola Industrial on Sunday evening, a university complex serving as a polling station in Catalonia’s independence referendum. The vote had been deemed illegal by the Spanish state, but mandatory by the Catalan government, whose majority had been constructed around a single issue: independence or bust.....


CrossTalk: Catalonia Rising

"The people of Catalonia went to the polls seeking independence. The Spanish state reacted with force against peaceful voters. Still again the question arises: What is the EU's commitment to democracy? And who is allowed self-determination?"


Madrid Prepares To Deploy Troops in Catalonia

"Spain's political establishment is openly talking  of invoking Article 116 of the Spanish constitution, laying the basis for the imposition of martial law..."

Sean in Ottawa

This is another example of having a vote first and then wondering what it means after.

It is better to state the interpretation guideline prior to the vote rather than being seen to bend it based on a result to your purpose.

This is not a solution but assuming you want 50 +1 percent support of the possible voters and you need to interpret a vote of less than that. Legitimacy is based on logic so let us consider the following:

92.01% voted yes from 43.03% of registered voters.

So the counted vote is 39.59 % yes and 3.39 % no.

So yes needs 10.41 % and no needs 46.61 % of total votes coming from the of 56.97 % of voters who did not cast a ballot. This translates to a threshold of 18.2 % or more yes from non voters or 81.8 % or more no.

The trouble with criticizing this result is the assumption that if you could only get 7.9% of the voters how do you expect 81% of the non-voters. The result was too lopsided to question this result on the basis that less than a majority voted when you do the math. The idea that over 90% of yes from voters would not be matched with at least 18% support from those who did not make it out to vote is not credible.

This is after expecting that more supporters would vote than non-supporters -- but the gap is far too wide to question the credibility of this vote.

The no vote is counting on a 4-1 advantage among non voters in support when they could not get 1 in 10 from voters.

I agree in a close vote you can look at turnout but when you have a vote that is so one-sided and the distance from a majority of people turning out is so low it gets absurd thinking that the vote result would be different if everyone had been forced to vote. This is before you even consider the weight of those who voted as greater than those who did not.

I have to say that questioning this vote is very problematic and you cannot do so from a purely logical or math point of view.


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

‘This building will be a library!’ From referendum to general strike in Catalonia

In the past few days the people of Catalonia have witnessed Spain’s coup against the Catalonian government, a brutal police occupation and a major popular uprising against the police. The latest episode in this story is the hugely supported general strike, the first general strike against political repression in Europe for perhaps 30 years.

It is also Catalonia’s biggest strike since 1988, involving anything between 2 million and 3 million people. It is difficult to assess the full scale of this strike, but its support has been remarkable almost every section of the population. Every single town in Catalonia came out yesterday, and held demonstrations involving between 10 per cent and 50 per cent of the population. Most neighborhoods were effectively closed down as people took to the streets.

The general strike was called last week by a broad coalition of social movements and the left wing socialist, syndicalist and alternative trade unions. The large centrist unions, the UGT and CCOO, subsequently agreed to a stoppage after the events of Sunday’s referendum, though in the end did not join the biggest demonstrations in the Passeig de Gracia which numbered at least 300,000. The feeling in the trade unions here is that the left increasingly holds the balance of power in the movement.

The ‘Committees in Defence of the Referendum’, the structures organising people against the police on Sunday, have been key to organising the general strike and could be found active in communities across Catalonia.

Social strike

One aim of the committees has been to make sure the strike – and the resistance more generally – is as inclusive as possible. This is not an exclusively trade union/workers’ strike, but involves the community, with a high participation from students, LGBT organisations, feminist social centres and migrant solidarity groups.

In many ways, the referendum, the remarkable turnout and result may quickly become secondary to something much more significant: the Catalonian rebellion. The constitutional crisis is set to last for some time. The role of the left independence movement, and particularly the CUP (the ‘Popular Unity Candidacy’ party) cannot be underestimated.

It is CUP, with its roots in the neighbourhoods, that initiated the coordinated defense of polling stations against the police. It is CUP that was central to supporting the left trade unions and the community and social movement demands for the general strike today....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Thousands of Catalans protest against the violence that marred Sunday’s referendum vote

Officers of National Police stand outside a polling center set at Sant Julia Sports Center in Barcelona,


Mr. Magoo


This is after expecting that more supporters would vote than non-supporters -- but the gap is far too wide to question the credibility of this vote.

The no vote is counting on a 4-1 advantage among non voters in support when they could not get 1 in 10 from voters.

I wouldn't think it unreasonable for any state, holding an important referendum, to impose a "floor" on participation prior to the vote.   For example, making it clear that they won't even consider acting on the results if fewer than half of the eligible electorate votes.  Of course this would need to be spelled out prior to voting, and not imposed as an arbitrary "do-over" afterward.

And personally, I don't think those who did not vote should ever be factored into the results of a vote.  Either way.  Trying to extrapolate the results of a vote onto those who did not vote is just too hinky.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Catalan independence supporters gather for the "Yes" vote closing campaign event in Barcelona on September 29, 2017

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:


This is after expecting that more supporters would vote than non-supporters -- but the gap is far too wide to question the credibility of this vote.

The no vote is counting on a 4-1 advantage among non voters in support when they could not get 1 in 10 from voters.

I wouldn't think it unreasonable for any state, holding an important referendum, to impose a "floor" on participation prior to the vote.   For example, making it clear that they won't even consider acting on the results if fewer than half of the eligible electorate votes.  Of course this would need to be spelled out prior to voting, and not imposed as an arbitrary "do-over" afterward.

And personally, I don't think those who did not vote should ever be factored into the results of a vote.  Either way.  Trying to extrapolate the results of a vote onto those who did not vote is just too hinky.

I agree with your first point. Any devience from 50+1 is a qualification and any qualification has no legitimacy if presented after the fact. Thus since no qualification was presented prior, the sole interpreation is the raw result.

That said in terms of great change, it is reasonabel and even necessary to consider sufferage rates. If non voting is considered a right then non-voting numbers cannot be ignored. To do so, for one undermines boycott of a vote as a legitimate and effective tool.

This is why I think that we have to not make sweeping assumptions about non voters which means we cannot count them for one side any more than ignore them altogether. Non voting is messy -- we do not know what it means while voters have created certainty. But you can, as I did above, make assumptions and calculate them for argument. So if you have a low turnout and a low margin then you do not have a clear answer, if you have a very high margin, you can still accept it in a low turnout and if you have a high turnout with a low margin you can accept that as well. Ultimately you are making a subjective judgement of the result and it must be subjective becuase of the uncertainty.

It is irresponsible to hold votes of this kind without a stated objective and interpretation. It is best if prior to the vote there can be an agreed interpretation. Participation minimum is a common standard. I think that a super majority is not reasonable as you are raising the barrier for one side and not the other. But the legitimacy of the whole vote can be measured by participation rate.

We know there is a line of legitimacy. We just have to draw it somewhere. If 5% vote and 95% won't dignify the election then how legitimate is the result? So somewhere, in increased sufferage and increased margins you find legitimacy.

I have argued by looking at what each need from the nonvoting block to get to a majority that a 92% vote from 43% of the population is enough to establish legitimacy but if only 5% voted I could not say it is legitimate and if the margin were less than 1% on 43% voting I also could not agree.  The solution may be for referenda to have a preset minimum participation.

Now also there is the problem where you cannot ever ignore a majority in favour of a minority. If you have a less than convincing result you cannot annoint the minority with a win. You either accept the majority or hold a new vote to and get more to participate.

We all know the discussion we are having is not just about Spain.


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

‘Committees in Defence of the Referendum’: update from Catalonia

It has escaped almost all commentators in the international media, but the crisis in Catalonia is now potentially evolving into something much bigger than the break up of the Spanish ‘Kingdom’.

Of course, the defense of Spain against the political and importantly economic secession of Catalonia is the primary reason for the remarkable level of repression we’ve seen. After all, Catalonia is a major earner for the Spanish state. But the current struggle for the referendum cannot be simplistically thought of merely as a ‘bourgeois revolution’, a term that is repeated in less sophisticated left analyses.


Indefinite general strike

The attempt to hold the referendum on Sunday (1 October) will be followed by an indefinite general strike, starting on Tuesday. The strike is currently supported by the three major left unions, the CGT, IAC and COS. A broad coalition of radical social movements is backing the strike and includes people working in the social enterprise and co- operative economy.

Although for legal reasons this strike is officially a labour dispute, it is being called for a political purpose. It is being held to force the Spanish government to stop the police repression and to prevent militarisation – the likely deployment of tanks and water cannons, in addition to the thousands of armed national police and Guardia Civil that now patrol the towns and cities of Catalonia. It is perhaps the first large-scale workers’ strike against state repression in Europe for over 40 years.

Already the resistance to the clampdown has seen the dock workers and stevedores unions refusing to touch the boats that are docked to accommodate the armed police. Firefighters have promised to protect demonstrators from police violence by organising ‘perimeters of protection’. Farm workers are planning a series of actions using tractors to block roads and disrupt police operations....

A neighbourhood Committee in Defence of the Referendum meets

Mr. Magoo

the difference is unreconcilable.

At best, I would propose an "in between" for non-voters.  Don't "ignore" them -- if there were lots of them then that must be indicative of something -- but they cannot simply be divvied up between the yes and no sides according to some math.  Not without a much, much clearer picture of why some people didn't vote.

In a slippery-slope sense, the next step would be to start counting deceased voters!  "Well, my uncle always voted Republican when he was alive, then he died the day before the election, so...".

It is irresponsible to hold votes of this kind without a stated objective and interpretation.


The solution may be for referenda to have a preset minimum participation.

I totally agree.  Personally, I'm not averse to a supermajority requirement for referenda which will have far-reaching consequences, and personally I'm not averse to the "change" side having to bear that burden, regardless of what the "change" is.  But a referendum with far-reaching consequences that only attracts 37% of the eligible electorate is hard to take seriously.  That also advantages the "non-change" side of things, but for a whole lot of reasons, I think it's easier/better/more valid to leave things the way people are used to than to force change on them because 50%+1 of 37% of the electorate could be arsed to voted.  If the status quo is unliveable and horrible, why would we have a 37% turnout in the first place? 

If you have a less than convincing result you cannot annoint the minority with a win. You either accept the majority or hold a new vote to and get more to participate.

Hence the push for a new Brexit vote.  "We can't say that 'Stay' won, but maybe we could have another vote and maybe 'Stay' would win this time, and anyway, we have nothing to lose, right?"

We all know the discussion we are having is not just about Spain.

We're talking about Spain? ;)

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from post #92


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.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

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....

Mr. Magoo

This isn't even the first "unofficial" (or, unsanctioned by the State) referendum recently.  Venezuela also held one, similarly unsanctioned by the "no" side.

Should such votes be regarded as legitimate, or must the State approve them?


Mr. Magoo wrote:

This isn't even the first "unofficial" (or, unsanctioned by the State) referendum recently.  Venezuela also held one, similarly unsanctioned by the "no" side.

Should such votes be regarded as legitimate, or must the State approve them?

Be regarded as legitimate by whom? In this particular instance the vote was repressed by police action so the low turnout cannot be ascribed to disinterest or boycotting. At the very least it shows considerable disatisfaction by a large portion of the population.

I don't think we need a standard percentage of votes for all situations throughout the world. People have a right to self-determination.

In the case of Catalonia I don't consider the results legitimate because the vote was surpressed. In my view a date should be set for a new referendum with international observers not that it has any chance of happening.


MEP: 'Catalan President's Ready To Go To Jail'


Franco Legacy: Crackdown on Catalan Referendum Shows How the EU Treats Voters


Federal Police Stay, No Talks and No Independent Catalonia - Spanish PM

"Madrid will use all legal means to stop Catalonia's secession, PM Mariano Rajoy said, ruling out talks with separatists and vows to keep federal police in the region.'

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Before the violence, Catalonia already had a mandate for independence


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.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..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. 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. 


re neoliberal globalized Canada...what are we to do...

What is critically important is to develop gatherings to explore this question....political autonomy is one possibility...but more fundamental is the need for movement to noncooperate with our personal lives, within our communities of friends and geographic communities...thanks for the question!!