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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire - interview, Jordi Martí Font (Catalan CGT): "This movement can crack the wall of power" (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 23 Oct 2017 11:03:16 +0300

Jordi Martí Font is a teacher in Tarragona. Author of numerous works on the libertarian movement, he militates, as antimilitarist and anarcho-syndicalist, in the CGT. Independent, he is a member of the CUP (party of the far left Catalan). He answers our questions about the events that preceded the referendum on self-determination in Catalonia. ---- Alternative Libertaire: Could you go back to the context of recent years that led to the referendum of 1 st October in Catalonia ? ---- Jordi Martí Font: In recent years millions of people have taken to the streets to demand independence, every September 11th [1]. ---- The expression of an independence movement, linked to the social left, has existed since the 1970s is after Catalanism, as such, which dates from the late XIX th century. Nevertheless, this mass expression in favor of independence is relatively recent. It is a movement, certainly, interclassist. It nevertheless covers a true social dimension with in-depth proposals, both in the daily life and in the social structure of Catalonia. It is this social and alternative dimension, and partly anticapitalist, that makes this movement so massive today with real roots among the popular classes.

Your trade union, the Catalan CGT, is one of the organizations that is at the initiative of the general strike of October 3rd. What is your assessment of this day of action ?

Jordi Martí Font: The strike was very well followed. It was, in fact, the natural response of the organizations of the social movement to the repression perpetrated by the Madrid government the week preceding the referendum.

A repression that took various forms: transfer of 10,000 police officers from the entire Spanish state to the scene ; detention of officials of the Catalan government ; arbitrary closure of over 140 pro-independence web pages ; attempted intrusion of police forces into the premises of the Catalan radical left, the CUP - an abortive attempt by mobilizing the people who blocked to protect the headquarters of the CUP.

One element also particularly affected public opinion: it was the extreme violence of the National Police and the Guardia Civil (Gendarmerie) with regard to people of all ages present in the colleges where voting took place the 1 st of October.

In spite of this brutality, which has caused more than 900 wounded, more than 2 million inhabitants and inhabitants of Catalonia managed to vote " yes " to the establishment of a " Catalan Republic ".

The strike is part of this context and was called by the CGT, but also by the independent trade unions (IAC and COS), branch unions (firemen, farmers, dockworkers) as well as by many organizations of the libertarian movement (CNT, Solidaridad Obrera, Embat, among others).

After the demonstrations in Barcelona and Madrid on Sunday, October 8, against the process of independence, but also the threats government of the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, of putting under trusteeship of Catalonia, how do you think that the situation will evolve ?

Jordi Martí Font: If the pressure of the street remains, it is obvious that all hopes are allowed. If, on the other hand, it falls and popular anger is diverted (as was the case in the past) by the PDCAT, the Liberal right party, from which Carles Puigdemont, the president of the Catalan government , I am less optimistic.

The liberal nationalist right will then conclude, undoubtedly, an agreement with the government of Madrid, which will satisfy the Spanish and Catalan elites. I dare hope that this is the first option that will prevail, as the determination of the people seems marked by their intransigence. The 1 er October, while the Civil Guard attacked polling stations, thousands of people have made front with their bodies, applying the principles of nonviolence.

We were beaten with a truncheon and beat us blind. Women, men, old, children were abused. But no one has backed away.

In my polling station in Tarragona, before the assault, we warned the people present that the blows were going to rain. We advised the most vulnerable to step back to protect themselves. Categorical refusal of the oldest: they wanted to stay there in the front line.

We are convinced that this movement can crack the wall of power. And we will grow until he yields. This type of situation where one has the feeling that one can change the course of history, life, happens only once every 100 years. Today it is in Catalonia that this happens and we will not miss this historic opportunity.

Seen from the outside it may seem strange that libertarians, anti-States like us, can be neck and neck with people who mobilize for an independent Catalonia. I invite you to set foot on our land, and you will certainly understand the depth of our struggle. A struggle marked by the seal of self-organization, streets that live and cry out for their desire for freedom.

Comments received by Jérémie Berthuin (AL Gard)

[1] On September 11 is National Day of Catalonia, in memory of the fall of Barcelona in front of the Bourbon army, September 11, 1714, during the War of Spanish Succession .

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