Spain, Catalonia : The workers have no country

Catalonia, and Barcelona in particular, is one of those places inscribed in the memory of the Spanish and world proletariat. The struggles, the victories and defeats of the working class in this region have left their mark in the history of our class. Therefore, in the present situation, the ICC, through this article and others which have appeared in our territorial press, aims to alert our class to the danger of the proletariat being dragged into the unfolding nationalist squabble, which can only damage it.

The Catalan quagmire shows the deepening decomposition of capitalism

The escalation of the push towards Catalan independence and the difficulties of the Popular Party government, and more generally the whole of the state, in dealing with this problem through a framework of agreements and negotiations, represents an important political crisis for the Spanish bourgeoisie. It has thrown the “1978 consensus”up in the air (i.e. the rules of the game that the state has followed since the democratic transition in 1975). And this is a state which has already been greatly weakened by the crisis of two party rule – the tandem of the PP and the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Party)  -  and the difficulty to provide an alternative through the formation of new parties (Podemos and Ciudadanos).

Confrontations in Catalonia: Democracy and the Nation are the reactionary past, the proletariat is the future

On the first of October the masses who had been led by the Catalan separatists to the farce of the referendum were brutally beaten by the police dispatched by the Spanish government. Both Madrid and the Catalan authorities covered themselves in the mantel of democracy in order to justify both the vote and the repression. The Catalan separatists have presented themselves as the victims of repression in order to advance their call for independence. The Rajoy government has justified its repression in the name of defending the Constitution and the democratic rights of all Spaniards. The “neutrals” (Podemos, the Party of Ada Colau,etc.) have declared that democracy is the means for containing Rajoy and “finding a solution” to the Catalan conflict.

Spain: the Indignados movement five years on

If you were to ask a high school student about the Russian revolution of 1917, most likely she would reply that it was a Bolshevik coup which, despite the good intentions of its protagonists, ended up in a nightmare: the Soviet dictatorship, the Gulag, etc.

And if you to ask her what happened on 15 May 2011, it’s possible that the response would be that it was a movement for ‘real democracy’ and that it was very closely linked to the Podemos political party.

Anyone who is looking for the truth will not be satisfied with such simplistic answers, which have nothing to do with what really happened, stuffed as they are with the ‘common sense’ views promoted by the deformed education we are subjected to and the brow beating of the ‘means of communication’. In short, by the dominant ideology of this society.

40 years ago the nascent Spanish democracy murders the workers of Vitoria

It is 40 years since the events that took place in the city of Vitoria, where, in 1976, in the context of falling wages due to the economic crisis there were important workers’ movements throughout the country, and in Vitoria there were increasingly massive General Assemblies which elected a committee of revocable delegates. It was when a General Assembly was taking place in the Church of San Francisco that police unleashed repression against the workers gathered there. The then government minister, Señor Fraga Iribarne, founder and president of the Partido Popular (the People’s Party) until his death, and honoured ‘democrat’, ordered the police to fire upon the workers, causing five deaths with many injured.

Spain: Debate on the general strike

As the CGT and the CCOO-UGT regrouping five different unions in Spain called for yet another 24-hour ‘general strike’ for October 31 and November 14 respectively, comrades of the Assembly movement - Indignant and Self-Organized Alicante Workers - published and distributed a declaration called "In the face of the 24-hour strikes: What strike do we want? The mass strike!".

Spain and Catalonia: two countries to enforce the same misery

On September 11 last, a million-and-a-half people in Barcelona demonstrated for “their own state inside of Europe”. This event has been analysed widely in the media: is the independence of Catalonia viable? Why does Catalonia want “a divorce” from Spain? Will Catalans live better after independence? Is it true that Catalonia brings more to Spain than it receives from it? Should a federal state be created?

Struggles in Spain: Why do the unions always lead us to defeat?

In September 2011, the education sector workers in Madrid reacted to 3000 layoffs and the lengthening of the working day with mass general assemblies that united teachers, students and all the workers in the education sector. The five unions in the field of education did their best to stifle the initiative and to control the struggle. What was the outcome? The mass assemblies were replaced with "inquiries" and with meetings of union committees, keeping the teachers isolated, and successive demonstrations got progressively smaller. In the end, the struggle was terminated and the measures of the regional government eventually prevailed.

Austerity in Spain

This is a leaflet produced by our section in Spain to denounce the ruthless attacks on working class living conditions now underway in that country. It’s also an analysis of the situation which tries to make proposals to take the struggle forward.

pdf leaflet

Spain: how can workers respond to an economy in dire straits?

The working class in Spain is facing particularly harsh austerity measures. The explosive economic crisis is making the social situation equally tense. The anniversary of the 15M and the events surrounding it was followed by the start of a strike by 8,000 miners, mainly in Asturias, against the withdrawal of EU coalmining subsidies which will totally undermine the industry, threatening 40,000 jobs. This article aims to contribute to the discussion on what we can learn from both the anniversary of 15M and from the miners’ strike.

Spanish indignados’ movement: What remains of 15M?

Tons of “democratist” rubbish has poured forth from Democracia Real Ya (DRY), likewise the PSOE, in order to bury the militancy, spontaneity, creativity, discussions and mobilisations of the 15M movement. But they cannot draw a veil over these events. Those days in May will remain a reference point for the fact that it is possible to struggle, to decide for ourselves. Each time that discontent and anger overwhelm democratic normality in order to fight back, 15M will be a reference point.

Spain, Portugal, the international struggle against austerity

The wave of austerity measures that governments across Europe have imposed because of recession and the debt mountain that stem from capitalism’s economic crisis has been met with a mixed response from the working class. We have seen the rise of the ‘indignados’ in Spain and the angry demonstrations and assemblies in Greece, but there are other countries where workers’ discontent is more held back by the actions of the unions.

Altercations between “Real Democracy Now” and the ICC in Paris: Our indignation faced with the ‘democratic’ methods of ‘DRY’!

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.

The evolution of the situation in Spain since the June 19th demonstrations

On Sunday 19th June there were massive demonstrations in more than 60 cities across Spain. According to some figures there were 140, 000 in Madrid, 100,000 in Barcelona, 60,000 in Valencia, 25,000 in Seville, 8000 in Vigo, 20,000 in Bilbao, another 20,000 in Zaragoza, 10,000 in Alicante and 15,000 in Malaga.

Repression in Valencia: Solidarity with the outraged!

A inoffensive protest was called against the new Valencian Regional Government. It asked the politicians not to be corrupt and to listen to the citizens: it was thus caught up in the folds of the illusion that the state “expresses the will of the people”. The response of the state was very salutatory: demonstrators were beaten, dragged about, and subjected to arrogant and brutal treatment: 18 wounded and 5 arrested. They were not treated as “citizens” but as subjects.

‘Real Democracy Now!’: A dictatorship against the mass assemblies

Over recent weeks the squares of the main Spanish cities have seen thousands of people coming together in assemblies where anyone who wants to can speak and can talk with confidence about the lack of a future we are faced with and what we can do about it. And they will be listened to with respect. There is discussion everywhere, in little groups, in bars, between the different generations, the young and the retired; and this has created a collective sense of excitement, of unity, creativity, reflection and discussion around the need to come together in order to understand what we can do about the “no future” capitalism offers us.

Special Report on the 15M movement in Spain - Updated July 7th

The social movement that has swept Spain since mid-May is of historical significance. The poor and the working class, especially its youth, are now reacting to the massive onslaught brought on by the economic crisis. But even more than the immense anger being manifested, it's the organisation of the struggle in general assemblies and the reflection that drives the debates that demonstrate a real advance for the struggles of our class. That is why the bourgeoisie, with an iron fist, have ochestrated an incredible media blackout on an international scale. Information about what is really happening on the streets of Madrid, Barcelona, Terrassa isn't filtering out. This collection of articles therefore intends to contribute to breaking this silence. We will try to update it as often as possible with translations of articles, videos and eye-witness reports.

Solidarity with the "indignant" in Spain: The future belongs to the working class!

While the media has been full of Obama’s ‘triumphant’ visit to Europe, or the scandal about Dominique Strauss-Khan, they have not told us much about the real earthquake hitting Europe: a vast social movement which is centred in Spain but which is having an immediate echo in Greece and threatens to break out in other countries as well.

Militant workers' meeting in Alicante, Spain

Our comrades in the Alicante Encounter and Solidarity Network (Red de Encuentro y Solidaridad) and in the L'Escletxa collective organised a meeting to discuss and support the workers' struggle on 11th and 12th February. They examined the experience of the struggles in France and Barcelona. The declared aim of this meeting was: “To work together for the development of the class struggle”.

Greece, Spain, Portugal…The state is bankrupt

Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, France, Germany, Britain...everywhere the same crisis, everywhere the same attacks. The ruling class is revealing its true colours. Its cold and inhuman language boils down to the same basic message: ‘if you want to avoid the worst, if you don't want total economic break-down, you are going to have to pull in your belts like never before'.

Solidarity Communiqué from the Alicante Health and Social Services Workers Assembly

In what follows, we publish Alicante Health and Social Services Workers Assembly's solidarity communiqué with two workers collectives in struggle: Vigo metal workers (see "Vigo: Los Métodos Sindicales Conducen a la Derrota") and Vesuvius de Langreo workers (who published this communiqué on their blog:

Polemic: Where is the F.O.R. going?

The Ferment Ouvrier Revolutionaire is a component part of the revolutionary milieu. It is one of the rare groups to defend communist positions (against the unions, parliamentarism, national liberation struggles, frontism, state capitalism, etc...) and to intervene with them in the class struggle. For this reason it is worth while making a political balance sheet of this group, whose positions are not very well known in the proletarian milieu.


Students in France and Spain: Struggles that hold a promise for the future

The young generation of the working class faces some of the worst attacks on its living standards, shows the tendency to search for solidarity with other workers, to organise itself in assemblies. Recent student struggles in France and Barcelona reinforce the lessons of struggles in Greece last December and against the CPE in France three years ago.


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