Neither Rajoy nor the Civil Guard can restrain Catalunya. By Carlos Aznárez

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Photo: Resumen Latinoamericano

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / September 26, 2017


Neither “a train wreck”, as Julio Anguita (former secretary of the Spanish communist) stated, nor a civil coup d’etat, as “socialists” and former chiefs of the death squads of the so called GAL, Alfonso Guerra and Felipe Gonzalez, affirmed. The Catalan referendum that bothers the arrogant and Francoist Spain, is the historical vindication of a people that, like the Basque and others in the peninsula, is tired of the dominance and looting of a kingdom which does not hold water from any angle it is viewed. What is currently happening is not new; Rajoy, the PSOE and even the Podemos Party are trying to ignore the history behind the situation: Catalonia is a nation oppressed by Spain since its occupation by the hands of the Bourbon in 1714, followed by the posterior suppression of the Catalan institutions and the prohibition of their native language, imposed “manu militaru” and issued by Felipe V between 1707 and 1716.  

What will happen in the urns this October the 1st, has already been tried in 1873 a few days after the proclamation of the First Republic when José Garcia Viñas and Paul Brousse claimed Barcelona as the “Catalan State Federated in the Spanish Republic”. One of its vindications was to constitute a provisional government, to call to elections and to dissolve the Army. But the differences inside the bourgeois sectors, and the harsh intimidations that came from Madrid, made a fast culmination for the exhilarating attempt.  


However, many years after, there would be another attempt; from the balconies of Barcelona’s town hall, Lluis Company announced the proclamation of the Second Republic. It was the 14th of April of 1931, and one day later, Francesc Maciá, a representative of Republican Esquerra (a historical party that is now thrusting the referendum), took on the Catalan government. Madrid denied this right once again and, in the middle of threats and promises, it achieved the resignation of Maciá, but in exchange for the thrusting of an Autonomy that would arrive on 1932. But the Catalan spirit, rebel and non condescending with the siren chants of the imperial Spanish, achieved two years later the proclamation of the Catalan State with Company as president of the Generalitat. The reason was pure logic: the entrance of representatives of an ultra catholic, centrist and conservative party called CEDA in the government of the Second Republic leaded by Alejandro Lerroux. This overflowed the glass of the Catalan patience and the necessity to break the chains with those that faked the autonomist principles that they spoke off emerged.


Like with the actual threats of Mariano Rajoy and the rest of the Bourbon factic powers, Lerroux felt outraged, declared the state of war and sent the army to face the young Catalan men who to take weapons in their hands and defend their sovereignty. After several harsh clashes, which left 40 casualties and 3 thousand detainees, defeat shook once again the freedom wishes of a people that never resigned into being slaves. Company and several of his followers were condemned to 30 years of jail, but the triumph of the Popular Front in February of 1936 prized them with amnesty and the right to reinstall the Generalitat. It did not last long, since the victorious uprise of the fascist Francisco Franco heavily trampled the rights achieved until that moment. The dictator removed freedoms and charged repressively against all those who opposed to his disciplining mechanisms. The Catalan native language was banned and all the remains of a native culture were persecuted, since for the inquisitorial Francoism it represented a demonic lifestyle. Those were long years of misery and silent resistance.


With the death of the dictator, Catalunya once again counted with its institutions, inside a controlled autonomy, but forever economically dependant of Madrid. In other words, the Spanish centralism (through a rigged transition from right to left) kept filling its purse by using the economic Catalan power. And for it, in a long period that in the last years has been left behind, it always counted with the complicity of the Catalan bourgeoisie.


But the things have changed for good. On one hand, because the the Catalan people has never yielded its political consciousness to the idea of considering that the chains tied by Francoism and its offspring  could last forever. As a poet would say, independentism is like a fast flowing river that is not stopped with repressive walls nor with syren chants. From the depths of its spirit, the thesis that Catalonia is a Nation has been defended, and sooner rather than latter the day of the great battle before the central colonial power shall arrive. There were many types of attempts, from armed struggle, with the main participation of Terra Lliure which was stopped by repression and arrests, to the emergence of several struggle organizations, either social, political and cultural. The language became massive as the years passed and became one of the fundamental elements of the libertarian and independence identity.  

But something was missing, which finally arrived: on one hand, the decision of the Catalan bourgeoisie to cut the strings with their old associates (something that their Basque peers have never done) and on the other, the emergence of an leftist independence movement, the Candidacy of Popular Union (CUP), which has added to the fight towards National Liberation the fundamental add-on to close the circle with an important militant practice in the neighborhoods and towns. “Independence is not enough, we must aspire to Socialism as well” stated the CUP.


As a result of great popular mobilizations, unrecognized votations and multitudinous expressions on the necessity of independence by those who not only live on the Catalan economy but also (as it happens with the Basque people) despite everything that is Catalan, the current coalition government integrated by Junts pel Si (which groups the center-rightist Democratic Convergence of Catalunya (CDC), Republican Esquerra of Catalunya (ERC), Catalan Democrats and Moviment d’Esquerres) and by the CUP’s revolutionary popular left, decided to convoke the referendum for October the 1st. The objective: Independence.


Starting in that moment, not only the entelechy called Spain, but also their partners of the European Union exposed their dissatisfaction and are threatening with launching rays and lightnings against the daredevil independence supporters. Even more, showing the little difference between the PP with the PSOE, and with a dumb left that never understood the processes of national emancipation, the response was to launch on Catalunya a real repressive invasion at the hands of the worst of the Francoist fascism: The Civil Guard.

At the shout of “Spain shall prevail, and Hurray Franco”, the officials, just like in the years of the dictatorship, entered with their vehicles to Barcelona and other cities, shaking the hateful red and yellow flag while making coarse jests to the transients that look at them shocked. But the party did not last long: when the new officials started the first detentions on the Catalan guvermnetal authorities, the people flooded the streets, faced them and forced them to retreat from certain places. Incredible scenes were seen like hundreds of young people hitting the police vehicles, laying referendum stickers all over them and even raising the Independent Catalan flag on a pole of the Civil Guard.


This is how things are in Catalunya. With the colonial police raiding printing presses, kidnapping thousands of referendum bills, shutting down independence websites and threatening the higher officials of the local government with detention. Some antiquated General even threatened to raid with tanks in order to stop the “reds”. But everything shall be in vain. The conviction that the 10 thousand civil guards sent from Madrid will not be enough prevails, neither will the media onslaught, to stop this will for freedom. The taps on the back by Donald Trump or the “good will” messages from NATO, will not help Rajoy in any sense. There is no going back. The Catalan Nation shall be free and independent, against wind and tide. And then the turn for Euskal Herria shall come and a long list of pending themes in the matter of invaded and sullied lands by the Spanish fascist power.


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