Saturday, March 24, 2018

Spain's fascist repression against Catalonia knows no bounds

Do not cry for a land that fights, fight for a land that cries!
Today several Catalan politicians were jailed on accusation of "sedition" or "rebellion", what is a nonsense because they never used violence to overthrow the status quo but the Spanish Inquisition (Supreme Court in this case) is making things up and twisting the law all they can in order to step up the repression. 

One of them, the Secretary General of Catalan Republican Left (ERC), Marta Rovira, chose to exile herself to Switzerland, joining a growing number of Catalan political leaders in exile, either in Switzerland or in Belgium. 

Another of those imprisoned today was Jordi Turull, who is the only candidate for the Presidency of the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya), vote that was being held today (he did not get enough votes because the decisive Popular Unity List (CUP) abstained on grounds of wavering republicanism and lack of a social program). 

Also imprisoned were Carme Forcadell (former President of the Catalan Parliament), Raul Romeva (former head of the Republican unity list Together for Catalonia), Josep Rull and Dolors Bassa (former consellers or ministers).

This every day looks more like Turkey. 

But the streets are angry, very angry.

Not only because of Catalonia, there are many other open conflicts feeding into each other, notably the retirees have been staging massive protests in the last weeks against the effective pension cuts while police salaries are increased, military expenditure doubled as Trump demanded, corruption cases keep showing at every corner like mushrooms and the illegitimate debt to save the Spanish banks and other private ventures like useless highways, i.e. to save German and other international banks for slightly longer, is being increased every day. 

The Precariat is also angry and starting to get organized and protest. Also a synchronous conflict has been happening in Murcia City between working class neighbors and the state who illegally is imposing that the bullet train (TAV, another useless waste) goes through their neighborhoods, right by their homes in many cases, above ground, cutting the city in two. The government went so nervous that police was seen patrolling with loaded guns just a couple of days ago, something unseen since ETA began its disarmament process. 

But where anger is really spilling over is in Catalonia, always in the nonviolent manner they have conducted their independence process so far. I do not have yet all the info but I know that semi-spontaneously, organized by the Comittees of Defense of the Republic (CDR, popular assemblies working in national network), there have been many demos and pickets. Notably they have cut the train traffic at the station of Lleida, the border with France at Puigcerdá, and have walked out in most towns across the country, in several cases suffering violent police repression. 

Popular picket at Lleida train station (and some cops)

demo in Barcelona
police brutality today in Catalonia (credit: Jordi Borras)

These images (from FB group We Stand in Solidarity With Catalans) aren't but a tiny relation of what has been happening today again in the forbidden Catalan Republic. And I suspect that it is only the beginning of something huge, because the general mood is clear: if they jail our leaders, they will have to jail millions of us. 

There are informal calls for long-standing general strike, for repeated road, railroad, airport and harbor blockades. Not sure what exactly will come out of this but it looks that, once again, we are in a proto-revolutionary scenario, at the very least in Catalonia. 

And let's not forget that Catalans are 7.5 million people, 16% of the population of the failed state of Spain, and also one of the most vigorous economic areas in spite of Madrid sucking every single large company or almost. 

As a side note, the government can't even pass the budget, because they can't muster a majority to do so, they are resorting to pointless resistance by means of the state apparatus, dominated by fascist currents like the greedy Catholic order Opus Dei, but they lack any sort of coherent governance beyond last trench repression without any sort of compromise with common sense and social consensus. 

The situation is anything but under control: the failed banana kingdom is one step or several closer to total collapse. And I will applaud when that finally happens, because in order to save the Spanairds (by force or grade) Spain must be destroyed, razed to the ground and power returned to the peoples. 

Gora herrien borroka! Long live the struggle of the peoples!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Afrin is the new Kobane, let us all defend it however we can

North Syria Federation
(credit: Editor abcdef, Wikimedia)
In yellow Afrin Region (canton)
Let's begin stating the obvious (but not so-obvious to many apparently):

1. Turkey has a fascist regime led by Hitler-loving and Islamo-Fascist extremist Tayyip Erdogan.

2. Russia and the USA are both capitalist (and thus imperialist) states: there is no monopolar imperialism, imperialism is by (Lenin's) definition the struggle of the various capitalist powers to control the world's resources and attempt to exert quasi-imperial or at least some relative hegemony over the rest. 

3. The SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces, organized around the Kurdish YPG/YPJ core) and the legitimate government of Syria (Baath, Assad) get along even if they clearly have different political projects: the former internationalist and Kurdish-centered, radically democratic and decidedly communist, the latter Arab nationalist (pan-Arabist), not so democratic (in spite of the reforms) and not so socialist (rather state-directed national capitalism). In spite of skirmishes and diverging international alliances this has been the case since the beginning, when the YPG coalesced as a Kurdish self-defense force.

Also maybe not-so-obvious to some may be the fact that Turkey has a huge army but that it is made up mainly of recruits, many of whom hate Erdogan (even by rigging the elections the Turkish neo-sultan only managed to get a narrow majority in parliament and needs the backing of the secular-fascists to stay in power). We have already seen in Ukraine how these conscription armies are very inefficient against motivated popular militias, notably when their commander regime is illegitimate and the war they are waging is as well. 

It is also important to underline that Syria has allowed massive YPG-SDF reinforcements to arrive to Afrin. And that Turkey is working with Islamist militias (roughly Al Qaeda and DAESH, just recently renamed again for PR reasons) just the same they used them as death squads in the brutal repression of the Bakur (North Kurdistan) uprising in 2014-15.

Both the USA and Russia court Turkey. The former want it to return to its former status of reliable ally (vassal) and thus are not taking active action in Afrin, where they are not present, but still signalling they won't retreat from Manbij or other lands of the Northern Syria Federation where they hold some military presence. The latter have snubbed their Syrian ally in regard to air protection of the canton of Afrin, as determined by truce agreements, because they clearly want Turkey to become yet another ally in the region, along with Iran (also anti-Kurdish) and Syria. The powers do not care about Afrin at all: they are interested mainly in the Bosporus Straits, which are Turkey's main asset, and secondarily in projection in the Fertile Crescent.

What's actually going on? 

As far as I can tell there has been heavy bombardment by Turkey of civilian towns, using chemical weapons in at least some cases, and even the destruction of a landmark historical ruin (a signature of Islamo-fascism) but on land Turkey and their allies have made only very limited gains. 

As of today Turkey has only occupied a hill on the border, hailed as a "great victory" by their propaganda machinery, of course. The initial attempts to take over the southeastern extension of the canton north of Aleppo failed, with many more casualties in the Islamo-Turkish camp than in the Kurdish Communist one.

However, let's face it, it's a David versus Goliath scenario in which, in spite of their bravery, the Kurds and allies (including as far as I know some internationalist units) have it very difficult. The same was true in Kobane and they prevailed though... on their own forces alone. 

I would expect that, as soon as the Spring arrives, the Kurdish forces north of the railroad (the official Syro-Turkish border is the old Baghdad railroad in most of its length) will initiate some sort of offensive, forcing the Turkish army to spread wide, but right now it is massively concentrated around the small territory of Afrin, the Mountain of Kurds.

Popular forces can win against all odds

But we have seen it before in Donbass and in Kobane: a motivated militia can certainly defeat a poorly motivated conscription army, never mind fascist mercenaries. Why do I "dare" to compare Donbass and Afrin: aren't ones in the side of Russia and the others in the side of the USA? The answer is "no": neither Russia nor the USA care much about their popular "allies", they
fear them in fact, precisely because they are democratic and popular, and only offer them very limited and conditional support at best. They are just forced to cooperate with them because of geostrategical reasons but always with the sight elsewhere: Kiev, the Bosporus, Latakia, etc. Who backs them is not important, what matters is that they are democratic and popular forces.

And I must say that it is most interesting that these great powers are being forced by circumstances, by the inefficiency of other more fascist or authoritarian approaches, to rely on these grassroots militias to some extent. It evidences that Lenin was right when he characterized Imperialism as a clash of oligarchic mafias on which we revolutionaries should not be too interested but rather on the possibility of making some revolutions in the cracks generated by this inter-imperialist struggle.These cracks are every day larger and democratic socialism is arising in them, not without difficulty but with perseverance and admirable toughness. 

And that's why we must help as much as we can to defend Afrin and denounce the Turco-Islamist criminal aggression: because it's not just the people of Afrin and the many thousands of refugees installed there, it's not just the right to self rule of the Kurdish and all other peoples, it is global revolution what is being fought there. Afrin is the linchpin of our hope for a better world, we can't just watch or ignore it.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hariri's kidnapping is just part of a major coup in Saudi Arabia

This intereview with Lebanese journalist Marwa Osman at The Corbett Report is most interesting:

The most luxurious hotel in Riyadh is now a prison for all the princes in the realm. Furthermore at least one key prince, Fahed bin Abdullah was killed by gunfire. Incidentally this man was best friend since childhood of kidnapped Lebanese PM Hariri and his business partner.

Israel and Washington behind the scenes

In min. 14:55 she says: "He [Mohamed bin Salman] sees Hizbollah as a threat to himself. I don't know why, because Hizbollah is a threat to Israel not to him".

To understand that one has to take in account the revelations that Prince Khalid bin Farhan al-Saud made in June to the Middle East Monitor: Mohamed has made a deal with Trump by which the USA backs his bid for total power, including speedy ascension to the throne (his father, the nominal king, has Alzheimer). in exchange for Saudi blessing and financing for the Final Solution against Gaza Strip, a territory that Israel now covets for their version of the Suez Canal. 

I discussed this and the sudden hostility against Qatar here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Brian Becker on the Soviet Revolution

Quite an interesting interview with Brian Becker, author of "Storming the Gates: How the Russian Revolution Changed the World", on the Russian Revolution at Empire Files (TeleSur English):

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Radioactive cloud strongly suggests hidden severe nuclear accident in West Siberia.

Both French and German nuclear surveyor institutions belatedly reported of a radioactive cloud over central-west Europe with apparent origin in West Siberia (Russia). The presence of ruthenium-106 strongly suggests a nuclear meltdown at some site, accident that has been hidden from the public. 

The radioactive cloud seems to have its peak over Sverdlovsk Oblast (Russia)

The cloud was detected between the September 29th and October 13th but has been reported to the public only now. 

As far as I can tell the most likely candidate for the accident is not the Mayak complex in Cheylabinsk Oblast, as suggested by the article linked above, but the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Station in Sverdlovsk Oblast.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Very weird: Saudi Arabia kidnaps Lebanese Prime Minister and forces his resignation

The weirdest of all things is that Saad Hariri is widely considered as very close to Saudi Arabia.

In spite of that affinity, the Lebanese PM is effectively kidnapped in Riyadh and had to record a resignation, written in the Saudi dialect of Arabic, which was broadcast by the Saudi TV channel Al Arabiya. The statement also included a total rejection of Hezbollah, something very Saudi but very much non-Lebanese.

Watch this interview (TRN) for further details:

Saudi strongman and heir to the throne, Mohamed bin Salman, has been doing all kind of weird things as of late: kidnapping many of his own relatives, what seems intended to quell all possible opposition to his takeover, backed by the USA in exchange for very cruel favors to Israel (they are planning the "final solution" to the Palestinian "problem").

This seems like yet another move intended to consolidate Mohamed's power by paying the horrible price of genocide and treason to Israel and its US colonial motherland. It's wacko but it fits. 

Surely the USA already has orchestrated the replacement and is one that will serve the interests of Zionism.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Catalan Parliament approves independence

The Parliament of Catalonia approved this afternoon the independence of Catalonia (full text of the declaration, in Catalan). The voting was secret and the results were as follows: 70 yes, 10 against and 2 blank votes and 52 absentees (hardcore Spanish nationalists who don't recognize the right of Catalonia to self-determination). There seems to be one missing vote in the account, nobody seems to care.

People celebrate Catalan Independence near Parliament

With this action Catalonia ends all procrastination in favor of negotiation, which has not been listened to by Spain at all. On the contrary, the Spanish government, which is weak electorally but, thanks to the many tricks of the Neo-Francoist constitution still has absolute majority in the Senate*, and has managed anyhow to muster the support of the so-called "Spanish Socialst Worker Party" to approve also today the suspension of Catalan autonomy, activating article 155 or the Spanish Constitution, the kind of constitutional provision that Hitler was fond of resorting to in order to consolidate his power some 70 years ago.

Today a conflict between two sovereign states begins: one enjoys international recognition and has 95.000 police agents (plus the military, which won't surely be used because there's no war), the other is unrecognized (yet) and will fight only with the power of NONVIOLENT POPULAR RESISTANCE. Who will win?

I forecast that Catalonia will prevail. Why? Because they have already demonstrated their willpower, discipline and nonviolent firmness, in previous confrontations such as the referendum of October 1st, the General Strike of October 3rd and many other episodes of popular struggle in the last many years.

Against that determination Spain can only exert force. Its appeals to Catalan unionists to walk out have failed (sure: they brought many buses from Spain proper but rallied very few people from Catalonia itself) so they only have the farce of Spanish laws and courts that are, since today, not legal in Catalonia anymore. And they have 95.000 ill-paid and overworked police agents who will soon be shown as useless to implement Spanish law against millions and millions of disobeying Catalans.

Catalonia is Kosova on steroids: it is much larger, richer and visible than poor little Kosova was when it had to confront, in the pre-Internet era, a similar situation. Back then it was obvious that any solution not implying the independence of Kosova would fail. It took eight years of very brutal Serbian occupation but they eventually succeeded, not without a blitz war.

The situation is nevertheless different in Catalonia: Kosova did not matter, it was a mere humanitarian issue, but Serbia/Yugoslavia did not matter much either. Spain however has major geostrategical relevance because of the Strait of Gibraltar (plus French historical backyard geostrategy), so its NATO allies won't betray her. But Catalonia also has major strategical relevance, being one of two main knots linking the Iberian Peninsula to Europe (the other is the Basque Country) and this is a trump card the Catalans can play: sabotaging via strikes and blockades the commercial routes will no doubt have a demolishing impact in Spain's economy and its international reputation. 

Additionally Spain is effectively bankrupt: only the European Central Bank buys Spanish bonds these days, the pensions' reserve fund has been exhausted and Spain is financially unable to pay for almost anything. This is going to lead to a major crisis in Spain but a crisis that will shatter Europe and the World. Because so far the bankruptcy crisis had been delayed in Europe so far but now it will become absolutely unavoidable. 

That's the bargaining chip of the brave Catalan People: that's how a People determined to fight (noviolently) can bring the World to a halt. 

Catalonia will be free. The whole World Order (itself in deep crisis) cannot impede it. How could it? Catalonia is (together with the Basque Country) the motherland of Insubmissió: some three decades ago we gloriously defeated the Spanish Army with NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE, and Catalan society has learned that lesson well, probably better than us Basques. They cannot be defeated, they will prevail and teach the World a lesson.


* Every Spanish province, regardless of population or ethnicity, gets 4 senators, three of which go to the most voted party and the fourth to the second one. Most Spanish provinces are rural, nearly empty provinces of Castilian or assimilated ethnicity.