The European Union, the Peoples’ Prison

Reprinted from Tribune des travailleursWorkers’ Tribune Issue no.132 – International chronicle

By François Forgue

The repression unleashed by the Francoist government against Catalan officials and elected representatives has just reached a new level. Their crime – because as far as the Rajoy government is concerned, as well as all those who are supporting it in one form or another, it is a crime – is having called for the constitution of the Catalan Republic.

This repression means that a whole people has been “made illegal”; not only has stating its will been banned, but even talking about it also. This is an unusually violent takeover directed against basic and fundamental rights throughout Spain, and beyond.

Indeed, this attack is being carried out with the open support of the institutions of the European Union and the governments that support them. It was the police of the new Merkel-SPD “grand coalition” government in Germany that carried out the arrest of former regional President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, who should have been elected President of the Catalan Republic.

The German police acted in accordance with “a European arrest warrant issued by a Spanish judge”, as explained by Fernando Carderera, Spain’s ambassador in France. Clearly, the European Union and its governments have not only endorsed the anti-democratic measures decided upon by the government of the Francoist monarchy, regarding them as decisions that commit all of the States of the European Union; they have also taken on the role of enforcers outside of Spain for Rajoy and Felipe VI, King by the grace of God and the decision of the dictator Franco, who made Juan Carlos, the father of Felipe VI, his successor.

The arrest of Puigdemont on 25 March was preceded by the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Spanish State to ban him from being a candidate for the presidency. Jordi Sanchez, who could have replaced him as candidate, was then detained. Today, eight Catalan elected representatives and officials have been imprisoned on charges of “rebellion”, deprived of their rights without trial or sentence. Their offence is to have declared themselves against the monarchy and in favour of the Catalan Republic. As far as the government of Felipe VI and Rajoy is concerned, “rebellion” is the expression of the people’s will. From the point of view of democracy, it is respect for the people’s will that forms the basis of the rule of law.

Every worker and every citizen who is committed to democracy cannot but oppose the introduction of a “parole” regime for an entire people, one in which freedom is reduced to acceptance of orders issued by the government, and one in which surveillance is part of the continuity of the regime that was the origin of the current institutions: the anti-democratic and anti-working-class dictatorship of Francoism.

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