The victory for the Catalan people in declaring themselves an independent republic has come from working class organisation in the streets argues Jack Sherwood

It was the Catalan working class that brought them this independence. May no one tell you otherwise.

They defended the vote at the polling stations, risking personal safety at the hands of the police.

They organised themselves in community assemblies and a radical party in defence of the result, urging the declaration and a better democratic process for Catalonia, against the divergences of their centrist government’s leadership.

They took strike action in their millions against police brutality and state repression, led by dockers, firefighters and students.

They mobilised in their hundreds of thousands against the imprisonment of civic movement leaders, bringing confidence to defy Spanish state repression.

They have mobilised and organised in defiance of repression and persecution of their language and culture over many decades. They campaigned for a greater autonomy that was not permitted.

When the final hour of indecision and concession from their government came yesterday striking students and the Referendum Defence Committees called tens of thousands to the streets within hours and set the course.

Today they welcome independence in their millions on the streets, their slogans from the assemblies: “the people command, the government obeys.”

In the words of the radical left independence party, the CUP, to make and defend a new republic: “from below, against the Spanish and the Catalan elites.”

Victory to a democratic Catalan Republic against the oppressive Spanish state! Power to the workers, power to the assemblies, power to the organised students! Rise up the left in solidarity in Catalonia and across Europe!

The streets are ours, the democracy must be ours. Europe to the streets.



Jack Sherwood

Jack Sherwood has been an organiser in the People's Assembly and Stop the War. Based in Bristol, he coordinated the largest demonstrations and public meetings in the city 2014-2019: against austerity, in support of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of Labour, over the Junior Doctors' struggle and against the British bombing of Syria.

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