There are days when we can’t take it anymore, when together we resist awful things and are able, collectively, to disobey fear and rebuild the ever-fragile freedom. It is only then, as in any corner of the world that rejects oppression, that we can still do everything. Last Sunday, our people self-determined itself to defend a referendum of self-determination that had been outlawed. It resisted the shameful militarily planned and deliberately repressive violence of the police. The best of people overflowed the worst of a state that denies us the democratic right to decide – freely and peacefully – our common future. A state that has nothing but institutional violence to try to prevent us from deciding. They know that under democratic conditions, they lost many years ago: that is why they impose a state of emergency.
Faced with a repression that takes us back to the infamous times we believed we had overcome, thousands and thousands of people put our bodies to defend the ballot boxes and defend the people. These troubled days -of dignity, affirmation and resistance- will last for years: we have seen dockers of the port refusing to collaborate with the repression, firefighters standing in front of the police aggressions to defend the civilian population, trade unionists stopping the siege, students emptying all the classrooms to fill all the streets, all the tractors of our farmers taking avenues, parents defending each school strongly -each vote.
Despite the State’s discourse, despite the criminal cynicism of claiming that they are protecting us by beating us, despite the 900 wounded and all the blows received, thousands of unarmed people peacefully resisted all violence. Ballot boxes against weapons, bodies against batons, lives against fear. They inflicted the toughest and widest democratic – political, social, civil and ethical – defeat to a state that beats and assaults us: anyone would want to leave from a place where they are abused and disrespected. Neither violations of rights nor impunity, police brutality, cheers or rubber bullets, nor repressive authoritarianism, nor the doctrine of fear or the strategy of violence have been able to stop the – serene, firm, calm, consciously peaceful, stubbornly disobedient – determination of a solid democratic social majority that wants to live in peace. They wanted to rob a country, hijack the ballot boxes and stop democracy. The strength of the people, against the strength of the state, prevented it. Democratic reason, against everything, prevailed over the always sinister reason of State. And the ethics of peaceful civil disobedience resisted all repressive provocations.
Today, again, once again, the workers’ movement and social movements are leading a new general – labor, social and political – strike to stop the escalation of repression. We stop our country to stop state violence. And it is exceptional that a country has to call for a complete strike in order to regain calm and normality. In dictatorship and democracy, we are a country that has always advanced – in the field of democratic freedoms, social rights and the demand for self-determination – with successive general strikes. Today, more than ever, we know that violence is the only strategy available to the State to alter the will of the people, to violate the yearnings for freedom and social justice and to unleash new repressive blows. This strategy we are already neutralizing. Today we do it by stopping everything. To tell them that they will not keep us down. They’ve already lost.
Today, by closing the streets to open the way, we are above all a political community in resistance. And it is an urgent moment to thank the workers of this country, every neighbourhood, every municipality and every sunshine. And we also want to thank all the support we have receive from all over the world. We can never be thankful enough. And we can only tell you that trying to defend our freedom we are doing nothing but defending the freedom of others and freedom and just ice for all the peoples of the world.
When dignity is silenced, when peaceful civil disobedience is made aware, when we do not remain silent, when we protect one another, when we protect democracy and when we defend freedom, everything is still possible. Today, from the bottom left, we tell you that they have left us no choice but to lose fear – against fear and in spite of fear. They have only left us with the fear of failing and not living up to the freedom and justice that our people insistently claim.
That is why we have rebelled and stood up to the shame of Europe. By making the humble decision not to retreat. Because above all else, we want to live. And – today, now, here – freedom cannot be put off anymore. And its defence is a matter of basic human dignity. See you on the streets of the world. No pasarán. We won’t let them in. No pasarán.
We’re here because you are there. We’re resisting for you too. For all the peoples and workers of the world. Out of respect and dignity. And, uplifted and in the middle of the street, we give you infinite thanks for your tireless solidarity.
With our head, with our heart and with our clenched fists.
We can’t take it anymore. That’s why we can do everything.
Candidatura d’Unitat Popular
Catalan Countries, 3rd October 2017