The May 15 movement in Spain (15M) initiated by Democracia Real Ya (DRY), which is backed by the ‘alternative world’ group ATTAC, has also had some offspring in France, notably in Paris, with the objective of “taking the Place de la Bastille”. In the assemblies in Paris, some ICC militants went to defend class positions and not as simple “citizens” claiming “real democracy now” in the framework of preserving the capitalist system.
Our comrades also brought along a table for showing our publications in the public area where the assemblies were taking place.
May 29, the organisers of DRY came after us protesting with the following arguments:
that this movement was “apolitical” and accepted no party, no political group and no unions;
that the distribution of our press could only “divide” the movement.
A minor altercation then broke out between militants of the ICC and some militants of DRY who asked us, quite scathingly, to pack up and go. Here are the arguments that we used against this attempt to shut us up:
No movement of social protest is “apolitical”. The apoliticism of DRY is just a pure hypocrisy. We know perfectly well that behind the banner of DRY lies ATTAC and its followers who hide behind its ‘alternative world’ ideology;
We are not a political party and still less an electoral party;
DRY does exactly the same thing as the Stalinists in trying to turf us out of public areas considered by them as their back-yard, their “territory”;
Contrary to DRY and all the other bourgeois groups, unions and political parties present in this movement, the ICC doesn’t hide its colours (even if when we speak in the Assemblies we don’t talk in the name of our political organisation);
Even the cops, present at the scene behind their shields, seem more “democratic” than DRY, since they didn’t demand that we moved on. When we insisted on the irony of this situation of a Democracia Real Ya more coercive than the French forces of state repression, the members of DRY were particularly discomforted.
We thus refused to allow ourselves to be taken hostage by the law imposed on us by DRY and remained in the Place de la Bastille and moved aside a little in order to make way for the assembly.
On Sunday June 12, an assembly organised by DRY took place in the boulevard Richard-Lenoir in Paris. Our militants were also present and again brought their table for the press.
Same scenario: some militants of DRY came across to make a scene and get us to clear off with the same arguments. We told them that we had come back from Barcelona and that in Catalonia Square the “indignant” were pleased that we were showing our press. The “logistical commission” had lent us two trestles and boards in order to display our publications. One of the “indignant” from the “art commission” even lent us a megaphone so that we could organise a discussion around our press table.
In an outburst, a militant of DRY didn’t believe us and demanded some “proof”. We showed her our video camera to demonstrate that we weren’t bluffing. We had filmed in the square in Barcelona where one could clearly see the ICC’s press display on the table. But this militant of DRY made like an ostrich and refused to look at our video. She then demanded if the “indignant” of Barcelona had given us... “papers” authorising our press table! Perhaps DRY wanted papers stamped by the local police authorising us to distribute our press?
In reality what the militants of DRY did not want to see above all was the indignation of the “indignant” of Barcelona against the manoeuvres of DRY who, under cover of apoliticism and a-partyism, sabotaged the debates by muzzling the voices who did not sing the praises of citizenship and the bourgeois republic. Here’s the real face of the “real democracy” of DRY!
Truly, the “international extension” of 15M is only a masquerade behind which DRY tries to dragoon the exploited and the young generations of the working class into a “popular front”, shoulder to shoulder with citizens belonging to the left and the right of capital (and even the extreme-right, as this very militant “citizen” of DRY told us).
Against the dictates of DRY, against its reactionary “popular front”, the exploited must oppose a class front!
ICC, June 14th, 2011.