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June 19, 2014
June 19, 2014

Spain: Social struggle against repression is not a crime, solidarity!!!

Source: A-Infos  Category: Protest
This article is also available in: esel
Spain: Social struggle against repression is not a crime, solidarity!!!

International day of anti-repression action – June 28

We wish to express our support and solidarity to Carlos and Carmen, who participated with 15-M of Granada in the General Strike on March 29, 2012 and were convicted for their participation with 3 years and 1 day in prison. During the General Strike called in Spain on March 29, 2012, 15-M Granada organised an informational picket that ran throughout the streets of the city asking for solidarity during the strike day. Carlos and Carmen were randomly stopped and searched by the police while exiting a city bar in which the picket had non-violently entered, and, in fact, the bar remained open as the protest continued its Granada run. The owner of the premises made a complaint and months later and so began a trial in which the Prosecutor asked for an exemplary sentence to not only for punish Carlos and Carmen, but to also set a precedent to dissuade others from acting similarly. Finally, the judge sentenced Carlos and Carmen to 3 years and 1 day in prison for a supposed crime against workers rights. Following the sentencing, an appeal was filed to the Provincial Court of Granada, but the Court ratified the sentence based solely on the testimonies of the bar owner.

Recently in Spain, repression of the social movements has transitioned from fining people for participating in protests to simply putting them in prison. All this, in a context of insecurity and cuts for the people as well as governmental legislative reforms aimed at doing away with social struggle (the Public Safety Act, the Penal Code reform, the Court Fees Act, etc..).
We cannot permit that.

We are calling for everyone to take to the streets in all cities on the 28th of June to continue the protest against these conditions of unjustified repression. In many cities we are getting organised to respond to this situation in a specific way. Now, more than ever, we must come together in this struggle! Repression is common for all and consequently it is our common front. Let us unite with our individual struggles to become stronger together that day.

In Granada it is Carlos and Carmen who went to prison for participating in an informational picket by 15-M; in Galicia, it is Ana and Tamara or Serafin and Carlos who are in the same situation; also Koldo in La Rioja and many more in various regions of the state.

And do not forget all the comrades who are in preventive detention, without trial, like Miguel and Isma in Madrid or Sergi in Barcelona (recently arrested after the protests against the eviction of Can Vies). For all these people, let’s take to the streets that day.

At the international level, we invite you to mobilise at Spanish embassies and consulates, so that the struggle against repression of social movements in Spain is heard everywhere.

As the group Stop Represión Granada, we have developed a manifesto.

SOCIAL STRUGGLE IS NOT A CRIME

FACED WITH REPRESSION, INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY!

FOR OUR COMRADES WHO ARE DETAINED, CHARGED AND IMPRISONED.

***
We all know that we in a time of crisis, even though many of us were also before (let´s not forget that class equality was never real). Since they began bombing us with how bad the economic situation is, we have been suffering the brutal implementation of their exit-from-the-crisis strategy, which is eliminating the social rights that were achieved in the past decades. All over the world, the political and economic elites have implemented austerity policies in order to restore their receding benefits. They have imposed on us a lifestyle of precariousness, while they are still living, as always, above our means.

Faced with all these precarious policies for us and benefits for them (governments, corporations, and bankers), we have taken to the streets to fight for what is ours and, let´s not forget, no one gave us as gift. We have protested against every eviction, every health and education cut, every lay-off, every dispossession of our right to decide, every attack to our neighbourhoods, in short, we have fought every attack by the capitalist system in its various forms. While corrupt politicians and bankers are keeping their stolen money in fiscal paradises, they have criminalised social mobilisations and have labelled us as criminals. Those who steal from us, lie to us, and humiliate us are the ones who criminalise and repress us by law or by force.

Undoubtedly, strategy has already become evident. In the past few months, the strategy of governments around the world against demonstrations and social protests has become clear. They not only want to silence protests but also to painfully eradicate them. The Spanish State first imposed a law on Court Fees to reserve, even more, the justice system only for them. Then the State introduced the Penal Code reform to increase prison time for public order offenses and assault on authority, so that nobody escapes impunity, police abuse, or even prison. Later, they proposed a draft Law on Public Safety, telling us that, for our sake, the use of public spaces and the protests had to be regulated because the street belong to everyone. Now they are even criminalising the freedom of expression in social networking sites. All these reforms are not only aimed at silencing protests, but also at obscuring the hard repression exercised against the people by the State, at toughening the penalties, and increasing legal defencelessness of the people.

Our comrades, who are today in prison or on trial, have fought against all of these injustices. In the past few months, a great number of social and political activists around the country have been legally reprimanded for their participation in social protests, let us not forget about them. Let´s not forget the comrades who are on the verge of imprisonment for participating in a strike (Carlos and Carmen (Granada), Ana and Tamara (Pontevedra), Koldo (La Rioja), the 8 from the Airbus, etc); let´s not forget the hundreds of detainees from demonstrations or the comrades who have been or are now in preventive imprisonment (Alfon, following the General Strike on 14.11.2012; Miguel and Isma, following the 22-M Marches; Sergi, following the protests against the eviction of Can Vies, etc.). We cannot name them all. We are experiencing unprecedented criminalisation of protests and social struggles that is an attribute of authoritarian regimes in the name of so-called democracy. This is not democracy. We know that we do not live in a land where we can express our opinions freely. We know that we cannot meet or protest freely, and that speaking out, taking to the streets, defending our neighbourhoods or picketing during strikes is suppressed.

We reject the separation between good and bad protesters. There are no vandals among us; we are people that are angry, people that are tired of being oppressed, and people that are fed up with seeing the same people receive more than their fair share of the cake. Let’s not be confused, because being united is in our hands. While our comrades are expecting their trials, their sentences, their appeals or pardons for allegedly committing offenses against the authority, violation of the workers’ rights, disobedience and public disorder, and who knows how many more fallacies of the legislative and judicial system that they will imposed on us, the ruling politicians and bankers, big owners of the state and the capital are still receiving excessive salaries, still have their accounts in Switzerland and, of course, still sleeping peacefully.

But not for long. We have decided to stop being afraid. We have decided to respond to every attack, to every comrade deprived of their liberty, to every person detained, tortured and humiliated for not shutting up and coming out to fight. Do not wait for saviours. The only thing we have is struggle and solidarity, this is the only domain that they have not taken from us, and as such must hold on to it tightly. Although they are trying to stop us, we must keep fighting for our rights so that all of us can enjoy a full life.

FOR ALL THOSE THAT ARE FIGHTING AND ARE NOT SILENT,

TAKE TO THE STREETS.

FIGHTING IS THE ONLY WAY!

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