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15 de des. 2018

National Appeal to ERC

This is an English translation (by M.S.) of the Appeal issued by a group of members of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, for a re-thinking of the party's current strategy as regards independence.

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Original: https://cridanacionalerc.cat/




Manifesto

The undersigned, members and supporters of ERC, the last remaining party of the Republican tradition in Catalonia, with over 80 years of history, see the need - after the first anniversary of the events of October last year - for the independence movement's strategies to be reformulated. ERC has to lead this new roadmap with all consistency and, if need be, with the holding, provided it is feasible, of an extraordinary National Conference, or an ordinary meeting, to clarify this new strategy.

"The challenge is decisive: we bank on all of us making it possible for Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya to recover the vigour and the popular trust that gave rise to it. It would be the best civic service that our nation - in our understanding and we are sure that in the understanding of many - calls for" (Extract from the first National Call to ERC, 18 December 1986).

That is why we call for:

1. Pro-independence unity 

An agreement is needed between all the pro-independence groups for the Catalan Republic to be an internationally recognized reality. Planning must be done, not through piece-meal agreements, but through a short- and medium-term shared strategy. In this regard, we call for a wide-ranging Republican and unitary candidacy for the next European elections, as well as a clear and forceful coordination of the PDECAT and ERC parliamentary groups in Madrid (especially after the severe penalties imposed on our political prisoners by a Spanish State that does not want to negotiate and that only knows how to suppress), without ruling out a possible withdrawal of the Catalan deputies from the Spanish Parliament as a measure of pressure. The unity of action of the pro-independence parties in the Parliament of Catalonia also needs to be recovered in order to preserve the absolute majority and ensure a government action that will promote, with the endorsement of the Parliament, the implementation of the Republic. And, finally, we must prioritize in all the municipalities wherever possible the unity of action with other political forces, with the aim of ensuring the maximum of pro-independence mayors.

2. Validity of 1 October and the proclaimed Republic

The validity of the referendum on 1 October [2017] and the mandate derived from it: the proclamation of the Catalan Republic needs to be acknowledged. These were the most important acts of sovereignty in the 21st century, perfectly comparable to that made by Francesc Macià on April 14, 1931. Stop undervaluing the more than two million people who took part in it. The 1 October referendum showed that we are a democratic majority and we won. Not to have as a priority objective the implementation of the Catalan Republic when it has the social and parliamentary majority would be an inadmissible renunciation of the democratic mandate taken on by the Government, to put into effect the result of the Referendum "without hold-ups or excuses". The fact that the Spanish state does not accept the democratic game is not a reason to say that "there are not enough of us and an unquestionable majority is required". Spain will never negotiate of its own free will, without Catalan popular pressure.

3. Popular mobilization and unilaterality 

Popular mobilization and the adoption of unilateral measures cannot be waived in any way, as guaranteed by the Political Document of the last National Conference. How can the Spanish State accept any political solution to the Catalan challenge unless it is pressurized by the majority of the people and their legitimate representatives? As most lawyers say, political prisoners and exiles will only leave prison and return to Catalonia once the Catalan Republic has been implemented.

4. Conditions for any negotiation

Any negotiation that is undertaken with the Spanish State must be undertaken with minimum conditions: without political prisoners being held hostage and in conditions of bilaterality and equality between the two parties, Catalonia and Spain. Without this, there is no proper negotiation, but rather the imposition of political measures that one party forces the other to comply with. The negotiation must not be carried out by any of the Catalan deputies in Madrid or the political leaders, on their own, without taking into account the rest. A separate, independent negotiating bloc is needed that has as its main reference the legitimate representatives of the people of Catalonia.

5. Convert the recently created Council for the Republic into a true government in exile.

The Council for the Republic needs to be transformed into a Government in exile, functioning as a referential institution of the Catalan Republic at the international level. In not having a legal status within the Spanish State, it is the only political entity that can act more freely than the Generalitat itself. Naturally, it must not act ignoring the resistance in the interior; rather, it must do so in a coordinated way with the social movements and political parties, as well as with the Generalitat and the pro-independence parliamentary majority. Only thus will the current situation of and internal political action and an external political action be exploited, and we will have a tool to deal with the new embat with the state that will surely occur sooner rather than later.

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