Tuesday, October 3, 2017

General strike today in Catalonia

1917: sickle and hammer.

2017: tractor and computer.




"Muy Bastas" explain:
Viva the Farmers!!
  1. The Farmers said they would cut the French border with the tractors.
  2. Hundreds of national police agents have gone there to impede it.
  3. It was a trick. When the cops arrived they found nobody there.
  4. The tractors then blocked the highway and roads further south, so the cops can't go back.
They won't be able to do anything against an organized People.

Today a General Strike for freedom was called in Catalonia by several minor labor unions including COS, CGT and CNT and backed by the CUP (socialist independentist party). This call was made several days ago, even before the brutal repression of this Sunday.

In order not to be displaced by a call they did not control but that was going to be followed anyhow by most Catalans, the "moderate" camp has called for a day of "National Halt", which has been seconded by other unions, parties and even capitalists. It is unclear how exactly such a thing as a "National Halt" happens but it somewhat overshadows the fact that there is a political general strike called by the most combative unions and the CUP.

In any case the General Strike has been a massive success: Catalonia is nearly stopped, except for multitudes protesting nearly everywhere. Romanian homeless activist Lagarder Danciu, who forged a name for himself by staging one-man protests against corruption in his adoptive homeland, among other activities, offers us an example of how massive this is:




Another visual example of how a true General Strike is made is offered by this photo shared by one of my favorite bloggers, Borroka Garaia Da! (It's Time of Struggle!):



If you follow the link, you will find the Spanish-language version of the communication of Endavant (Forward), the more radical (i.e. more coherent and serious) half of the CUP.  They argue that the referendum was a success in spite of all the repression and that it was an overwhelming victory for the "yes" to independence. 

Therefore they say that a Catalan Republic must be proclaimed this very week, rejecting any call for "pacts" or "dialogue", which would be attempts to invalidate the referendum. 

They call for the General Strike, they denounce the brutal repression against the Catalan people and they argue that the forces that oppose Catalan independence are the same ones that are attacking the rights of the working class. They conclude that:

The General Strike must be the starting point for the Popular Movement to move ahead, to change everything, to guarantee the conquest of social and labor rights and for the implementation of the right to self-determination. 

Visca Catalunya lliure! Viva the struggle of the Peoples!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Catalonia defeated Spain by sheer will of freedom

Yesterday it was a most important day. You all surely know by now about the brutal repression by the Spanish police forces against the Catalan independence referendum and, most importantly, about the brave popular resistance by millions of self-organized citizens in each and every electoral center. 

2.262.424 Catalans managed to vote and had their vote counted. Electoral centers including other 700 thousand electors were closed by the repressive forces. The electoral census is 5.3 million. Among the votes issued and counted the results were: 2.020.144 (90,09%) "yes", 176.566 (7,8%) "no", 45.586 (2%) "blank" and 20.129 (0,89%) "null votes".

One could get lost arguing on the validity of the vote under such quite obviously exceptional and most difficult circumstances, what really matters is the civic pride and nonviolent power demonstrated by the Catalan People, and, on the opposite side, the blind brutality shown by the Spanish state, determined to defend the francoist concept of "indissoluble unity" of the state no matter what. 

What really matters is that, maybe more than ever before, the State of Spain has been shown to be morally bankrupt, a true failed state in the making. Hopefully the socio-political crisis will extend to the rest of the lands occupied by the residual empire. Some signs of it happened yesterday, with thousands protesting in Madrid and Seville, among other Spanish cities (and also in places like London, and earlier in Bilbao and Amsterdam, etc.) in solidarity with Catalonia and its right to self-determination.

Tomorrow there is a General Strike called in Catalonia in support for this right to choose but, quite obviously, marked also by the rejection to repression and authoritarianism. Even if the unions calling for the strike are relatively small (nationalist union COS and libertarian unions CGT and CNT), the strike is backed by the major civic force in all this Catalan uprising: the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and its right-wing ally Omnium Cultural, as well as by key political forces like the Popular Unity List (CUP), so it is predictable that it will be a massive walk out. 

However this is only one step and one restricted to Catalonia. In my opinion, what will be critical now is whether Spaniards themselves will begin mobilizing, not just or mainly in solidarity with Catalonia, but on their own platforms such as the demolition of the mafioso authoritarian regime consecrated by the controversial constitution of 1978, which was agreed behind closed doors and backed mostly because anything was better than the Fascist dictatorship. 

The constitution is nearly impossible to reform (needs a wide agreement of all-Spain parties because of a horrible electoral system that massively favors rural Castile and hence conservative forces), so only forcing the hand of the twin party system PP-PSOE will work. It's even reasonable to consider that only a true revolution, a constituent process from below, will do the job. 

Sadly enough, the big political hope of Spain, the novel party Podemos (We Can) has so far limited itself to posturing. They basically seem to restrict themselves to try to form a coalition with the PSOE (center-left?) and only very slowly advance on the path of reforms. Clearly insufficient. Also they are clearly renouncing to resort to mass mobilization, which is happening on its own, and they have growing internal quarrels.

So it is unclear how the situation will evolve. Yet it is clear that it is evolving and very fast. 

Once again my applause and respects to the brave People of Catalonia for daring to defend their freedoms in what is clearly an example for the rest of Europe and the World. Visca Catalunya lliure! Viva the struggle of the Free Peoples!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Barcelona is Tahrir Square 2017

The mobilization in Catalunya is very impressive, massive, total, truly revolutionary, a true constituent moment in the making.

Barcelona, yesterday night.


Against that what can the Spanish state, with a corrupt government with minority backing in Parliament, representing more than ever before the (barely reformed) Fascist nature of the state? Well, they are throwing in everything they have, which is brute force. Thousands of police agents have been moved to Barcelona and hosted in three cruise vessels... like this one:


Total failure, right?

It's "Brand Spain", also known as "ACME". And this is the most likely result:



It's not just a "marketing" failure, it's not just surrealism at its best (or worst), it is that with every single repressive move more and more people join the rebels. People who were not in favor of the referendum now favor it, people who were not in favor of independence now say they will vote for it, even in Spain proper the mobilizations in favor of Catalonia are much larger than those against it, which so far have not gathered more than a handful or two of fascists. 

The dock workers have rejected to serve the three police ships, Catalan unions have called for a general strike beginning on October 3rd (the referendum will be on Oct. 1st), in Madrid a demonstration aiming to "surround Congress" has been called for Oct. 5th, these days we have seen thousands of people demonstrating in solidarity with Catalonia all around the rest of the Spanish state, plus also very large protests against local issues (Murcia) or general most serious affairs (Linares). If Madrid keeps the repression against Catalonia they are going to see how the Catalan fire expands to all the peninsula, there's no way around that, particularly because there is no end to the Catalan "Procès" other than independence (or its defeat via referendum, most unlikely at this point). And they just do not have enough cops...

Remember that moment in the Tunisian Revolution of 2011 when the protesters realized that they were many many more than the cops, pushed back and won?

Remember that moment in the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 when the police van shooting water cannons against the demonstrators run out of water and had to retreat, allowing the People to take Tahrir Square again?

That moment will happen, somehow, at some point, also in Catalonia and maybe even in Madrid soon, the rage is just too big and the regime too stagnated, corrupt and discredited. The #MAMBO has just begun. Pay attention because this is most important not just for Catalonia, not even for Spain, but for all Europe.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Catalonia: Spain escalates repression, shoots itself on the foot.

Military police car taken over by protesters
Telegraphically: This morning the Spanish state has assaulted the Catalan Government (Generalitat) and arrested 12 people, including many high officers of the elect government. Last minute info indicates that masked police forces have surrounded the offices of the radical left independentist party Popular Unity Lists (CUP). Several separatist parties have abandoned the Spanish Congress as result. The center of Barcelona is full of people in spontaneous demonstration. Protests are being held in other places as well, including here in Bilbao (Basque Country). The only de facto all-Spain opposition party Podemos has called for a conference of mayors and other elect officers tomorrow in Zaragoza (the Spanish nationalist right-wing parties PP and Ciudadanos have not been invited, the Spanish nationalist center-left PSOE has rejected to go but all other forces are going). While we can't say the situation is "revolutionary", it is certainly most anomalous and in many sense "pre-revolutionary", particularly because the Spanish state cannot effectively fight against the peoples, much less with the extremely low level of legitimacy it has after so much corruption, austericide and repression. We cannot exclude at this point that a general strike of political nature could be called, even if the main unions are quite sheeply and definitely unionist.

The situation is definitely critical in any case. Some relevant Twitter hashtags: #ReferèndumCat, #MAMBO.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

USA moves against Germany with an anti-Russian pretext - the EU is doomed

Remember what I said months ago about Europe being bound to become a US colony or worse? Well, it is happening right now. All that blah-blah about Trump siding with Russia was of course just a smokescreen: Trump has managed instead to lead a massive consensus in US politics for new Cuba-style sanctions against Russia. Why? Because that is the perfect opportunity to start a trade war against Germany and shatter the EU into pieces.

I won't cry for the EU but we will all cry for the conflicts that this IMPANSIONISM of the US Empire is about to trigger. 

Germany and its close ally Austria are clearly angry but I am not at all so sure as they claim to be about the EU standing united against the US intentions. Certainly Britain is out for good but also Bankster-President Macron of France has been actively and shamelessly courting Donald Trump, with greater success than Angela Merkel, no doubt, but unclear consequences as of now. 

Actively anti-Russian regimes in the EU are also Poland, Sweden and the three small Baltic states. Norway is probably also siding with the USA and the rest is all indecision. 

Anyway, what can Germany do? Well, first of all expel all US and other "ally" bases from its territory, a legacy of a long occupation that was formally ended in the 1990s. They could also choose to exit NATO's integrated military command, as De Gaulle (France) did in the 1950s, and they could once again demand from the USA the return of their gold reserves stored in Fort Knox (which the USA already declined to do a few years ago). But of course they'd be much more effective if they could rally the EU around them in a proper trade war against the USA, in which there is no clear winner other than China. The problem is that Germany's austericidal policies have already alienated any hope of internal solidarity within the EU. Basically Merkel's Germany has wasted its chance at leading the bloc in a way that is good for all, and not just for Germany, and now nobody will care too much if Germany suffers a bit or two. 

That does not mean I'm declaring Germany's position lost, just that it's much much weaker than they imagine (wishful thinking never solved anything). In any case Germany and whoever rallies around it is bound to clash with Washington: the interest they have in the Nord Stream pipeline is way too serious and they are already pissed off by the US and allies' troublemaking in Ukraine, including the first round of anti-Russian sanctions. Worse, the issues come from older times: anti-Iran sanctions also harmed Germany's economy and the intervention in Libya was shunned by Germany and Italy. To a large extent Germany is in the same difficult position as Russia was put into, just that, while Russia has a much larger degree of sovereignty, not just because of its huge and very effective military but also because of its extension and natural resources, Germany is much smaller in size, has a relatively weak military (and no nukes!) and, above all, it is extremely dependent on the EU trading bloc, which it has used and abused to further their own interests. 

What does the USA want? Forcing Germany to accept an even more marked subservient position, to reduce their exports (something that Trump has been outspoken about but would mean the collapse of the German economy) and in general establish a truly imperial rule on Europe by Washington. 

I can't say how this new major conflict will evolve but my best hunch is one of conflict inside Europe, the quite possible collapse of the EU as we know it, maybe of NATO too (the remnants would be recycled into a satellite US "province" with unmistakable US dominance) and I would definitely not discard wars and military coups. But what I do think is very clear is that Germany cannot afford the luxury to budge once again at Washington's demands, no matter how extended is the anti-Russian consensus which is used as a pretext, because it is transparent that the target is not so much Russia but Germany. 

I'm sure I will have to write more on this soon, because it is clear that this conflict is bound to become the epicenter of European and even global politics in the next months and years. Serious stuff, really!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Behind Qatar's crisis: Israel's plan to annex Gaza and expel all its inhabitants

I have been as puzzled as anyone about what on Earth was going on behind the sudden blockade and blackmail by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and a couple of lesser players (UAE and Bahrain) against Qatar. But today suddenly the puzzle begins to take shape with the addition of two new pieces:

1. Egypt's Parliament voted to cede two strategic islands to Saudi Arabia. The islands of Tiran and Sanafir are located at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba, making that strait Egyptian territorial waters. This cession was done against Egyptian national interest and historical pride and without Saudi Arabia having ever staked any claim on those islands. Actually the cession is not about Egypt nor Saudi Arabia but about Israel, because by giving away those strategic islands, the Zionist Colony gains free access to the Red Sea via what will suddenly become international (and not anymore Egyptian) waters. 

Tiran and Sanafir Islands
Tiran and Sanafir islands (source: The Real News)


2. Prince Khalid Bin Farhan al-Saud, who lives outside the rigors of the Saudi courtly plots in Germany, has revealed that the conditions imposed by the USA to the current Crown Prince (heir) and effective strongman of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Bin Salman, in order to allow his raise to the throne before his (demented) father's death are that Saudi Arabia accepts the genocide in Gaza and finances the resettlement of Palestinians in Sinai, and also the internationalization of the waters of the Gulf of Aqaba.

The alleged conditions include “absolute obedience to the US and Israel and carrying out whatever they ask him to do.” Three other conditions, claimed Khalid, are stated in return for helping Bin Salman take the throne before the death of his father: “Working to settle all Gaza residents in north Sinai as an alternative homeland and Saudi Arabia along with the UAE will afford the needed funds; getting rid of Hamas and whoever supports it; and getting Sanafir Island from Egypt.”

Bin Farhan said that the last condition would make the Gulf of Aqaba international waters instead of Egyptian territorial waters, which would facilitate Israeli shipping to and from the port of Eilat. It would also help Israel to carry out a project planned to operate in parallel to the Suez Canal. A retainer of around $500 million is also involved, he claimed.

Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip and Gulf of Aqaba (credit: Graphic Lab (ru))

For the last many years Gaza has been ruled by Hamas, originally a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, against whose elected government arose the current military strongman and President of Egypt. Both moderate islamist organizations are the main pretext for the Saudi-Egyptian aggression against Qatar. 

It is worth reminding that Turkey, whose autocratic President Erdogan seems to have been falling apart with the USA and even flirting with Russia and Iran, has rushed to protect Qatar from any possible Saudi invasion and can be perceived as a historical mild ally of the Muslim Brotherhood and even Hamas (remember the Mavi Marmara). However Turkey remains part of NATO and provides a key air base (Inçirlik, near the Syrian border) to the USA and its European vassals ("allies").

It would seem that when Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his happiness about Trump's election, he knew well what was going on behind the obvious political and geostrategical clumsiness of the White House's buffoon (so-called "President"). Only someone of the low stock as Trump would allow for such a blatant a genocide to take place before our noses.

The plan is quite apparently already ongoing, the cession of the islands is a clear sign, so we should expect that in few weeks, months at most, the plan to invade Gaza and expel all its inhabitants, more than one million people, most of them refugees from what is now Israel, will begin.

Let's not be mere spectators, let us make everything possible to prevent this new genocide.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Macron and May agree to destroy Internet freedom of speech

They agreed to force Internet companies to bar nonviolent "extremism". The meeting at Paris got almost no news coverage in the West and I must rely on RT's Dan Glazebrook op-ed (the only other medium to report on it was Al Jazeera).
Specifically, what was announced was that both countries would be introducing heavy fines for internet companies that failed to remove what they, very loosely, defined as “extremist content.” (...)
It was former PM David Cameron who originally came up with the idea that “nonviolent extremism” should be criminalized alongside violent extremism. Intriguingly, as an example of what he meant, he included the idea that the “West is bad,” as well as elsewhere arguing that the promotion of “wild conspiracy theories” would also qualify.

This is exactly what Macron and May, both managers for the Bankster Mafia, to attempt to destroy freedom of speech in NATOland. The idea is not so much to clamp down on terrorist propaganda outlets (many of which are actually backed and actively protected by the British and French states) but to impede any form of dissident expression within the Western Empire or at least its European province. 

Their problem is as follows:
For example, an RT interview I did about British collusion with terrorism shortly before the election got over one and half million views on Facebook – higher than the daily readership of the Daily Mail. Jonathan Pie’s fantastic piece tearing apart the Tory’s ‘strong and stable’ nonsense, got 11 million views. That is two and half million more than the combined circulation of the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Guardian, Sun, Daily Star, Times, Telegraph, Evening Standard, and the Mirror and Metro – the country’s ten leading newspapers.  And hilariously, when I had just watched one of Theresa May’s speeches on YouTube during the campaign, immediately afterwards, YouTube automatically played Liar Liar, the anti-May anthem that reached number four in the UK pop charts last week. And I suspect YouTube auto played that video after anyone watched anything about Theresa May due to the algorithms that they employ.
All this is pretty much like book (and witch/heretic) burning in the early Modern Ages, when the oligarchs felt threatened by the new invention: print! Just like then, but multiplied times a thousand at least, the new media and its power-democratization capability feels threatening to those who try to retain their dinosaur power heavily reliant on mass-media, which, the more they get manipulated, the less they are watched/read (because there are alternatives, reasonably good, critical and diverse ones). 

Probably not even Goebbels (on whom the likes of May and Macron base their ideas) would be able to survive something like that,  Berlusconi didn't, his Serbian precursor Milosevic didn't either, the declared admirer of Hitler, Turkish President Erdogan, is struggling all the time against the likes of YouTube and Twitter: he bans them once and again but it's never enough, more so with people in the more totalitarian countries getting quickly used to skip censorship via TOR. Not even a giant like China can control it, because it's like the first law of chaos: you just cannot have absolute power, nor absolute control, the more repressive you get, the less you can actually control in the mid run.

It does not surprise me the least with dinosaurs like May or Trump, they are just too old to know, they belong to a long gone era, but Macron is young and supposedly quite smart, how can he also fall for that megalomaniac fallacy? Well, he's probably too "viejuno" or "viejoven", as they say in Spain, i.e. "old-like" or "old-young" (just look at his haircut and his clothes, he seems taken from an old Hitchcock movie), and not at all as smart as the oligarchs sell him: one thing is smart-lackey (which does not really need true intelligence only operational smarts) and another thing is smart-brilliant (which is automatically critical and scientific, even if sometimes not too practical). That's the difference between Thatcher (brilliant even if truly evil) and Reagan (a mere sockpuppet with performance skills), Macron seems to be rather in the latter category (and so is May of course, a quite gray woman).

Glaezbrook's conclusions:
So that’s what this new crackdown on the internet is really about; it’s about regaining control of that narrative. It’s about turning the CEOs of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google into the Rupert Murdochs of the 21st century – the political allies and mouthpieces of the British state and the capitalist class, and doing this by forging a new relationship that explicitly punishes them if they refuse to play ball.
(...)
The Open Rights Group has warned that “to push on with these extreme proposals for internet clampdowns would appear to be a distraction from the current political situation and from effective measures against terror."

“The government already has extensive surveillance powers. Conservative proposals for automated censorship of the internet would see decisions about what British citizens can see online being placed in the hands of computer algorithms, with judgments ultimately made by private companies rather than courts. Home Office plans to force companies to weaken the security of their communications products could put all of us at a greater risk of crime.”

Those who are worried about extremism should be calling for an end to the British intelligence services’ collaboration and facilitation of terrorism and the extradition of those who have carried out or facilitated attacks abroad, as well as an international investigation and prosecutions of all those involved.

Theresa May’s new proposals do nothing to end the impunity of her own government in the grooming and facilitation of terrorism. Rather, they serve to extend this impunity. They must be resisted.
Hopefully they will fail (again) but let us be most vigilant and ready to fight against this kind of pseudo-democratic fascism. It is extremely dangerous and we must indeed resist it: we need more freedom of speech, not less.