Solidarity with Catalonia: Scotland, Turkey...

 Scots stand with Catalonia

Over 1,000 demonstrators from across Scotland braved heavy outbursts of rain to march through the streets of Edinburgh in solidarity with the right of self determination for the people of Catalonia on referendum day, 1st October (1-O).

The demonstration was called by the Radical Independence Campaign that was born during the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum. Demonstrators assembled at the Consulate of the Spanish State. After speeches from Catalan and Scottish activists, the demonstrators marched to the offices of the European Commission to demand that the EU take on the issue of democracy in the Spanish state.

Slogans in support of both Catalan and Scottish independence were chanted. Protesters drew attention to the lack of media coverage; the BBC were absent and did not cover the demonstration at all in TV and radio news stories though some Scottish daily newspapers were covering the event.

The event took place before the full horror and extent of police violence against voters in Catalonia was evident – before the worst pictures and videos had been extensively circulated – but opposition to the use of repression against those exercising their right to vote was a strong theme.

Supporters of Socialist Resistance in Scotland handed out leaflets with the statement of the Fourth International on Catalonia and reporting on the Scottish delegation to the Fourth International’s International Youth Camp in Italy this summer [1].

There are many hundreds of Scots who have travelled to Catalonia to observe the referendum and offer solidarity, including leading members of the Radical Independence Campaign, from the Scottish Socialist Party, from the socialist pro-independence group RISE, and also a delegation from the youth wing of the Scottish National Party – the governing party in the Scottish Parliament.

As these observers return there will be opportunities for solidarity meetings to be held across Scotland:

“Eyewitness from Catalonia”
A report back from a RISE delegation that have been in Catalonia.
Wednesday, October 4th 2017 7 p.m.
Piper on the Square
57 Cochrane Street
George Square
G1 1HL


 Scotland in solidarity with Catalonia!

Over 100 people attended an emergency rally in Glasgow in solidarity with Catalonia, called at only a few hours’ notice .

The rally took place on the evening of Thursday 21st September on the steps of Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall and in front of the statue of Donald Dewar, the Labour politician credited with the reinauguration of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Speakers condemned the recent provocations and intimidation by the government of the Spanish state against the forthcoming Catalan independence referendum and called for self determination for Catalonia and for Scotland. The protestors carried placards and flags in solidarity with Catalan independence.

The rally was one of a number of emergency actions called by the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC), which emerged in the 2014 Scottish Independence campaign in support of the radical left’s campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote among working class communities.

A further rally will take place in Edinburgh and the protests will culminate in a march to the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh on 1st October.

* September 22, 2017:

 Turkey: HDP stands with the People of Catalonia

The Spanish government is trying to prevent the “Independence Referendum”, which will be held on 1 October 2017 in line with the decision taken by the Autonomous Assembly of Catalonia. People’s right to vote and make choices are at risk.

First, 712 mayors of Catalonia, who supported the referendum, were prosecuted and called to testify; then by raiding printing houses, the ballot envelopes, ballot boxes and information brochures which will be used in the referendum were seized. Newspaper headquarters were also raided and prevented from making news about the referendum and their internet sites were closed down.

As if the confiscation of the constitutional budget of the Catalan Government by the central government were not enough; the Spanish gendarmerie, in accordance with the instructions of the Rajoy Government, raided the buildings of the Government of Catalonia and detained 14 public officials. The Catalan left-wing party CUP building was also among the places that were raided.

As the Peoples’ Democratic Party, we support the Catalan people’s right to self-determination. The prevention by force the expression of the people’s will is never acceptable. The constitutional rights of the Autonomous Region of Catalonia cannot be suspended on the pretext of preventing the referendum.

We underline once again that HDP will continue to stand with the Catalan People, the Autonomous Assembly of Catalonia, the Government of Catalonia and the oppressed political parties. We urge Rajoy’s Government to show respect to the Catalan People’s right to vote and to end the oppression against the representatives of the Catalan Autonomous Region.

Peoples’ Democratic Party
Central Executive Board
22 September 2017


 Catalonia: Civil society protests in support of democracy and referendum

Doctors, firefighters, clergy, students and professors all mobilized against recent Spanish actions

Civil society spoke up on Friday: students, professors, doctors, firefighters, and the clergy have all voiced their support for Catalan institutions, democracy, and the October 1 independence referendum.

Students and professors

The presence of student organizations in the protests in these last few days has already been notable. On Friday, students also occupied the main campus building of the University of Barcelona, while others blocked circulation in one of the busiest streets in the city. All of this, to denounce the Spanish police actions and to support the right to self-determination.

Student-led protests weren’t only seen in the Catalan capital, however. All throughout Catalonia, in other major cities like Girona and Lleida, both students – and teachers – spoke in dissent. Ignasi Aldomá, professor of Geography at the University of Lleida said that “it can’t be” that what the majority of people feel and support receive, as an answer, “political repression” and “police repression,” a response meaning “you don’t exist.”

A warning of criminal charges

This declaration from academic circles also comes against a specific order: for institutions not to encourage or aid participation in October 1 referendum operations. In a letter by Enric Millo, Spanish government delegate in Catalonia, school principals of secondary education institutions were warned that any activity tied to the referendum could incur “criminal” charges. In his letter, Millo justifies this by explaining that as public authorities, they must respect the decisions taken by the Spanish Constitutional Court. Even “tacit” cooperation with referendum activity – like allowing school buildings to be used for the October 1 vote - could lead to the charges of breach of official duty, misappropriation of funds, or disobedience.

“It can’t be that what’s felt and supported by the majority elicit police and political repression, a response saying ’you don’t exist.’”
Ignasi Aldomá · Ignasi Aldomá, professor of Geography at the University of Lleida
Healthcare professionals and unions

Members of the healthcare industry stood in protest on Friday as well. Gathering in hospitals and health centers of the Public service of the Catalan Health Institute (ICS) across Catalonia, these protests were organized by the union IAC, with the presence of various other unions and their alliances. Unions also stated that in case of a potential general strike, previsions had been made. The spokesperson for the Doctors of Catalonia Union, Albert Molins, expressed concern over the problems that “will not be solved if it’s not known what people want.” He further compared the current solution of prosecuting people and shutting down websites to tactics in some Eastern European governments seen some years ago.

The Catalan clergy

In a printed statement, the Catalan clergy voiced their support of the right to choose the country’s future. More than 300 priests and deacons, among others, signed a manifesto called the ‘Declaration on the Referendum on Self-Determination,’ in which they uphold the “fundamental right that every person has” to choose, which they deem “legitimate and necessary.” They explained that behind their statement are “evangelical and humanistic values” as well as a “sincere love of the people.” Among the signatories are Jesuits, Claretian, Escapists, Franciscans, Capuchins, Salesians and monks of Montserrat and Solius.

Firefighters in uniform

Among those who joined in the Friday protests were firefighters from all over Catalonia. Some of those who could not join in the demonstration wrote pro-referendum slogans on their trucks and drove by the City of Justice courts where the protests were held, some waving the Catalan flag out the window. Those who could attend wore their helmets and shirts denoting what unit or city they belonged to.

ACN | Rachel Bathgate

* 22 September 2017 08:16 PM: