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19 d’ag. 2018

"The violence of the ultra-right: an operation of State", by Quim Arrufat 

This post contains an English translation (by MS) of the article "La violència de la ultra-dreta: una operació d’estat", by Quim Arrufat (former MP for the CUP)

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Original text:

The violence of the ultra-right: an operation of State

Quim Arrufat (former MP for the CUP)
"With this ultra-right violence a State operation is under way to wipe us out as an organised people"

He who does not take part
In the battle will share in the defeat.
Even avoiding battle does not avoid battle.
Bertolt Brecht

Call me 'conspiranoic' if you like. But in all this ultra-right violence an operation of State has begun, to wipe us out as an organized people.

There is a shared game, with varying levels of involvement, of the parties that supported article 155, the police (the Civil Guard, the Spanish police and also the Catalan Mossos, with different roles), the judiciary and the coverage of plenty of media. It is no coincidence the ultra-rightwing does all ot chooses impunity. It is a piece in a game that seeks to detonate Catalan society violently, creating fear of non-obedient political involvement and making supporters of 'no', voters of the 155 parties, constitute a rock-solid block. They want to dry us up at our springs: to destroy our spirit and the civil, popular, cheerful and combative organization that has filled streets and has put the Spanish state in check.
The sequence is clear enough:
1. Large-scale, indiscriminate violence on October 1 against people who did nothing, not even resist the blows.
2. The king's hooligan speech congratulating and encouraging violence.
3. Locking up in jail without trial, as a scorn, with great symbolic violence, both peaceful political leaders and civilians of the most radical pacifism.
4. Applause, agreements, smiles, back-patting, hugs of deep satisfaction and complicity of PSC / PSOE, Cs and PP leaders and opinion leaders, and some other absent-minded people.
5. Proliferation of Spsnish ultranationalist high-tension attacks and violence against peaceful, civil, public, and ordinary people, symbols and establishments.
6. The shelving by courts of all reports of these aggressions: impunity.
7. Shared justification and understanding by  the 155 block and the central bodies of Spain (army, police, courts, Telecinco / Cuatro, RTVE and Antena 3 / La Sexta).
8. Discreet sniggers on seeing how they are achieving - on the basis of try and try again - to install the climate and image of conflict and violence in Catalonia.
9. The Mossos (Catalan police), with a purportedly effective government and sovereign command, are absent. Open house for attacking civilians, peaceful people, shops, street stands.
It's really hard for a society to normalize organised violence in the public sphere, and with its support, against unarmed, vulnerable and peaceful civilians, isn't it? It takes a lot of gymnastics, lots of bile, lots of TV shows, a lot of cynicism and a lot of lies for a society (let me be specific to be honest: seemingly broad silent layers of Spanish society, including a seemingly important part of Catalan society) is indifferent to indiscriminate and gratuitous violence against their fellow-citizens. At random, because they think the way they think.
On the other hand, those who despite the hostile climate are reluctant to continue to claim rights and freedoms on a peaceful basis receive thousands of summonses, convictions, identification checks for political reasons, they are filmed and photographed, there are unprovoked police charges... This harassment seems to want to provoke, rather than anything else (to ensure public order? To enforce mandatory compliance with the constitutional doctrine?). This harassment is even more exhaustive and disproportionate against the CDR, the link that the police strategy identifies as the weakest, the easiest to provoke.
In my view, with all due respect, having added up all these facts, I think that there is a deliberate and agreed strategy to make violence explode - even if it is in self-defence against unpunished ultra-right lynchings - on the sovereignist / republican side, by some sector (youngsters, activists, typical targets for the police) to justify what, for months, if not years, they say will end up happening: that with violence the only recourse is to the anti-terrorism law and the suspension (still more) of rights, organizations and ideas.
But right now, the problem we face is security against neo-Nazi terror and spontaneous madmen, who feel supported, applauded, recognized in their (dirty but necessary) function of sowing panic with gratuitous violence - the more indiscriminately the better - against anyone who moves, to indicate that any of us may be attacked at any moment.
Right now, we have before us the duty of protecting and defending our neighborhoods and cities from parapolice and extrajudicial violence iof the Spanish State through ex-legionnaires, neo-Nazis, madmen and various hooligans who have responded to its call. For, as always happens, once this informal mechanism has been activated and become to a certain extent uncontrolled, they will first go against those who stick up yellow ribbons, then against young people how look odd, then against blacks and Arabs, on the way they'll attack women, and it will be hard work for us to protect our own people, with the police (the Mossos) waiting for us to defend ourselves in order to take photos, videos, report us, arrest us, then we'll get terrorism headlines, a report in 'Callejeros folloneros' and the other usual paraphernalia.
I only hope that in this weighty, heavy, sad trench we will have to build, I'll find myself side by side with those I need beside me. Putting aside differences in the struggle for basic freedoms, for spaces without fear and for the protection of civil society. I hope not to find shameful disappointments or desertions, and that the Coscubielas, the Rabells and others that justify Spain under the apparel of practical realism will know where is the place for each one of us when the deep Stare and the ultra-rightwing try to impose their terror. For them is Bertolt Brecht's sentence accompanying this text, rescued from a time from which we will have to learn a lot together.
And finally, and the most important thing to avoid losing this battle we are ignominiously beating on our shoulders: violence and the ultra-right are exercised by an immense minority of the population, usually linked to the police sewers of the Spanish State or directly emerging from them. They want us, out of rage and the impotence caused so much impunity, to point our finger at all our neighbours who are against independence or against the unilateral referendum. But no. They will stay silent, to be sure. We could consider this silence as complicit with such an unequal situation between the para-police State and the persecuted citizenry. But IN NO WAY do most 'No' voters share, if they see and confirm it, this terror and sewer operation. So we need to choose well who we blame in our speeches, comments and reflections. We need, therefore, to be very selective, very careful. We need to document and explain what is happening, even to those who apparently have no desire at all to hear explanations. We need the Spanish State to lose this battle by losing the adherence it thinks it has in these sectors of the population of Catalonia. And in the rest of its territory whenever possible.
We shall have to look after ourselves and we shall have to defend ourselves (it goes without saying!) from the extreme rightwing, the media and police provocation, that jointly play different yet complementary roles. But we shall have it clear in our minds that the battle we will wage is a battle of social and democratic majorities against a regime that bolsters itself with violence, media control and political persecution.

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