Against the Repression of the 15-M Movement

Today, 3rd of October 2011, at least three people were arrested in Barcelona for alleged charges relating to the protest which took place on June 15, 2011 at the gates of the Parc de la Ciutadella. We express our full support to all persons who might be affected by these events, and our strong rejection of the legal and political process launched by the National Court (Audiencia Nacional in Spanish).

The Minister of Interior of the Catalan Government Felip Puig and the judge of the National Court Eloy Velasco hand in hand with the Attorney General of Catalonia launched a crackdown wave against a popular social movement that is addressing social cuts in such important areas (i.e. education, health… etc). Instead of addressing the citizens´ malaise towards the anti-social cuts and the crisis, the powers decided to respond with repression and criminalization of dissent. In all of this we shouldn´t forget the important role played by such an undemocratic and unrepresentative entity as Manos Limpias. They have been the driving force behind this crackdown through the complaint they filed to the National Court against the 15-M activists.  We also add to this the ongoing court-case against 6 activists from that same protest.

Significantly, the Spanish National Court is the heiress institution of dictator Franco´s  ‘Public Order Court’  (TOP), a special court historically used in cases with a clear political character. People facing this procedure are accused of a crime “against the institutions of the state”, a crime that has never been applied to protests that occurred in front of various autonomous parliaments, the Congress of Deputies or the Senate. Nor was it applied in 1984 when a crowd of militants of the Convergència Democràtica de de Catatlunya (Democratic Convergence of Catalonia) gathered at the gates of Parliament and staged a protest much stronger than the one on June 15th 2011, against the deputies of the Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya. Back then, the leaders made no reference to the honor of “the highest institutions of the state.”

We don´t view these developments as an action against specific individuals, which in any case would be scapegoats – but as an attack on the whole 15-M movement. A widely-popular social movement with an elevated criticism of the current system of political representation, as well as neoliberal economic austerity measures that promote segregation and social exclusion. The call of June 15, 2011 was a decision taken after a public, open, horizontal and transparent debate during one of the popular assemblies. That is why we believe the recent crackdown is an attack on the whole movement.

The protest in question was manipulated and blown-out-of-proportion by the Minister of Interior Felip Puig and by the government using skillfully constructed images. For example the arrival of the President of the Government and other government members to the Parliament by helicopters. The aim of Convergencia i Unio (CiU) with all these smoke screens was clear enough: to divert public attention from what was happening inside the chamber where they were discussing totally illegitimate antisocial budgets. Budgets that were not mentioned in any electoral program or  subjected to a binding referendum.

However, on Sunday June 19th,  a human tide of more than 200,000 people responded to both the political manipulation and the severe social cuts suffered by the Catalan population in recent months. Thousands took to the streets under the slogan ‘The street is ours, we will not pay for your crisis.”

We reaffirm our rejection of the current judicial and police crackdown against the movement, we reemphasize our support for those prosecuted and those who may be prosecuted in the future. We announce that far from being frightened of persecution, the 15-M movement will continue taking to the streets and working to make it very clear that “we are not merchandise in the hands of politicians and bankers.”

Finally, we call for a demonstration today in Plaza Catalonia in Barcelona at 7 p.m. against the crackdown and the social cuts.

WE ARE ALL 15-M

Twitter hashtag: # 15mlliure

Signatories

Assemblea de Sants, Assemblea de Gràcia, Assemblea del Casc Antic, Assemblea de Poble Nou, Assemblea de Sant Andreu, Assemblea de Clot-Camp de l’Arpa,Assemblea de Drets Socials de l’Eixample, Assemblea de Poble sec, Assemblea de Sarrià-San Gervasi, Assemblea de Sant Antoni, Assemblea del Raval, Assemblea Social Guinardó-Can Baró, Assemblea Gòtic, Assemblea Indignades del Carmel, Assemblea de L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Universitat Indignada 15M i Comisión de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores Indignados de Barcelona.

Àgora Lliure de l’Escala, Ateneu Art i Cultura de l’Escala, Izquierda Anticapitalista, Revolta Global, En Lluita, CAJEI, COS, Endavant, Maulets, Partit Obrer Revolucionari – POR-Catalunya, Confederació General del Treball (CGT) de Catalunya.

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