Anarchists in Catalonia are backing a region-wide general strike for October 3rd and are calling for solidarity actions against the Spanish government as it brutally represses Catalan independence activists.
The CNT anarcho-syndicalist union has agreed to join the strike as anarchists nationwide put up statements condemning Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s decision to send thousands of police in to violently break up plans for a regional independence referendum.
The CNT maintains an internationalist position in that it has no formal opinion on the question of nationalism and Catalan sovereignty, however it seems likely it and the broader Spanish anarchist movement will take to the streets in force to help protect people facing the increasingly militarised government intervention. In a statement CNT Catalonia said:
After meetings held with the other unions, the Catalan regional CNT has decided to join the strike for this coming October 3rd.
At CNT we fully support the reasons for this strike: the continuing loss of rights for the working class, together with the concerning situation that Catalan workers are experiencing as they perform their jobs by the actions of the different bodies and repressive organs of the State.
CNT condemns this interference and defends the right of the people of Catalonia to be able to express themselves freely on any matter that concerns them, including, of course, self-determination.
The CNT is calling for solidarity with the Catalan working class, which is experiencing a double oppression, economic and military. This situation of militarisation and repression completely transcends the Catalan political situation and sets a very serious precedent in the central government’s responses to social struggles: to claim that safeguarding “the rule of law” should allow them to trample on our essential rights and freedoms.
We understand that the unknown measures of repression that the central government is deploying are not a real response, albeit typical of the heirs of the Franco dictatorship, to the “sovereign Catalan challenge.” The creation of a war scenario with huge doses of propaganda, patriotic exaltation and fear of the other can only give rise to irreconcilable sides: “With them” or “with us.” They know it and it is what they are looking for. This social recapitalisation on both sides of the front line has been kept up the sleeve of the two major party bastions of an unjust and corrupt system. Parties that did nothing saw their hegemony jeopardised by internal corruption and developed policies.
The CNT is standing up. Not against the Spanish attack or against the Catalan people, but together with our Catalan brothers and sisters to defend rights and freedoms that are for everyone.The CNT stands to face the violence of the real enemy, a regime that is killing us wherever we live.
Companions and companions, the CNT de Catalunya i Balears calls us to extend the mobilisation throughout the country. It is our duty to make it possible.
Direct rebellion has been rising in the region over the last few days as police use increasingly hardline tactics to repress protesters and campaigners:
Calls have been made for solidarity groups to back the strike on October 3rd by protesting at Spanish embassies, while in other areas rallies have already been called in Bristol (October 3rd), and Glasgow (October 5th).
Update: SolFed previously called to support a demo at Downing Street, but has since released this statement.
For more background and thoughts on the Catalan conflict, check out this piece by Enough is Enough!