Tony Greenstein | 15 October 2019 | Post Views:

Franco’s Judicial Heirs Mete Out Savage Prison Sentences to Catalonia’s Political Leaders

Spain’s ‘socialist’ leaders, Europe’s bourgeois leaders applaud Franco’s Posthumous ‘Justice’ whilst the SNP stays silent and embarrassed

Complaint Summary

I was on holiday in French Catalonia a month ago and visited Spanish Catalonia, including Girona, the heart of the struggle for Catalonian independence. Everywhere there were posters demanding freedom for Catalonia’s prisoners who were elected on a platform of independence for Catalonia

Banner in Girona, Catalonia

Spain’s pathetic social democratic prime minister, Pedro Sánchez has come down in full support for the repressive Francoist justice handed down today, sentences of between 9 and 13 years imprisonment for non-violent protesters

The SNP’s pathetic leader Sturgeon has refused to give any support to the Catalan Independence Movement

Carles Puigdemont, the exiled former president of Catalonia who remains a fugitive from Spanish authorities in Germany, whose courts have refused to extradite him, described the verdict as an “atrocity”, while his successor Quim Torra – who had previously stated he would refuse to accept a guilty verdict – condemned the ruling as an “insult to democracy.”

Barcelona today

These sentences were supported in full by the European commission, a spokeswoman for whom said it respected the decisions of the Spanish judiciary. “Our position on this is well known and has not changed, this is, and remains, an internal matter for Spain, which has to be dealt with in line with its constitutional order.”

Poster in SNP Conference today – however the SNP has refused to support Catalonian independence

In other words the European capitalist order fully supports and applauds the Franco state’s repression in Spain. Catalan’s are a separate nation from the Spanish. There is an inherent right, if they wish, to political independence and the right to form an independent state, however inconvenient that might be for the Spanish State

Banner in Gerona in September when I was there

Catalans are divided almost equally with a small majority of votes going to anti-independence parties. It is quite likely that like the Scottish referendum, Catalans would vote against independence.  However that is a decision for Catalans to take not for a vicious Francoist state to repress.

It is remarkable that the pathetic leaders of the Scottish National Party, which demands independence for Scotland, have refused to give any support to the leaders of the Catalonian independence struggle. Despite standing today in support of those imprisoned the bourgeois leaders of the SNP, in their attempts to win support in the European Union for Scottish entry and curry favour with Spain’s leaders have sought to demonstrate that they are not like those Catalan trouble makers

Girona in the heart of Spanish Catalonia

Is there anything more pathetic than Nicola Sturgeon and her hangers on trying to prove how respectable they are and how reliable they are to the leaders of British and European capitalism? Not a principle in sight. The tawdry leaders of Scottish capitalism don’t wish to be tarnished by the sight of Catalan leaders going to gaol.Below is an excellent article by Craig Murray which is well worth reading

Spain’s social democratic leader Pedro Sanchez prostrates himself at the feet of the bourgeois state

Weep for Catalonia,
Weep for Liberalism in Europe

The vicious jail sentences handed down today by the fascists (I used the word with care and correctly) of the Spanish Supreme Court to the Catalan political prisoners represent a stark symbol of the nadir of liberalism within the EU. That an attempt to organise a democratic vote for the Catalan people in pursuit of the right of self determination guaranteed in the UN Charter, can lead to such lengthy imprisonment, is a plain abuse of the most basic of human rights.

I was forced to withdraw my lifelong personal support for the EU when, in response to the vicious crushing of the Catalan referendum by Francoist paramilitary forces, when the whole world saw grandmothers hit on the head and thrown down stairs as they attempted to vote, all the institutions of the EU – Council, Commission and Parliament – lined up one after the other to stress their strong support for the Madrid paramilitary action in maintaining “law and order”.

Today we see the same thing. As the Catalans are imprisoned for efforts at democracy, the EU Commission stated that it “respects the position of the Spanish judiciary” and “this is, and remains, an internal matter for Spain, which has to be dealt with in line with its constitutional order.” The Commission here is simply ignoring what is very obviously a fundamental breach of basic human rights. This is far worse than anything Poland or Hungary have done in recent years, and the Commission is also showing a quite blatant hypocrisy in its relative treatment of its Western and Eastern members

Girona demonstration

There was a time when the EU was a shining example of economic and environmental regulation and of regional wealth redistribution. My fondness for the institution dates from it being one of our few defences from economic Thatcherism. But it has evolved into something very different, a mutual support club for neoliberal political leaders.

I do not much blog about Brexit because I am less concerned about it than the majority of the population. I neither think remaining inside is essential nor that leaving it is a political panacea. I do desperately wish to retain freedom of movement, and believe leaving the customs union would be economic self-harm on a large scale. A Norway style relationship would suit me fine, but by and large I prefer to stay out of the argument. I do believe that, as a matter of democratic legitimacy, having had the 2016 referendum the result should be respected; England should leave and Scotland and Northern Ireland remain.

But I also say this. A million people are expected to march on Saturday in support of the EU. That is the EU which has just expressed its active support for the jailing of Catalans for holding a vote. They join Julian Assange as political prisoners in the EU held for non-violent thought crime.

I say this to anyone thinking of marching on Saturday. It is morally wrong, at this time, to show public support for the EU, unless you balance it by showing your disgust at the fascist repression of the Catalans and the EU’s support for that repression. Every single person going on Saturday’s march has a moral obligation to balance it by sending a message to the EU Commission that their support for this repression is utterly out of order, and carrying a flag or sign on the march indicating support for the Catalan political prisoners. Otherwise you are just a smug person marching for personal self interest. Alongside the progenitors of the Iraq War, who doubtless will again dominate the platform speeches.

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Tony Greenstein

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