International Solidarity

Notes of the work group on international solidarity, within the With Catalonia International meeting

Sunday 17 December 2017, 10.30 am

The session is facilitated by Txell Bragulat and David Karvala from With Catalonia, and Marie Faure, from the coordinating committee of international CDRs.

30 people attend at the beginning; between 60 and 70 at the end.

To begin the session:

  • David Karvala talks about the approach of With Catalonia of creating unitary spaces of international solidarity, of locating existing spaces and movements, and of establishing coordination and communication between them.
  • Marie Faure explains the situation of the international CDRs and the new coordinating body.

Next, representatives of the attending international groups make brief interventions.

There are at least 4 different models of international solidarity movements:

  1. Unitary solidarity campaigns. Broad movements that unite people from the Catalan community with local social movement and left activists; typically with the basic demands of the defence of democracy and the right to choose and opposition to repression. (They exist in Canada, Québec, Ireland, Scotland, England, France… and one is being created in Germany.)
  2. International CDRs: spaces composed mainly or exclusively of Catalan activists, typically on the basis of explicit support for independence. (They exist in Mexico and also in different European cities, specially in France and Germany).
  3. Solidarity actions carried out by a party in its own name, often to express support for a sister party in Catalunya. (A delegate from Sardinia and another from Switzerland describe actions of this kind.)
  4. Joint solidarity actions, carried out by different organizations, movements, and parties, but without creating a united movement as such. (In Greece, there have been three significant demonstrations of this kind).

The main orientation of With Catalonia is towards the first model but recognising that it is necessary to work with and establish coordination among all these types of initiatives.

The task of the coordinating committee of international CDRs is evidently to coordinate among these, but also to try to establish wider links, through collaboration with With Catalonia.

For the coming months it is agreed:

  • To prepare responses to FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) in different languages accessible on the With Catalonia Website.
  • To circulate information in the form of articles, analysis, interviews carried out in Catalonia, which can help to disseminate the grassroots civic activities that are occurring.
  • For all these reasons, the website will be an essential tool not only for dissemination but also as an archive with which activists can inform and educate themselves.
  • To organise an international solidarity action (the dates of end of January, beginning of February are mentioned).

There is agreement on the need to create broad solidarity groups, with basic points of agreement, linked to the social movements, unions and parties, etc. from different countries and in Catalonia.

The points of agreement or the demands around which it seems that the actions and international solidarity should be structured are:

  • Defence of the right to self-determination.
  • Against repression and the loss of rights and freedoms; in defence of political prisoners. Against the application of 155.
  • In support of people’s self-organisation and disobedience to break with the regime of 1978 [the existing Spanish Constitution].
  • To denounce the paralysis of the EU and of the different European Governments and to demand their involvement to put a stop to Spain’s actions —those of the PP Government in particular— and to facilitate a mediation.

Finally With Catalonia is asked to “lead” and coordinate all of this… bearing in mind that the current core group of With Catalonia is quite small, not many people for a challenge of this magnitude.

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