Catalonia Solidarity Action

On the 3rd of October Bristol IWW and Marea Granate Bristol held a demonstration in solidarity with the Catalonians facing brutal state repression in light of the general strike and more broadly, the independence referendum.

The demo took place on College Green and was attended by 60 people at it’s peak. These were mostly Catalan and Spaniard people resident in Bristol. People told first-hand accounts of what happened, others from other parts of Spain expressed support and solidarity. Some tears, some cheers, some roars of defiance!

Our very-own Fabienne, who travelled back home to vote gave the following speech :

I went to Catalunya this weekend, I was not sure if they were going to let me vote, but what I knew for sure is that I wanted to be there as we were going to make history. But I never thought that they were going to do what they did. I am not going to tell you what happened, I’m sure you’ve seen the images. I’m going to tell you what I felt:

 

I felt happiness when I arrived at 7 in the morning and the polling station was crowded with people, ready to vote and to defend the ballot boxes. I felt sad when the state police helicopter flew over us 45 minutes later.

 

I felt happiness seeing elderly people crying of emotion whilst voting, no matter their origins, the language they speak or the intention of their vote. I felt sad for seeing them scared remembering past times that they thought would never come back.

 

I felt happiness seeing the civil society organising and coordinating the polling stations. I felt sad seeing my dad and many others so stressed and worried being responsible for making the referendum properly so that it had international guarantees, instead of being free and happy to go, vote and just wait at home for the results.

 

I felt happiness seeing all workers together, firefighters and farmers defending people and polling stations from the state police aggression. I felt sad seeing police men beating up people with their hands in the air, shouting “we’re peaceful people, we just want to vote”.

 

I felt happiness when I saw that more than 2 million people voted. I felt sad when I saw that more than 800 were injured, some of them seriously.

 

I felt happiness for all the support received, people taking streets in many Spanish cities and abroad, I feel happy to see you all here, this is the Europe I want to be part of. I felt sad when I saw that the European Commission is not going to intervene and they keep saying this is an internal problem, this is not the Europe that I want to be part of.

 

I feel happy and proud to see that today, my whole little country, joined the general strike and as always, is taking the streets peacefully and smiling, but determined and without fear.

 

To the Spanish working class: start your way to freedom, you will always find us in that fight. As David Fernández says: For those who preceded us in much worse conditions, for those who will come in much better conditions.

 

And as we sang on Sunday: els carrers sempre seran nostres, streets will always be ours! Visca la terra!

 

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Vaig anar a Catalunya aquest cap de setmana, no estava segura de que em deixessin votar, però el que sabia amb seguretat és que volia ser-hi perque anàvem a fer història. Però mai vaig pensar que farien el que van fer. No us explicaré el que va passar, segur que heu vist les imatges. Us explicaré el que vaig sentir:

 

Vaig sentir felicitat quan vaig arribar a les 7 del matí i el col·legi electoral estava ple de gent disposada a votar i a defensar les urnes. Vaig sentir tristor quan l’helicòpter de la policia estatal ens va sobrevolar 45 minuts més tard.

 

Vaig sentir felicitat veient a gent gran plorant d’emoció mentre votava, sense importar els seus orígens, el seu idioma o la intenció del seu vot. Vaig sentir tristor per veure’ls espantats recordant els temps passats que pensaven que mai tornarien.

 

Vaig sentir felicitat de veure la societat civil organitzar i coordinar els col·legis electorals. Vaig sentir tristesa per veure el meu pare i molts altres tan estressats i preocupats per ser responsables de fer el referèndum correctament perquè tingués garanties internacionals, en comptes de ser lliures i feliços d’anar, votar i tornar cap a casa per esperar els resultats.

 

Vaig sentir felicitat de veure tots els treballadors junts, els bombers i els agricultors que defensaven les persones de les agressions de la policia nacional. Vaig sentir tristor veient que la policia apallissava persones amb les mans en l’aire, cridant “som gent de pau, només volem votar”.

 

Em vaig sentir feliç quan vaig veure que més de 2 milions de persones van votar. Vaig sentir tristesa quan vaig veure que més de 800 van resultar ferides, algunes d’elles de gravetat.

 

Vaig sentir felicitat per tot el suport rebut, persones que sortien als carrers a moltes ciutats espanyoles i a l’estranger. Em sento feliç de veure-us aquí, aquesta és l’Europa de la que vull formar part. Em vaig sentir trista quan vaig veure que la Comissió Europea no ha intervingut i que segueixen dient que es tracta d’un problema intern, aquesta no és l’Europa de la qual vull formar part.

 

Em sento contenta i orgullosa de veure que avui, tot el meu petit país s’ha unit a la vaga general i, com sempre, ha pres els carrers pacíficament i somrient, però determinats i sense por.

 

A la classe treballadora espanyola: comenceu el camí cap a la llibertat, sempre ens trobareu en aquesta lluita. Com diu David Fernández: per aquells que ens van precedir en condicions molt pitjors, per aquells que vindran en condicions molt millors.

 

I com vam cantar diumenge: els carrers sempre seran nostres! Visca la terra!

 

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