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Workers Vanguard No. 1164

1 November 2019
The closing date for news in this issue is 29 October.

Workers Vanguard

Free All Imprisoned Catalan Independentistes Now!

Independence for Catalonia! For a Workers Republic!

The following article is a translation of a supplement issued on October 19 by our comrades of the Ligue trotskyste de France and published in French, Spanish and Catalan. The Catalan version was distributed at a protest of at least 350,000 on October 26 in Barcelona against the jailing of Catalan nationalist leaders.

Massive demonstrations that erupted on October 14 in Catalonia expressed anger over the sentencing of Catalan politicians and activists to prison terms ranging from nine to 13 years. In a show trial that triggered a wave of Castilian chauvinism against the Catalans, leaders of Catalan nationalist parties, including Oriol Junqueras, former vice president of the Generalitat of Catalonia (the autonomous government), and Carme Forcadell, former president of the Parlament, were convicted for having organized the October 2017 referendum on independence [when 90 percent voted for an independent republic]. The charges are outrageous: “sedition,” “disobedience,” “embezzlement.” Not only were nine of the 12 defendants sentenced to prison, but the Supreme Court renewed a European arrest warrant against Carles Puigdemont, the former president of the Generalitat, who fled to Belgium in October 2017. These convictions and the persecution of prominent Catalan bourgeois politicians are an ominous warning to the oppressed Catalan, Basque and Galician nations that the “indissoluble unity” of the Spanish prison house of peoples is not negotiable.

In the hours following the convictions, tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Barcelona and other cities in Catalonia, including Perpinyà (Perpignan) [in France]. Solidarity demonstrations also took place in Donostia (Basque Country), Corsica and Brittany. A huge rally aiming to block the Barcelona airport was brutally attacked by joint units of the Spanish national police and the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan autonomous police. Dozens of protesters were injured; a 22-year-old lost an eye when he was hit by a flash-ball fired by the cops. The pro-independence demonstrations culminated in a general strike—the fourth in two years—with a demonstration on October 18 of more than 500,000 people in Barcelona. It was also attacked by the cops; nearly 200 people had to be hospitalized. Half of all public transportation was blocked by the strike, which was particularly strong at the university and in the public services. Notably, the dockers struck and demonstrated. (read on)

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About the ICL




V.I. LeninLeon TrotskyThe International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is a proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist tendency committed to the task of building Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international. Our aim is the achievement of new October Revolutions—nothing else, nothing other, nothing less. The ICL bases itself on Marxist historical, dialectical materialism and seeks in particular to carry forward the international working-class perspectives of Marxism developed in the theory and practice of the Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and L. D. Trotsky and embodied in the decisions of the first four Congresses of the Communist International as well as key documents of the Fourth International such as the Transitional Program (1938) and "War and the Fourth International" (1934). We also look to James P. Cannon, a leader of the early American Communist Party who was won to Trotskyism and went on to become a principal founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), working in close collaboration with Leon Trotsky. The origins of the ICL are in the Spartacist League/U.S., which began as the Revolutionary Tendency in the SWP and was bureaucratically expelled in 1963. Our ICL "Declaration of Principles and Some Elements of Program" was modeled on the Declaration of Principles adopted at the 1966 founding conference of the SL/U.S.

Adopted at the Third International Conference of the ICL in early 1998, the declaration presently exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Greek, Korean and Tagalog. In this post-Soviet period, marked by a deep regression of proletarian consciousness, we continue to be guided by Trotsky's statement that "the task of the vanguard is above all not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow; it must swim against the current." Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!