International Day of Action against Repression, June 28

Social struggle is not a crime! Solidarity against repression!

We want to express our support and solidarity with Carlos and Carmen, who participated in the Granada 15M picket during the General Strike on March 29, 2012 in the state of Spain and who were convicted to three years and one day imprisonment for their participation in this picket.

For the General Strike in Spain on March 29, 2012, the Granada 15M movement organized an informational picket that swept the streets of the city calling for solidarity with the day of strike. Carlos and Carmen were randomly identified by the police out of a bar where the picket had entered. During this picket there were no violent attitudes or threats and, in fact, the picket continued its passing by Granada and the bar was not closed. The bar owner filed a complaint and some months later a trial began in which the prosecutor asked for an "sentence to set an example, not only for them but also so that none else comes up with similar things". Finally, the judge sentenced Carlos and Carmen to three years and one day imprisonment for an alleged "crime against the right of workers". Following the conviction, an appeal was brought to the Granada Provincial Court, but this upheld the verdict based only on the testimony of the bar owner.

In recent years in Spain, repression against social movements has developed from fining participants in social protests into sentencing them to imprisonment. Meanwhile people live in a context of insecurity and spending cuts, while the government introduces law reforms meant to stop social struggle.

And we cannot allow it.

We call on every city to go out onto the streets on the 28th of June to follow the protest evoked by this repression and injustice. We are organising demonstrations in many cities in order to react promptly to this situation. However, right now more than ever it is essential to be united as one in this battle, because repression is common to all and so should be our opposition. Let's add this specific case to all the rest of them to be stronger that day.

In Granada, Carlos and Carmen are going to go to prison because they participated in a picket by the 15M movement; in Galicia, Ana and Tamara as well as Serafín and Carlos are in the same situation; the same as Koldo in La Rioja and many more people in different parts of Spain. And let's not forget about our comrades who are in custody withou trial, like Miguel and Isma in Madrid or Sergi in Barcelona (recently imprisoned due to the Barcelona protests against the eviction of the squatters of Can Vies, a public building occupied for 17 years). We will act on June 28th for all these people.

At an international level, we for mobilisation at Spanish Embassies and Consulates, so that rejection of the Spanish government's repression against social movements will be heard everywhere.

The group Stop Represión Granada has drawn up a manifesto.

We all know we are in crisis, although many of us were living it already (we should not forget equality between social classes was never a reality). Since the moment we started being bombarded with news about how bad the economic situation is, we have been suffering from the brutal application of a way out of the crisis, which is eliminating the social rights we have achieved in the last decades. In all the world, spending cuts have been introduced by political and economic powers in order to secure their benefits which had become “worryingly” smaller for them. For Spanish citizens, they have imposed insecurity as a form of life, while they go on living above our possibilities, as always.

Facing these policies of insecurity for us and profit for them (governments, big companies and bankers), we have gone out onto the streets to fight for what is ours, what nobody gave us for free. We have protested against each eviction, each spending cut on healthcare and education, each dismissal, each intrusion upon our right to decide, each attack on our neighbourhoods, in short, we have fought against each attack by the capitalist system in its different forms. Meanwhile, politicians and bankers have kept their stolen money in tax havens, ignored social movements and branded us as criminals. Those who rob us, lie to us and humiliate us are the same ones who criminalise and repress us with the strike of laws or with the strike of batons.

Everything is already clear to us, there is no place for doubts. In the last months, the strategies that governments in all the world are using against social mobilisations and protest have become clear. But they do not only want to quiet them down but rather to root them out violently. In Spain, first they imposed the Law on Court Charges to preserve the Justice for themselves even better than before. Then they started the reform of the Penal Code to increase the time spent in prison for crimes against public order and crimes against authorities, so that nobody would escape from police impunity and arbitrariness, nor from prison. Furthermore, they introduced a Bill on Citizen Security telling us that, for our own good, they should control demonstrations and the use of public spaces, because the streets are for everyone. Now they are even criminalising the freedom of speech in social media. All these reforms are aimed at not only silencing protests, but also to make invisible the severe repression they are using against the people, as well as to increase penalties and the judicial defencelessness of the people.

Some of our partners have fought against these exact injustices, and today they are imprisoned, about to go to prison or in the midst of ongoing judicial proceedings. In recent years, a large amount of social activists and politicians in all the state have been repressed because they participated in social protests, and we should not forget about them. We should not forget about the dozens of comrades who are about to go into prison because they participated in strikes (Carlos and Carmen (Granada), Ana and Tamara (Pontevedra), Koldo (La Rioja), the eight Airbus workers etc.), nor should we forget about the hundreds of people arrested during demonstrations or the partners who have spent or are spending months in custody (Alfon, since the General Strike on 14th November 2012; Miguel and Isma, since the demonstrations on March 22nd; Sergi, since the protests against the eviction of the squatters of Can Vies, etc.) We cannot name them all. We are astounded by witnessing the criminalisation of social struggle and protest, a criminalisation characteristic to an authoritarian regime, without precedent during these years of the so called democracy in Spain. Because we do not call it that way. We know we are not living in freedom and that we can not express our opinions and our disagreement. We know we can not get together nor demonstrate with total freedom, and that they supress even the smallest step toward raising our voice, going out on the streets, defending our neighbourhoods and organising pickets during strikes.

We reject the idea of dividing ourselves into good and bad demonstrators; there are no vandals infiltrated among us, but people with a lot of built­up rage, people tired of being oppressed and tired of seeing how the same few people always benefit and share the profits between them. We should not let them confuse us, because staying united is in our hands. Our partners are waiting for their trials, their verdicts, their appeals and their reprieves for supposedly committing crimes against authority, crimes against the worker's rights, crimes of disobedience and public disorder, and who knows how many more fallacies of the legal and judicial system that is imposed on us. Meanwhile, the governing politicians and bankers, the big owners of the state and of the capital, go on picking up their pay cheques in envelopes, receiving pardons, having bank accounts in Switzerland and, of course, sleeping peacefully at night.

But not for long. We have decided not to be afraid any longer. We have decided to react to each attack, each partner deprived of their liberty, each person who is arrested, tortured and humiliated for not keeping quiet and for struggling. We are not going to wait for supposed saviours. The only things we have are struggle and solidarity, which are the only grounds they have not managed to take from us, and which continue that way. Although they try to prevent it, we will continue struggling for our rights and for all of us to be able to enjoy a full life.



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