Mass demonstration in Barcelona against the capitalist system

We are publishing two articles on recent anti-capitalist demonstrations in Europe, one in Barcelona (about which we have already published an earlier article) and the other in Salzburg, Austria, where once again the police used brutal methods to repress the demonstration. This is now becoming a regular feature of these demonstrations. The authorities are attempting to criminalise the movements and have even gone as far as using agents provocateurs (policemen dressed up as demonstrators) who instigate violent conflicts in order to give the police the excuse they need.

Some 50,000 youth and workers showed their opposition to the capitalist system at the demonstration against the World Bank in Barcelona on Sunday, June 24th.

The demonstration which at times was more than one kilometre long, had banners from many different groups and organisations, including a noticeable presence of illegal immigrant workers, showing in this way their desire to join in with the rest of the workers in the struggle for a better society.

From Seattle to Gothenburg, the tactics of the bourgeoisie has been clear: first of all to try to present the protestors as small minority groups that us violent methods, and secondly to use brutal police repression against the demonstrators. In the Swedish city of Gothenburg a protestor was seriously injured when the police fired with live ammunition. In Barcelona the ruling class used the same tactics.

During the demonstration a small groups of provocateurs, which was pushed to the back of the demo by the demonstrators, was destroying property. At the end of the demo, the police charged brutally firing rubber bullets into the crowd of demonstrators. Twenty-two people were arrestde and more than 60 injured, including some journalists.

It is quite clear that the repression had been planned in advanced by the state apparatus. Two days before the demonstration the "Government Delegation" (representative of the central government) in Catalonia banned the demonstration and tried to move it to another route, which was a clear provocation. At the end of the demonstration witnesses saw plainclothes police officers arresting people, these very same officers were part of the group which earlier had been trashing bank and shop windows. More than 3,000 police officers from outside Barcelona were brought in for the day.

The use of agent provocateurs by the police to break up demonstrations is not new. These are the same methods that were used by the Franco dictatorship to break up workers' demonstrations. The Spanish ruling class is aware of the fact that they are facing a period of heightened social conflict and an increase in workers' struggles and they are getting ready for all this by using the same methods as in the past. After the restoration of democracy the same methods were still used, but not on the scale of Barcelona on June 24th. This goes to prove once again the role of the police in defending the capitalist system.

This repression is the same that is used against workers fighting to defend their jobs, against students fighting to defend high quality state education, against all those who oppose the policies of cuts in social spending, against those who fight the plans of the IMF and the World Bank... This repression is the only answer that a system in crisis can give. It is a rotten system which can only offer most of the world's population more exploitation and misery

This increased repression is directly related to the growing crisis of capitalism world-wide and the growing struggle of workers and youth against the system. Hundreds of thousands of workers are being laid-off by companies all over the world: General Motors, General Electric, Motorola, Eriksson, etc.

Spain is part of this general trend despite all the attempts of the government to say that everything is all right. The struggle of the workers of Miniwatt, the miners in Sallent and Suria, the Sintel workers, the general strike in Galicia, are all the result of the policies of the PP government in collaboration with the CiU in Catalonia.

We cannot trust the police and the State to protect our demonstrations. The workers and youth themselves must organise stewards to stop the fascists and provocateurs.We must demand the resignation of the representative of the central government in Catalonia, Julia Garcia Valdecasas, and the Interior Minister, Mariano Rajoy. We must demand the sacking of the reactionary elements within the State apparatus and the placing of the Army and police academies under the control of the workers' organisations.

Repression will not stop the youth and workers from fighting against this system which offers us nothing but unemployment, casualisation, destruction of the environment, war, and all the effects of a system in crisis.

A system based on the slavery of the many for the profit of the few cannot be reformed. The only alternative is the struggle for a system where the wealth created by the many is planned and controlled in a democratic manner by the many, giving way to a society where wars, barbarism and slavery will be things of the past, that is a socialist society.