Catalonia: Empty classrooms and thousands on the streets in strike against Francoist repression

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On 26 April the classrooms in schools and universities in Catalonia were empty, due to the general student strike called by the Sindicat d’Estudiants (Students’ Union). Again, the youth came out onto the streets, facing up to the PP’s Francoist repression, to tell the reactionary block loud and clear: we demand democracy and freedom for the youth and people of Catalonia and we do not accept the anti-democratic attacks which threaten to destroy our rights. 

More than 10,000 young people marched in Barcelona and hundreds more in other towns and cities in Catalonia demanding the freedom of political prisoners, the end of article 155, denouncing the criminalisation and persecution of the CDR committees and of all those who have raised their voices against this anti-democratic offensive. 

We know that the intention of the PP and its allies is to humiliate an entire people in ,and send a clear message, not only to the youth and workers of Catalonia but in the rest of the Spanish state also. Today they imprison and persecute people for having pro-independence ideas, but they also begin to do so against those who denounce corruption, the injustice of the PP government and the role of the monarchy. Today it is the independence movement, rappers, tweeters, Basque youth and others who are the victims of police stitch-ups, but tomorrow these methods will be used against those who organise student strikes, mobilisations like the 8 March feminist strike, the pensions’ movement and anti-evictions movement. We cannot accept this! In Catalonia on 26 April we made this more than clear and came out to struggle, as we did don 15 April when over 1 million marched in Barcelona. This shows the way forward to resist oppression!   

For this reason, the Sindicato de Estudiantes in the rest of the Spanish state actively mobilised support for our Catalan comrades. We organised protest rallies in the Basque country, as well as assemblies and stoppages in the rest of the state. Both in Catalonia and outside, our enemy is the same: the PP and reactionary block of article 155, which attacks us, makes cuts and denies us a dignified life, but also wants to muzzle us when we come out to struggle. 

We would also like to thank the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) which organised solidarity actions with our strike internationally. Protests took place outside embassies and consulates in London, Berlin, Dublin, Edinburgh, Krakow, Vienna, Quebec, Hong Kong and many more. They have helped to spread our struggle far and wide. 

When we organise and fight back we are very strong, as we showed on 1 October, 3 October in the historic general strike which paralysed Catalonia, and again on 15 April. There is no repression which can stop a mobilised people! It is necessary to hear the message that the youth sent on the streets of Catalonia on 26 April, and respond with a general strike of all workers and youth. That is how our parents and grandparents  won democratic rights in the 1970s and that is what we will achieve today!

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April 2018