The Catalan government, with the support of its parliamentary majority — Junts pel SI (PDeCat et ERC) and the CUP — decided to convene on October 1st a referendum which, in the event that a “yes” vote should triumph, would establish an “Independent Catalan Republic in Europe”.
The Catalan government had the Parliament adopt a new regulation allowing it to expressly adopt the so-called “disconnection” laws.
As soon as it learned of this decision, the Madrid government objected to the holding of the referendum, and it multiplied the pressures to prohibit it:
– Even before the vote in the Parliament, [Spanish Prime Minister] Rajoy had the Civil Guard summon some of the senior officials of the Generalitat [the Catalan government] who were suspected of organizing the “disconnection”.
– Rajoy immediately transmitted the new regulation to the Constitutional Court and declared that there would be no referendum on October 1st.
Thus, the institutions of the Monarchy, inherited from the Franco regime, put forward measures to prohibit the Catalan people from deciding their future, thus violating their legitimate right to self-determination.
This violent campaign against the legitimate rights of the Catalan people is being led by a minority government in a situation marked by the sharpening of class conflicts, including the strike of the metro workers in Barcelona that lasted almost 18 months each Monday , and the strike of the security agents of the airport of Barcelona, who demanded an increase in the workforce and a wage increase.
This referendum raises the possibility of dealing a major blow to the post-Franco institutional edifice embodied in the monarchy and the Rajoy government; that is why the workers of all Spain, and not only of Catalonia, have an interest in the victory of the “yes” vote, the first step toward the dismantling of the institutions of the Franco monarchy.
The militants of the Fourth International unconditionally support the right to self-determination of the Catalan people; that is, the right of the Catalan people to become a free people, freed from the chains of the Franco monarchy and those of the European Union that oppress them.
In the present situation, the militants of the Fourth International consider that the “yes” vote for the establishment of a Catalan Republic expresses the fight against reactionary institutions, represented by the monarchy, inherited from the Franco regime.
The militants of the Fourth International consider that the victory of the “yes” — whatever the intentions of some of those who launched or have supported this demand — would be a blow against all the reactionary institutions of the Spanish State, and would open the way to the realization of the unity of the working class of all Spain and would be an element for the constitution of the fraternal unity of all the peoples of the Spanish State.
For us, Fourth International, this means:
– Break with the Monarchy: for the establishment of a Catalan Republic without any obedience, under any form, toward the Francoist monarchy.
– Break with the European Union: the Republic must not submit to any of the commitments contained in the treaties that constitute the European Union, which means that the Catalan people will not be subjected to the European institutions nor to the austerity plans of which they are guarantors.
– Satisfaction of workers’ demands:
– Repeal of the “reforms” of the labor laws (those of Zapatero and of Rajoy);
– Repeal of pension “reforms” (those of Zapatero and Rajoy);
– Repeal of the education “reform” (LOMCE);
– Repeal of the laws that allow trade unionists to be brought before the law for exercising their union mandate;
– Stop the budget cuts, fully restore the public education and public healthcare services;
– Release, immediately, all political prisoners;
– Nationalize the banks and major industries — the only means of guaranteeing the independence of working people;
– Withdraw from NATO!
The victory of the “yes” would be an appeal to the fraternal union of all the peoples of Spain, a call to end the reactionary institutions inherited from the Franco regime throughout the Spanish State, a step towards the Union of all the peoples of Spain according to the forms that they will determine in all sovereignty.
September 6, 2017
The Secretariat of the OCRFI
(Organizing Committee for the Reconstitution of the Fourth International)