Statement from Sindicato De Estudiantes - Estado Español (Students Union)
Defeat the PP government’s ‘Francoist’ offensive against Catalonia!
Every student fight to defend democratic rights! Organise meetings, strikes and demonstrations!
The Partido Popular (People’s Party/PP) and the State apparatus, heir of the Franco dictatorship, launched a repressive and unprecedented crackdown on the democratic rights of the Catalan people. Orders to the autonomous police, Civil Guard and national police are to prevent the referendum (‘1-O’) from taking place. The huge deployment of police in Catalonia has seen massive seizure of leaflets, posters and ballots; the detention of activists, restrictions on printers and the media, and the implementation of the censorship; the prohibition in Madrid of acts in support of Catalonia having the right to decide its future and threats of criminal action against mayors and volunteers. As if all this was not enough, the PP government ordered the arrest of 13 officials of the Generalitat, seized the Catalonia government accounts, and suspended, de facto, the statutes and autonomy of Catalonia.
This reeks of Franco! Never in forty years have we experienced a similar attack against our democratic rights. The PP and the state are stirring up memories of what happened in the terrible days of the dictatorship, but we will not allow them to deny us what our parents and grandparents fought so hard to win. This repressive action comes from those in power who have more than 900 charges of corruption against them! Charges include looting the public coffers to benefit the rich and the bankers. These same PP politicians cut the most basic services, such as education and health, and refuse to condemn the crimes of the Franco dictatorship. They speak of democracy! That is your “democracy” – ban voting, jailing those from expressing themselves freely, sending in the civil guard to suppress us!
The PP government, supported by the Cuidadanos [Party of the Citizenry] and unfortunately the leadership of the PSOE [Partido Socialista Obrero Español – a social democratic party] , decided to crush, using the same methods of Francoism, the right of millions of Catalans, of the vast majority of the people and the youth, to decide on the relationship they have with the Spanish State, including the legitimate right to independence. What is at stake is very serious. These reactionaries, who run the central government, not only undermine the basic rights of the people of Catalonia, but they threaten the democratic rights of all the peoples and territories that make up the Spanish State.
Everyone to the streets: assemblies and strikes in institutes and faculties, and make 28 September a student general strike!
We want to exercise the right to self-determination, but also be able to decide on all issues that affect us. We will not subordinate ourselves to the Catalan oligarchy nor to their politicians and parties. We know that Puigdemont [president of the Catalan Generalitat] and the PDeCAT [Catalan European Democratic Party]are champions of the cuts and they have savagely attacked the education and public health, privatized social services and sent the Mossos d´Esquadra [the police force of Catalonia] to suppress our mobilizations.
The PP will never want the Catalonia we want: a Catalan republic that breaks with capitalist oppression and exploitation – A socialist Catalonia, which serves to transform society to benefit the vast majority.
Thousands of people have taken to Catalonia’s squares and streets and will continue to do so. In all the territories of the State protests are being organized in support of the Catalan people, in defence of the democratic rights of everyone. That is the way to really win our legitimate right to decide and for freedom of expression and assembly.
From the Students Union we understand that only through massive mobilisation of the working class and youth can we really win self-determination. We call on all young people in Catalonia and all student organizations on the left, to respond in a unified way in struggle in our institutes and faculties, organizing mass assemblies and creating committees against repression and for the right to decide; to organize strikes, demonstrations, make propaganda and encourage participation in all the mobilizations that are called… and to bring together all protests in a massive response on 28 September – a huge student general strike, emptying classrooms and filling the streets with a cry: ‘Freedom for the Catalan people, enough of the Francoist repression!’
At this crucial time, it is essential that all organisations of the left, social movements and trade unions (CUP, ERC, Comu, Intersindical, UGT, CCOO, CGT Catalunya…) build the most powerful response, organizing a 24 hours general strike that paralyzes all companies and factories, transport and public administration and also involves our neighbourhoods in a huge mobilization to defeat the de facto state of emergency that the PP is imposing.
Against the Francoist repression and for the right to decide!
We are the majority!
Everyone join the strike and demonstrations!
Barcelona: Pl. Universitat
Tarragona: Pl Imperial Tarraco